Marcam Taps Ironside To Color PRISM With EC

Marcam Solutions Inc. (Newton, Mass.) has tapped into the vast potential of e-commerce with the announcement that it has selected Ironside Technologies (Pleasanton, Calif.) to provide e-commerce functionality to PRISM, Marcam's ERP solution for the AS/400.

"There's a clear indication that ERP companies need e-commerce functionality to compete in the industry," says Bruce Sabot, Marcam's VP of customer operations. "In our case, this e-commerce functionality was customer driven."

Sabot says e-commerce has taken off in the ERP market in the last six months for one main reason: ERP companies want to give their customers a better way to place orders. "Their customers wanted to be able to go on the Internet and place an order quickly and easily," he says. "This also benefits the ERP companies because it dramatically reduces the sales cycle."

Ironside's Ironworks e-commerce product will integrate with COM, PRISM's order entry module to provide real-time access to business-to-business data that will help companies make critical production decisions based upon the availability of sub-components in the supply chain. Manufacturers will also have Internet transaction capability and sell-side access to order status and product availability--in sub-second response time. "Ironworks was the clear choice for extending e-commerce to PRISM," Sabot says. "Transaction speed and real-time integration are two of the most critical success factors in a manufacturing environment, and Ironside is unparalleled in both areas."

Both parties should benefit from the e-commerce functionality. Customers will be able to place orders and perform other processes over the Internet--such as checking the status of an order--in a more timely fashion. ERP companies will be able to reduce the lead time for customers' orders. "If a customer needs 10,000 cases of cough syrup, the company can tell customers if order can be placed, when it will be delivered and at the same time, it will automatically signal that the cough syrup needs to be replenished," Sabot says.

Marcam's decision to provide e-commerce functionality continues a growing trend in the ERP market, according to Derek Smyth, Ironside's senior VP of marketing and business development. In the past year, Ironside has entered into similar agreements with ERP giants like J.D. Edwards, SSA and MAPICS. "ERP vendors have recognized market is down, customers are worried about Y2K," says Smyth. "The ERP companies realize they have to go back to their current customers and provide e-commerce functionality until the market takes off again in the year 2000."

Marcam customers can still purchase PRISM without the e-commerce functionality. Also, Ironside is providing backward e-commerce functionality with PRISM 4.3 and 5.0.

Sabot says Marcam hopes to be able to ship the product sometime late during the third quarter of 1999.