Baan ERP Software is still Working
Jan Baan was the Dutchman who created Baan ERP Software back in 1978. It was begun as a tool for financial and administrative consulting services with a focus on Enterprise Resource Planning. The company grew successfully until the 1990s, when it stumbled over accusations of management deception and revenue manipulation. It is now part of Infor ERP, and companies are still using its products.
Baan grew popular in the early 1990s with its Dynamic Enterprise Modeler (DEM) technical architecture and its 4GL language. These tools are still around today and are considered to be amongst the most efficient and productive database application development platforms.
In the 1990s, Baan ERP software became a strong competitor of SAP, the market leader, by gaining contracts, winning deals and becoming a major player in enterprise resource planning. Baan has partnered with a number of big consulting firms to implement Baan IV for multinational companies. It also acquired a few other software companies along the way, including Aurum, Berclain, Coda and Caps Logistics. It was claimed that in its earlier days sales growth had reached 91 percent per year.
By the end of the 1990s though things began to change and sales growth declined along with its stock price. Its management was accused of using deceptive and "creative" revenue manipulation to strengthen its order entry book. This brought about financial difficulties, law suits and bleak prospects for the future. This forced its sale in 2000, to Invensys, a British automation, controls, and process solutions group to become a unit of its Software and Services Division. The company would be sold again in 2003 to SSA Global Technologies. SSA renamed Baan as SSA ERP Ln.
In 2006, SSA was SSA was acquired by Infor Global Solutions of Atlanta, which was a major ERP consolidator in the market. Baan ERP software is still active in the market today and is used by thousands of companies in the world, the majority on version BaanIVc4 and ERP LN and it is still best in class ERP for mainly the manufacturing sector.
Baan is a good example of enterprise resource planning companies who started in the field early and enjoyed tremendous success. Similar firms that have software programs active in the marketplace may have been bought out as well, but their products are still available. Enterprise resource planning is a broad based marketplace with market entry on a number of levels. That’s why so many smaller ERP companies have found success and a bit of market share. And the movement continues to grow.
Many companies will recall Baan as being one of the major players in the early days of enterprise resource planning.