Saturday, June 23, 2007

Soft demand for Soft Brands (or, "please buy us, SAP")

Curiouser and curiouser. After spending the past couple of years batting eyelids at SAP with the "Fourth Shift SAP Business One Edition for Small Manufacturers Who Want to Staple Together Two Completely Dissimilar Legacy Windows Products," now Soft Brands has quietly turned off the lights on the solo Fourth Shift product altogether. Managing Automation has the story. This might be the first Graveyard case where there's nothing left to buy in the end: a nearly-cost-free de facto acquisition.


  1. How ironic, by concentrating on staple-together ware rather than software innovation 4th shift switches the lights out!

  2. Very depressing news. Although this is a competitor of mine and I love your ERP Graveyard listing, it does break my heart everytime a new tomb appears, an ERP vendor goes away, or a product forgetten.

  3. Thank you for creating a non-bias historical record of the ERP players for those of us who only follow the ERP game occasionally.

  4. Gosh, you're quite welcome... but I'm hardly non-biased :)

    I think the only prudent thing an ERP consumer can do in the face of all this graveyard activity, all this uncertainty, is to acquire an open source-powered ERP system like mine.


  5. I was just curious what you meant when you referred to two different windows legacy systems. I though Business One was a new product purchased by SAP within the last decade and developed/refined with the latest technology. Please set me straight if I am misinformed. Thanks.
    The folks at Softbrands openly admit that "Fourth Shift Edition" for Business One is not as full-featured as the product they are retiring, but they sure do get a lot of money for it.

  6. Fair enough, BusinessOne is not as much of a "legacy" system as Fourth Shift. But they are two different code bases, which themselves are also both different from the R/3 product (of course), and the new ByDesign product (which was apparently written largely from scratch - making it the prettiest girl at the ball, and presumably most favored by SAP management).

    So in that sense, B1 is a legacy system in that there is some overlap between its market and ByDesign's...