Supply Chain Matters pens this commentary from JDA Software’s FOCUS 2015 conference being held today in Orlando Florida. This conference has brought together over 2000 supply chain professionals from 30 different countries. The conference further represents the 30th anniversary for JDA as a software firm.

In this initial dispatch, I wanted to update our readers on this morning’s opening keynote sessions.

JDA Software elected to become a Lead sponsor of Supply Chain Matters as part of its current major re-branding effort underway under its new senior leadership. The proof of corporate re-branding, of course, comes with the actions of any software company. We were especially honed-in on the opening welcome address from JDA’s Chairmen and CEO, Bal Dail. In his address, Dail outlined a three point strategy for JDA that included its plans to deliver for existing customers, continued corporate investments in technology and in partnerships. However, after following JDA for over a decade, what impressed this blogger the most was the candor of Dail. From the podium, he acknowledged that in the past, JDA had not especially listened to customers. He also acknowledged a culture of past arrogance in the persona of JDA. If you have followed supply chain technology companies for as long as I have, you might have remembered the prior JDA corporate marketing tag line: “the supply chain software company”. That for me, screamed arrogance. Today’s executive keynotes, at least from the stage, were indeed a far different persona. There were messages related to commitments for responding to customer needs for advanced technology, much broader partnerships with other providers, including the announcement of a new partnership with Google and the Google Cloud Platform for cloud services. Further emphasized was the ongoing partnership with IBM in Retail industry intelligent fulfillment needs.

These themes continued with the remarks of Razat Gaurav, JDA’s SVP for Global Industries and in some of the individual on-stage customer presentations. All prompted this author to “tweet” that I’m liking this new persona.

One speech does not make a strategy and thus we will be probing attendees if they have indeed sensed a new JDA. If you see us roaming sessions and events, including networking sessions, seeks us out and let us know.

Bob Ferrari

Disclosure: JDA Software is one of other sponsors of the Supply Chain Matters blog.