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March 19, 2003 Last fall, SYSPRO, a privately held global provider of broad enterprise software for small to medium enterprises (SMEs), with its US headquarters in Costa Mesa, CA (www.syspro.com), announced a new global brand, representing the culmination of more than 18 months of extensive internal market research and preparation. To optimize brand awareness and increase market penetration, the company, SYSPRO and its product, IMPACT Encore, has been branded under the unified SYSPRO name.
According to its US President Brian Stein, the research showed that many survey respondents dividedly identified the company by its product, IMPACT Encore (as well as IMPACT or just Encore), and others by the SYSPRO name. The brand unification move was thus logical since a single brand identifier and unified value set, vision, and image are essential for the vendor to maintain itself as a dominant player in the worldwide enterprise software market. As part of its branding strategy, SYSPRO has since been promoting a new logo and the following vision statement: “To help world-class companies increase their value through the use of our innovative and easy-to-use software – as well as those values which differentiate SYSPRO as a company: openness, responsiveness, reliability, and striving for excellence.”
The vendor announced the new branding at its 2002 International Reseller Conference in Stresa, Italy, September 26-30, when it also took the opportunity to announce its latest software release, SYSPRO 6.0 featuring built-in core functionality for an integrated, possibly end-to-end supply chain solution, including enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), advanced planning & scheduling (APS), E-Commerce, Business Analytics and Warehouse Management. As well as ushering in a new generation of Web Services, SYSPRO 6.0 offers the following major new additions:
- Business Analytics should enable users to create multi-dimensional views of their financial and operational data as a series of data mining cubes to produce dynamic, general and enterprise specific metrics, ratios and analyses. To that end, an administrator toolset reportedly allows for the manipulation of the cube(s) to suit customer requirements without any special On-line Analytical Processing (OLAP) knowledge.
- The Document Flow Manager should allow an enterprise to automate business processes and build communication infrastructures that facilitate seamless collaborative commerce. Electronic business transactions are immediately processed as they arrive, at a company in a document format defined using XML (eXtensible Markup Language). Since it takes XML documents and transforms them so that they can be understood by SYSPRO solution, both inbound and outbound transactions can be tracked and posted directly and automatically into and from the ERP system.
- SYSPRO CRM aims at closing the gap between the front office and the back office by integrating all intertwined activities without duplicating input, which allows sales, marketing and customer support operations to work collaboratively to achieve total customer satisfaction. SYSPRO CRM also offers synchronization features and web tools to facilitate remote and off-line access via browser, laptop, and web-enabled portable or handheld PDA devices (for more details, see Mid-Market ERP Vendors Doing CRM & SCM in a DIY Fashion).
- SYSPRO 6.0 APS comprises four modules: Finite Capacity Scheduling, Factory Planning, Progress Tracking and Quality Monitoring, which should provide planners with an easy-to-use finite scheduling tool aimed at improving lead times, increasing production flexibility, reducing inventory levels and speeding delivery times.
SYSPRO 6.0 was developed on the solid foundation of its predecessor IMPACT Encore 5.1, which already had expanded system functionality with added support for multi-site facilities and new e-business-centric capabilities. Sales and work orders can be archived as XML documents which can then be recreated as HTML pages. Similarly General Ledger financial reports can be published as XML documents for HTML viewing on the Internet or intranet. Business-to-business (B2B) trading is enhanced with the optional use of XML documents with published schemas for transferring sales orders, purchase orders and blanket purchase orders. For more information, see SYSPRO Hatches 'Encore' IMPACT On SME Manufacturers).
SYSPRO 6.0 brings to fruition the development of the e.net solutions; comprising of a Software Development Kit (SDK), a Document Flow Manager and Web-based Applications. SYSPRO 6.0 further offers functional and ease of use enhancements to nearly all-existing SYSPRO modules. For example, SYSPRO 6.0 incorporates a Report Writer that now produces documents in XML format. For example, the Quotations Module incorporates the hierarchical requirements for Projects and Contracts. Also, the functionality in the Product Configurator has been extended; the Point of Sale (POS) entry has been enhanced with a more efficient means of accepting payment/deposits against normal orders; drill-down capability has been improved in a number of areas with increased security and visibility throughout the product.
This is Part One of a three-part note.
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