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JDE to announce new version of OneWorld

ERP, is this enough? - Ed.

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JD Edwards will announce next Tuesday the new version of its OneWorld product, for delivery in October. JDE's angle is to make it easier for non-technical staff to change the business processes and develop self-service applications. If it turns out that as a result, ERP is at least somewhat freed from the tyranny of having to employ grossly expensive consultants to tinker with a system any time a small change is needed, this will indeed be welcome. Doug Massingill, CEO of JD Edwards, discussed the resumption of market demand in the ERP sector at the IDC European IT Forum in Paris today, but found it difficult to be precise about the timing. Estimates vary from Q4 this year to Q4 next year. Once this happens, annual growth is expected to be at a more modest 20 to 30 per cent level. The company decided not to reduce staff after the setbacks in recent quarters that have resulted in losses of $39 million in the first three quarters, and the probability of a loss for the financial year. Revenue did increase in the first three quarters to $687 million, putting JDE in line to break the billion dollar barrier next year - providing the fickle market recovers. Massingill told The Register that overall expenditure - mostly people and R&D - was increasing, although discretionary expenditure was being held back as much as possible. He noted that JDE had been through the pain and suffering of re-engineering its product line and felt it was in a better position than SAP to respond to change, particularly as SAP had added Internet applications in front of R/3, rather than to architect them in. Oracle was a tough competitor for JDE, Massingill said, particularly in 1999 e-business, when it had proved to be strong and aggressive, gaining market share against SAP. JDE was selling directly to the middle market (which he defined as organisations or divisions with a revenue of $150 million to $2 billion. Below $10 million, JDE used resellers, and at the high end the company mostly worked with the big five bean counters. ®

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