JDA Unveils New Cloud-Based Supply Chain Platform
April 9, 2013 Alex Woodie
JDA Software last week unveiled JDA eight, a new cloud-based platform designed to help companies with a range of supply chain activities, including planning, forecasting, optimization, analytics, and logistics.
JDA eight is based on 30 pre-existing products from JDA, including software from its E3, i2, and Manugistics acquisitions. JDA rewrote the products for delivery via the cloud and to give them new “consumer-level” interfaces.
JDA CEO and president Hamish Brewer provided some insight into JDA eight in a video posted to the JDA website. In the video, Hamish says JDA eight is “much more than a typical product release,” and is designed to provide a single integrated platform that unifies previously disparate supply chain activities, including optimization, planning, and analytics.
The offering uses in-memory processing to deliver quick response times for big analytic workloads, including “closed loop optimization,” Brewer says. The offering delivers an integrated “best of breed” analytics and optimization solution with “extreme scalability,” he says. Users interact with the software through “intuitive” user interfaces that are role and tasked based, he added. The interfaces can also be integrated into customers’ existing systems.
JDA eight is based on existing JDA products, such as Sales & Operations Planning, Fulfillment, Inventory Optimization, Promotions Management, Logistics Procurement, Collaborative Shelf Planning & Analytics, Reporting, Strategic Pricing, and a couple dozen others.
The IBM i-based E3 planning and forecasting product is also one of the products going into the JDA eight mix. That doesn’t mean the E3 software will stop being supported on the IBM i platform.
“Though the capabilities of the E3 product have been integrated into the JDA eight platform through JDA Fulfillment and JDA Order Optimization solutions, the E3 product continues to be actively enhanced on its existing platform with an innovative roadmap and growing user base,” a JDA spokesperson says via email.
It’s unclear how JDA eight impacts MMS-i, the core merchandising system used by hundreds of companies. MMS-i used to be JDA’s flagship product, but that was before numerous acquisitions, including those of E3, i2, and Manugistics, and more recently by Red Prairie (although JDA is considered the parent company and Red Prairie the subsidiary–go figure).
While MMS-i functionality wasn’t subsumed into JDA eight, it’s likely that JDA will be selling MMS-i shops on the wonders of JDA eight, and the capability to centralize their forecasting and analytics and certain other supply chain execution functions under JDA’s new cloud banner.
Retailers are definitely in JDA eight’s sites. “Historically, manufacturers and retailers have only seen end-to-end solutions in traditional transaction processing systems from the ERP vendors,” Brewer says in a press release “The launch of JDA eight introduces a completely new paradigm to the market, complementing those ERP platforms and enabling businesses to orchestrate collaborative planning and optimization processes across the enterprise.”