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3/1/2005
03:43 PM
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QAD Offers Manufacturers A Way To Extend Life Of J.D. Edwards Apps

Add-on modules provide inventory and advanced production capabilities.

QAD Inc., a provider of enterprise applications for global manufacturers, has created a software package for J.D. Edwards' World and EnterpriseOne users who want to stick with their existing systems.

Businesses using software from J.D. Edwards have three choices: wait for Oracle to deliver Project Fusion, switch to another vendor like SAP, or add advanced capabilities to existing systems, says Pamela Lopker, QAD president and founder. Oracle, which acquired the J.D. Edwards apps in January when it bought PeopleSoft, has launched Project Fusion to develop a set of applications that merge PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards software with its own. Individual Project Fusion applications will be available in 2007, with a complete suite promised by 2008.

For J.D. Edwards customers looking to adopt advanced manufacturing techniques and who feel their systems are outdated, moving to new software might be the answer, says Judy Sweeney, research director at AMR Research. QAD's Lean Manufacturing SupplyVisualization and EDI Ecommerce apps support vendor-managed inventory functions and advanced production techniques, such as lean manufacturing and just-in-time sequencing. These applications are available now, sold as add-on modules that can be integrated with J.D. Edwards' World and EnterpriseOne enterprise-resource-planning software.

QAD also provides customers with an assessment of their business processes and systems and access to a J.D. Edwards' advisory committee, designed to help users identify the most effective software and implementation plan.

QAD's software runs on Progress Software Corp.'s platform and uses the Progress OpenEdge environment for development. Progress Software has developed toolsets that are complimentary to IBM's AS400 platform, which is a key environment for J.D. Edwards. "Along with Progress [Software], we'll be offering J.D. Edwards users an easy migration from their AS400 to an environment that is very similar," Lopker says.

QAD's offering makes sense for some companies launching lean-manufacturing operations or as an advanced-manufacturing add-on to existing systems, but most J.D. Edwards and PeopleSoft customers have not expressed interest in replacing their existing applications, Sweeney says. "The cost of implementing brand-new software can be high, and unless they've launched an initiative to change software, companies aren't thinking of switching if their production capabilities are being satisfied by their existing software."

In the meantime, Sweeney says, most J.D. Edwards and PeopleSoft customers are taking the wait-and-see approach.

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