Over the last few years I have produced a number of articles and blog entries on two once-independent and occasionally competing products: Agresso Business World (ABW) and CODA Financials. Since early 2008, these two products and their related owner companies have become siblings within the Unit 4 Agresso parent.
Unit 4 Agresso is a Netherlands-based business software company that has grown since its inception in 1980 in great part via several mergers and acquisitions (M&As). The company offers a number of regional products for small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) that are deployed mainly in the Benelux region. In addition, the vendor offers local business applications that are sold in Norway, Sweden, the UK, Germany, and Spain.
However, most of Unit 4 Agresso’s revenue is still derived from the Agresso Business World (ABW) product line. ABW [evaluate this product] is a non-manufacturing enterprise resource planning (ERP) suite targeted at upper midsize service-centric enterprises, and Unit 4 Agresso acquired it in August 2000 through a merger with the former Norwegian ERP vendor Agresso.
Thus, for the rest of this blog post, I will use the shorter “Agresso” name to denote the entire company. Agresso completed the CODA acquisition throughout 2008, which now makes it the sixth largest mid-market ERP vendor worldwide according to IDC. In 2008, the company had about US$ 550 million in revenues and 3,500 employees, and was operating in 19 countries in 3 continents around the world. Read the rest of this entry »
Sadly, it is not difficult for so many of us to concede that, except for maybe the historic elections in the US and the successful Olympic Games in Beijing, 2008 was a terrible and somber year. It felt long-drawn-out, and many of us will have trouble sinking it easily into oblivion.
Without even talking about our retirement funds and investments being slashed by about 40 percent (as part of a potentially more far-reaching financial crisis) or about 2.6 million jobs lost in the US only, just look at mushrooming late 2008 layoffs news at even the biggest and typically impervious enterprise applications vendors. For example, both Bruce Richardson of AMR Research and Frank Scavo of Enterprise Systems Spectator have reported in their respective December 2008 blog posts about Infor’s deliberate preparations for a downturn.
Along similar lines (although about some vendors there have been rumors rather than a public acknowledgement by the vendor) were the recent cost-cutting and restructuring moves by Sage, Consona, Lawson Software, Oracle, and Epicor Software. The market leader SAP has not yet been plagued by major layoffs per se, although there have been rumors/reports about the recently enacted stringent internal corporate-wide cost-cutting policies, such as restricted traveling, training, events, and so on.
I am indeed aware of the fact that there was no traditional SAP Influencer/Analyst Summit this past fall/winter, after several years of being a major winter event solely for industry analysts and media. Thus, trying to think positively, I am happy to report about coming across at least one vendor with upbeat news and upright posture in these dreary days.
In fact, how often have we heard about a mid-market enterprise resource planning (ERP) provider’s quarterly global results in late 2008 revealing a 37 percent increase in revenue and sales (with 30 percent growth in North America), with the company claiming many significant new orders worth over US$ 1 million? Read the rest of this entry »