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Anya Ciecierski, CAL Business Solutions

Comparison of The Top ERP Software Vendors of 1999. Where are they now?


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Jason Carter at PartnerCompete wrote this interesting article and gave me permission to reprint it for our readers as normally it is for subscribers only.  He provides a list of the top 15 ERP software vendors from 13 years ago, along with each vendor’s estimated license revenue at that time, and an update on where they are now.  We think it is kind of fascinating to see the huge amount of consolidation and acquisition that has gone on in the ERP industry in the last several years. For companies in the ERP software selection process this means there are fewer choices, even if you don’t realize it. For example, there used to be many smaller, independent ERP vendors that competed against each other. They could be flexible to win your business. Now, most of the packages are all owned by one giant corporation or another. In fact all of them are owned by 6 main players: Microsoft, SAP, Oracle, Infor, Epicor and Deltek. You may think you are comparing two different brands, but in actuality they are both  owned by one corporation who controls the R&D, sets the pricing, and calls the shots.  Our advice to you? Make your decision based on the quality of the reselling partner who has the flexibility and motivation to win your business.

Article: “An AMR Research report from 1999 listing the top fifteen mid-market financial/ERP leaders. A few things have changed since those days. The large number of companies that have faltered or been acquired suggests you best put some thought into the long term stability of your vendor before you make a commitment.

Here’s that top 15 list from 13 years ago, along with each vendor’s estimated license revenue at that time, and an update on where they are now…

  1. SAP – $1,968 million - still #1, though the gap has narrowed with all of Oracle’s acquisitions
  2. PeopleSoft – $578 million – acquired by Oracle in a hostile takeover bid
  3. Oracle – $582 million – that was AMR’s estimate for just the applications portion of Oracle’s business. Oracle would be #2 on this list today, based on acquiring #2, #4, and #6 vendors on the 1999 list
  4. J.D. Edwards – $438 million – acquired by Peoplesoft and then in turn by Oracle, which promises to continue developing the product indefinitely…though the fan base is a bit skeptical
  5. Baan – $365 million – at one time a member of the JBOPS (J.D. Edwards, Baan, Oracle, PeopleSoft, SAP), Baan suffered a spectacular collapse amid what some described as fraudulent accounting. Later acquired on the cheap by Infor.
  6. Hyperion – $145 million – Hyperion did at one time sell core financial apps (GL, AP, AR, etc) but is much better known as a business intelligence vendor. Acquired by Oracle in 2007.
  7. Lawson – $110 million – an IPO, an acquisition of Intentia, financial struggles, and now rolled up by Infor
  8. Platinum Software – $65 million – once a very formidable fierce competitor in this market, Platinum acquired Dataworks in what would later look like an attempted corporate suicide. At a low point company stock was trading for about 65 cents per share and the company (now known as Epicor) almost delisted from Nasdaq. Epicor has made a bit of a comeback and now is a consolidator itself, recently rolling up Activant.
  9. Geac - $63 million – the story repeats itself again and again…a once prominent vendor now one of the 100+ code bases owned by Infor
  10. Systems Union – $60 million – this was a strong offering…the vendor to beat in core financials opportunities for multi-national companies back then, particularly those needing doublebyte language support in certain SE Asia countries. In a recurring theme on this list…it is now owned by Infor
  11. Great Plains – $61 million – See if you can follow this one…Great Plains acquires Solomon after Solomon was about to be acquired by Navision, then Great Plains gets acquired by Microsoft right as Navision was close to attempting a takeover of Great Plains. Great Plains + Solomon becomes Microsoft Business Solutions and then acquires Navision, which had just bought Damgaard. Collectively these businesses now account for about $1.2 to 1.5 billion in revenue for Microsoft.
  12. Deltek – $51 million – did a few acquisitions of its own and now an IPO. Still going strong in the government market
  13. Infinium – $42 million – acquired by SSA Global Technologies and now part of Infor
  14. Clarus Corporation – $17 million – divested all of its accounting and ERP business and now focused on the procurement market
  15. Flexi International – $16 million – Still independent and still hanging on, though Hoovers.com estimates the company to have about 1/5 the revenue it had 13 years ago…

This original list of 15 has been cut down to about 7 companies that still provide financials/ERP to the mid-market. That’s worth considering at you look at the competitive landscape today. Many of these companies were acquired, others faltered on their own. Though Great Plains and the other MBS products were among the acquired, in was into a situation that resulted in a dramatic increase in R&D and integration with the Microsoft stack. They have momentum and visibility inside of Microsoft….a number of the above products have not been so lucky.

Bottom line, if you bet on Great Plains a decade ago, you made a much better decision than the unfortunate people who bought some of these other products and then faced turmoil and instability around their core business management solution. Buying any of the Dynamics products today represents the same kind of wise decision.”

PartnerCompete.com provides resources for Dynamics focused resellers and ISV’s to learn more about the market and competition on PartnerCompete.com. Information on membership or Subscribe to the free email newsletter.

Reprinted by CAL Business Solutions, Southern New England Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner since 1993

 

2 Responses to “Comparison of The Top ERP Software Vendors of 1999. Where are they now?”

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