JD Edwards announces ‘bite size’ software modules

12 June 2002 Mid-tier enterprise resource planning (ERP) specialist JD Edwards is staking its future on selling ‘bite-size’ software components from its JD Edwards 5 family of modular, web-enabled applications.

The Denver, Colorado-based vendor has pulled together all its existing product lines, including its core ERP software, its customer relationship management software and supply chain management application, under the umbrella of JD Edwards 5.

“JD Edwards 5 is the focus, foundation and the future of our company,” CEO and chairman Bob Dutkowsky told the vendor’s Focus 2002 user conference.

“Customers want small pieces of software that they can justify the cost of and on which they can demonstrate a return on investment,” said Dutkowsky. Responding to this, JD Edwards will “package up specific components that address a business problem,” added chief marketing officer Les Wyatt, rather than touting entire application suites.

The company has also released a number of product upgrades, new modules and a revamped services framework at Focus 2002 in an attempt to flesh out its JD Edwards 5 offering.

However, analysts were underwhelmed by the product upgrades. JD Edwards’ latest version of its core ERP offering ERP 8.0, for example, offers only “minor” additional capabilities and new features, said Dick Kuiper, analyst at AQA Research and a Meta Group research fellow.

Nonetheless, he welcomed the modular approach, “which allows [JD Edwards] to provide phased roll-outs of product enhancements.” This is more appealing to customers than major product upgrades, particularly in today’s tough economic environment, said Kuiper.

That is what Dutkowsky, faced with falling licence revenues at JD Edwards, is hoping. “The old JD Edwards delivered large monolithic pieces of software,” he admits. “Now, with JD Edwards 5, it’s a small bite and a small chew.”

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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