JDE Opening ERP Apps for Integration

J.D. Edwards is working to make it easier for IT managers to extract information from the company's namesake ERP applications and to automate business processes.

J.D. Edwards & Co. is working to make it easier for IT managers to extract information from the companys namesake ERP applications and to automate business processes.

JDE this week will unveil Demand Planning 4.0, a collaborative application module that works with JDEs Demand Consensus software to enable users to forecast across the supply chain.

Late this year, JDE plans to add integration applications to its XBP (Extended Business Process) software library that will let users draw data from JDEs and third-party enterprise resource planning applications. In turn, customers will be able to use that data to create horizontal applications that handle specific business processes.

Currently in development are XBP applications for customer relationship management, manufacturing and distribution. JDE is also working on XBPs for the real estate, construction, field services and high-tech industries, according to company officials in Denver.

JDE developed the Demand Planning software with Demantra Inc., of Cambridge, Mass. The software uses historical demand information and market intelligence to deploy statistical and data modeling capabilities to predict product demand.

The software combines statistics gathered from multiple models and can analyze and forecast the impact of events such as holidays and promotions, JDE officials said.

Some enhancements include faster computation speed, enabling forecasting for large data sets; an upgraded user interface; improvements to statistical modeling capabilities to accommodate intermittent and erratic demand; and allocation management functions to improve spare parts and product demand management.

"From a customer perspective, they can bid products and know they can make money," said JDE Chairman and CEO Bob Dutkowsky.

Kevin Tyschper, manager of production and demand planning at Otis Spunkmeyer Inc., in Cayce, S.C., is moving into a production cycle with JDEs advanced planning suite and strategic network optimization suite. The company will use the software to do forecasting on 270 SKUs, four inventory centers, seven baking plants and more than 100,000 customers of its on-the-spot baked goods products.

"In the month since [we brought it up], we are seeing improvements of a 25 to 30 percent increase in accuracy over our use of Excel [used in the past to forecast]," said Tyschper. "And we are continuing to see that."

Regarding XBPs, JDE is not the first developer to consider the cross-functionality approach. SAP AG last month introduced its xApps, which aim to automate the integration and componentization of up to 200 business processes by providing horizontal applications that sit across applications and extract information specific to a business process.

In addition, Commerce One Inc. will offer business process integration through horizontal applications in the release of its Collaborative Platform, due in beta next quarter and in production the first part of next year.

"If you look at an application today, there is a business process within an application,"said Mark Hoffman, chairman and CEO of Commerce One, in Pleasanton, Calif. "But as you begin to tie into a bigger, composite application, you tie together different apps to create a separate application."

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