Through a partnership with Logicalis Group, a solutions integrator that provides Hewlett-Packard servers and storage devices, JDA Software Group will help its customers to run JDA applications on HP hardware.
JDA, a supply chain solutions company, announced the partnership March 31.
"This is a case where one plus one equals three," said David Stuttard, global vice president of business development for JDA. "We are a developer and provider of end-to-end retail supply chain software. It's necessary to run that software on hardware, but the complexities and nuances of today's hardware [mean] we must go where our core competency is best served."
In particular, Stuttard said for a supply chain application to be truly scalable, it needs to leverage the parallel processing power of today's servers. "Otherwise you end up wasting CPUs if your software can't use them," he said.
According to Stuttard, today's planners need to process millions of products per stocking location.
"You wind up with 60 to 70 million product combinations for a planner to get a report on every morning, and they need to get the processing done in 30 minutes or less," he said. "That amount of number-crunching can only be done in half an hour or less if your planning system is truly scalable."
JDA's software is written to continually use every process performed by a multiprocessor box at full power, Stuttard said. By partnering with Logicalis, he said, JDA will make it easier for users to have access to the complete processing capabilities offered by HP hardware.
JDA also has a similar third-party partnership in place to provide users access to IBM hardware.
Stuttard said running JDA systems on HP hardware can also allow the kind of data storage capabilities necessary to track planning data by individual store, instead of by store cluster, for more granular planning.
Supported by HP hardware, he said, JDA software can leverage the processing power required to manage extended supply chain pipelines that stretch from North America to the Far East.
"You have eight to 15 weeks' worth of product moving from one place to another," Stuttard said. "It gives you a global picture of supply."
Mike Schmidt, director of business development for Logicalis, said the partnership helps his company provide customers with an answer for their supply chain needs.
"Combining JDA functionality and the power of HP gives us a very powerful solution for our customers," Schmidt said.
Sahir Anand, an analyst with the Aberdeen Group, said both JDA and HP have been developing expanded retail supply chain functionality, making the integration a good fit.
"This is an effective way of addressing the overall advanced supply chain needs of retailers," Anand said. "The combined [hardware and software] capabilities provide the one view of demand retailers need."
Anand said the HP hardware will provide the kind of infrastructure required to process the high volumes of supply chain data generated by retailers.
"This creates a more systematic ability to assess and respond to demand, which is a move in the right direction," he said. "Being able to respond to the many different streams of data is what creates a more agile supply chain."
Dan Berthiaume covers the retail space for eWEEK. For more industry news, check out eWEEK.com's Retail Site.