By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the second cup of coffee this morning, and the music is Cross Canadian Ragweed's Live at Billy Bob's Texas. It's pretty gutsy to appropriate the CCR acronym, but this is a tough, tight road warrior bar band keeping a roomful of people entertained for a couple hours, a la Reckless Kelly, and that's all right with me, even if "Bang My Head" does rather unoriginally steal the riff from "All Along the Watchtower:"
New online women's fashion retailer Capture has chosen IT vendor XeBusiness to provide the Web fulfillment, inventory management and global sourcing systems to power their soon-to-be-launched B2C online sales venture.
XeBusiness will supply these modules from its industry specialist ERP system, Xe-ERP2 "together with a range of implementation services to get the new venture off the ground," company officials say.
Samesh Kumar, CEO of Capture, said his firm "liked the XeBusiness approach to what we wanted. They proposed in a simple and cost effective way exactly what we required without trying to blind us with bells and whistles functionality that we will not require in the initial stages of this venture, while convincing us that their product had the scalability to grow as the venture took off."
Selling off the Web continues to be an attractive proposition for new brand fashion retailers like Capture.
London-based Capture will provide multiple categories of women's fashion, including dresses, tops, knitwear, trousers, shorts and skirts including denim, a Jeans and Denim Web shop, jackets and coats.
The Web site, Capture officials say, will provide "an exciting online shopping experience that will include a new in and just arrived section, a hottest trends section, a stars and celebrity section featuring celebrities modeling the Capture ranges" and others.
XeBusiness sells supply chain products for quick response and cost reduction. Xe-ERP2 is a specialist management information and business management system for garment, footwear, soft goods and household textile suppliers.
Sometimes to get an idea of the value of CRM, ERP and such products it's useful to revisit an installation more than six weeks after installation, and see if, long-term, the benefits are there:
Five years ago CDC Software, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CDC Corporation and a provider of CRM and other enterprise software applications and business services, implemented for Hong Kong Maxim's Group, a beverage and catering company in Hong Kong the CDC Software's Ross Enterprise Applications at its entire plant network.
Founded in 1956, Hong Kong Maxim's Group employs more than 14,000 people and serves more than 540,000 customers per day in more than 640 restaurants, outlets and catering operations, three factories and a printing plant.
Hong Kong Maxim's Group has also established joint venture companies with Starbucks Coffee International, and has Starbucks stores in Hong Kong, Macau, South and South West China.
Lacking an enterprise software infrastructure, the firm tracked and analyzed data manually which made product costing, recipe management and regulatory compliance inefficient, company officials say. The firm CDC Software's Ross Enterprise was chosen as an ERP system to address those operational challenges.
"Ross ERP offered the best overall value in terms of functional fit and low cost," said Alfred Kam, head of information technology, Hong Kong Maxim's Group. "On top of that, we saw how it could meet our needs with little or no customization."
"We now know what it costs to make every product and we also know how profitable each product is for us," Kam said. "The impact has been felt across our organization. For example, our marketing team can now make better decisions regarding promotions in order to drive sales and market share on select products."
Since going live on the system in 2003, the company has doubled its recipes to more than 800. Other improvements since the implementation include improved production planning and reduced waste by tracking daily orders through the system, a streamlined product introduction that enables the company to test and adjust new recipes in a controlled environment without having to bring the product to the shop floor, and a more efficient regulatory compliance process, company officials say.
"Considering the growth we've experienced over the last six years, regulatory compliance would have been a much more costly and involved endeavor with our previous manual processes," said Kam.
Ping Identity has announced the release of PingFederate 5.2, an Internet single sign-on software product for SaaS users and SaaS vendors.
Downloadable now at www.pingidentity.com, PingFederate 5.2 incorporates technologies from Ping Identity's recent acquisition of Sxip Access to offer automated provisioning and de-provisioning, as well as what company officials describe as "advanced user access methods" -- components for effective SSO to Salesforce and Google Apps.
According to a recent Gartner report, software as a service is forecast to have a compound annual growth rate of 17-percent through 2011 for small-and-midsize-business CRM, ERP and SCM software markets, "more than double the growth rate for total enterprise application software as a whole."
Along with the efficiencies they provide, "SaaS applications can present some unique challenges to IT," said Ping Identity CEO Andre Durand. "Because most SaaS applications have their own user directories, IT administrators may be manually adding, updating and deleting hundreds or thousands of user accounts."
Ping Identity includes automatic provisioning "to eliminate that extra work."
PingFederate 5.2 builds on proprietary Salesforce and Google Apps APIs to deliver automated SaaS provisioning. It works with Microsoft's Active Directory, or any existing user directory and authentication mechanism the company already uses for its own applications.
Specific to Salesforce, with PingFederate 5.2, Ping Identity has expanded its list of supported Salesforce access methods to include desktop and mobile browsers, remote users, Salesforce Connect for Microsoft Outlook and emailed report URLs.
Pyxis Mobile, a vendor of wireless applications for Financial Services, has announced that Eaton Vance Distributors implemented their mobile application to provide the firm's executive team with what Pyxis officials say is "a real-time wireless view of core business intelligence metrics."
Pyxis Mobile's experience in delivering intuitive, mobile composite applications that make enterprise data actionable was noted as a major factor in the decision.
Eaton Vance implemented Pyxis Mobile's wireless application for mutual fund wholesalers in 2004 to extend their CRM and sales data to BlackBerry smartphones from Research In Motion.
The 360-degree view of their clients "has allowed their wholesalers to provide better products and services, and to become more competitive in the marketplace," according to the Pyxies.
This most recent implementation provides managers always-on, direct access to real-time enterprise and industry reports, tying together multiple enterprise systems including sales reporting, product and company performance, market data, corporate IT support, and human resource statistics.