Yesterday, a report published in Reuters indicates that supply chain technology and planning vendor JDA Software is exploring a sale.  This report has been picked-up by a number of other web sources.

The report which originated from Reuters in Bangalore notes that according to sources familiar with the matter, JPMorgan Chase & Company has been engaged to advise on the process and that this process is already at an advanced stage.  The report indicates that JDA has received interest from multiple parties, including private equity firms and strategic buyers.

This morning, Supply Chain Matters directly reached out to sources directly within JDA and has received a “no comment” response. A lack of full denial usually indicates that there may be some substance to the report.

We have also been contacted by IDC media for additional background comment that is now featured on Computerworld. Our first reaction to this report was surprise, given a number of ongoing developments concerning JDA.  In August, in response to an inquiry from the SEC division of Enforcement and Corporation Finance, JDA had to restate its financial statements for the year ending December 2011.  Yesterday, JDA was scheduled to formally announce its fiscal third quarter quarterly earnings but that was postponed until November 5, because of the severe storm impacting the Northeast and the subsequent closing of equity markets.

When we attended the annual Focus customer conference in May, JDA announced a strategic shift in product strategy with the introduction of the JDA Cloud platform. That was communicated as a multi-year journey. JDA was just beginning to provide customers a unified offering after finally assimilating its 2010 acquisition of i2 Technologies.

JDA would be an attractive catch for a couple of reasons. Over 75 percent of the company’s existing customers stem from manufacturing-centric supply chains.  Of late, JDA has made a more concentrated focus on retail and online fulfillment supply chain support, augmenting replenishment, merchandise planning and integration of supply chain with online multi-channel commerce needs. During Focus 2012, analysts and influencers were provided a demonstration of JDA 3D, a virtualization of a store shelf that integrates directly with back-end supply chain support capabilities.

JDA customers will have to digest this latest news with patience and await further news.  Our gut feel is that further news is imminent.

Hopefully, JDA will not repeat a prior tendency to pre-announce a strategic intent, as it did with the i2 Technologies situation, only after having to go back to the drawing board.

Bob Ferrari