Fujitsu Software Corp. and Edge Dynamics Inc. are each rolling out software to help businesses put the flood of transactional data surging through their computers in context.
Startup Edge Dynamics this week will introduce Business Operations Compliance, which analyzes transactional data in supply chain automation and ERP (enterprise resource planning) applications, flags problems, and applies policies to fix them before resources are committed unnecessarily.
The suite, which is targeted at pharmaceuticals and consumer goods manufacturers, includes a compliance portal with a workbench and a mechanism for sending alerts. The workbench enables business analysts to set policies, such as if an order from a particular customer is outside its normal ordering pattern by 10 percent, and send alerts.
Beyond alert creation, however, Business Operations Compliance uses analytics to advise users on the implications of proposed corrective actions and, in some cases, proactively take the corrective action, said Edge Dynamics CEO John McGrory.
"You want to keep this level of policy analysis out of the ERP system," where it would slow transaction processing, said McGrory, in Mountain View, Calif.
Similarly, Fujitsu is announcing this week Version 6.0 of its Interstage i-Flow business process management suite. A key feature is a new rules engine, based on Ilog Inc.s JRules technology, that enables a company to institute hundreds of thousands of highly complex rules, such as giving different customers different discounts.
The rules engine lets managers modify rules and save the cost of getting the IT department involved and increase responsiveness to customers, said Fujitsu officials, in San Jose, Calif.
Also new in i-Flow 6.0 are process agents that similarly route problem transactions to the assigned problem solver. This summer, Fujitsu will introduce Interstage Process Portal, which combines i-Flow 6.0 and the companys Portal Server, which will further extend views into processes, officials said. The portal also will include real-time collaboration tools for users automating business processes.
"A typical portal is content that you review, then you do something else elsewhere," said Keith Swenson, chief product architect. "If you look at content and want to trigger [an action], thats where the process [management capabilities] come into the portal."