Stories by Craig Stedman

  • Tariff apps aim to ease overseas sales

    As the big package carriers start testing new software to calculate the full cost of shipping goods overseas, the key question isn't whether the applications can crunch the numbers they're fed.

  • SAP rushes to repair apparel app

    ERP heavyweight SAP is rushing to fix problems with its R/3-based apparel and footwear applications that drove at least one US buyer to stop installing the software recently.

  • SAP, ERP rivals will add simpler interfaces

    The ease-of-use bug is biting ERP vendors big-time. SAP, Oracle and PeopleSoft last week all said their enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications will be upgraded later this year with new user interfaces meant to make the packages less grey and forbidding to customers.

  • SAP service culls ERP payoff data

    SAP AG is quietly putting together a set of services aimed at making it easier for R/3 buyers to measure the return on their investments. Sources said SAP is developing a consulting and sales program, called ValueSAP, that will use a database of return-on-investment and business-performance data culled from R/3 customers by a consulting firm and a university in Switzerland. The program is already being piloted at two customer sites in Europe and Asia.

  • New to ERP? Better Watch out!

    Approach with caution. Keep your eyes open. And know your own limits. That's the advice of experienced users and analysts for companies that are looking at enterprise resource planning applications tailored for industries beyond traditional manufacturing sectors such as chemicals, pharmaceuticals and electronics. The software rollout problems that have recently bedeviled some early users of vertical-industry packages from SAP AG underscore the complexity of installing ERP systems, especially new products that haven't been widely used yet.

  • Oracle joins push to front office apps

    The front-office push by packaged application vendors has continued with Oracle rounding out its new line of marketing, sales and customer service software. Oracle has announced version 3.0 of Oracle Front Office software that it first shipped in January. This is the first release that can automate marketing campaigns. Other new features include World Wide Web-based sales software and a field service contract application.