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Scala rebuilds its ERP suite

ERP supplier Scala has launched what it claims is a completely re-architected version of its enterprise software - iScala 2.1 - built around XML, writes Antony Adshead.

The suite is comprised of processes including financials, HR, logistics, service and project management for a range of industries, although Scala does have notable competency in discrete and process manufacturing.

The company is positioning the software suite as the first ERP package purpose-built to allow collaboration both within the enterprise and with other businesses.

The software could be used, for example, to trigger changes in a manufacturing production schedule automatically when sales software is updated, with requests for components being dispatched to suppliers automatically and changes being made to financial records to record the transaction.

To effect inter-business collaboration, partners need to agree messaging formats. The software will support formats ranging from SAP iDocs through to proprietary standards, as long as middleware is used to harmonise XML schemas.

Mike Burdett, Scala's chief executive, said, "XML is the architectural element used to provide the link between the component part of a process. We have organised the software into 'managers' dealing with an entire business process, with workflow control determining how information is driven in a transaction. Human intervention is only required in the case of pre-determined exception conditions.

"The point we are making is that the entire architecture has been designed for collaboration. iScala is built from the ground up to do this, where other products have collaborative capabilities bolted on the outside."

Existing Scala users on maintenance contracts will be able to upgrade to iScala 2.1 free of charge.

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