SSA Global Technologies has announced that it will acquire Baan, a 25-year-old ERP company.
Last week Business Objects announced its intention to acquire Crystal Decisions, while PeopleSoft acquired JD Edwards even as it digs its own heels in to stop Oracle's takeover assault.
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SSA Global Technologies targets manufacturing, services, and public sector with a range of ERP applications and CRM, supply chain management and business performance software.
Baan, a wholly owned division of Dutch company Invensys, offers similar software and services to discrete manufacturers in the industrial machinery, electronics, automotive and aerospace sectors.
"It gives SSA a well-respected solution in the discrete industry and good channels to market in Europe where SSA has not been as strong," said John Moore, vice-president and general manager of enterprise services at ARC Advisory Group.
While SSA claims about 10,000 licensees, Baan has about 6,500 with combined licence revenues of approximately $160m.
According to Moore, SSA has been on an acquisition spree in which it picked up InterBiz from Computer Associates and Infinium, a process ERP solution.
"A lot of the solutions they have been buying are based on the IBM AS/400 stack, a mid-tier play, but Baan gives them a technology stack in the Microsoft environment," Moore said.
Greenough said that Baan solutions run on both a Microsoft stack, meaning on top of SQL Server, and IBM's iSeries, the three-year-old replacement to the AS/400.
"If you want to be the largest player in the mid-market you have to have both," Greenough said.
SSA is the largest player in the mid-market and the company has no fear of larger enterprise software suppliers such as Siebel Systems or Manugistics Group.
The technology infrastructure upon which these rival companies have built their pricing model cannot be supported in the long term, said Greenough.
"Technology is a commodity that destroys the Siebel concept of one giant solution," Greenough said.
Ephraim Schwartz writes for InfoWorld