Thursday, October 31, 2002

SSA cornering the market on AS/400 enterprise software. SSA just announced that it is acquiring Infinium (formerly Software 2000), a vendor of financial systems for the AS/400 (IBM iSeries). Infinium's 1,800 customers are located mostly in North America in process manufacturing, gaming, hospitality, and healthcare. Infinium products include modules for human resources, payroll, financial management, CRM, materials management, process manufacturing, and corporate performance management.

This latest announcement follows on SSA GT's acquisition earlier this year of Computer Associates Interbiz group, which was CA's collection of enterprise system acquisitions, such as PRMS, KBM, MK, MANMAN, Warehouse BOSS, CAS, Masterpiece, and Maxcim. Last year, SSA bought MAX International, a small company ERP system.

Most of the systems in SSA's portfolio are AS/400-based, with its original flagship product, BPCS, being one of the major AS/400 ERP systems through the 1990s. SSA's strategy appears to be to acquire as many of the remaining AS/400 packages as possible and continuing to receive the maintenance revenue stream from their installed base clients. (SSA is the only ERP vendor I've seen that actually has a page on its Web site aimed at parties interested in being acquired). A number of SSA's clients are large multi-national companies that SSA would love to keep in the fold. It remains to be seen whether SSA can keep existing clients satisfied to the extent that it is not worth the effort for them to switch.

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