Scala adds intelligence to ERP

Scala has changed its ERP product into a fully blown Web services solution as it tries to keep ahead of Microsoft

Scala updated its iScala Collaborative ERP product on Tuesday into a Web services package by adding a business intelligence module and facilities for managing enterprise customers, assets, supply chain and resources.

The enterprise software developer's expansion into the Web services market is an attempt to help boost its market share in Western European and the US while developing its traditionally strong standing in Sweden and Eastern Europe.

Patrick Pando, vice-president of global sales and marketing at Scala, told ZDNet UK that the company is being forced out of back-office enterprise resource planning solutions because so much of that functionality has been commoditised. "Base business functionality is commoditising and we cannot compete with commodity products, so will go further up the stack where we can have an effect not just on efficiencies, but also growing the top line," he said.

Pando explained that because the company is relatively small and its products are exclusively developed for the Microsoft platform, it has to be innovative: "Microsoft is moving up to what it calls the framework or .Net or Web services or whatever it is called this week. Even though Microsoft may have not found the name for it, it is metadata. This is why we are pushing asset, service and project management -- areas where it hasn't staked a claim to the market place," he said.

According to Pando, existing iScala customers with maintenance agreements will be upgraded to the new system as part of their contracts. "Even with a technical shift as this -- we are going from a standard ERP package to a Web services package -- we are not charging for the Web services portion, it is included," he said, adding that the upgrade is expected to take between three and five days.

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