The summer months are sometimes slow in terms of announcements from supply chain technology providers but Supply Chain Matters calls attention to today’s re-launch announcements from self-service, pre-built analytics vendor FusionOps.

One of the principle obstacles concerning business intelligence and analytics based applications technology has been the steep learning curve for business and supply chain functionally focused users to get comfortable with both the configuration setup and ease-of-use of the application.  This is especially evident in an SAP environment that includes multiple sources of both SAP ERP and SAP Supply Chain application data and associated data feeds. The other obstacle remains overall implantation cost since many of the SAP approaches to this area, including SAP HANA, can be rather expensive when included as an overall enterprise wide installation and considering all of the various required software license and BI access fees required, let alone the overall project implementation costs. FusionOps on the other hand is a hosted, multi-tenant cloud-based offering providing a fair number of broad, pre-built supply chain focused dashboards and self-service analytics at an advertised subscription rate ranging from $2,000 to upwards of $10,000 per month. Customers establish their own SAP data feeds assisted by FusionOps implementation teams and once the BI applications are populated, users have the ability to interact with a number of pre-built analytics or build other associated performance indicators. The company no offers a free 30 day trial of its application.

Last week, Supply Chain Matters received a briefing and brief demo of the actual application and we were somewhat impressed with the clear user interface, depth and ease-of-use of this application, including features you would expect in far more expensive offerings.

This provider was founded in 2000 as iSpring, developing and marketing supply chain collaboration tools. Its original collaboration based product was named “Streamline” and remains as a legacy application. The founders recognized the building need for analytics and re-branded the company FusionOps in 2005.  In April 2012, a new CEO, Gary Meyers was recruited and brought on-board to springboard the company toward a broader vision and focus along with a re-launch of marketing and visibility in today’s market. We challenged Meyers in a number of question areas related to scalability and long-term viability and his answers were forthcoming and satisfactory.

This week’s launch announcement includes the naming of various lighthouse customers along with three global-based partnerships with three select resellers.  Of particular note, in the announcement, Intrigo Systems intent to create additional business intelligence applications associated with SAP supply chain planning application APO (Advanced Planner and Optimizer) utilizing the FusionOps platform.

If you are a mid-sized SAP installed base customer with a need to springboard your supply chain business intelligence capabilities with a cost affordable and easy to use application, this vendor’s capabilities may be worth consideration.

Bob Ferrari

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