Both IBM and J. D. Edwards are separately introducing software that helps manufacturers create by-invitation-only exchanges for their most trusted trading partners.
IBM (stock: IBM) says its new business group, called Global Product Lifecycle Management Solutions, will offer a private-exchange software that includes a 3-D CAD application for real-time engineering and design collaboration. Software from Siebel Systems Inc. (CRM) and i2 Technologies Inc. (supply-chain management and content) will be available as part of the exchange package. IBM consultants will integrate the exchange software with its customers' ERP systems.
J. D. Edwards (stock: JDEC) announced it's offering a product named OneWorldXe, a private-exchange software that enables communication among manufacturers, vendors, and suppliers across the supply chain. J. D. Edwards CEO C. Edward McVaney says the product enables the sharing of information throughout manufacturing, shipping, and inventory.
Aberdeen Group analyst Jack Maynard says both IBM and J. D. Edwards are responding to a large demand among manufacturers for software products that enable them to use the Internet to efficiently manage design and supply chain collaboration. Manufacturers who build private exchanges now will have a "tremendous" competitive advantage because they will save money and get products to market more quickly than competitors who do not use private exchanges, he says. "As more manufacturers build private exchanges, companies are going to realize that they are a requirement to do business," he says.