E2open: The Critical Linchpin of Enterprise Integration and Synchronization

Posted on June 21, 2009


Multi-Enterprise Business Process Platforms (MEBPPs) and Multi-Enterprise Business Applications (MEBAs) have always been interesting to me from both a practical operational standpoint as well as a technological “architecture” perspective.

With the former, I have always considered MEBPPs the sustaining grace for traditional enterprise applications and the clients who remained manacled to an IT-centric view of business process.

Two examples that immediately come to mind are Duke Energy and the Canadian Federal Government.

In the case of Duke Energy, I recall meeting with a senior executive at their Charlotte, North Carolina Head Office shortly following the announcement that the company had acquired Cinergy for a staggering $9 billion in stock.

This executive discussed amongst other things the fact that a key strategy for the merged companies, was to find a way to consolidate the existing 11 supply chain legacy systems currently in place into a single cohesive platform.  A daunting task made even more difficult by cultural differences and internalized silos.

With the Federal Government of Canada, the challenges were and continue to be compounded by a shared services strategy that insists on a uniform compliance to a single standard.  A standard one might add that has yet to be effectively defined for a variety of reasons including an absence of intelligence relative to the processes that represent the uneasy coexistence of an incredibly diverse and widely dispersed infrastructure at the departmental level.

Against this common backdrop buzz terminology such as “a single version of truth” and “multi-enterprise execution that extends supply chain collaboration” fails to capture the true potential of the Multi-Enterpise Platform.

With the necessary and long overdue realization that an indigenous, monolithic end-to-end solution from a single vendor is about as viable as the computer industry’s attempt to create a proprietary PC technology, MEBPPs have become the critical linchpins of the processes and technologies that inhabit the increasingly complex global supply chain practice.  (Note: I have often stated my belief that the term supply chain is a misnomer in that it implies a sequential series of stakeholder interactions versus the real-world, real-time synchronization of both internal and external stakeholders.  I can think of no better example of the validity of this assessment than that associated with the advent of MEBPPs.)

In a world of real-time synchronization in which modular adoption reflects an embrace versus replace mindset – say goodbye to single solution conversion and compliance myopia – E2open has become particularly adept at leveraging existing deployments through the increased cognitive functionality of their Multi-Enterprise Platform.

In essence, what E2open has done is create a practical synchronization of the disparate technologies, applications, processes and intelligence of the modern global enterprise.  And they have done so within the framework of what I refer to as centrally coordinated operational autonomy.

Looking Under the Hood of MEBPP

Somewhere behind the “structural” MEBPP curtain, where terms such as Bounded-error, Probabilistic, Polynomial time (ironically BPP), computational complexity theory, probabilistic algorithms and pseudorandom number generators resides the DNA that drives the E2open engine.

Most clients do not necessarily have to concern themselves with the actual mechanics associated with Multi-Enterprise Platforms.  That said the exciting interactive qualities of what I believe is an incredibly unique “language,” which manifests itself in a truly synchronized supply practice, never ceases to amaze me.

And like the formula for Coca-Cola or the beneath the surface infrastructure of a Disney World theme park, one glimpse if ever so briefly tells a compelling story.

Specifically, that the operational and technological characteristics of the E2open offering provides the stable foundation for a truly synchronized global enterprise.

Use the following link to access their Webinar Resource Library, and their Solutions Index.

Use the following link to learn more about E2open’s Senior Vice President, Strategic Supply-Demand Solutions Rich Becks’ upcoming guest appearance on Emerging Giants: The New Titans of the SaaS World on PI Window on Business.

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