J.D. Edwards, IBM Partner for SMB Solutions

J.D. Edwards and IBM on Wednesday announced the first offerings from its joint business venture that is aimed at helping small and medium-size businesses (SMBs). IBM and J.D. Edwards last year formed the Global Business Value Team to combine the strengths of J.D. Edwards 5 ERP, SCM, and CRM software with IBM Business Consulting Services and IBM's on-demand architecture. The goal was to develop and direct the implementation of integrated, low total cost of ownership solutions that address the challenges of SMB customers. Those solutions include a variety of products and services including integrated consulting and industry-specific templates, software and hardware, hosting, and utility capabilities. Marc Lautenbach, general manager of Global Small and Medium Business at IBM, said in a prepared statement that both companies have devoted a significant amount of time talking with SMB customers to understand their unique needs: "These solutions will allow these enterprises to be more responsive, flexible, and resilient; all attributes they told us were important for them." The first two integrated offerings from the Global Business Value team are Automotive for SMB and J.D. Edwards WorldSoftware Conversion for SMB. The automotive package is designed to help midsize auto parts suppliers be more responsive to their customers' demands. The hosted solution makes standardized automotive business processes available and enables flexible supplier collaboration and improved cost management. The solution is expected to be available in the Americas in the fourth quarter of 2003. The second offering is a package to help WorldSoftware customers assess all the costs, benefits, and risks associated with migrating to J.D. Edwards' newest software suites. If existing WorldSoftware customers choose to do so, the Global Business Value team will help them convert to J.D. Edwards 5 ERP. This offering will include options for hosting from IBM, and J.D. Edwards conversion toolkits to reduce transition risks and costs. The preconfigured offering is designed to save installation time and setup for customers while ensuring that installation is done correctly, according to company officials. "This preintegrated package of open J.D. Edwards software and IBM infrastructure technology will enable us to get to the application functionality and business process benefits much faster, with less time and money spent on integration," Grant Schwartz, vice president of information technology at Katz Pharmacy Services, said in a statement. "This combination is one-stop shopping for open applications and infrastructure technology, with preintegrated simplicity for customer implementations." IBM and J.D. Edwards are expected to announce additional vertical solutions over the next several months.
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