is turning to some big guns for
help in boosting its enterprise resource planning system business.
And there are no guns bigger than Microsoft and IBM.
Baan, with U.S. headquarters in Reston, Virginia, announced today from its
European user group conference in
The Hague, Netherlands, strategic partnerships with Microsoft and IBM, new
products, and multilanguage versions of its software.
Baan and Microsoft are teaming up to offer mutual clients a single license
at a fixed rate for Baan's software system running on the Microsoft platform.
Called the Baan Enterprise Software Agreement, users can pay for a single
license that will get them Baan's suite of back office and front office
applications, Microsoft's Exchange Server messaging system, SQL Server
database, and Site Server Commerce Edition for Windows NT.
The licensing agreement gives both companies a huge boost in their
respective strategies to gain market share in the ERP space.
Baan gains Microsoft's vast network of resellers, an important piece of
Baan's strategy to bolster its place in the market by creating a huge
global network of resellers. It is also a cornerstone of Baan's push to
gain a large chunk of the middle market space, companies with annual
revenue of less than $1 billion. The Microsoft platform is a popular
software infrastructure for smaller companies because it is relatively cheap.
For Microsoft, the deal goes to the heart of its strategy to be the plumbing underneath
ERP systems. Microsoft was rumored to be in the market to buy
an ERP software vendor, with Baan topping the rumor list. But analysts
contend Microsoft is laying a foundation to be more the provider of
infrastructure than the ERP software supplier. This licensing agreement is
in line with that strategy.
The software license will start at $99 per desktop per month over three
years for customers buying licenses for over 5,000 users. The price
includes the products, upgrades, maintenance, and support.
Knowing that Microsoft is not the only game in town, Baan is also closely
aligning itself with IBM. Baan announced today that it has ported its BaanERP software system to IBM's
AS/400 and IBM's S/390 server systems. IBM, later this month, is to
announce Baan products have been ported to the DB2 database as well. IBM is
also launching a service and support program for Baan products running on
IBM platforms of the AS/400, S/390, RS6000 for Unix, and IBM's NetFinity
for Microsoft's Windows NT.
IBM is creating three Baan Implementation Centers to help speed customer
implementations of Baan products on IBM hardware. IBM's plan is to
preconfigure Baan software to specific industries and preload it onto
servers. IBM will then customize the software from that point to a
"ERP is not a product but a set of processes designed to unlock potential
through strategic enablement by an experienced team of technology providers
based on a balance of industry, technical, and domain expertise," said Greg
Corgan, general manager of IBM's Global ERP program.
The program is to begin early next year.
In other news from the conference, Baan announced a Web-based training
program, nine new language versions of its front office software, and the
launch of a beta version of Baan Enterprise Decision Manager software
system. Baan also unveiled the Euro Scan, a software system that scans a
company's existing software systems to test its readiness for the European
conversion to a single currency next year.