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February 7, 1999


By CBR Staff Writer

Ambitious UK supply chain management software company Kewill Systems Plc has announced plans to buy JobBOSS Software Inc for $18.4m, its third American acquisition in 18 months. Minneapolis, Minnesota-based JobBOSS produces enterprise resource planning software for specialty contract manufacturing outsourcers. Kewill is planning to integrate elements of its supply chain software into the JobBOSS product. JobBOSS software is based on NT and Kewill expects to launch a Sequel Server 7 (SQL7) version this summer. Richard Broad, Kewill’s financial director says that the latest buy advances the firm’s strategy of becoming the major player in the third tier ERP market. He says the company’s clients are generally firms with revenues of around $100m to $150m. Broad looks to the small to medium size company sector as the growth market in ERP, claiming that his clients need the same functionality as larger ERP vendors offer and says that Kewill has ambitions to be the affordable SAP. He claims to be undeterred by the entry of tier 1 players such as Baan NV and SAP AG into his market space. Broad cites the way that Kewill sells software as the reason that the larger firms can’t compete as effectively in the third tier sector. The company sells its products through telephone selling, Broad claims that larger firm’s sales teams are too cumbersome and not used to selling $50,000 to $70,000 worth of software over the phone. JobBOSS will continue to operate as an independent unit. The acquisition should be completed within two weeks, subject to approval by JobBOSS shareholders.

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