This is Part 7 of a 9 Part Series on the History of ERP.
2000s: M&A Market Consolidation
The 2000s started off the same as the 1990s ended – with considerable consolidation. Throughout the early to mid 2000s we witnessed the continued acquisition of best of breed vendors – especially in the areas of CRM.
• Aurum acquired by Baan (1997)
• Vantive acquired by PeopleSoft (1999)
• Saleslogix and ACT! acquired by Sage (2001)
• Pivotal acquired by CDC Corporation now Aptean (2004)
• Siebel acquired by Oracle (2005)
• Onyx acquired by M2M Holdings now Aptean (2006)
There were of course many other CRM and other product acquisitions during this time but the most interesting thing to happen was the mind-blowing consolidation among ERP vendors themselves.
Sage acquired State of the Art, Accpac, Adonix, and many other ERP products domestically and globally. Epicor was formed from the merger of Platinum and Dataworks which had also acquired several smaller vendors. Microsoft entered the ERP space in 2001 having acquired Great Plains (which had already acquired RealWorld and Solomon). Microsoft then proceeded to acquire Navision which had recently merged with Damgaard (Axapta). Made2Manage became Consona and eventually Aptean owning many of the niche ERP vendors who saw the sun setting on their hay days in the 1990s. Even the tier one sector was consolidating as Oracle acquired PeopleSoft which had just acquired JD Edwards. And then there was the major consolidation at the hands of Infor and it’s predecessors resulting in a company with at least 50-60 different general ledger systems in it’s portfolio.
Like any market – consolidation is inevitable but it was amazing to witness how fast the market consolidated in the 2000s. It seemed like there was another major acquisition every day.
But companies still needed to conduct business as usual. It was fairly clear by the 2000s that ERP is ever changing. Gartner tried to predict the death of ERP and the progression to ERP II as early as 2000 but fundamentally, ERP is what it is and remains relatively unchanged.
ERP is the core business software used by manufacturers to manage every aspect of their business. While many newer systems are appearing in a software as a service (SaaS) deployment model – it really has no impact whatsoever on the underlying functionality or job that ERP performs. SaaS innovators launched at the end of the 1990s but really took off in the 2000s with NetSuite (then NetLedger) and Salesforce.com ramping up fast.
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