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68% of European Directors expect to increase spending on collaborative projects during the next 12 months

J.D. Edwards¸ a leading provider of agile, collaborative solutions for the Internet economy, today announced the fourth phase of research, conducted independently for J.D. Edwards, into the state of collaborative and electronic trading projects in Europe.

The research found that the majority of European directors (79%) do not perceive technology as the principal barriers to the creation of electronic relationships with customers and suppliers. The findings are based on interviews with 100 finance, purchasing, logistics and operations directors from across the UK, Spain, Germany, Italy, France and the Netherlands, all of whom were asked the following questions:

1. Describe the biggest hurdles preventing your company from having more electronic interaction with its customers and suppliers.

The survey asked if company issues, customer attitudes to e-business, technology or security issues represent the biggest hurdle to electronic relationships with customers and suppliers.

Just one in five (21%), of the total pan-European sample, listed technology issues as the most significant hurdle, suggesting that internal processes and attitudes are ready for collaborative commerce. Only 26% listed company issues and 21% cited customer attitudes to e-business as a major hurdle to the creation of electronic relationships with customers and suppliers.

50% of those surveyed in Spain stated that there are no hurdles to collaboration. The German and Swiss respondents list customer attitudes, technology and security issues as equal hurdles. Company issues are not perceived as a hurdle in Germany at all. The opposite is true in the UK, where 42% of directors surveyed cite internal company issues as a major hurdle to electronic interaction with customers and suppliers.

Surprisingly, just 14% of the 100 European managing directors or finance directors surveyed list security as a major obstacle to collaboration, the same number believe there to be no hurdles.

2. Compared to the last 12 months, do you expect your company's spending over the next twelve months on electronic and collaborative projects to; increase by more than 10%, increase slightly, be unchanged, decrease slightly, decrease by more than 10%?

The survey indicates that businesses remain focused on long term business goals, despite recent economic pressures. Two thirds of those surveyed plan to increase e-business related spending over the next twelve months. 21% of respondents expect an increase of more than 10% and 47% anticipate a slight increase in spending.

Holland, Germany and Spain have the most ambitious plans for collaborative projects over the next twelve months, with 30% of those questioned in each country expecting to increase spending in by more than 10%. By sector, manufacturing and utilities, expect to increase spending most aggressively when compared with finance/hi-tech, and retail/consumer businesses.

3. Over the past three years, would you say that your company's electronic interaction with partners and suppliers in your supply chain has; significantly increased, slightly increased, stayed about the same or significantly decreased?

Only one company reported a decrease in electronic interaction with partners and suppliers. 85% of respondents had experienced an increase, with the majority reporting a significant increase.

Those surveyed in the UK and France reflect the collaboration trend most strongly, with 70 and 65% respectively reporting a significant increase in their electronic interaction with partners and suppliers, 55% of those questioned in Holland predict comparable take-up. No single company questioned in Germany has experienced a decrease in electronic interaction.

92% of companies with a turnover more than $250m per annum report an increase in their electronic interaction along the supply chain compared to 73% of companies with turnover less than $250m, reflectively the fact that a significant opportunity exists for the collaborative software providers in the mid-market.

"One of the remarkable findings of the J.D. Edwards study," says Jyoti Banerjee, an independent analyst and commentator on the trends in the business software market, "is that technology is not perceived to be a major barrier to building collaboration between Europe's enterprises. The problems are more likely to be that of mindset and culture. Now is the time for Europe's businesses to attack the cultural and business problems that prevent them from taking advantage of the tremendous opportunities afforded by electronic collaboration."

About J.D. Edwards

J.D. Edwards is a leading provider of agile, collaborative solutions for the Internet economy. The Company's open solutions give organisations the freedom to choose how they assemble their internal applications and how they collaborate with partners and customers across the supply chain to increase competitive advantage.

Founded in 1977, J.D. Edwards is headquartered in Denver. Additional information can be obtained by contacting the Company via the Internet at http://www.jdedwards.com or at 0118 9091808.

J.D. Edwards is a registered trademark of J.D. Edwards & Company. The names of all other products and services of J.D. Edwards used herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of J.D. Edwards World Source Company.

Contact details:
Trevor Salomon
J.D. Edwards
0118 909 1808
trevor_salomon@jdedwards.com

Giles Peddy/Vicki Entwistle
The Weber Group Europe
020 7240 6189 gpeddy/ventwistle@webergroup.co.uk




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