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JDE goes on ERP offensive

Vendor arabises OneWorld and opens regional office.

After 18 months of planning and development work, JD Edwards (JDE) has completed Arabisation work on its OneWorld enterprise resource planning (ERP) package.

The localised set of applications will be demonstrated at the fast-approaching Gitex exhibition held in Dubai. “We’ve developed a software patch that users can drop on their existing OneWorld instalment,” says the newly appointed regional manager for JDE, Tim Caulkett.

Running in parallel to the Arabisation work, the ERP vendor has also invested money to set up a regional office in Cairo. Both of these moves indicate that JDE intends to embark on an aggressive expansion strategy.

The assault on the marketplace is due to get into gear early in the new year, says Caulkett. “We intend to be very active in this marketplace, we’re not just going to make noise and then disappear,” pledges Caulkett. “We’re going to be working very aggressively with our existing partners and the big six consultants to push out OneWorld in the region.”

Although JDE has had partners operating in key countries in the region for the last 10 years, the Arabisation will prove critical in rolling out further projects, particularly in markets such as Saudi, where Arabised financial reporting is a requirement by law.

According to Caulkett, the time is just right for JDE’s assault on the market. Over recent months there has been increasing doubt, and confusion over the fate of Baan. Also SAP is often perceived as too large for many companies in the marketplace, which just leaves the big ‘O’ — Oracle — as the main competitor in the region.

However, turning over Oracle’s huge installed base, both in terms of packaged and internally developed applications is going to be a big challenge for the JDE team.

But Caulkett believes that JDE has a stronger story going forward, particularly in what the company calls ‘collaborative commerce.’ As e-business evolves organisations will have a greater need to share and manage information contained within the backend systems through the Web. According to Caulkett, JDE’s software is in a perfect position to capitalise on this future direction of the market.

“We’re getting on more and more shortlists and going head-to-head with the other big ERP vendors and winning,” says Caulkett. “They are buying into our open approach to the market, where sharing information between different applications will be vital in the future of e-business.”

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