J.D. Edwards heats up the mid-market

DENVER – As raging wildfires whipped across the Mile High state, throngs of supply chain, ERP and customer relationship management cognoscenti converged in Denver hoping to hear equally hot news on J.D. Edwards & Co.’s latest software solutions.

Contrasted against the ash and haze that descended on downtown Denver in one of the largest fires in Colorado’s history, over 7,500 members of Quest – the J.D Edwards users group – gathered at the Focus 2002 users conference recently to hear more about J.D. Edwards 5, the company’s new suite of collaborative enterprise software products and services.

New president and CEO Bob Dutkowsky used the first day to identify J.D. Edwards 5 and the 25-year old company’s new modular strategy.

“J.D. Edwards 5 is a reflection of what our customers are asking for – it allows them to start anywhere in the suite with a smaller piece of code,” Dutkowsky said. “If a customer already has our ERP systems, they can add (additional modules) at their own leisure…the family concept is what customers want.”

J.D. Edwards 5 consolidates seven modules – including ERP (enterprise resource planning), SCM (supply chain management), CRM (customer relationship management) and BI (business intelligence) – into a single Web-enabled framework.

This is streamlined specifically for the mid-market – it’s a new user interface that’s very easy to set up, Dutkowsky said, adding that enterprises are demanding services that are both tailored to their business and have a “respectable” standard implementation method.

J.D. Edwards 5 is the Denver-based firm’s latest generation of software (the last one being OneWorld) and has been rebranded to better position the company name Dutkowsky said.

Specifically, the company unveiled ERP 8.0, a “significant upgrade” with new functionality for workforce, asset, project and real estate management. In addition, the company announced that its new XPI integration platform is now enabled to accommodate Web services standards.

“The old J.D. tried to develop generic products,” Dutkowsky said, adding that it now provides “agile pieces of software” for better functionality.

Since February, the company has changed pricing and rebundled its offerings to provide applications targeted to key verticals, said Bob Pozzobon, vice-president and general manager for J.D. Edwards Canada.

Minimizing total cost of ownership is the new focus, Pozzobon added.

In the Canadian market, the company’s new “granular approach” is designed to drive net new licences and expand the existing install base, Pozzobon said, adding that it will target high-tech electronics and resource-based industries including oil and gas, mining, pulp and paper, life sciences and manufacturing.

“We’re not going to be everything to everyone,” Pozzobon said.

“We’re going to pick core verticals and attract those that have the market potential…and also where our product fits very nicely.”

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