A new division within Invensys, Baan Process Solutions
Group (BPSG), will be made up of the PRISM and Protean
process ERP products currently under the Wonderware division, plus
the Baan Dimensions and Baan IV Process
product targeted at Food and Beverage, Chemicals, Plastics, Primary Metals,
Pulp & Paper, and Cable & Wire industries. Robert Thomas is the name of
the executive who will head-up BPSG. Thomas is a long term Invensys executive
with a long career in the process automation industry. He has experience
in automation research and development, sales and customer service.
the new division, sales and development of both PRISM and Protean is planned
to continue. While some of the individuals who held sales and development
positions for these products left shortly after the Fall 2000 decision
to de-emphasize these products by Wonderware management, a portion have
been retained on long term retention plans keyed to delivering the Protean
3.2 release. Invensys states that they will retain significant additional
resources in the areas of development, sales and marketing.
marketplace had assumed the PRISM and Protean Process ERP products were
basically dead (see Process
ERP Market Loses PRISM and Protean). They had passed from Marcam
to Wonderware who announced a significant cut in the dedicated resources,
including all sales and most of the development and support groups. With
the formation of BPSG, Invensys is attempting to breath new life into
PRISM and Protean.
also announced that a series of existing Baan product suites would be
added to PRISM and Protean over the next few years. The suites had been
part of the Baan product and were repackaged recently into the iBaan
suite of products. The product suites include e-business, supply chain
and business intelligence.
iBaan e-business suite includes iSell for customers, sales VPs,
account executives, iBuy for suppliers, purchasing VPs, buyers,
and iPlan for customers, suppliers, logistics VPs, planners. The
iBaan Supply Chain Management suite consists
of a series of modules that cover areas ranging from network design to
forecasting to plant scheduling. Since these modules were designed for
Baan's traditional non-process market, both integration and functionality
for the PRISM process customer base will be a challenge for Baan. A Business
Intelligence offering, called iBaanBIS, will address Enterprise
Reporting and Tactical Intelligence. Enterprise Reporting
is built upon Crystal Reports while Tactical Intelligence
uses a combination of technologies including Business Objects.
Invensys will also integrate Hyperion Financial products
to Protean and Prism, as it already does for Baan Dimensions and Baan
IV Process. Integration will be accomplished by use of Baan's OpenWorld
integration technology. This XML oriented technology will allow integration
and consistentency with Baan's other announced product integrations.
PRISM and Protean alive and well? The market will have to wait and see.
It is difficult to access the market impact of this announcement.
who sell replacement solutions for the PRISM ERP system will see minimal
impact. The incoming executive will determine how the Protean product
line will be positioned in the market and, in turn, its attractiveness
to new customers. Thomas emphasizes the fact that two thirds of Invensys
Software Systems' total revenue comes from process industry customers.
He states that Invensys considers this market to be its core market.
who offer add-on products that satisfy the needs addressed by the plans
involving the iBaan products and who are pre-integrated will see a new
competitor, BPSG. These vendors must evaluate their relative position
and rededicate themselves to the PRISM and Protean communities to be successful
in this market.
Process companies looking for a new ERP solution should place Protean
on their long list if the focus of their search is operational (versus
administrative or planning) applications. For these companies, this announcement
is not adequate to promote PRISM to their long list. PRISM is still a
circa 1980's product with all the associated pluses (very proven) and
minuses (green screens, 1980's level business function, 1980's technology,
and Protean users who are interested in the functional areas announced
by Baan should consider these products. Users must satisfy themselves
that these products, originally not designed for integration of PRISM
or Protean, will satisfy their business needs, that the integration plans
are robust and that Baan will deliver as announced. These users should
also evaluate the solutions from alternative vendors whose products come
pre-integrated with PRISM or Protean. Although the edge should logically
be given to Baan because they control both PRISM/Protean and the add-on
products, users should test Baan's plans to be satisfied that Baan will
deliver what is promised, when it is promised and with adequate long term
is alive for those companies who already have it installed and have decided
to keep it. Those companies who have PRISM but have already decided to
move to a replacement system may consider keeping PRISM. PRISM users contemplating
discontinuing support for PRISM should be encouraged by these announcements.
These users should discuss this renewed level of commitment to PRISM to
ascertain how PRISM support will bring them value in the future.
users should be encouraged by this announcement. It insures a greater
level of commitment from Invensys than had previously been announced and
creates a centerpiece of the development of a Protean after market.