J.D. Edwards & Co. last week launched an Internet-based application hosting service for its enterprise resource planning (ERP) and supply-chain management software.
The Denver-based vendor previously left the hosting of its applications to IBM's professional services unit and other outsourcing companies - an approach that has snared about 40 customers. Now J.D. Edwards will offer to manage applications directly for users.
That would reduce the layers users have to deal with, said Kevin Smith, information systems manager at Spyder Active Sports Inc. in Boulder, Colo.
Spyder, a $25 million designer of sports apparel, plans to go live this month with an installation of J.D. Edwards' OneWorld ERP system that will be hosted by an outsourcer.
But working directly with an application vendor may not always be the best way to go, Smith said. For example, Spyder's Denver-area application service provider "acts as our advocate when we deal with J.D. Edwards," he added.
Other ERP vendors are split on whether to host applications themselves. Oracle Corp. is making a big hosting push, while SAP AG is leaving that to outsourcers. PeopleSoft Inc. also has relied on outside firms, but the Pleasanton, Calif.-based vendor plans to start doing some of its own hosting this year.