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JDA buys management apps

The maker of business process automation software for the retail industry pays $44 million for Comshare's merchandise management applications.

JDA Software is helping Comshare lighten its load.

Phoenix-based JDA, a maker of business process automation software for the retail industry, is paying $44 million for Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Comshare's merchandise management applications.

Comshare is refocusing its efforts on its core financial analysis tools. While the company has turned a small profit the past two quarters, it posted dismal numbers the year prior. Profits the third quarter ended March 31 were $100,000 compared to losses of $6.2 million the like quarter a year earlier. As a result, Comshare began restructuring which included jettisoning a product line, namely the retail management tools.

That's good news for JDA which can now add Comshare's Arthur line of decision support tools to its enterprise resource planning system for retailers. The Arthur package includes software for monitoring sales performance, planning strategy, assortment planning for targeting different customers with different products, allocating products, and organizing data within an application.

The products will come in handy as JDA faces stiff competition in the retail market from big name players like PeopleSoft or SAP which are going after the $3 billion retail industry full bore.

In fact, PeopleSoft yesterday announced it is buying its long time partner Intrepid Systems, a competitor of JDA that makes merchandise management software.