With the first phase of its integration with supply chain software developer Yantra Corp. under its belt, electronic data interchange stalwart Sterling Commerce is focusing on its composite application strategy.
Sterling, a subsidiary of SBC Communications Inc., will announce this week the completion of the first phase in its four-phase project to integrate Yantra, a Tewksbury, Mass., supply chain management company it acquired last year, along with two new composite applications.
The composite applications, Customer Order Management PCA (packaged composite application) and Network Warehouse Management PCA, are the initial outgrowths of Sterlings plans to offer a composite application framework and business process platform sometime around 2006.
Customer Order Management PCA is geared toward retailers or distributors. It lets users synchronize sales systems, such as those used at a retail outlet or call center or for a catalog. Network Warehouse Management PCA, geared more toward manufacturers, helps with inventory management.
Going forward, the company will increasingly develop composite applications that are a combination across Sterlings portfolio, said Scott Pulsipher, vice president of product development at Sterling.
"[Were focusing on] three verticals—the retail value chain, which is retail and distribution; financial services; and telecommunications," said Pulsipher in Columbus, Ohio. "[Another vertical] is logistics—warehousing, order fulfillment, maybe transportation management. The first three are known solutions in our portfolio. The fourth represents opportunities."
The composite applications will represent about 70 percent of the core functionality customers need, with the additional 30 percent of functionality coming through adapters and interfaces to partners software.
"For example, Sterling supports a broad interface of adapters for financials, and those will be a part [of our composite applications]," said Pulsipher. "They will be generic financial adapters."
In talks with analysts and the press about its direction moving forward, Sterling has hinted at other application development acquisitions, similar to the Yantra buy.