J.D. Edwards, traditionally a player in the ERP (enterprise resource planning) space, added CRM to its roster in 2001 through the acquisition of YOUcentric.The resulting suite of applications, J.D. Edwards CRM version 1.2, promises easy integration withexisting back office systems — J.D. Edwards and others — and is highly flexible, the company says, thanks to its modular architecture.
Version 2.0, to be officially announced in early 2003, will reportedly add even closer links to J.D. Edwards back office products.
A unique feature of the suite is what thecompany calls the “zero database model,” which leverages an enterprise’sexisting database rather than requiring that it purchase a new one. By eliminating the needfor a separate database, this approach makes iteasier to maintain data, reducing the likelihood of duplication or other errors. It also allows enterprises to quickly and cost-effectively integrate CRM with existing systems.
“Most people have built their solutions with multiple databases,” explainedJ.D. Edwards’ Joel Reed, director of product marketing, CRM. “The resultis, there is no one piece of information — it’s multiple pieces spread outall over the place,” he told CRM Buyer Magazine. “We’ve taken a different approach in architecting our solution to enable that data to be held only one time, and to be visible to all the constituents that need it.”
The CRM applications are part of the J.D. Edwards 5 family of products. By taking a more holistic view of CRM with software thatintegrates basic functions into its ERP andadvanced planning applications, J.D. Edwards allows a company to serve itscustomers at any point of the customer lifecycle, Reedcontends, whether a given transaction is at the orderfulfillment, billing or accounts payable stage.
“What makes interactions valuable to customers is the right shipment date orreturn process or complex quote in the context of the business,” said GigaInformation Group’s ErinKinikin, vice president and research leader, enterprise applications. “JDE allows companies to easily call out to custom logicfor rating or quoting,” she told CRM Buyer, “or kick off a complex returns process and get quickly to the information that’s of most value for the customer.”
J.D. Edwards’ modular approach provides a flexible set of applications thatcan be purchased piece-by-piece to work with existing systems and legacyapplications, or as a single integrated solution. Particularly in the mid-market, many companies choose to buy a component at a time, said Reed.
“Theywant to get a CRM application and get it live very quickly, and get a returncoming — then they’ll buy more applications. We’ve really architected theproduct to be very ‘componentized,’ so it can support that type of buying,” he explained.
J.D. Edwards CRM includes the following components:
Beyond the Installed Base
J.D. Edwards CRM has been successful both inside and outside the company’s installedbase, according to Kinikin. “YOUcentric had been very successful infinancial services for its flexibility and integration capabilities,” she noted. “JDE hascontinued that momentum.”
Kinikin says this is especially true in investment banking and other areaswhere brokers and sales reps need a quick view of customer relationships and holdings to drive the next deal. Packaged CRM functionality takes a back seat to this requirement.As CRM gains traction, J.D. Edwards could be faced with the challenge of having to balance the needs of financial services companies versus the somewhat different needs of its current installed base, which is comprised mostly of manufacturers.
Most of the mid-market has chosen to integrate CRM with core ERP systems in an effort to reduce IT spending, Kinikin added. “[J.D. Edwards] sold more CRM in two quarters with its own product than they sold in two years with a Siebel resell relationship,” said Giga analyst Erin Kinikin. “The challenge … will be whether or not they can keep up momentum outside their installed base.”
J.D. Edwards CRM is currently available. The company declined to provide pricing information.