Redditch, Worcestershire-based AT&T Istel Ltd has joined forces with Hewlett-Packard Co and Informix Corp to market the AT&T Corp division’s new process manufacturing resource planning software, named Saltus. It is initially planned for the UK, but an AT&T Istel spokesman says that the companies will be selling on the European continent before the end of […]
Redditch, Worcestershire-based AT&T Istel Ltd has joined forces with Hewlett-Packard Co and Informix Corp to market the AT&T Corp division’s new process manufacturing resource planning software, named Saltus. It is initially planned for the UK, but an AT&T Istel spokesman says that the companies will be selling on the European continent before the end of this year, and in North America in 1995. The spokesman also said the partnership provides that any one of the three partners will be free to gmay take the lead on making a sale. We’re going through training for our people on Hewlett-Packard and Informix and vice versa, but from a customer point of view, there will be continuity.
Vagaries of raw materials
A Hewlett-Packard customer will still deal with Hewlett-Packard, he said. In its market research for the multi-site, client-server architected product, which went into development at the end of 1992, AT&T Istel has estimated that the Saltus product can save the process manufacturing industry up to #500 per year in reduced manufacturing costs. Bob Chambers, AT&T Istel’s channel marketing manager for Saltus, said that the software is specifically oriented to handle recipes and formulas, with all of the vagaries of raw materials required in process manufacturing. Initially we have focused on process manufacturing because we believe that, if you have a good product for the process industry, it can be adapted to discrete manufacturing, and that is part of our longer term strategy, Chambers said. He also added that AT&T Istel chose the process industry because it has historically been ill-served by applications providers. Developed using ANSI-standard C and the Jackson structured programming methodology, the Saltus system, Chambers says, will be available on IBM Corp AIX Unix systems in the third quarter and on Digital Equipment Corp’s OSF/1 at a later, as yet unspecified date. Chambers says Saltus’s orientation to process manufacturing makes it more complementary than competitive to the Manufacturing Requirements Planning software from the Walldorf-based German software giant SAP AG, with which Hewlett-Packard has close co-operation. Still, SAP’s software is used in wide variety of manufacturing industries and, as AT&T Istel adapts Saltus to discrete manufacturing, it will become more and more competitive with SAP’s wildly popular package. In any case, Hewlett-Packard intends to remain neutral. Says Nigel Batterton, Hewlett-Packard UK’s channel marketing manager: Hewlett-Packard will not sell either SAP or Saltus. We don’t sell applications software. We will go to market with Saltus as we do with SAP, do lead generation, make sales calls together and run the seminars. But we won’t advocate either one or the other; it’s not our business to be in manufacturing consulting. If a customer asks for a manufacturing software package, we would give them a list of the possibilities and it would then be up to them to choose. Batterton says that Hewlett-Packard would not make any strong technical distinctions between the two products. They are both new generations, one built from scratch the other built on top of R2. We’re just trying to build a portfolio of ‘best in class’ solutions. SAP is a proven product. We believe Saltus will also be a successful product.