Sterling Commerce Pushes Closer to the Perfect Order
Sterling treated customers and prospects to a packed agenda of product announcements, customer case studies, and educational sessions at this year's customer conference. Here are a few quick observations from the event:
- Transformation from infrastructure supplier to solution provider near complete. Prior to the acquisition of Yantra in 2004, Sterling Commerce was known for its integration, data sync, and EDI capabilities for the supply chain. Through the successful integrations of additional specialist vendors such as Nistevo (2006) and Comergent (2007), Sterling Commerce continues to show progress in not only integrating but also extending its application capabilities in selling and fulfillment.
- New products focus on addressing the perfect order. Attendees continued to express their interest and desire to achieve the perfect order. Multi-channel capabilities and advanced order process functionality topped many conversations. Sterling's unveiled and showcased its new capabilities in inventory replenishment and new merchandising and marketing capabilities.
- Post merger integration with Comergent remains on track. Despite the departure of CTO, Bill York, key former Comergent executives such as Jean Kovacs and Andy Nicholas remain with significant management roles. Conversations with product team members and customers suggest that overall delivery on the integrated multi-channel selling and fulfillment appears to be ahead of schedule.
- Customers continue to displace existing systems. Conversations with over 23 customers indicate that many continue to choose a Sterling solution over their existing ERP or CRM provider. Of the 23 customers, 7 had Oracle, 11 had SAP, 2 had i2, and 2 had Click Commerce.
As customers make the shift from functional centric to business process centric software, processes that support the perfect order (i.e. opportunity to order capture, order capture to order fulfillment, order fulfillment to order completion, and order completion to order settlement) will elevate in importance. Solutions that support the end to end order process across multiple channels will truly bring differentiation and strategic advantage to an enterprise. Sterling's focus in this area and continued execution along the late Sam Starr's strategy will bring this vendor closer to delivering the perfect order.
(The personal contents in this blog do not reflect the opinions, ideas, thoughts, points of view, and any other potential attribution of my current, past, or future employers.)
Copyrighted 2007 by R Wang. All rights reserved