Business application vendors like Manugistics increasingly have to provide the glue and the labor to tie their systems to others.
Manugistics makes software that manages supply chain operations from deciding how best to ship a product to maximizing the use of supplies and plant operations.
Part of its strategy for gaining market share, particularly as enterprise application vendors like SAP branch into its territory, is to develop ways for customers to easily hook Manugistics products with legacy systems, enterprise applications, and any other software running in a corporation.
The deal with Oberon adds plug-ins that allow companies to link such niche software systems as warehouse management products or manufacturing execution systems, as well as larger legacy and enterprise applications.
"[Customers] want to minimize the risks and costs typically associated with integrating to other complementary [systems]," said Mary Lou Fox, Manugistics' vice president of supply chain products. "Manugistics' open application integration strategy has taken the fear out of integration by simplifying and reducing the costs of integration and maintenance to enterprise systems, allowing companies to focus on reaping the maximum benefits from their supply chain operations."
By making its product easier to integrate with others, Manugistics is hoping to maintain a place for itself in the market. The enterprise vendors like SAP are banking that customers will opt for their all-in-one system over piecing together applications from SAP, Manugistics, and a host of other players.
Analysts have said that this maneuvering is likely to result in a consolidation of the market as each side tries to maintain and grow its position.