News Briefs

Enterprise software maker J.D. Edwards released on January 13 supply chain event management (SCEM) enhancements to its real-time production and distribution planning (PDP) application. The Denver-based company said the PDP solution – part of the J.D. Edwards 5 application suite – enables users to simultaneously create supply chain reports for distribution, manufacturing, sourcing constraints and costs. The enhancements include a revamped J.D. Edwards 5 user interface and two-way communication between the company using PDP and external trading partners, J.D. Edwards said. The SCEM capabilities use a collaborative Web client to provide customers and suppliers access to PDP supply plans and applications over the Internet. The supply chain event manager, the company continued, can also be integrated with tools such as Microsoft Excel. “We’re seeing a lot of interest from our customer base around event management…customers are really focused on reducing their inventory,” said Andy Carlson, director of supply chain product marketing for J.D. Edwards. The real-time SCEM capabilities, Carlson said, allow companies to quickly react to unexpected changes – such as production or shipment delays – and gain a holistic view of the extended supply chain by incorporating partners and suppliers in the decision-making process. The products enable organizations to make the transition from traditional batch planning solutions to automated offerings that allow faster response time, he added. – Ryan B. Patrick

Intel boosts notebook processor performance

Intel Corp. released several new processors and a new chipset for notebook computers on January 14, making them immediately available in systems two days after Intel lowered prices on its Mobile Pentium 4 processors. The 2.4GHz Mobile Pentium 4 Processor-M is available in notebook machines from Gateway Inc. and Dell Computer Corp., based on information obtained from the companies’ Web sites. Intel also added two new Ultra Low Voltage Mobile Pentium III processors, and three varieties of Mobile Celeron processors to its roster of products, it said in a release. The new Intel 852GM chipset for notebooks comes with integrated graphics and support for USB (universal serial bus) 2.0 ports. It’s tough to find signs of growth in the PC industry, but notebooks are a bright spot. Sales of notebooks grew between 10 per cent and 15 per cent during the recent holiday selling season, and steady growth should continue throughout 2003, said Stephen Baker, director of research at NPD Techworld in Reston, Va. Intel is poised to capitalize on that trend with its new mobile processors, and will also launch its Centrino platform for notebooks in the first half of this year. Centrino combines a new processor built specifically for a mobile environment with wireless Internet chips based on the 802.11b standard. – Tom Krazit, IDG News Service

SAP creates Web services strategy

SAP has put Web services squarely in the spotlight with its enterprise strategy, a granular, service-based blueprint that it unveiled in January. “Business drives technology not the other way around,” explained SAP exec Shai Agassi. The New York-based application platform provider announced the Enterprise Services Architecture (ESA), a services-based business solution that will link Web services and other technology standards, including Microsoft .NET and IBM’s WebSphere (J2EE). Hasso Plattner, co-chairman, CEO, and co-founder, SAP AG, described ESA as “enabling customers to fully leverage the promise of today’s technology to seamlessly integrate their business process across all of their disparate systems, linking suppliers, partners, and customers across the value chain.” The new platform allows companies to restructure integrated IT environments built on services-based business solutions that extend across business systems, SAP said. All future SAP solutions will be based on the ESA blueprint – SAP also announced the availability of SAP NetWeaver, a rename and extension of mySAP Technology and the future technology platform for enterprise applications. NetWeaver functions as an ESA enabler, SAP said, which will allow SAP and its partners to create new applications targeting cross-functional business processes through tools, frameworks, rules, and methodologies. – Ryan B. Patrick