Tuesday, December 05, 2006

SAP acquires Factory Edge

When your blog is called the ERP Graveyard, with images of tombstones and the stench of death everywhere, there's a tendency, perhaps, to accentuate the negative. Today's news brings a nice example of what appears to be more of a positive, strategic acquisition by SAP: the Lean specialist Factory Edge, which after all got seed funding from SAP's own venture fund.

Managing Automation has the details. Give SAP's Sudipta Bhattacharya credit for telling the story well: "We started out two years ago and said shop floor to top floor is key. Phase one involved support for the ISA-95 standard. Next, we needed Lighthammer to get visibility capabilities and analytics. Now, with Factory Logic, we will give people on the plant floor the ability to have a schedule."

Now, if SAP turns around and buys Infor, as Jim Shepherd at AMR has suggested, I reserve the right to take these nice comments back.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Clock ticking on Infor loyalty oath

Computer Reseller News has this amusing piece noting that Infor partners have been given until December 1 to clear their shelves of competing products. Write your own joke about intra-Infor product competition.

Lots of delicious quotes and anecdotes in this story, but here's my favorite:

Another partner who has received the letter said he and others are trying to get a look at the vendor's new reseller contract to better evaluate the situation.

So we want you to promise total exclusivity and loyal devotion to us, and in return, we'll get you a copy of your contract real soon now!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Very good analysis of PEG-funded graveyard activity

The redoubtable Jim Shepherd and his team at AMR Research have published a research note that lays out a nice overview of the motivations and activity of private equity groups like Golden Gate Capital in the ERP Graveyard market. It appears to be available to the general public here - highly recommended.

He concludes that the most logical exit for Golden Gate investors, for example, might well be a sale to SAP. But I'd prefer their Redwood Shores competitor - because of course, you could then call the company Inforacle. Take a look at their logo - they've already got the big red O.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Infor: No time to diet

As the powerful digestive juices of Golden Gate Capital complete their work on erstwhile competitor SSA Global, the ever-expanding Infor let slip that it also found time to acquire Extensity and Systems Union Group - adding more financial and reporting applications to the stew.

But the real headline seems to be that Infor now has combined revenues of $2.1 billion, which as the press release helpfully notes, is "more than Infor's two largest competitors combined in its target markets." Someone in the Microsoft legal department might want to alert Neelie Kroes (heir to the Brussels throne vacated by Mario Monti), if only to throw her off their scent for a while.

One other fun note on the Infor press release - the largest paragraph by far is devoted to a description of the various credit facilities used in the deals, and the smorgasbord of bankers and lawyers who continue to feed at the Infor trough.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Battle of the MS-PEGGIES is over

Well, that was quick. Seems the idea of Private Equity Group (PEG)-funded takeover shops based on Microsoft technology (MS-PEG, get it?) was so compelling that its two leading practicioners have rushed into each other's arms. Technically, it's Made2Manage (Capri, DTR, ADS, Cimnet, AXIS, Encompix, and most recently Onyx) who is acquiring Intuitive (SupplyWorks, Relevant/INFIMACS).

Also disappointingly, this breaks M2M's streak of acquiring vendors with the letter X in the name.

So we're down to one MS-PEGGY. Sigh. I had such hopes for the acronym. I guess this just begs the question - who will be M2M's Kermit? Is Infor still hungry?

This all stopped making sense for customers a long time ago. Now it's clearly down to the economics of milking revenue streams and eliminating overhead - which is a decidedly short-term proposition, with an eye toward a financial exit. So I repeat, it begs the question: As customers get more and more worried, and defect to (ahem) more compelling options from the world of open source, who's going to buy these things after the attrition?

Update: Here's Managing Automation on the deal, which suggests the purchase price was somewhere in the $40 millions, nearly 4x revenue.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


So the MS-PEGGY managing Made2Manage has entered a white knight bid for Onyx CRM. Good news for the Onyx board, who didn't really like CDC's offer and subsequent behavior. Managing Automation coverage here, local Seattle angle here.

But get this from the Onyx CEO. I've got to hope she was misquoted somehow:

With stronger monetary support from Battery Ventures and Thoma Cressey, the deal would make Onyx a larger player in the business, Anderson said. Customers need to have competition in the realm of enterprise product lines.

"I think that this kind of consolidation ... is very good for clients because clients need choices," she said.

Umm... don't rollups like the MS-PEGGIES give clients fewer choices?

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Updated Graveyard Scorecard

We've brought the official ERP Graveyard Scorecard (TM) up to date with the latest activity, particularly the InforSSA grab. Comments and suggestions, welcome as always. Some of our Tier 2 / Tier 3 distinctions are probably debateable ... but we stand by our characterization as everyone but Microsoft (and OpenMFG of course) as "Infor bait."

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Odd comment from Plattner

SAP co-founder Hasso Plattner raised a few eyebrows today when he said he could only envision being acquired by IBM, Microsoft, or Google (News.com) Who else has that kind of market cap? I guess he could have mentioned Wal-Mart or Exxon Mobil, if they want to put some of those profits to good use :)

Monday, May 15, 2006

The Inforssa!

Wow. In a clear bid to settle the question of who's #3, Infor Global is acquiring SSA Global. The combined entity will be called The Global Inforssa Global. Here's a quick link. Here's more from Managing Automation.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

JDA Software buys Manugistics

... and will be taking on some new debt to do it. This on the heels of a "disappointing" quarter. More...

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

CDC sees c360 CRM

"Not waiting for a response on its sweetened offer to acquire Onyx Software Inc., CDC Software Inc. late last week agreed to buy another customer relationship management (CRM) software vendor to advance its growth-by-acquisition desires." This article at Managing Automation suggests there's actually a ERP-centric strategy behind the acquisition binge!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Battle of the MS-PEGGIES

That's my new name for PEG (Private Equity Group) funded takeover shops formerly known as Made2Manage and Intuitive. Both companies had previously built their business around an all-Microsoft platform bet (do some Googling for their crowing about being first to implement .NET and the like). Well, look what it got 'em. Run up on the rocks, and acquired by PEGs who told them, like Michael Corleone said to Mo Green, "you're unlucky. We think we can do better."

So two pieces of news for the MS-PEGGIES. Intuitive yesterday announced they were acquiring Relevant Business Systems. Write your own punch line here. (Sorry - that was a cheap one. Relevant's INFIMACS is a well-known solution in the A&D market). This follows last month's pickup of SupplyWorks, which your host had somehow overlooked.

Made2Manage, not to be outdone, last week announced its purchase of ETO specialist Encompix. In case you missed the point, the company press release refers to its own "acquisition spree" in the headline, and helpfully notes, "The acquisition marks Made2Manage Systems’ fifth purchase in the last 20 months." Sheesh.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Spreadsheet of Graveyard deals

Thanks to Teresa Jones, Senior Research Analyst at the Butler Group in the UK, for compiling and making available to ERP Graveyard readers this spreadsheet of dates and deal terms for much of what's transpired in the past fifteen years or so. We'll do our best to update it along with the Scorecard - and if we get inspired, might end up combining the two with mouseover ALT TEXT tags or something like that.

Friday, January 20, 2006

CDC (fka ChinaDotCom) grabs supply chain product, hungers for more

The acquirer of Ross, Pivotal, and IMI has struck again. But here's the money quote from Steven Chan, acting CEO: "JRG is one of several acquisition targets that we are actively evaluating and negotiating and look to conclude this quarter. The acquisition of JRG reflects our commitment to leveraging our strong balance sheet of US$212 million in net cash to continue acquiring synergistic companies and products."

OK, so $212MM doesn't buy you QAD or IFS. But who will it get you?

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Infor nabs FP for 2006

As they say in the blogosphere, "first post!" Infor takes the honors for the new year with its acquisition of asset management vendor Datastream. New product roadmap on the way. (Not really).