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