IBM builds closer ties with J.D. Edwards

IBM and J.D. Edwards have formed a global alliance to jointly sell and market collaborative commerce solutions to the public sector and wholesale distribution markets, the companies announced yesterday.

Under the terms of the agreement detailed at IBM's Link 2001 user conference in Las Vegas, J.D. Edwards' World and OneWorld Xe applications will be ported to IBM's eServer products and key software and middleware products.

As a result, J.D. Edwards' solutions will be incorporated into IBM's DB2 database, its WebSphere Commerce Suite and MarketPlace Edition, and its WebSphere application servers. In addition, IBM Global Services will provide consulting and integration services for joint IBM/J.D. Edwards solutions.

J.D. Edwards' OneWorld is a fulfillment engine for the WebSphere platform, providing back-end functions for transactions via storefront and trading exchanges, directly fulfilling them through OneWorld's financial, sales order, warehousing, customer relationship management and knowledge management applications.

Mike Madden, CTO at J.D. Edwards, said the deal opens an entirely new channel for the company that could increase the company's $US100 million annual revenue by 10 per cent.

Cynthia Erdman, director of strategy for IBM Developer Relations, said the J.D. Edwards application suite already has a foothold in the public sector and wholesale distribution markets, two areas where IBM would like to grow its market share.

"We give our joint customers the scalability they need in the server family," Erdman said. "We're going to make the best environment for our customers to install and grow."

In related news, IBM also announced at the Link 2001 conference that it would begin offering a hosted version of Ariba's e-procurement application with full end-user help-desk support down to the application level.

Although IBM already offers customised hosted access to Ariba's buy-side solution, this is the first time IBM will sell a fully packaged solution, said Paul Boulay, IBM's program director for global business-to-business hosting.

"A customer no longer has the requirement of purchasing the software line up-front," Boulay said. "We're selling this based on a transaction volume basis. Now a customer is looking at just a flat monthly fee based on their buying habits. It makes a much easier, less risky proposition."