E2open continues its run of acquisitions to better position itself for the growing multienterprise "sense and respond" market. Orchestro's capabilities add downstream demand data visibility and orchestration.
On 27 June 2016, E2open, a provider of network integration, supply chain visibility, and collaborative planning and execution offerings, announced it acquired Orchestro, a demand signal repository provider, for an undisclosed amount.
Orchestro's offerings include the harmonization of retail point of sale (POS), syndicated, third-party and enterprise resource planning (ERP) data, data visibility and analytics capabilities for use in downstream data collaboration between retailers and manufacturers. This acquisition follows March 2016's acquisition of Terra Technology, a provider of demand sensing, forecasting and inventory optimization capabilities.
With this acquisition, E2open is filling gaps in its integrated planning vision. It now has demand and supply-side planning connected to granular channel data such as retail POS. The addition of Orchestro is complementary and adds credibility to E2open's desire to build out what Gartner calls "respond planning," by bringing demand signal repositories, demand sensing and short-term supply planning together, eventually leveraging the E2O multienterprise platform.
Respond planning focuses on sensing supply chain events, establishing the best way to respond to them, while remaining aligned to corporate goals. It relies on strong supply chain visibility, aligned with granular demand, supply planning and allocation capabilities, supported by strong integration capabilities to access data ideally across a multienterprise supply chain. E2open has acquired most of the key pieces now, and can continue working on migrating them onto its B2B/visibility platform. The key differentiator now for E2open is its vision to support multienterprise respond planning.
E2open will continue to sell its acquisitions as stand-alone products. While this may initially look like it is pursuing a portfolio approach, it will become more of a platform play. Gartner sees that companies increasingly want integrated planning capabilities connected to strong execution visibility. E2open is ahead of the curve in developing its vision for multienterprise respond planning converged with supply chain visibility. Selling integrated planning (especially respond planning) is harder as it crosses functional boundaries. E2open will need to focus on how to do this effectively.
The recent acquisitions focus on the retail and broad consumer goods industries. E2open will continue to grow its presence here before expanding in other industries.
An Orchestro-specific roadmap has yet to be developed. However, Gartner believes E2open will move to a common UI and data pool eventually, as it does with its other acquisitions. Factor this timeline into your technology roadmap where relevant.
Investigate how E2open's other planning capabilities can utilize your partners' POS data to better align demand and supply — particularly in terms of end-to-end respond planning and promotional planning.
As E2open continues to improve its financial position and executes on its vision for integrated respond planning, consider Orchestro's acquisition as generally positive.
If you "make to stock," examine how Orchestro (along with Terra Technology) can improve demand visibility and forecast accuracy, particularly in a multichannel environment.
If you "make to order" or are outside of the retail/consumer packaged goods industry, monitor to see if E2open moves its focus on these verticals beyond its supply planning capability from the icon-scm acquisition.