Activant Anticipates More Virtual Collaboration in B2B Distribution

Activant Solutions Inc., a leading technology provider of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software for distributors and specialty retailers, shared its vision for using ERP systems of record in combination with social media to help wholesale distributors improve efficiencies, customer engagement and collaboration at Summit 2011, held in Orlando, Florida, earlier this month. Activant’s annual Summit conference is one of the largest and most well-established events of its type in the world.

Nearly 2,000 Summit attendees enjoyed three days of educational sessions and networking events designed to enhance their utilization of Activant® ERP solutions. Kevin Roach, executive vice president and general manager of Activant’s Wholesale Distribution division, kicked off the event by discussing the collaborative potential that a social media revolution represents for today’s ERP systems. Additionally, he unveiled two new products, Activant AutoOrder™, a module designed to eliminate manual order entry, and DynaChange™ Rules, an extensibility tool created to enable distributors to configure and insert their own workflow logic into the Activant Prophet 21® ERP system.

Roach noted in his opening address, “We envision an ERP evolution, in which ‘systems of engagement’ perform a vital role to help a distributor’s business become more responsive to customers, and more efficient operationally. Virtual conversations regarding customer service, contract fulfillment, or project delivery become more meaningful augmented with the context of related transactions from systems of record. That’s where the payoff comes, by making it easier and more automatic to collaborate around information stored in the ERP system.”

As an example, Roach discussed the idea of workgroup wikis. “The process of getting any complex job done involves a series of conversations – asking questions, and gathering ideas and feedback,” he said. “Imagine all of those conversation threads consolidated in a single dedicated wiki workspace, accessible through any smartphone or computer. Wikis enable a convenient, centralized archival view that includes communications from all relevant parties. Everyone can share the full context of who, what and why; get relevant feedback; update documents; and initiate new transactions – all in one location. In this hypothetical system of engagement, we establish automated workflow processes that deliver structured and unstructured information – e-mails, document links, and posts – faster to anyone with a need to know.”

Renowned business consultant, visionary and best-selling author Geoffrey Moore elaborated on these themes in his keynote presentation, “The Future of Enterprise IT.” Moore stated, “The new global value chain is based on relationship management: coordinating, collaborating and communicating to expedite and troubleshoot orders across an ecosystem of suppliers and channel partners. Distributors and other participants in the chain need to engage across a broad set of constituents, and are looking to have the same kind of individual empowerment that is currently available in the consumer IT space: information and video on demand, instant communication, and so on. We think that collaborative business networks are the ‘forcing function’ that will cause distribution companies to invest in systems of engagement.”

Attendees were impressed by the presentations, as well as the opportunities for hands-on training and networking at Summit 2011. According to James Davis, president of Industrial Specialties Manufacturing of Denver, Colo., “We found Summit very informative, the presenters well prepared, and the content relevant to our current business needs. For an experienced user, it’s an opportunity to see what’s new and different, to keep escalating our system utilization.”

Added William Foster, IT manager at Packard Inc. of Kennesaw, Georgia, “Summit is great for gathering tips, learning what new products are on the horizon, and networking with peers who may already have a solution for issues you are facing. I get ROI the day after I leave here, and the other 364 days a year.”

Summit 2012 is scheduled to take place March 13-16, 2012, at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas.

Links to the presentations by Geoffrey Moore and Kevin Roach are available on YouTube:

General Session with Kevin Roach

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlTRAtAAHzU

Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUrA2zGtYfw

Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XunhKFrnq3c

Part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEUlvQwRgLY

Keynote with Geoffrey Moore

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfXpW4Q4c6A

Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muaHUEzxnYQ

Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HQXxBQC7AM

About Activant Solutions Inc.

Activant Solutions Inc. (“Activant”) is a leading technology provider of business management solutions serving distributors and SMB retailers. Activant provides customers with industry-specific software, professional services, content, supply chain connectivity, and analytics.

Activant’s systems are designed to help customers increase sales, boost productivity, operate more cost-efficiently, improve inventory turns and enhance trading partner relationships. Headquartered in Livermore, California, Activant has operations in Texas, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

For more information, please visit distribution.activant.com. Find Activant updates online at distribution.activant.com/follow.

This announcement relating to Activant may contain statements that are forward looking within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended, such as statements concerning trends, future technology or products, or Activant’s execution. These statements are based on current expectations and are subject to risks and uncertainties which could materially affect the company’s results, including, without limitation, market demand for products and technology, the company’s ability to meet that market demand, the integration of Activant’s technology and products with technology and products supplied by others, the integration of Activant’s products into the businesses of its customers, customer acceptance of Activant’s products, and the retention and deployment of skilled Activant service providers. Except to the extent required by applicable securities laws, we undertake no obligation to update or publicly revise any of the forward-looking statements. Please refer to our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended December 31, 2010 and our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended September 30, 2010, which have been filed with the Securities Exchange Commission and can be found through the Activant investor relations website at www.activant.com/company/investors, for a full discussion of the risks and other factors.

© 2011 Activant Solutions Inc. Note: Activant, Prophet 21 and the Activant stylized logo are registered trademarks, and Activant AutoOrder and DynaChange are trademarks, of Activant Solutions Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

CONTACT: Kathleen Lang, 215-493-8900, kathleen.lang@activant.com

SOURCE Activant Solutions Inc.
Back to top

RELATED LINKS
http://www.activant.com

This entry was posted in Social SC Synergy, Supply Chain Management, Support Services & Industry Initiatives, Videos. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.