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Sun hopes pact can boost manufacturing sales

Sun Microsystems and Manugistics Group are jointly launching a Web-based collaborative planning solution optimized for Sun hardware and aimed at boosting Sun's efforts to penetrate the discrete manufacturing industry.

Currently deployed across Sun's supply-planning enterprise, the new product is designed to make life a little easier for IT managers at manufacturing companies, according to officials at both firms. It can help members of a supply chain to share planning information, making production more efficient. The solution can be sized for small-, medium- and enterprise-sized deployments, company reps said, and Sun will offer to host the software in its data centers.

Everett Plante, senior vice president of engineering and technology solutions at Manugistics, said the joint effort will allow Sun-based manufacturing systems to "readily scale across a company's multitiered supply chain with powerful flexibility, enabling enterprise users to securely extend the solution to internal and external partners via the Web."

Manugistics is a Rockville, Md.-based supply-chain management software and services provider best known for its Enterprise Profit Optimization (EPO) solutions that combine supply-chain management with pricing and revenue optimization solutions.

Manugistics and Sun have worked together for about five years on a range of projects. Sun reportedly uses Manugistics' supply-chain management software for its own internal and external network of manufacturers and suppliers to provide real-time visibility for more than 100 of its products.

Bill Gerould, director of manufacturing at Sun, said his firm expects the agreement will help discrete manufacturing firms to "leverage 'Net-centric technology, and streamline internal and external collaboration with key business partners."

Sun reps said the solution is scheduled to be available for demonstration and proof-of-concept engagements at its iForce Solution Centers in Menlo Park, Calif., Paris and Tokyo. The iForce centers are designed to help Sun's customers and partners utilize the company's iForce methodology as the basis for building and deploying individualized, best-of-breed solutions.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at john@watersworks.com.

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