Manugistics partners to expand integration

Manugistics Group Inc. on Thursday introduced WebConnect Suite, a package for Web-based application integration

In unveiling the package, the company aligned itself with several partners to broaden its integration reach. Through the alliances, the Rockville, Md.-based company gained ETL (Extract, Transform, and Load), external business-to-business integration, an outsourced solution for managing trading exchanges, and adapters for connecting to enterprise systems.

The Manugistics suite includes technologies for integration, trading partner collaboration, and business process execution. Company officials said the suite is intended to help customers connect applications and automate information and process flows within the enterprise, across extended trading networks, and into and among private and public marketplaces.

Jeff McKinney, senior vice-president of Manugistics’ supply-chain management business unit, said that the ultimate goal of the suite is to help companies derive benefit from their supply-chain deployments faster than they otherwise would.

“Especially when it comes to using best-of-breed applications, integration is a key stumbling block. Integration steps to deployment are consistently the biggest obstacle,” McKinney said.

Analysts, in fact, said that integration is one of the biggest challenges facing enterprises today. A Morgan Stanley survey of CIOs determined that integration is the top priority among corporations this year. Furthermore, integration is tied with security as the most likely areas for companies to invest in infrastructure.

The suite consists of three products: WebConnect Integrate, WebConnect Interact, and WebConnect Community.

Acta Technology, in Mountain View, Calif., provided the ETL for building data warehouses and data transfers. Austin, Texas-based Vignette brings a library of integration adapters that hook Manugisitcs software into internal ERP applications, legacy transaction systems, and CRM software.

San Diego-based Peregrine, for its part, contributed the external business-to-business integration as well as outsourcing services for business-to-business e-commerce integration, trading exchanges, and EDI (electronic data interchange) translation. Irvine, Calif.-based Viacore will provide an outsourced solution for managing trading exchanges.