Baan Business Associates has acquired a majority stake in Belgian AS/400 services specialist Astrum, to help Baan push its business software on this platform.
The company is the risk capital division of Baan Investment, which holds a stake in the Dutch software company Baan and handles its venture capital activities. Expertise from Astrum will be shared with Baan and some product development will be carried out jointly.
Baan has launched an AS/400 version of its ERP software package, but has no internal knowledge of this hardware platform. "We could either build up this knowledge, or buy a specialist in the field," said Pieter Hufen, managing director of Baan Business Associates.
In Belgium, Astrum is best known for its implementations of the BPCS software from Baan competitor SSA. Ninety per cent of Belgian BPCS users working with version 6 of that software counted on Astrum for service and support. Losing Astrum to Baan is a major blow to SSA in Belgium, which now has to look for new affiliates to fill the gap.
Inside Baan, Astrum will also be used to help with AS/400 sales, and Baan will put financial support behind setting up Astrum subsidiaries in other European countries.
According to BBA's Pieter Hufen, the strategy of buying AS/400 specialists to help Baan move further into this sector may well be copied in other European countries.
Jose Delameilleure is editor of Datanews in Belgium.
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