J.D. Edwards Strikes Deal with Tradex

J.D. Edwards & Co. is widening its embrace of e-business through a reselling agreement with Tradex Technologies Inc. and the unveiling of the next generation of its application hosting service, dubbed JDe.sourcing.

The Tradex agreement, announced Tuesday, will lead to business-to-business trading exchanges similar to SAP's mySAP.com efforts, said Gayle Sheppard, vice president for J.D. Edwards. There could be exchanges for a variety of vertical industries, including manufacturing, high technology, automotive, pharmaceutical, construction, and life sciences, to name a few, Sheppard said.

"We've barely scratched the surface," she added.

The exchanges will simplify links among buyers and sellers, optimize the supply chains for them, and provide a new means for executing transactions, Sheppard said. If such exchanges become realities, J.D. Edwards is also likely to take on the new role of intermediary, she said.

The fact that Tradex has agreed to work with J.D. Edwards is a good sign, said Lisa Williams, senior analyst with the Yankee Group, a market research firm based in Boston.

"They're in a position to choose and they're choosing J.D. Edwards," Williams said.

It's likely that Tradex selected J.D. Edwards because of its strength among mid-size customers -- the average customer installation is approximately 100 seats, Williams said. Small to mid-size companies are more likely to visit an online marketplace and are likely to be encouraged by J.D. Edwards' participation, she said.

The partnership is also not one for show -- both parties are serious about showing results, Williams said.

"J.D. Edwards doesn't like what we call 'The Barney' partnerships -- the 'I love you, you love me relationships,'" she said.

Furthering its application service provider (ASP) efforts, J.D. Edwards has decided to take a direct route by offering ASP hosting via MCI WorldCom's UUNET, Sheppard said. This latest variation on application deployment will enable the vendor to deliver enterprise software applications and e-business solutions over the Internet.

J.D. Edwards first kicked off an application-hosting initiative about two years ago, but worked through established and international ASP providers. Customers can continue to use these "indirect" channels or opt for the service to come, J.D. Edwards officials said.

J.D. Edwards will be charging for the JDe.sourcing service via licensing or hosting services when it becomes generally available in April, Sheppard said.

"We could also offer a rental approach," she said.

"They've been doing this before ASP was a term," said the Yankee Group's Williams about J.D. Edwards' selective approach to application hosting.

Ultimately, the ASP deployments of applications combined with its e-business efforts are likely to change the bottom line for J.D. Edwards.

"A few years from now, the revenue streams might look very different from today," Williams said.

J.D. Edwards in Denver, is at www.jdedwards.com. Tradex Technologies in Alpaharetta, Georgia, is at www.tradex.com.

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