IBM Boosts Baan Software

The second coming of Baan Co. technology got an important endorsement from IBM on Friday.

IBM, which has about 70 strategic alliances with partners across market sectors, announced Friday a strategic alliance with Invensys plc, the company that last year purchased ailing enterprise application vendor Baan.

Under the deal, the two companies will jointly market Invensys suite of Web-enabled business-to-business products, including the iBaan series, Wonderware Factory Suite, CAPS Logistics and CRM product lines – all of which will be bundled with IBMs servers.

Invensys also agreed to re-engineer its software solutions to accommodate IBMs webSphere application server, DB2 database and MQ Series middleware. Invensys, of Herndon, Va., provides automation and controls software. Netherlands-based Baan, which was in deep financial trouble when Invensys bought it, is focusing now on its Web-based products, including applications for procurement, supply chain management and business intelligence.

Together, IBM, of Armonk, N.Y., and Invensys will co-develop e-business products that link plant floor, sensor-based applications to enterprise information systems, customers and suppliers, according to IBM officials.

IBM and Invensys will capitalize on Baans standing with companies like The Boeing Co., Honda Motor Company Ltd. and Volkswagen AG by honing in on discreet manufacturers, according to IBM officials.

IBM and Baan have a long-standing relationship, which the alliance expands. Since 1998, IBM has fielded implementation factories for Baan in Denmark and Atlanta, providing customization for Baan apps and pre-delivery server setup.

IBMs services arm already has about 1,000 Baan-specific consultants.