Thursday, May 22, 2014

But then who would buy Epicor?

As ASUG's Thomas Wailgum rightly calls it, here's the 2014 version of this story...  "8 Reasons Why Microsoft Needs to Buy SAP Right Now."

That would be fun.  Then, to answer the question in the title, maybe Infor buys Epicor, then Oracle buys them both...

So it's a happy ending for all the private equity guys, and the MicroSAP/Epinforacle duopoly plods on, until the valiant open source ERP freedom fighters sneak up on them and turn their market upside down!

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Quoth the raven: Epicor

Wow, that didn't take long.  The WSJ reports Apax Partners is putting Epicor on the block, hoping to find a sucker^H^H^H^H  buyer that will give them a 3x return on their investment in as many years.  Not a lot of detail yet, but here's one nugget that Graveyard readers will enjoy:
In 2012 and 2013, Epicor issued $340 million and $350 million of new debt respectively, to fund dividends to its private-equity owner
Again, wow.  They loaded up this already-unwieldly behemoth with MORE DEBT to pay themselves, TWICE.  And now, not halfway through the year, and only seven months after bringing in a quick-flip CEO, they're looking to unload it for good.

I'll start the bidding at one dollar.

p.s. - got a busy day today, but I know I've got at least one stanza of poetry in me that will pay off the title of this post.  Stay tuned...

UPDATE:  OK, here we go, from the perspective of an outside auditor:

Once upon a business dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a curious volume of financial bore — 
  Not completely understanding, in deeper debt ever landing, 
Why the owners keep demanding, dividends, fees, and ever more.
“’Tis some error,” I muttered, “standing the company increasing poor  —
  Only this and nothing more.”

“Profit!” said I, “thing forgotten!—profit still, if books are rotten—
Customers damned, or tempest tossed by greed and ill ashore,
  Business plans of all acquiring, in deeper debt ever miring,
Execs and bankers rarely firing—tell me truly, I implore—
Who is—who is this foul firm?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”
  Quoth the Raven “Epicor.”

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Ein Fuß auf dem Friedhof?

That is, of course, German for "one foot in the Graveyard"... much confusion and conflicting information about what SAP is and is not doing with its much-discussed BusinessByDesign offering.

Are they pulling the plug on new development?  Maybe.  But as Cindy Jutras noted in a post last month, rumors have been swirling about the product for many months.  But things have picked up - and it kind of feels like the moment where the President says he's got total confidence in the Secretary of Screwups, right before he throws him/her under the bus.

Has ByDesign been successful?  Well, not by most peoples' definition of success.  Ben Kepes over at Forbes faults the SAP culture, which strikes me as fair.  This is, after all, the company who gave us a product called All-in-One.

Typical of the coverage are these posts by AllThingsD and Accounting Technology, which cite original reporting by the German business mag WirtschaftsWoche.  Among the widely-repeated and uncontested factoids therein:

  • 7 years of development work, at a cost of 3 billion Euros (that's $4.1 billion)
  • a grand total of 785 customers to date
  • annual revenue of 23 million Euros ($31.6 million)

So that works out to $5,257,834.39 cost per customer.  Far from groovin'.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Qureshi out at Epicor, Graveyard veteran takes over

After claiming to have shepherded the combined Activant-Epicor over the $1 billion yard line (has anyone seen this verified anywhere?), CEO Pervez Qureshi is "stepping down to pursue new opportunities," according to the company.  Here's the dynamic young upstart who's going to provide transformational leadership for the next decade at Epicor:

Just kidding!  That's Joseph L. Cowan, who, as the Epicor PR notes, most recently "served as President and CEO of Online Resources, a leading provider of online banking and full-service payment solutions, until its acquisition by ACI Worldwide in March 2013. Previously, he served as CEO of Interwoven, Inc., a global leader in content management software, until its acquisition by Autonomy Corporation plc in 2009."

Here are some other places where he's "served as CEO...until its acquisition" by somebody:
  • Manugistics
  • EXE Technologies
  • Invensys
  • Wonderware
Anyone want to guess what his marching orders from his private equity overlords are?  I'm guessing the following "invite" went out in the past 24 hours:


Join my network on LinkedIn

To: Charles Phillips, CEO Infor
Date: October 8, 2013
I'd like to add you to my professional network.

- Joseph L. Cowan

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Deconstructing Sage

Or is it decomposing?

The latest news in the, ahem, turnover in the Sage corner of the ERP Graveyard relates to the business unit formerly known as Sage Construction (based in the UK), now trading as something called "Eque2."  Does this involve horses in some fashion?  Are they building glue factories?

Apparently, management - backed by a UK-based private equity group called ISIS Equity Partners - bought out the business from their formerly acquisitive overlords, including all ongoing product development for Sage ERP EVision, Sage ERP Intuita, Sage Estimating, Sage Housebuilding, Sage 50 Construction and Sage 200 Construction.

Freed of their corporate shackles, the new owners wasted no time before declaring their dual citizenship:  "As well as being a Sage Business Partner, Eque2 will continue to offer solutions with Microsoft at their core."