Firms Integrate Solutions

Clarus, Manugistics partner to combine software to further adoption through the .Net platform

In one more step toward Clarus Corp.s plan to further its mass adoption channel strategy through the Microsoft Corp. .Net platform, the Atlanta-based company penned a partnership deal last week with Manugistics Group Inc. to incorporate software functionalities.

Under the agreement, Clarus will integrate its Clarus Indirect Procurement and Settlement solutions with Manugistics Network suite of e-procurement solutions. Manugistics, of Rockville, Md., provides what it terms Enterprise Profit Optimization solutions that simultaneously optimize a companys supply- and demand-side functions through a combination of supply chain management and pricing and revenue optimization solutions.

The big deal here, according to officials, is the end-to-end settlement capabilities that will be provided to users of the combined solution. The offering is also expected to extend the cost-saving benefits of Manugistics supply chain management software. As a Clarus reseller, Manugistics will target the transportation, retail, manufacturing, consumer packaged goods, government, chemical and energy verticals.

Greg Owens, CEO of Manugistics, said Clarus strong track record of developing innovative software products on the .Net platform is an important factor as his company continues to build out its Microsoft offerings. On Clarus side, the alliance opens up a new set of market segments for Clarus settlement and procurement platforms.

John Haudrich, director of e-procurement at Smurfit-Stone Container Corp., in Chicago, is currently using the Clarus e-procurement application for direct, paperless material procurement, as well as the indirect procurement of white-collar and blue-collar maintenance, repair and operations.

Haudrichs e-procurement application automates the request through an approval process, using externally hosted catalogs to direct-spend to Smurfit-Stones preferred suppliers. The program also automates the electronic purchase order distribution to suppliers.

While Haudrich has plans to integrate the Clarus e-procurement application to an industry-specific accounting package to accomplish settlement, there is a team forming to consider marrying the companys supply chain management with e-procurement. While the company hasnt gone far enough in its plans to determine a technology leader, Haudrich said the current Clarus application works well in a manufacturing environment.

"A lot of the direct material purchases, and indirect, are very routine [because they are in] a consistent manufacturing environment," Haudrich said. "So it allows a lot of the products we buy to be prenegotiated and catalogs to be set up on prenegotiated contracts. The e-procurement system allows us to have greater compliance and provides the benefit of an automated procurement process."

The most recent announcement prior to the Manugistics deal came earlier this month when Clarus signed a partnership agreement with Microsofts Great Plains Software Inc.

Under that agreement, Clarus will provide its Clarus eProcurement, Fusion and View software to power Microsoft Great Plains eProcure, thus offering a streamlined, Web-based purchasing process for direct and indirect products and services, real-time purchase orders, and order processing.