OS/400 Edition
Volume 2, Number 46 -- December 17, 2002

J.D. Edwards Taps Create!form for Exclusive Partnership

by Alex Woodie

Create!form International got a big boost from its most important business partner last week, when J.D. Edwards & Company selected the Waltham, Massachusetts, company as its "recommended solution" provider for document output management solutions on all supported J.D. Edwards platforms. While the proclamation doesn't prevent other document output management providers from integrating with J.D. Edwards' ERP products, J.D. Edwards will no longer certify the integration of document output management solutions from companies other than Create!form.


Currently, J.D. Edwards users can choose from several certified document output management solutions, which is a popular class of add-on software that gives companies more control over the appearance and distribution of their business forms than most ERP software provides out of the box. In addition to the Create!form software line, J.D. Edwards has certified offerings from Adobe, Enterprise Resolutions, and Optio Software for use with its software. Other document output management software companies that have integrated with J.D. Edwards software or have clients who also use the company's ERP software, but who have not gone through the J.D. Edwards certification process, include ACOM Solutions, Elite Document Solutions, inFORM Decisions, Quadrant Software, and Solution400 International.

For releases of J.D. Edwards software beyond the current ERP 8.0 offering, Create!form will be the only vendor of document output management software that J.D. Edwards will take the time and effort to certify. This is a result of the changes that the Denver, Colorado, ERP software company is making in its ISV partner program, in which it will pick one solution provider for each area (such as document output management) and put its backing behind that company and its product. The companies not selected for these exclusive partnerships with J.D. Edwards will be given partnerships and access to APIs through a lower-tiered partnership program.

The official proclamation that J.D. Edwards had selected Create!form over other similar offerings brought a sigh of relief from Create!form's president and CEO, Kurt Mueffelmann, who declared a newfound respect for what women go through during pregnancy. "We all went through the nine-month evaluation process," he says. "J.D. Edwards wanted to make sure the product feature functionally was what they were looking for . . . . They really took a whole bunch of things into consideration."

"We conducted a thorough review of all the companies currently providing output solutions for J.D. Edwards software, including J.D. Edwards 5, OneWorld Xe, and WorldSoftware," says Lenley Hensarling, vice president of product management for J.D. Edwards. "As part of the review process, we considered a variety of factors such as compatibility and integration, product scope and integrity, distribution strength and range, and long-term customer satisfaction. Based on these criteria, Create!form has been chosen as the recommended solution for output management with J.D. Edwards software."

While many companies like Create!form offer output management solutions for J.D. Edwards, none has been nearly as successful as Create!form, Mueffelmann says. "Of the 6,600 J.D. Edwards customers worldwide, Create!form has about 20 percent of that [about 1,100]--more than all of the others combined," he says. "We have a very large chunk of the market." Moreover, while Create!form has accumulated about 3,500 total customers over its 12-year history, J.D. Edwards users currently account for between 50 and 60 percent of Create!form's business, Mueffelmann says.

Mueffelmann was at J.D. Edwards' Denver headquarters last week to put together a go-to-market program to attract J.D. Edwards users who have no document output management solution. Create!form will also be putting together its own competitive upgrade program aimed at J.D. Edwards customers who use products from Create!form's competitors.

The certification will be a strong selling point for Create!form, Mueffelmann says. "If you're going to spend up to $100,000 on a document output management solution, are you going to take a risk?" he asks. "If there are technology issues, would you rather have a solution that's certified or not certified."

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Last Updated: 12/17/02
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