Hosted CRM Model Makes Gains
With the success of companies such as Salesforce.com Inc., which provides hosted customer relationship management software to 13,900 customers, other, smaller software companies are looking more closely at the hosted model.
Supply chain planning software developer JRG Inc. announced last week new hosted software for the consumer packaged goods industry, JRG On Demand Supply Chain Planning. JRG is also focusing more of its energy on its hosted services, officials said.
Meanwhile, spend management software developer ePlus Inc.after receiving a $37 million cash settlement from Ariba Inc. for patent infringementis investing in its hosted capabilities and adding new functionality to its applications.
A new supplier portal for content, available from ePlus within the next 90 days, for example, will let suppliers move products in and out of the portal and into a procurement system.
JRG, founded in 2001, began offering its software to users in either a hosted or behind-the-firewall implementation. But given recent attitude changes among customers, the company is honing its focus more on hosted services, according to JRG CEO Jonathon Knight.
"Some of our customers went the [behind the firewall] route, but in the last six months, theyve started to let us host," said Knight in San Mateo, Calif. "It prompted a shift in our thinking. Hosting is more accepted in the marketplace. With the success of Salesforce.com, users feel comfortable going in that direction."
JRGs On Demand Supply Chain Planning suite, available now, comes with three integrated modules: Factory Scheduler, Enterprise Planner and Performance Manager. Factory Scheduler is a production scheduling system that updates factory schedules weekly, daily or hourly.
The Enterprise Planner module manages manufacturing and distribution across different factories, while the Performance Manager tool helps users set factor performance objectives and monitor performance against those objectives. The performance objectives, in turn, become input for the Factory Scheduler module.
JRG is looking to add new functionality to its software through two alpha-phase projects, one to further enable the coordination and synchronization of activities between manufacturers and their partners, and another to improve planning options.
ePlus, for its part, is also developing a hosted model, said ePlus CEO Phillip Norton in Herndon, Va.
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