Application and process integration software developer WebMethods Inc. has come a long way in a short time.
At its Integration World conference in Atlanta this week, the company is highlighting its recent milestones over the past year: a spate of new executives, increased earnings, and the one-year anniversary of its Fabric process integration platform.
Its also introducing a new set of software capabilities to help manufacturers and retailers better respond to demand in their supply chain.
The software, dubbed WebMethods for the Demand-Driven Enterprise, builds on the companys strategy to build out from its traditional EAI (Enterprise Application Integration) roots.
About a year ago, when David Mitchell came on board as the companys CEO, the EAI market really began to commoditize, with point-to-point integration becoming much easier inside the enterprise.
At the same time, WebMethods, whose bread and butter was EAI, began to rethink its strategy, adding functionality on top of its infrastructure offering.
“The company has improved its financial condition quite a bit over the last year,” said Mitchell, in Fairfax, Va. “This has a lot to do with the fact that we transitioned into a solutions-oriented go-to-market strategy. With a combination of BPM [business process management] and BAM [business activity monitoring] fused with EAI technology, we really had something you could build solutions on—and something you could present to a line of business managers [as opposed to only IT].”
With its solutions approach in mind, WebMethods announced Monday the first in a series of applications designed to help companies become more demand-driven by better integrating across the supply chain.
WebMethods for the Demand-Driven Enterprise captures best practices around demand fulfillment and operational planning to help companies better respond to changing business requirements, Mitchell said.
The applications utilize functionality from WebMethods Fabric platform, which brings an SOA (service-oriented architecture) for process integration. They also leverage the companys BAM capabilities to help users better understand and anticipate business needs.
The first Demand-Driven Enterprise applications will take a deep dive on demand fulfillment and S&OP (sales and operations planning). The aptly named WebMethods Demand Fulfillment application is geared toward helping manufacturers match supply with demand by synchronizing internal and external systems, and in doing so, synchronize processes as well, officials said.
Components include an integration platform from Fabric that enables users to integrate trading partners into a common supply chain framework. A set of BPM tools, also part of the Fabric portfolio, help users to model, implement and automate processes across systems.
To better access embedded BAM capabilities—basically to detect and resolve conflicts—an executive dashboard has also been added.
Separately, the S&OP Monitoring application is designed to help both retailers and manufacturers better predict changes in demand, with a view into sales and planning environments.
The S&OP application also includes integration components from Fabric, along with PIM (product information management) capabilities that allow tasks like data synchronization and aggregation of demand, forecast and inventory data.
A BPM component automates the flow of demand requirements and product availability information.
“This offering [improves a companys] understanding of whether or not, for example, their shipping orders on time. For manufacturers, they have a broader process focus on order to cash—are we getting the right amount of revenue build?” Mitchell said, adding that WebMethods technology “makes that process a lot more efficient.”
Both applications are available now.