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MANMAN has been there all along

MANMAN/HP still a smart and economical choice

By Cortlandt Wilson

Tuesday, April 18 was a busy day for MANMAN-related news bits.

I received an FYI from a HP contact pointing out that the slides of the presentation “MANMAN/HP Still a Smart and Economical Choice” by Terry Simpkins of TRW Automotive/Lucas given at CA World 2000 are available on HP’s Jazz Web site (at jazz.external.hp.com/papers/manman/index.htm)

Then a friend calls, and during our conversation volunteers that he heard that the software from a company called Agile seems to be hot. Yes, I reply, I know of Agile. Three years ago MANMAN was one of the first ERP systems to be interfaced to Agile.

After getting off the phone, I got onto the Web site of Applicast — a company that contacted me to help them convert from MANMAN into SAP. Not that I am happy to lose a MANMAN site, but I am interested. Applicast is an application service provider (ASP), the type of company that some say is the next big thing in ERP.

Applicast (www.applicast.com) describes themselves as a “total-solution ASP that offers full-service application outsourcing for mission-critical applications, such as SAP and Siebel, over secure private or Internet connections.” The Web site goes on to say the company is targeted at companies under $200M in revenue but with aggressive growth.

How does this relate to MANMAN? First, the big vendors and the ASPs are trying to go after MANMAN-sized companies. Second, Applicast just announced that they now host the Agile system for use with SAP. In my mind an important part of the “add-on” or “surround” strategy for MANMAN is asset and knowledge protection. Buy the right add-on product and you will be able to use it for years — even if you leave MANMAN for another ERP system.

It seemed clear to me several years ago that Agile stood a good chance of becoming a major player in the PDM/Engineering Document Control field. The company does not disappoint. Take a look at the following press release — and remember that all this is available to you today with MANMAN running on your HP 3000.

Press Release: “Applicast is partnering with Agile to resell, deploy and host Agile Anywhere to give its high-tech manufacturing customers a highly leveraged outsourcing solution that tightly integrates Agile software with an SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.”

“Agile develops and markets award-winning, industry-leading software that enables supply chain partners to communicate and collaborate over the Internet about new or changing product content. Aggressive-growth manufacturers can now utilize Applicast’s outsourcing services to link critical manufacturing and supply chain partners with their ERP system for a complete back-office to e-supply chain managed solution.

“The Agile solution is essential for competing effectively in the highly competitive, rapidly changing market of high-tech manufacturing, where lightning-fast product innovation is key,” said John McGrory, Applicast president and CEO.

Just to wrap up a day of coincidences, that night I had dinner with a guy from guess where? Agile. My buddy brags that Agile (www.agilesoft.com) is now interfaced to work with 23 different ERP/MRP systems including MANMAN, SAP, J. D. Edwards, Oracle, Baan, and soon PeopleSoft. MANMAN was there at the beginning. Oh, and I haven’t even seen the new vendor management and e-business purchasing modules...

So over desert I’m feeling good that my prediction about Agile as a good bet has turned out so well. On the other hand, I remember considering taking a break from consulting and going to work for Agile with its generous stock options. (Agile went public late last year.) Ah well.

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