IBM, Enigma Partner On Support Chain Product

IBM and Enigma are readying an integrated product that will allow original equipment manufacturers to gather relevant after-market information through a portal-like interface.

IBM and Enigma Inc. will announce an integrated product on Tuesday that will allow original equipment manufacturers to gather relevant after-market information through a portal-like interface.

Enigmas software takes information that is useful to OEMs customers, normalizes it in an XML repository, then adds hyperlinks to branded sites.

The offering will come under the heading of Enigmas 3C Platform and combines IBMs WebSphere, Content Manager, SecureWay system and MQ Series with the Enigma platform to provide content, collaboration and to some degree, integration among OEMs and their customers.

The combined technologies allow manufacturers to create an extensible Web-based application that combines parts illustrations, service bulletins, parts catalogs, maintenance and repair manuals and parts pricing and availability information that can be deliver via a Web interface or wireless device to service operators.

For Enigma, their business starts after a product – say an airplane engine – is sold to a customer. Enigmas software enables the customers service team to access disparate information about that product through links to the OEMs systems.

By partnering with IBM, of Armonk, N.Y., Enigma is able to provide the middleware piece that makes the connection to distinct systems that much easier, officials said. The joint solution also increases the commerce and communication elements between seller and customer by linking, for example, an e-catalog to a sourcing system where service operators can place an order for parts.

At the same time, the products end users, mechanics and engineers who are maintaining and repairing the machinery, are able to communicate and collaborate, according to Enigma officials. By integrating Enigmas 3C e-Commerce Suite with IBMs Content Manager, OEMs area able to automatically publish and update their technical content and product catalogs.

The IBM SecureWay Directory combined with Enigmas 3C allows for user authentication retrieval and authorization properties from a Lightweight Directory Access Protocol server. This enables personalized access to content and commerce transactions.

Finally, the MQ Series connected to the 3C Platform provides a messaging interface that integrates with other applications.

Enigma, of Burlington, Mass., typically has a technology hand in the creation of e-catalogs, illustrated parts catalogs, interactive electronic technical manuals, Web annotation and Web-based self-service product support. The companys customers include the likes of GE Aircraft Engines, Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce, Hewlett-Packard Co., Lucent Technologies, Sun Microsystems and John Deere.