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Comments from Soren Janstal

Right intention, Intentia

Intentia haz acquired the bankrupted Danish company Catalog. Catalog was 2-3 years ago one of the two most leading software vendor for e-Commerce.

Catalog had 30,000 competitors. Competitions have been extreme. Even ERP vendors have developed e-Commerce applications.

As buyers we have realized that the choice have been between

1. Good e-Commerce applications with poor integrations to ERP systems
2. Well done integrated e-commerce applications, but with poor e-Commerce functionality.

Sales and marketing staffs at the client companies have preferred alternative 1. IT and Finance managers have preferred alternative 2. The third alternative “good integrated e-Commerce systems” have been absent so far.

The ways the vendors try to provide the third alternative are

- e-Commerce vendors extend their application to cover traditional ERP functionality´
- ERP vendors extend their application to cover also e-Commerce
- Integrators will take over, e.g. PWC and Accenture

New technologies, e.g. MS Biztalk, will evolve in order to integrate the hybrid applications.

If you think that company merges or alliances of ERP and e-Commerce vendors will solve the integration issues, you are wrong. Technology is available, but the reality is completely different. Differences in company cultures prevent integrations to happen. They cannot co-operate. They do not understand each other. They cannot unify to set priorities. E-Commerce programmers think that ERP programmers are too careful and small-minded. Conversely ERP programmers believe that e-Commerce programmers are careless. Cross and balancing controls are missing. There are lots of culture clashes around.

Intentia, your intention is right but you have to work hard with culture ?.

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Updated Friday, October 3, 2008