According to a press release that Oracle just issued, the latest JD Edwards release incorporates the ability to "optimize relationships with suppliers to help ensure the best quality and price for goods and services can help companies lower operating costs. A new module, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Operational Sourcing, helps automate the process of obtaining and awarding bids after a Request for Proposal (RFP) or Request for Information (RFI) is issued. Fully integrated with all the JD Edwards EnterpriseOne Supply Management solutions, the addition of operational sourcing functionality means companies can efficiently manage all phases of the supplier lifecycle, from critical sourcing decisions to supplier payments." IT Jungle has some additional information on this new product release as well.
In my view, incorporating basic sourcing and eRFX capability into the core of JD Edwards (even if the feature / function capabilities are not leading edge) is a serious shot across the bow of all of the On-Demand E-Sourcing vendors such as Procuri, Iasta, Perfect, Verticalnet and Ariba that are also gunning for the middle market. Up until now, nearly all industry pundits (myself included) have lauded the power that On-Demand Spend Management solutions will bring to middle market organizations. But now that the AS-400 set will have a reasonably priced installed E-Sourcing capability to also choose from (as a simple add-on module from JD Edwards), it will be a fascinating experiment to watch whether On-Demand approaches maintain their early lead in the middle market Spend Management race. Personally, I've learned over my years handicapping the enterprise software race never to discount the loyalty of JD Edwards customers. And now that Oracle is claiming that it will support JD Edwards users past 2013 (the year it previously said that it would force users to adopt the Oracle eBusiness suite or face limited or no product support) it will be an even more interesting development to watch. I'll be curious to see what ex-Oracle procurement guru Dave Stephens has to write on the subject.