J.D. Edwards officials preach collaboration

Officials kicked off the first day of J.D. Edwards & Co.'s user group conference here Tuesday by hailing collaboration as the next phase of ERP (enterprise resource planning) and unveiling this fall's enhancements to its supply-chain application, OneWorld xe.

Patrick Thomson, CEO of J. D. Edwards' user group association, Quest, dubbed the company's new initiatives -- especially the collaborative OneWorld xe -- as ERP 2, or the next step in ERP. Thomson carefully avoided tying collaboration to entities such as trading exchanges and marketplaces.

Also speaking Tuesday, Ed McVaney, chairman and CEO of Denver-based J.D. Edwards, picked up on Thomson's collaboration theme.

"We say no to trading communities, marketplaces, and exchanges. We are pursuing instead EAI [enterprise application integration] beyond the four walls and APS [Advanced Planning Systems] instead. E-procurement is not enough," McVaney said.

To that end, McVaney promised that all of J.D. Edwards' applications will be completely interoperable.

"We have stumbled as a company in getting to open systems," McVaney said, adding that under the direction of its new COO, Hank Bonde, the company would change.

The key is connections to partners, noted McVaney. "We can't say no to anybody. We can't say no we can't connect to Wal-Mart or General Motors, Ariba, or Commerce One."

In September, the first fruits of those collaborative efforts will ship when J.D. Edwards offers a version of its OneWorld xe for the electronics and high-tech industry that works with RosettaNet. Other industry products will follow in the consumer packaged-goods and auto industry.

Other additions to its OneWorld xe application, expected in September, are what are being called self-service components for supplier relationship management.

Self-service will expose inventory levels and allow suppliers to monitor its customers' forecasts on an ongoing basis and respond using the same application, officials said.

Finally, McVaney brought to the stage Duncan Buell, general manager of mid-market servers at IBM, and introduced a co-branded IBM eServer with the J.D. Edwards nameplate next to the IBM logo on the front of the system.

McVaney claimed the system was built to his specifications in that it did not use a proprietary operating system, RPG, and could run everything from C languages to TCP/IP, Java, and Linux.

"The AS/400 has a crummy image. It is viewed as the farmer's machine in the industry. It is overpriced and proprietary," McVaney said.

A more up-to-date system was created for J. D. Edwards exclusively, following discussions with IBM a number of months ago. The AS/400, since renamed iSeries by IBM, would have a low, "Internet-like" price, according to McVaney.

"Give us a sweet price, not an obnoxious one I told Duncan," McVAney said.

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