Much-fancied manufacturing software outfit Baan Co NV – whose entire 1996 business was about as big as rival SAP AG’s profit for the year – has now stepped up its campaign for the process and supply chain industries, including primary metals, pulp and paper, plastics and food and beverage, by integrating a constraint-based planning module […]
Much-fancied manufacturing software outfit Baan Co NV – whose entire 1996 business was about as big as rival SAP AG’s profit for the year – has now stepped up its campaign for the process and supply chain industries, including primary metals, pulp and paper, plastics and food and beverage, by integrating a constraint-based planning module into a new cut of its Baan IV software called release IV.b. The constraint-based planning software has been designed for use by manufacturing industries that plan production schedules around the availability of resource. It’s based on the technology from Baan’s 1991 Probe Software Inc acquisition. Baan is integrating IV.b with supply chain products from Toronto, Canada-based Numetrix Inc and Rockville, Maryland-based Manugistics Inc. It’s also developed a template for designing process manufacturing models in conjunction with Cap Gemini SA, available as part of its Orgware development and modeling tools and services. Cap Gemini, Deloitte & Touche, Ernst & Young and KPMG are each developing consulting practices for Baan’s process solution. Although the company has supported process manufacturing in its software since the introduction of Baan IV last April, Baan has hesitated before it began actively marketing the technology until it had some customer sites and partners in its pocket and was able to formally introduce the new IV.b planning module to the market. Baan will develop finer grained versions of the software tuned for different sectors of the process market, for example the commercial, government and space industry sectors of the aerospace and defense business. The other three vertical markets into which Baan sells are automotive, electronics and complex manufacturing. Baan estimates process manufacturing makes up around half of the manufacturing industry. Baan IV.c is due later this quarter incorporating Planning Sciences International Plc’s Gentia analytical processing database, tools and development environment. The company has completed the definition for Baan V, due later this year, but hasn’t yet disclosed it internally. It will be made public next quarter. Baan says it will take 18 months to two years to integrate the configuration management software from its Antalys Inc acquisition. It uses Baan’s configuration tools for its engineering industry customers and has created its own tools for manufacturing and service industries. Baan has built a collection of tools in Java that it will use to develop inter-enterprise workflow technology for accomplishing nine different transactions including passing models, designs and other ordering and process control information between different companies in the same supply chain. It licensed the object-relational extensions to Java it used to create the tools to JavaSoft, and then licensed the integrated code back. Baan is still working on a marketing plan with Microsoft Corp to target the mid-range of the market with its recently-announced BackOffice implementation of Baan IV which is due to ship later this quarter. It is also still working on support for Sybase Inc databases. The company claims 170 Baan IV customers. Analysts suggest that Baan, Oracle Corp, Peoplesoft Inc and SAP should have around 80% of the manufacturing application software market by the year 2000.