In a move aimed
at strengthening its position in vertical markets, Baan Co. NV announced on
August 31 the acquisition of fellow Dutch business software producer Proloq
Holding BV. Baan and Proloq already have a history of jointly producing and
supplying industry-specific enterprise applications, primarily for the cable
and wire, pulp and paper, and metal industries. Under the terms of the agreement,
Proloq becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Baan, the company said. On August
23 Salomon Smith Barney (SSB) announced an upgrade in their rating of Baan's
stock. In explaining their move, SSB pointed to Baan's improved second quarter
financials, their new management team, and their ambitious new product portfolio.
The week earlier, August 18, Baan hosted their supply chain conference and they
used the opportunity to announce a new suite of supply chain products. According
to the Company, the most significant capabilities of the Baan Supply Chain suite
first global e-business supply chain model with embedded international business
analytics, designed to optimize the supply chain in order to maximize profits
by helping companies reduce international taxes and cross-border tariffs.
open-source Internet-based collaboration with supply chain partners that
is intended to help partners improve business processes, such as order promising
across the enterprise.
analytics that help companies perform real-time monitoring of important
business metrics, such as customer demand.
with Baan ERP, Baan Front Office, Baan E-Enterprise and other competing
enterprise applications, which will help deliver more accurate, timely and
valuable supply chain functionality and planning.
As can be seen
in TEC's note on Baan Co. N.V. ("Baan
- Is the worst over?" August, 1999), these moves are in tune with our vendor
recommendations, and we regard them as positive. Should Baan's new offering
perform as they claim, this would give the Company a very strong product position
in the major growth areas in the enterprise application market. This however,
adds one more challenge to the array of Baan's burning issues, which include
prompt improvement in organization, and quality of training materials and instructors
for the newly released software.
revalidates our recommendations made in TEC's August Technology Note ("Baan
- Is the worst over?" August, 1999). In summary, discrete manufacturing,
project and distribution industries should consider BaanERP due to its comprehensive
functionality in these respective vertical markets. However, any organization
evaluating Baan should consider existing functionality only, and be able to
provide the majority of product support in-house or through a 3rd party, due
to Baan's financial situation.