CA's InterBiz aims to boost ERP's value

"Work together like a wolf pack, not like a six-pack" could be the theme of this week's InterBiz World, the first-ever user group conference for Computer Associates' recently created electronic-commerce and business applications arm.

That arm, called InterBiz, is taking a variety of enterprise applications from vendors that CA has acquired in the past few years and merging them with CA's own Unicenter systems management, 3D visualisation technology, "Neugent" artificial-intelligence agents, and other foundation technologies. The applications are in areas such as manufacturing, financial, banking, and human resources.

On Monday here at InterBiz World, CA began demonstrating how the business-automation whole is greater than the sum of its parts, when they are tied together with the new BizWorks integration framework, which is due to ship by the end of the year.

"For the first time in my 25 years at Computer Associates, I can say we can provide for you an entire business solution," CEO Charles Wang said in his opening keynote speech.

The InterBiz package of applications uses CA technology to improve on traditional enterprise resource planning (ERP) software in three major areas, InterBiz president Reuven Battat said. They are:

- integration, not only among previously separate CA products but with legacy or competing ERP systems used by customers' far-flung divisions or trading partners, thanks to CA security products; - analytic intelligence, in real time, to spot patterns such as especially profitable customers or popular product configurations; and - the power to predict business events such as future demand or market changes. In other words, just as Unicenter helps the CIO by giving a view of the whole system and predicting when and where a server might fail, InterBiz applications can give that same kind of insight to the CEO, Battat said.

Later this week, the company will announce more integration amongst its financial and supply-chain products, as well as access to online trading sites and exchanges, company officials said.

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