The big news in supply chain software last week was RedPrairie's announced acquisition of JDA Software. While the deal is done, the execution of the integration is just beginning. And - like this utility pole (likely blown away during Hurricane Sandy) it probably won't be pretty. So, what can customers and prospects of the merging companies do?
JBF Consulting's Position: the integration of the two firms will add significant complexity and risk to existing customers of both RedPrairie and JDA. The difficulties JDA faced digesting the Manugistics and i2 companies was already evident prior to the RedPrairie announcement. Many customers - especially those in the TMS camp - were extremely confused (and still are) regarding the planned 'convergence' of the Manugistics legacy TMS with the i2 legacy TMS inside the JDA platform. Now, there is a third TMS - RedPrairie's offering. It's also important to note that you could actually claim 5 TMS within the 3 companies, if you count the ShippersCommonwealth product and the i2 FreightMatrix product - both "cloud-like" offerings.
All three core TMS products are functionally similar, and operate on a fairly comparable technology stack. However, there is a large problem with both the marketing & selling of the "emerging" transportation offering(s) in addition to the development and ongoing support of the three platforms. In my view, this is not a recipe for TMS innovation - unless the "new" management can figure out a way to simplify both the code base and the messaging to existing and prospective users of the technology. Without some painful development sacrifices, the new RedPrairie could end up splitting their "total TMS development dollars" across the three platforms. This might keep existing clients stable, though not necessarily happy, but certainly won't be disruptive in terms of innovation.
Client strategies: faced with this uncertainty, what is an existing Manu, i2, or RedPrairie client to do? In my view, the best option is to upgrade to a recent, stable release - and buy yourself a few years of stability while the details shake out. Significant work lies ahead for the combined company, especially in the TMS space where there is significant product overlap.
For more details, here is a link to the press release November 1, 2012 JDA and RedPrairie to Merge, Establishing Global Enterprise Software Company that will Provide Customers Comprehensive Planning and Execution Solutions
I also think Shaman did an excellent analysis of the JDA acquisition of Manugistics and i2 back in 2010 The Verdict: a Hung Jury