J.D. Edwards backing IBM servers

J.D. Edwards & Co. announced native support for its entire supply-chain management solution on the IBM Corp. eServer iSeries platform Monday while rolling out the latest version of its collaborative forecasting application.

As part of the announcement with IBM, J.D. Edwards plans to make its advanced planning modules available native on the iSeries in phases, beginning in early 2003.

J.D. Edwards' Demand Consensus 2.0, which is designed to allow companies to more accurately predict demand based on input from multiple stakeholders, supports the collaborative process by incorporating expert information and historic demand information into a corporate forecast for greater accuracy, according to company officials.

The application weights forecasters' inputs based on their accuracy in the past. The latest version also includes an enhanced user interface and integration with Microsoft Corp.'s Excel. This integration is designed to allow businesses to leverage the popularity of Excel to encourage broader participation and inputs into the demand planning process. Users can provide forecasts directly into Demand Consensus by using either a Web interface, XML integration, or via a direct, real-time link to Excel.

Version 2.0 will provide a common framework and single point of interface for all forecasters at Australian beverage company Berri to enable demand data to be reconciled into a unified, highly accurate corporate forecast, said Ross Bradley, information services director at Berri. Based on the results of an initial pilot, Berri expects to have the 2.0 module in production within four to six weeks, with officials predicting it will reduce forecasting cycle times from 30 days to five days, he added.

Demand Consensus, which was first detailed earlier this year, is available as a standalone module or as part of the larger J.D. Edwards 5 family of collaborative enterprise software products.

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