E2open continues its run of acquisitions in support of its vision to create a multienterprise supply chain visibility and planning platform. The acquisition of Steelwedge adds much needed S&OP capabilities for supply chain leaders to evaluate.
On 13 February 2017, E2open, a provider of network integration, supply chain visibility, and planning and execution offerings, announced it acquired Steelwedge, a supply chain planning provider, for an undisclosed sum.
This combination will give E2open differentiation in the market as it will combine multienterprise supply chain integration and visibility with multienterprise respond planning and optimize planning. Founded in 2000, Steelwedge released its PlanStreaming platform in 2015. It includes S&OP, financial planning, demand sensing, sales planning, supply chain planning, supply sensing and visibility, and exception management, integrated to provide end-to-end S&OP, as well as demand and supply planning. Since the launch, Steelwedge had retrenched into its high-tech and discrete manufacturing roots and needed to regain its market visibility.
This deal follows respond-planning-oriented acquisitions by E2open of icon-scm, Terra Technology and Orchestro. E2open has been building up its planning capabilities from the execution visibility layer. With the Steelwedge acquisition, it gets into end-to-end optimize planning, and degrees of configure planning. Optimize planning focuses on developing the best S&OP for the current supply chain. Configure planning envisions the future supply chain. Respond planning focuses on the best way to follow the S&OP plan. This acquisition fits with E2open's vision of becoming an integrated cloud-based multienterprise supply chain management platform, which Gartner believes mature companies would see value from.
E2open is increasingly used in S&OE activities (creating, monitoring and course correcting the short-term plan). With the addition of Steelwedge, it will support mature S&OP activities aligned with short-term granular plans. It will leverage the E2open multienterprise platform once the relevant integration work is completed.
There is overlap between the vendors' functionality, such as demand sensing, demand planning and supply-side respond planning, which will result in some rationalization. For the value of the acquisition to be realized, Steelwedge needs to be migrated to E2net as soon as possible.
E2open intends to sell the offerings stand-alone while it works to integrate them. E2open has successfully integrated its previous planning acquisitions onto E2net relatively quickly. Gartner expects the same to happen with Steelwedge, albeit the level of complexity is higher this time. E2open and Steelwedge know each other well as former partners. Initial focus will be on getting Steelwedge onto E2net (for the multienterprise integration and canonical data mapping) and using the new Harmony user interface. Subsequently, the Steelwedge planning engines will be integrated with the existing E2open planning engines. Factor integration timelines into your technology roadmaps where relevant.
Supply chain leaders responsible for supply chain and operations technology:
Investigate how E2open's multienterprise integration and visibility capabilities can add value to your SC technology roadmap.
As E2open continues to improve its financial position, invests in, and executes on its vision for an integrated SCM cloud platform, monitor Steelwedge's acquisition as additive for more mature supply chains.
If you are using E2open for S&OE activities, use the addition of the Steelwedge SCP and S&OP capabilities to enable a fuller CORE footprint in support of a more mature supply chain.