The ERP software market evolved as most do, with a large number of independent developers launching products to compete for a healthy and hungry community of manufacturing companies that needed the capabilities that ERP provides. Through the 1990s, many ERP software companies entered the market and most thrived as demand seemed almost unlimited.
Starting in the late 1990s, the ERP software market experienced a rather dramatic consolidation. ERP software companies selectively acquired other ERP system vendors which were in turn acquired by bigger ERP software companies. In 1998 there were more than 200 independent ERP software companies in the market. Those 200 suppliers mostly ended up as part of only a handful of remaining suppliers by 2006. The good news here is that almost none of the ERP products were abandoned during this market consolidation. The acquirers generally continued support for the acquired products and eventually provided either a new combined product offering and/or a reasonable migration path to their flagship offerings. Very few ERP system vendors closed their doors and left the user community hanging.
Of course the biggest ERP software companies participated in the acquisition activity with SAP focusing on best-of-breed and niche products to fill out their portfolio and broaden the range of functionality and technologies they have to offer. Oracle built their entire ERP position on acquired products and added PeopleSoft (which had previously acquired Vantive, Red Pepper, and JDEdwards which in turn had swallowed YouCentric and Numetrix), Demantra, Datalogix and Siebel. You can see how the acquisitions followed acquisitions which followed acquisitions, making it a bit difficult to trace all the genealogy.
The most notable acquirer during this time period was Infor Global, responsible for more than 20 acquisitions which, tracing the succeeding layers, accounted for more than 50 products/companies. Other examples include Sage (Abra, Adonix, MAS90/MAS200, PeachTree Saleslogix, and more), Exact (Macola, Kewill ERP, Vanguard), and Epicor (Datawroks, ROI, Avante, Manfact, DataFlo), and Microsoft (Great Plains, Navision, Solomon).
Consona’s strategy has been to build a portfolio of products that address specific industries. Starting with its initial Made2Manage ERP system for mid-sized, custom manufacturers centered on a “casual” bill-of-material for making complex products, acquisitions have added:
- Intuitive ERP for a broad range of small to midsized manufacturing environments including electronics, medical devices, aviation and others.
- Encompix ERP offers project scheduling and management for engineer-to-order projects that involve complex manufacturing and close tracking of projects, costs and schedules.
- Compiere is the leading open-source, Cloud-based ERP system for distribution and manufacturing worldwide.
- AXIS ERP solution for manufacturers of metals, wire and cable, as well as metal service centers.
- Cimnet Systems ERP solution for printed circuit board engineering and fabrication, including design, fabrication, and certification.
- DTR ERP software and services for the unique requirements of plastics processors.
- Relevant is ERP software designed to meet the specialized Earned Value Management (EVM) requirements of US Department of Defense contractors.
Uniquely, Consona also has made a huge commitment to industry leading CRM with and knowledge management (KM) software applications that span customer service and support, sales and marketing. In addition, Consona also offers a number of pre-configured, cost effective, best-in-class solutions that span industry, departmental, business function, and/or methodology-based needs.