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November 12, 1997updated 03 Sep 2016 6:59pm

BAAN BREAKS ERP SOFTWARE INTO COMPONENTS

By CBR Staff Writer

Like it’s been saying it will for about three years now, Baan Co NV is finally going to follow rival SAP AG by breaking up its monolithic Enterprise Resource Planning software into components, which it says will enable it to extend its products out into the enterprise beyond the traditional ERP systems. That’s certainly the only way Baan will be able to continue its 100% growth rate in the long term. Baan says the component strategy will make it easier for customers to migrate to new product releases, and to integrate third party applications – support from ISVs is key to this strategy. Likewise to enable customers to handle a stream of new product releases it, rather than turn to third party modules, it must package its software in such a way that users can easily and incrementally iterate their systems, using components. Baan says it will deliver the first of its components mid-1998 in Baan V, which will be packaged as discrete components for finance, warehousing and configuration. As well as applications, Baan will componentize its Business Object Interfaces and Extended Middleware Architecture, which will provide a framework for integrating both Baan and third party applications. The Putten, Netherlands company has also announced a new family of products for global supply chain planning, arising from its acquisition of Canadian Berclain Inc last year (CI No 2,916). The Baan SYNC series is designed to bridge the gap between transaction-based ERP systems and planning engines which enable resource optimization. The new suite comprises three integrated applications for constraint-based planning, scheduling and shop floor execution. These will also be available in the middle of next year. Baan says by providing this constraints-based planning, it will make it far easier for users to integrate into their Baan ERP systems, although those that want to keep their third party planning systems, will also be able to integrate with Baan through open interfaces. Baan says its V release adds twice the functionality in Baan IV but has 20% less code. 50% of Baan V code is new. Baan says it’s aiming to be a $2bn company by the year 2000 by mixing in new services.

Shopping in Europe

Baan Co NV’s latest acquisition, sales force automation software company Aurum Software Inc (CI No 3,161) has been out shopping itself, and has bought 75-person Danish firm Beologic A/S, a provider of interactive selling and sales configuration systems and the 100-strong Matrix, a reseller of sales force automation products with some 500 customers. The acquisitions will be accounted for as a pooling of stock interests, and should complete at the end of the month. Neither will be material to Baan’s earnings. The deal cements an OEM relationship between the two companies, and will see the release of stand alone sales configuration software for the desktop or the internet. The purchase also speeds Aurum’s expansion throughout Europe, bringing its total employees up to 600, 200 in Europe and 400 in the US. The company says it now has the largest sales force for front office applications in Europe. Beologic’s European customers include Bang and Olufsen, Ericsson Diax and ABB Robotics. Aurum also announced its acquisition of Martirx Holdings BV, a European sales automation provider.

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