Computer Associates, Baan Japan and EXE Announce Strategic Alliance to Provide Total Supply Chain Management Solutions

Event Summary

On October 4, Computer Associates International, Inc. (CA), Baan Japan, and EXE Inc. announced a strategic alliance designed to enable Japanese companies to create total solutions for the rapidly growing supply chain management (SCM) field. The companies will jointly market the new solutions, which will be built on Unicenter TNG, CA's industry-leading enterprise management software.

The new SCM solutions will incorporate Baan Japan's Supply Chain Solution and EXE's Nexus II to create a Japanese-focused supply chain management solution. Nexus II is an integrated distribution package utilizing object-oriented design technology. "This announcement really demonstrates Baan's global best-of-breed marketing strategy, which is to integrate its enterprise platform products with the premier solution providers," said Thomas N. Erickson, managing director, Baan Japan. "Along with CA, the leading supplier of end-to-end enterprise management solutions, and EXE, whose logistics system solution has the capability to excel in Japan, we can help define what we expect to be the de facto standard in SCM solutions in Japan." "After deploying supply chain management, the flow of manufacturing, sales and logistics becomes mission-critical, where a small problem can affect the total enterprise system," said Sumio Tanaka, president of EXE. "By this measure, integrated enterprise management is the lifeline of supply chain management. By leveraging the functionality of Unicenter TNG and Nexus II, we can quickly build low-cost and high-quality SCM solutions. This partnership will bring our clients the efficiency and reliability they require." The alliance will enable CA to extend Unicenter TNG to the rapidly growing SCM market segment. CA will focus on the manufacturing, logistics and service areas of the industry.

Market Impact

CA and Baan are not strangers to each other. When CA acquired ASK's Manman several years ago, Baan was subcontracted to develop the source code, after ASK's own development failure. This relationship expansion between CA and Baan, with the addition of EXE, will have the following effects:

  • CA supplements its ability to deliver supply chain management solutions to their customers in the reviving Japanese market. CA also obtains better coverage of the supply chain management market by strengthening an arrangement with vendors strong in SCM planning and execution products, and who have previous experience in integrating disparate enterprise applications components.

  • Baan and EXE gain a much needed boost to their indirect channel, and the opportunity to increase both their revenues, customer base, and visibility in the enterprise software markets outside their strongholds in Europe and North America, respectively.

User Recommendations

Current and prospective Japanese customers of CA, Baan, and EXE should exercise caution when evaluating these vendors as providers of complementary solutions. Improved technological integration is seldom guaranteed by joint marketing arrangements, and only comes after the arrangement yields considerable implementation experience. Furthermore, users are advised to identify and negotiate in advance the main contractor that will assume overall accountability for the project. Failing to do so may result with customers being caught in a middle of contractors' recriminations and finger pointing when things start to go awry.

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