ERP Providers Consolidate

SSA and Epicor are expanding their reach through acquisitions.

SSA Global Technologies Inc. and Epicor Software Corp. are expanding the technical reach and market penetration of their respective ERP software suites through acquisitions.

Chicago-based SSA last week said it will extend some of the core modules in its SSA enterprise resource planning suite to the ERP suite of Baan Co., which SSA acquired this summer. At the same time, SSA announced it will support the Baan product line as long as customers are willing to pay for that support, a turnabout from the decision by Baans former owner, Invensys plc.

SSA, by January, will offer new functionality for Baan ERP suite users through connectors into its own ERP suite. The extensions will add functionality for SCM (supply chain management), supplier relationship management, corporate performance management, collaborative order management and CRM (customer relationship management), SSA officials said.

In addition, SSA will add a thin-client user interface for existing Baan IV and Baan ERP 5 product lines by January. The Web interface will provide browser-based access with full read, write and transaction support, along with improved remote access, officials said.

Over the longer term, SSA will work to combine its and Baans ERP platforms into a single product. Formerly code-named Gemini, the new platform, SSA Baan ERP 6, is expected in July of next year.

Separately, Epicor, of Irvine, Calif., earlier this month announced its $87 million acquisition of Amsterdam-based Scala Business Solutions NV. The merger, combined with Epicors acquisition in July of ROI Systems Inc., will create a midmarket ERP provider with 20,000 customers, officials said.

Epicor, whose technology is based on Microsoft Corp.s .Net platform, is looking to expand its presence worldwide by offering a broad suite of ERP, CRM and SCM offerings.

Scala will bring a customer base predominantly in Scandinavia, Russia, Central and Eastern Europe, and China, while Epicors customer base is primarily in North America, Australia and the United Kingdom.