Grand Rapids, Mich.-Provia Software, a provider of supply chain execution (SCE) software solutions, today announced the release of ViaWare WMS 7.0, the latest version of its industry-leading Warehouse Management System (WMS), and core component of the company’s ViaWare supply chain execution suite. A key element of ViaWare WMS 7.0 is its underlying Service Orientated Architecture (SOA), which provides integrated business intelligence and personalization capabilities, and allows for extended breadth and depth of the WMS. With SOA, ViaWare WMS can easily be integrated into an existing IT and supply chain solution environment. “The SOA architecture breaks up the entire WMS functionality into small, individual, functional components that are stored in a system library,” said Greg Aimi in the October 2005 AMR Research Report, The 2005 AMR Research Warehouse Management System Selection Guide. “The components are then assembled together using a set of business process workflow statements (think business process flowcharts), where each process block in the workflow is a functional component. If a customization is needed, a new custom component is developed and stored separately from the vendor’s components but woven into the regular workflow. The sets of business process workflows can be saved. These workflows are processed by a server at runtime, virtually rendering the application on the fly. If the business processes change, you modify the workflow description (flowchart), save it, reissue it to the server, and the application is modified.
“Adding Service Orientated Architecture to Provia’s existing multi-owner, multi-warehouse application is a giant technological leap for the WMS industry,” said Ken Lewis, president and CEO of Provia Software. “With SOA, a company can preserve a standard product, packaged approach to their WMS by taking upgrade releases, yet maintain a competitive advantage by tailoring the WMS to their specific needs instead of waiting for them to come in a new release.” In addition, the Integrated Business Intelligence in ViaWare WMS gives corporate and management staff easy access to multiple levels of information analysis and related functionality, and delivers flexible, user-friendly reporting so everyone can have the information they need delivered in the right way, at the right time, exactly when they need it. Through a dashboard view, users can sift and sort through all the transaction data in real time from every warehouse in their distribution network, and drill down to a detailed level in order to view the most current information and make better business decisions. Users can also view the specific information that’s important to them that day, and modify their views as events and situations change. “Companies have so much information available to them today that it’s become an ‘information overload’ scenario, where they can’t find the right information at the right time,” said Lewis. “The business intelligence capabilities in ViaWare WMS ensure that all facets of a company have the right information they need at their fingertips and can turn it into meaningful reports and analysis that everyone can use to improve the overall performance of their operation. Any user with the appropriate security levels can get access to the WMS at any time from wherever they are. For example, a user in one warehouse can view inventory levels in another, or a manager at an off-site meeting can monitor and chart worker productivity remotely.”
With the Web Services architecture in ViaWare WMS, companies can also easily add unique functionality to the WMS on their own, while maintaining a standard product solution, and without the need to re-develop, re-integrate or re-test the application extensions for future releases. “We invested a tremendous amount of time incorporating Web Services into every aspect of our product” said Lewis. “While others add a web service call here or there and call it good, Provia decided to use Web Services internally as the communication method behind each and every screen (including RF screens). This way everything a user can do through ViaWare WMS can be accomplished via a web service.” The Personalization capabilities in ViaWare WMS provide end user adaptability for the desktop, Radio Frequency (RF), and mobile devices so users can easily setup and adapt menus, screens, language, reports, mobile device dialogs and field level access to meet changing operational and customer requirements. “The level of flexibility in the way data is presented on the desktop and mobile devices with ViaWare WMS gives end-users the control they need to make the content and completion of tasks more efficient to best fit the work and individual employee for optimal usability and effectiveness and ultimately, a reduced level of errors,” added Lewis. Deployment and maintenance of ViaWare WMS is as simple as pointing the browser at a URL, and users with
appropriate security are using the must up-to-date version of ViaWare WMS from any PC or mobile device within a company network. The thin client, zero footprint architecture of ViaWare WMS also eliminates the need for making software upgrades on a clients’ desktop, RF or mobile device, as all upgrades take place directly on the server and the clients are instantly upgraded. “Many of our customers have 300-400 end users, so not having to make updates on each desktop or mobile device will have a huge impact on the total cost of ownership for ViaWare users,” stated Lewis. As a platform and database independent open systems supply chain solution, ViaWare WMS operates on either Windows or Unix hardware platforms using the same source code, with support for the SQL Server, Oracle and IBM databases. Several Provia customers have already begun upgrading to ViaWare 7.0 to gain a competitive advantage. “Customers and prospects can see how ViaWare 7.0 will empower them to easily set up and adapt to operational, customer and user uniqueness,” said Lewis. “With ViaWare WMS they can streamline their operations by optimizing warehouse distribution environment and achieve a rapid return-on-investment and subsequently realize measurable, ongoing cost savings.” For more information on Provia, visit www.provia.com or call toll-free 1-877-PROVIA1 (1-877-776-8421).