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Monday, March 11, 2002

MNCs, get your act together
Sumesh Raizada

DESPITE the fact that computers were in industrial and commercial applications since decades, their utility and importance has increased only after the growth in the Internet and Web-related services. Today we can hardly imagine any manufacturing, marketing, finance or human resource activity without the utilisation of IT services. The Web-related software products have now become a boon for the large enterprises having sales offices, distribution outlets and production units at multiple locations where data can now be transferred uninterrupted without any delays.

Similarly, in multinational companies having their units scattered all over the world far away from the central office, the sharing of information and data has become much simplified and quicker due to business software application. The immediate availability of data pertaining to accounts, manufacturing, purchasing, despatches and sales through the Web-enabled software has improved productivity and decision making considerably. Depending upon the customer requirement and specific applications, the software solutions are commonly referred to as ERP, SCM, CRM, etc. One of the leading companies that provide these solutions globally is J.D.Edwards. Its products have application in customer relationship management, supply chain management, financial management and real estate management.


J.D.Edwards is a US based firm, which develop and implement software solutions on enterprise resource planning, supply and distribution network, technologies, services and business application. The JDE products and solutions are applied in manufacturing, distribution and retailing, real estate, electronics, construction and service. Some of the companies where its products and software solutions have been applied are Casio computer Co., Fox studios, Turner industries, Ventura foods, etc.

J.D. Edwards offers two major product platforms for its clients, called as WorldSoftware and OneWorld. WorldSoftware is a solution suitable for the IBM AS/400 environment. It makes use of Java and HTML-based GUI to enable interface of existing client/server system. An organisation can incorporate WorldSoftware applications for its employees, customers as well business partners. OneWorld on the other hand is a network-centric, object-oriented solution. It can work on a wide variety of hardware systems and configurations and can adept according to changes, without interrupting processes and information data. In One World technology the data exchange between organisations is done automatically between respective computers. Transactions like bids, orders, bills, payments, etc. are transmitted and updated immediately in all the connected machines. The partner companies share information like manufacturing plans, inventory schedules, shipping details and accounts status.

In India, JDE is operating through its number of business partners and service providers that develops and maintain software solutions for client organisations. CMS is among such business partner, which implements JDE products in companies like Philips, Castrol, Parke Davis, SmithKline Beecham, John Wyeth India, Sony Music, Mobil, etc. Systime Computer Systems, a Mumbai-based software company, is another business provider for JDE products in India. It provides services, support and implementation services to clients at various locations. Systine-J.D.Edwards has recently implemented e-ERP solution called as ActivEra in Hindustan Petroleum Co.Ltd.

Software consultants, business providers as well as client organisation, employ JDE professionals depending upon their expertise and experience in the specific function. ERP consultants working on human resource, manufacturing and finance applications in an organisation must have experience in consulting and HR functions. These professionals are required to develop business solutions for the firm, keeping into consideration taxation laws and government duties. They are also responsible for the automation of the systems related to inventory, purchases, sales and finances, etc. The software solutions developed by these professionals are applied in an organisation to connect its various departments and vendors online.

Those with or without professional qualification in computer, engineering, science, mathematics, management, etc. with training in JDE products can work either as freelance consultants or with the business providers for developing and implementing enterprise solutions for the client. They are also employed with the client organisations for the maintenance and updating of software system at various business units.

JD Edwards Programmer Analyst in a large organisation should possess an experience of JD Edwards (World) ERP applications and JDE modules like Financial and Accounting, Sales Order Management, Inventory Management, Purchase Order and Pricing. The professionals need to have background in manufacturing or distribution functions and should be aware of AS400 CL (Control Language), DB2, DBU Utilities, etc. They need to have sufficient knowledge and exposure to Microsoft office and e-commerce software. The JDE programmer analysts are required to have strong oral and written communications skills. They are also responsible for testing the software system.

Developers are responsible for design and development of solutions with the aid of JDE tools and techniques. They integrate JDE with other working systems and create, modify and implement business solutions at users end. They must have sufficient working knowledge of C++, SQL, and relational databases.

The Technical Advisor works with the JDE software development team for the implementation, data conversion and interfaces with external systems. The candidate should have experience in JDE OneWorld or other software products and must possess a good writing experience. They work on integration, and programming inquiry on Financial and Manufacturing applications. The essential skills for the position includes knowledge of ERW (Enterprise Report Writer), OMW (Object Mgt. Workbench), Financial or Manufacturing Application, etc. Familiarity with JD Edwards Cross Application Development tools and programming Inquiry, Windows NT, Oracle is also desired.

Those working as JD Edwards OneWorld XE Administrator must have problem solving and communication skills, strong analytical and project management aptitude and the ability to work within team environment. They are involved with various aspects of the OneWorld system architecture for the existing system. This includes package deployment, maintaining user profiles, security, software updates and designing distributed processing models, etc

JD Edwards Programmers are responsible for the design, development, implementation, and maintenance of application software in support of the manufacturing activities of the plant. They work with the other departments as well as outside vendors to ensure that all hardware and software components of the system are properly configured. They design technical solutions to meet the functional requirements of the end user specifications.

JDE Consultant must be an experienced AS-400 programmer analyst and is responsible for software implementations, upgrades, conversions, programming and maintenance of existing J.D. Edwards applications. Consulting firms like Pricewaterhouse Coopers and Arthur Andersen, Software firms like Infosys and Wipro, and business partners like Siemens Information Systems have a huge demand for the IT professionals with implementation experience in the JD Edwards.

JDE Application Programmer or Developer may be an engineering graduate or a computer science graduate with a minimum of two to three years experience in software development. Functional consultant should have implementation experience in functional areas like finance, costing, sales and distribution, logistics and human resources. They serve as an implementation consultant providing client-based solutions for end users of JD Edwards World and OneWorld Software. Consultants work with JD Edwards clients to provide needs assessment, installation, set-up, implementation, training and consultation services. They advise clients on application capabilities enabling them to best utilize software modules.

J.D.Edwards offers certification courses on its several financial, manufacturing, service or distribution software. The CRM solution offered comprise of three part series of duration one month each. Those certified in this course can work as customer service manager, system administrator, etc. JDE also offers training on its WorldSoftware to its employees, business partners as well as customers.

Also available are software courses on financial systems, human resources/payroll, distribution/logistics, energy and chemical, manufacturing systems, architecture, engineering and construction

J.D. Edwards instructor led courses include curriculum on accounting and auditing, consulting services, management, personal development, specialised knowledge and applications taxation. The JDE Certification Programs are designed to assess the knowledge and skills of the employees, authorized business partner, consultants and approved customers. These courses are designed to impart training at its education centres as well as at the customer location or through Web conferencing and Web-based training. Some of the authorised training centres in India that are offering training in ERP include Electronics Research & Development Centre of India.