JD Edwards highlights product upgrades

JD Edwards showed additions and upgrades to products in its J5 portfolio of enterprise applications at its Quest Global 2003 show...

JD Edwards showed additions and upgrades to products in its J5 portfolio of enterprise applications at its Quest Global 2003 show in Denver.

The company's customer relationship management software now has features for handling product customizations, additional prepackaged analytical reports, and support for remote access via Pocket PC handhelds.

JD Edwards said it has added 150 new customers for its CRM software since it picked up the technology in its acquisition of the software's creator, YouCentric, in 2001.

It also spotlighted work on product enhancements for two key vertical industries, life sciences and industrial manufacturing. Enterprise resource planning and supply chain management modules for each will be released by the end of the third quarter.

In the life sciences, the new additions will cover functions such as sales order management, price and profit management, and enhanced lot control for distributors. Additions aimed at manufacturers include upgrades in project management, configuration management, demand forecasting and cost accounting.

JD Edwards also spoke at the show about its global growth plans. In China, the company intends to more than triple its network of partners within the next two years, with a particular emphasis on the manufacturing, wholesale distribution, utilities, pharmaceutical and retail sectors.

Some JD Edwards software is now available preinstalled on HP's ProLiant servers, and on IBM's eServer iSeries machines.

JD Edwards' competitors include SAP, which has recently set its sights on wooing smaller customers, to compensate for a slumping sales market among its traditional base of large corporations.  Next week, SAP will discuss its own product upgrades and strategy at its Sapphire 2003 user show, in Orlando.

Stacy Cowley writes for IDG News Service

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