Baan Corporation - History


The Baan Corporation was created by Jan Baan in 1978 in Barneveld, Netherlands, to provide financial and administrative consulting services. With the development of his first software package, Jan Baan and his brother Paul Baan entered what was to become the ERP industry. The Baan company focused on the creation of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.

Jan Baan developed his first computer program on Durango F-85 computers in BASIC language. In the early '80s, Baan Company began to develop application on Unix computers with C and self-developed Baan-C language, whose syntax was very similar to BASIC language.
Baan gained its popularity in the early nineties. Baan software is famous for its Dynamic Enterprise Modeler (DEM), technical architecture and its 4GL language. Baan 4GL and Tools nowadays is still considered to be one of the most efficient and productive database application development platforms. Baan became a real threat to market leader SAP after winning a large Boeing deal in 1994. It went IPO in 1995 and became a public listed company in Amsterdam and US Nasdaq. Several large consulting firms throughout the world partnered to implement Baan IV for multi-national companies. It acquired several other software companies to enrich its product porfolio, including Antalys, Aurum, Berclain, Coda and Caps Logistics. Sales growth rate was once claimed to reach 91% per year.

However the fall of the Baan Company began in 1998. The management exaggerated company revenue by booking "sales" of software licenses that were actually transferred to a related distributor. The discovery of this "creative" revenue manipulation led to a sharp decline of Baan's stock price at the end of 1998.

In June 2000, facing worsening financial difficulties, law suits and reporting seven consecutive quarterly losses and bleak prospects, Baan was sold at a price of US$700 million to Invensys, a UK automation, controls, and process solutions group to become a unit of its Software and Services Division. Laurens van der Tang was the president of this unit. With the acquisition of Baan, Invensys's CEO Allen Yurko began to offer "Sensor to Boardroom" solutions to customers.

In June 2003, after Allen Yurko stepped down, Invensys sold its Baan unit to SSA Global Technologies for US$ 135 million.

Upon acquiring the Baan software, SSA renamed Baan as SSA ERP Ln. In August 2005, SSA Global released a new version of Baan, named SSA ERP LN 6.1. In May 2006, SSA was acquired by Infor Global Solutions of Atlanta, which was a major ERP consolidator in the market.

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