MAPICS Looks To Stay Atop The ERP Market

MAPICS Inc. (Atlanta, Ga.) has managed to prosper in the downtrodden ERP market and is looking to stay one up on its competition through an alliance with Trilogy Software Inc. (Austin, Texas). This alliance is expected to deliver an integrated value chain from point of contact to delivery of products and services.

As part of the agreement, MAPICS will license and embed Trilogy's products for opportunity management, configuration, quoting, electronic cataloging, proposal generation and order entry into a new line of products called the MAPICS FrontOffice suite. The combination of MAPICS FrontOffice and MAPCIS XA--its ERP software suite--will give its customers the ability to have a fully integrated, front-end to back-end solution.

"There's a huge demand in the marketplace for systems that assist companies in selling," says Tre Lapeyre, product marketing manager for MAPICS. "We found that al lot of prospects are looking for fully integrated systems and that's what we're providing with Trilogy's products embedded."

"ERP is all about cost production," says Chris Taylor, Trilogy's director of strategic alliances. "Our solution cuts costs because it does everything a company needs, from point of contact to delivery of services."

Trilogy's Selling Chain Software suite is designed to integrate every function in a company's marketing and sales operation, enabling 100 percent order accuracy, customized quotes, automatic order routing and extensive data collection for market analysis. "MAPICS began searching the market nine months ago for a company that could help it provide fully integrated solutions from front- to back-end," Lapeyre says. "Trilogy was the only one that stood out, their superior functionality was way above the rest of the competition."

By streamlining the fulfillment process from beginning to end, MAPICS FrontOffice Suite will enable companies to significantly speed the manufacturing process and improve customer service for a quicker sales cycle. The front-office functionality of the MAPICS FrontOffice suite is expected to augment the MAPICS XA software suite, which is designed to meet the needs of discrete and batch process manufacturers.

The MAPICS FrontOffice suite will be comprised of four products: advanced product configurator, field sales suite, opportunity management system and the e-commerce system.

The advanced product configurator and the field sales suite will be available in September. These two products will include the ability to: show product literature from a product catalog; create quotations that specify configured products; and automatically create written proposals from quotations and a document library while using a disconnected PC. Quotations that become orders will be automatically uploaded into MAPICS XA. Also, the advanced product configurator will be upgraded and will be integrated into the MAPICS XA product line by the second quarter of 2000.

In the fourth quarter of 1999, the opportunity management system and the e-commerce system will be released. The opportunity management system will include contact management and the ability to track sales opportunities throughout the complete sales cycle. The e-commerce system will features a customizable Web interface, browsable product catalog and order status inquiry.

"MAPICS and Trilogy will enable us to track information from the original sales lead to custom configuration," says C. Robert LaTouche, VP of IT at Newport Corp. (Irvine, Calif.), a provider of precision optical, motion and automation systems. "With MAPICS FrontOffice, we will soon be able to integrate our entire value chain into one seamless solution, resulting in a reduced sales cycle, fewer errors and a greater return on investment."