Upgrades Deal With Change

SAN MATEO (03/31/2000) - As most people know, change of any kind within an organization can be painful. To help alleviate that strain as it relates to corporate application infrastructures, software vendors Continuus Software Corp. and Merant next week will roll out new change management solutions.

At Internet World in Los Angeles, Continuus will unveil ChangeSynergy 3.0, a browser-based application server providing a task-based platform for managing change requests across enterprise development environments.

The offering will include online help wizards and custom start-up page templates to help users quickly implement change requests, task assignments, and report queries, as well as save reports in Microsoft Word or Excel format for viewing.

In a more application-specific change management effort, Merant next week will debut a module to help users gain configuration and management control when changing between versions of Oracle Applications ERP (enterprise resource planning). Support for other ERP suites, such as SAP's, is expected later this year.

The PVCS ERP Change Manager for Oracle, part of the Merant Egility group of applications, helps users upgrade to the next release of the Oracle suite and avoid having to re-create the customizations already used in production, Merant officials said.

"We are concentrating on ERP because we have determined that there is a change management void in ERP," said Dave Bevers, director of product management at Merant.

End-users are just starting to implement effective management of code changes in ERP systems, said Melinda Ballou, an analyst at the Meta Group, in Stamford, Conn. For successful ERP implementations, users need tools to coordinate their efforts with their business requirements and for performance testing, Ballou said.

"You can expect to see more SCM [software configuration and management] vendors shipping support for key ERP applications over the next 12 to 18 months," Ballou said.

To solidify its efforts in this area, Merant is "in the process of forming a partnership with Oracle," said John Simpson, vice president of product management at Merant. Among the areas under discussion are marketing and support arrangements, Simpson said.

Continuus Software Corp., in Irvine, California, is at www.continuus.com.

Merant, in Rockville, Maryland, is at www.merant.com.

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