by Ariel Tam
SINGAPORE, 27 June 2000 - MAPICS, Inc., with its recent release of XA 6.0, is one of the first EEA providers to offer appliance-independent connection through the Internet directly to the ERP backbone.
XA Release 6.0 provides enhancements in a number of areas, said Steve Shorten, who was in Singapore recently for a one-day MAPICS Customer Day. First of all, TeamWeRX B2B, a portal which delivers supply-chain collaboration solutions via the Internet, is integrated with XA 6.0.
XA 6.0 also supports the updated version of COM_Net (a customer self-service application), and is the basis of Product Development Collaboration Magik!, a business application aimed at Product Life Cycle Management (ePLM).
The enhancements are meant to help streamline business processes and make XA’s foundation of basic business transactions more adaptable to the requirements of manufacturers as they engage in e-business.
Upgrading to XA Release 6.0 will take around two to five days to implement and will cost approximately S$1000 per man day.
XA Release 6.0 is available in English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Swedish.
Shorten added that beyond Release 6.0, MAPICS is taking the whole client architecture and moving that to a Java-based environment in Release 7.0, which will be launched some time next year.
"We're targeting people who are looking at these solutions as an opportunity to grow their businesses, as an opportunity to leapfrog the competition. I think that's where we can be successful. In an environment where all we are looking at is cost, we believe that we can add value to [customers'] businesses, through the software [that MAPICS provides], and through our partners who have the skills and industry knowledge to implement a successful system," Shorten said.
Shorten added that some small companies lose focus by concentrating on costs rather than on growth. "I'd rather have that finite resource working with companies who want to grow and progress than with people who want to penny-pinch," he said.
According to Shorten, what sets MAPICS apart from its competitors like JD Edwards, SAP and Invensys, is its choice to focus on the customers and not on specific functions and features.
"We focus on what business value we can bring to our customers. We advise them in terms of how they can best utilise their solutions to get that business value ... MAPICS differentiates itself by being a partner, not a supplier," Shorten averred.
Shorten added that other competitors are too broad in terms of what they are targeting.
"We don't try to be all things to all men," Shorten concluded.
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