Despite a recent spate of Microsoft-only products, applications developer Baan claims it has not turned its back on alternative operating systems.
"We have got customers, who wish to retain and invest in both NT and Unix and we will continue to support both," said Russell Johns, technology manager for Baan UK.
Baan's expansion into the world beyond enterprise resource planning software - into front-office, customer relationship management, supply chain management, corporate finance, and data management software - has been largely managed through acquisition and, as a result, all products support a multitude of platforms.
But some customers have felt forced into using NT where they would rather have used Unix.
"The highest common denominator is NT and SQL," Gareth Pickard, IT Manager for Baan's biggest UK customer, Remploy. "We are a little bit concerned that our front-end will sit on something that is not as robust and stable as we would like. We are moving forward with some trepidation."
Remploy, an Informix and Unix shop, will begin a pilot with the Baan's ERP extensions on NT and SQL this month. Desire for the applications overwhelmed Pickard's reservations over the operating system, he said. "[Baan has] a very sexy front-end," commented Pickard.
Baan's most recent products Baan DataNavigator (developed by TopTier) launched last month and BaanEDM (Enterprise Data Manager) were announced last October, together with the Baan E-Enterprise suite, slated for launch next month. They were built using Microsoft technology and it would not be practical to port them to alternative platforms, Baan said.
The products represented the attraction to the Microsoft development environment, rather than a strategic move to be a Microsoft-only vendor, despite a very close allegiance, claimed Baan.
Baan's E-Enterprise is an Internet front end that will integrate with any ERP back end. It is based on Microsoft's BizTalk and will enable business to business and electronic commerce. BaanDataNavigator enables customers to drag and drop data into different tables within a database, or between databases, or between ERP packages. BaanEDM is data analysis tool based on the Microsoft OLAP engine, Plato.
For further stories see 12 April issue of PC Week
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