Impart Solutions Targets AS/400 Shops with SaaS-Based ERP
October 7, 2008 Alex Woodie
Impart Solutions, a Chicago-based software company, is targeting users of older RPG-based ERP applications, including JD Edwards World, System 21, and BPCS, with an open-source ERP application that uses the software as a service (SaaS) delivery model. Subscriptions cost $150 per month, and could give users more options, Impart says.
Founded in 2002 by a group in the U.S. and the Philippines, Impart Solutions develops an ERP package called LAMP Enterprise that was written in a combination of Java and PHP, and is only offered via the SaaS delivery model. The software includes financials, manufacturing operations, HR, payroll, and sales and service components, and is composed of about a million lines of code, says Reese Lucas, Impart Solutions CEO.
Lucas, who worked in the JD Edwards World business about 20 years ago, has some experience with the AS/400–or the Power Systems server, as IBM calls it these days. “We’re not trying to slam AS/400 users or iSeries users,” he says. “But the AS/400 community probably doesn’t have a lot of options right now to if they want to look at a different type of application solution or lower the total cost of ownership. Software as a service is a real good option for these guys.”
Lucas says it makes a lot of sense for AS/400 customers–and JDE World shops in particular–to subscribe to LAMP Enterprise, which the company runs from data centers located in Chicago and Manila. “They don’t have to buy the hardware. The software as a service model provides your support, your infrastructure, it lets you re-allocate your resources to maybe some more value added activities for the organization,” he says.
Impart Solutions has a series of templates that should speed the migration of data from the JDE World database to the LAMP Enterprise database, which is based on MySQL. On a feature-by-feature basis, LAMP Enterprise has about 80 percent of the functionality of JDE World, Lucas says. The company already has one former JDE World shop in the Philippines, and is looking for its first taker in the U.S. “We just want to get the word out to these guys. We have an option for you,” Lucas says.
It’s sad to see once-vaunted computing platforms and applications be relegated to the scrap heap of the IT world, says Lucas, recalling the System/36 and System/38. “When IBM pulled the plugs on these guys, they didn’t know what to do,” he says. “They’re out there shopping for spare parts and buying old machines to cobble things together. I’m hoping the AS/400 community doesn’t go through that same pain.”