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Baan wins first big contract since Invensys takeover

The Dutch software maker signs a multimillion-dollar deal with a U.K. defense agency to supply enterprise resource planning and Web-based front-office applications.

Troubled software maker Baan has signed its first major deal since being acquired by Invensys.

The Dutch software company said it recently won a multimillion-dollar contract with the United Kingdom's Defense Aviation Repair Agency (DARA), a government-owned aerospace and defense facility based in London. The deal comes just one month after the Invensys purchase became final.

Under the deal, Baan will provide DARA with its core suite of enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications, which automate a company's financial, human resources and manufacturing activities. The order also includes Baan's Web-based front-office applications for functions such as e-commerce and fulfillment. The contract will add about 3,000 new customers to Baan's base of about 15,000.

Like a number of its competitors in the ERP market, including Oracle, SAP and PeopleSoft, Baan has turned its focus to the development of more lucrative Web-based business applications that automate front-office activities such as marketing, sales and customer service.

Baan, headquartered in both Barneveld, Netherlands, and Herndon, Va., has suffered through some rough financial times over the past few months, posting a series of losses and bidding farewell to top company executives. Earlier this year, London-based Invensys acquired the beleaguered software company for roughly $708 million in cash.

Invensys' products and services range from advanced control systems and networks that automate industrial plants to complete power systems for the telecommunications industry. The company folded Baan into its new software systems division.