HighJump Jumps into Omni-channel


Acquisition of Nexternal ecommerce solution enhances competitiveness.


HighJump joins the ranks of the ‘acquisitive software companies’ with a new acquisition, Nexternal. This positions HighJump for competition in the Omni-channel market.

The last few years have witnessed an extension of the supply chain model — beyond the SCORE-ish — plan, make, store, move — to an integrative flow of dynamic and market-facing operations.1 Firms like Descartes, JDA, Symphony-EYC, Manhattan and HighJump have extended their platforms to include functions that were once part of CRM or ecommerce suites, to support the dynamics of custom ordering and Omni-fulfillment.

This, obviously, was not a deal done to augment a customer list, since HighJump has one of the largest install bases today in supply chain, but rather to add the ecommerce front end that many HighJump customers may need for Omni-channel.

Nexternal brings both B2C and B2B ecommerce functions for catalogue, mobile and web, as well as phone/ call center/ customer support. Features include Amazon marketplace and setting up buying groups and club channels. Nexternal provides design studio services and functionality for sellers as they rethink how they want to present their many faces — channels — to their market places. They also support modern social and referential platforms, such as Pinterest, Facebook, etc., demystifying these services and making them accessible and useful for their customers.

HighJump already has a foundation to support complex fulfillment and B2B electronic ordering (EDI) with TrueCommerce, which hosts thousands of EDI connections. So Nexternal will be there to help them with the modern world of consumer shopping, which today, B2B businesses also want to embrace.

The move makes sense for HighJump, since the traditional competition (Manhattan, JDA, Infor and even their ERP partners like NetSuite) have released substantial Omni-strategies.

Currently domain leaders — HighJump, JDA and Manhattan, for example — trump the ERPs when it comes to expertise in Omni-fulfillment. Even though ERPs acquired or built ecommerce front ends such as Oracle2 and SAP3 these are bolted onto their ERPs. ERPs don’t necessarily offer a more integrative, seamless approach,4 and they lack the consultative horsepower that domain fulfillment leaders bring to projects. The so-called WMS market has always had a big component of consulting/implementation revenue, and these domain leaders have the fulfillment experts on staff to ensure the right foundation is put in place (read in our last issue Omni Channel). Nexternal also offers these services, so should continue the tradition of not leaving customers behind or overcharging them for implementation of such services.


1 This is an area we predicted a decade ago with Parallax View and other integrative models such as Supply Chain Orchestrator and new market-driven supply chain models. — Return to article text above
2 Oracle’s Siebel
3 Hybris is a ‘recent’ acquisition bySAP.
4 NetSuite is an exception here since ‘the web site is the system.’ They rewrite the code from their acquisitions, so these are not spaghetti codes with new GUIs, or as they call them ‘hair balls,’ but rather a seamless single instance of the enterprise. Infor has been working on similar strategies in certain industries – complete rewrites into a single instance multi-tenant enterprise solution for customers. Infor’s warehouse system can stand the competition against domain warehouse leaders, as well.

To view other articles from this issue of the brief, click here.

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