Zycus Releases AA 4.0, Indian CIOs' IT Satisfaction Drops, Epicor/CRS and RSA Partner, Intradeco Upgrades ERP

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Zycus Releases AA 4.0, Indian CIOs' IT Satisfaction Drops, Epicor/CRS and RSA Partner, Intradeco Upgrades ERP

By David Sims

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's Déjà vu. Pity poor David Crosby, the only guy in CSN&Y never to have released a half-decent solo album:

Happy Waitangi Day!


Epicor/CRS, the retail products division of Epicor Software, a vendor of CRM and other enterprise business software to the midmarket and Global 1000, has announced with RSA, the security division of EMC, a "strategic technology alliance."

The alliance intends to "provide management capabilities based on RSA Key Manager software" within the CRS RetailStore point-of-sale product, Epicor officials say, explaining that the resulting offering will let joint customers "reduce the complexities in encryption deployments."

RSA Key Manager is one of those stand-alone key lifecycle management offerings "engineered to enable businesses to control encryption keys effectively by providing centralized, secure and simplified administration for all applications," according to RSA officials.

Epicor/CRS, according to Epicor officials, will be the first retail product vendor to certify its products through the RSA Key Manager Partner Program, an extension of the RSA Secured Partner Program. The RSA Key Manager program is supported by professional services and systems integration professionals and allows organizations to certify the interoperability of products with RSA Key Manager software.

Epicor/CRS provides software and services to more than 50,000 stores across 140 specialty retailers.

Under the technology alliance, RSA Key Manager software will soon be integrated with Epicor/CRS software to enable the firm's retail customers to enable key management capabilities and "centralize the provisioning and lifecycle management of encryption keys."

RSA Key Manager will make data encrypted by Epicor/CRS available to other RSA Key Manager applications throughout the enterprise. RSA Key Manager software centrally manages symmetric encryption keys used in enterprise applications, and retires compromised or lost keys.

The technology can assist retailers in providing complete data protection throughout the data lifecycle, and in meeting the PCI Data Security Standard guidelines for data security. The PCI standard outlines best practices for credit card data that is stored, processed, or transmitted. Major credit card issuers, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club, and Discover, jointly developed the PCI standard and most merchants are pursuing compliance with it.

Intradeco Apparel, a supplier of textiles and apparel to retailers in the Americas with headquarters in Miami, a city close to the United States as well as Latin America and the Caribbean, has recently completed upgrading its ERP system environment.

In seven months Intradeco replaced its BA software with SAP sales and Distribution Modules as well as upgrading all EDI communication servers and implementing Gentran Integration Suite for EDI processing.

The project, completed in December, involved internal resources across sales and distribution operations as well as Kanbay Consultants.

This implementation, according to Intradeco officials, will better service its customers by integrating multiple business processes, including order-to-cash, financial accounting, materials management, inventory warehouse control, and product line profitability, resulting in "a smooth, timely and accurate flow of information across the organization."

In addition, it will enable the company to adapt quickly, easily and cost effectively to new businesses grow over time, company officials say, as well as changing customer requirements and needs.

This upgrade is intended to reinforce Intradeco's commitment to technology innovation as well as complement and supports its fully vertical infrastructure, company officials say.

Intradeco Apparel is part of the Siman Group, a wholly-owned family business founded in 1921, and is a major supplier of textiles and apparel to retailers in the United States, Mexico and Canada.

Zycus, Inc., a vendor of automated spend analysis products which is keen on the idea of being the last name in the phone book, has released an "expanded suite of product" that moves beyond spend reports and transforms spend analysis into what company officials describe as "a more actionable, objective- oriented and result driven process."

Zycus sells its spend visibility software products to more than 50 global 1000 organizations, including General Electric, DuPont and 3M. The general availability of version 4.0 of its Spend Analysis offering, named "Actionable Analytics 4.0," is supposed to bring what's described as "objective-driven and savings opportunity focused actionable analytics" by company officials.

"Breaking free from the limitations of slice & dice and OLAP based spend visibility, which required substantial investments in training and system expertise and are not objective-driven for savings identification," Zycus' new Actionable Analytics tool lets commodity managers "find more saving opportunities faster using a feature set called Opportunity Finder," company officials say.

Additionally, a new module for Opportunity Pipeline Management enables Sourcing & Procurement leadership to track and manage their global savings mandates using a pipeline based approach. Sourcing Leadership will now be able to review saving opportunities "based on facts and figures, approve and prioritize them, and create a funnel of savings activities through a collaborative process analogous to a sales funnel in CRM applications," company officials say.

Happy customers agree. "The application can quickly drill down to detail, but also functions at a higher level through the use of a dashboard (pipeline) that gives management oversight of the spend analytics activity of buyers and any other users. We are implementing Actionable Analytics 4.0 to help increase work efficiencies and assist in the proper prioritization of workload/commodity management," said Gary R. Miklos, Manager Benchmarking and Compliance, Siemens Power Generations Inc.

AMR Analyst Mickey North Rizza, First Coffee's Name of the Week, has written that "quickly finding the opportunities, prioritizing them based on the immediate impact of expense reduction or margin improvement, and the long term savings over time is what strategic procurement and sourcing groups need."

According to Indian trade journal DQ Channels, an India-wide annual Customer Satisfaction Audit among 584 Chief Information Officers shows that the satisfaction level of CIOs with vendors in every IT category has gone down, finding "a drop of two to three points from the satisfaction levels registered in the previous year."

The audit was conducted by the Dataquest, which surveyed 584 CIOs of large enterprises from ET 500 and BS 1000 lists. The domestic IT market in India is expected to be over $16.5 billion in 2006-07.

The survey finds "a lack of clarity in pricing, declining credit terms, irregularity in providing spare parts and in some cases even the expertise of the vendor service teams to solve problems" as common problems CIOs have with vendors.

In all the categories, product or service quality and after sales service or support emerged as the two most important derivatives of satisfaction. In the enterprise applications category covering Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Supply Chain Management (SCM), the CIOs chose SAP, Oracle and Microsoft Business Solutions as the Top 3 applications.

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