There is some noteworthy supply chain technology news this week which we wanted to call attention to Supply Chain Matters readers.
LLamasoft Acquisition of IBM’s LogicTools Supply Chain Business Unit
Supply chain network design provider LLamasoft announced this week that this provider had acquired IBM’s LogicTools supply chain applications business unit, including rights to LogicNet Plus, Inventory and Product Flow Analyst and Transportation Analyst.
There is somewhat of a history to LogicTools and this provider’s associated product suite. The company was originally founded by MIT Professor Dr. David-Simchi Levi as a result of his work in supply chain optimization. As an industry analyst, I first encountered LogicTools and its emphasis on supply chain network design mapping and analysis in the 1999-2000 period. The company was then acquired by France based ILOG in April of 2007, where the plan was to assimilate LogicTools applications among other ILOG technology. Professor Levi became a member of ILOG’s management team for a period of time. The essence of LogicTools and associated applications were then a part of IBM’s acquisition of ILOG in 2009. Since that time, it would appear that the strategy and focus of supply chain network design within the much broader IBM Smarter Commerce strategy lost attention and focus.
According to the announcement, LLamasoft will immediately assume software maintenance, support and services to all existing LogicTools customers. A Customer FAQ document available on the LLamasoft web site indicates that customers with standard IBM contracts will be assigned immediately while other contracts with legal restrictions will have a sub-contracting relationship. LLamasoft indicates it will rename the LogicTools applications after the closing of the transaction.
Our initial Supply Chain Matters view of this announcement notes that current LLamasoft design applications include a lot of design functionality support, and thus this deal may well be one more related to customer acquisition, ongoing support and opportunities to up-sell existing LogicTools customers with broader LLamasoft applications coverage.
This author is reaching out to LLamasoft management and we will have further perspective in a future commentary.
FusionOps Secures Additional Funding
Supply chain cloud-based analytics provider FusionOps recently announced the raising of an additional $12 million in Series B financing led by Enterprise Associates and participation from Series A investors. The latest investment brings total investment within this analytics provider to $19 million since its founding. According to the announcement, this additional financing will be applied to accelerate development and global expansion.
This provider was founded in 2000 as iSpring, developing and marketing supply chain collaboration tools and was re-branded to the FusionOps in 2005 with a focus on supply chain analytics. Current named customers include Brocade, Columbia Sportswear, Merck, Mahindra, among others. The product offering includes a proprietary multi-tenant cloud-based business intelligence stack with expertise in supply chain performance attributes. Supply Chain Matters initially brought reader attention to FusionOps in a July 2012 commentary as a business intelligence alternative for specific SAP environments particularly for mid-market firms.
Noteworthy within this latest funding announcement are separate announcements indicating support for other application backbone environments, namely Oracle Enterprise Business Suite and Salesforce.com. In the case of Oracle, analytics support is extended to procurement, sales operations, inventory and production planning intelligence needs. In the case of Salesforce, a new application launched on the Salesforce AppExchange plans to provide sales teams with infographics and analytics related to customer transactional history related to customer inventory, order and service-level fulfillment.
By our observation, this latest round of funding and associated announcements implies a strategy shift reflecting diversification beyond SAP installed base customer analytics needs. This may set the stage for broader strategic options down the road.