Some IT companies do not trade in software, but in software houses, thus triggering a massive wave of consolidation. It has always been a combination of technology and market logic that led to the death of providers
- At the end of the eighties, it was market leader SAP that emptied the market of ERP providers by offering software houses the use of the innovative (but difficult to sell in medium-sized companies) R/3 under the condition that they no longer develop their own software offerings.
- In the mid-1990s, Microsoft bought up software houses, particularly in the USA, in order to play a role not only on the desktop but also in company IT. Today, the solutions are migrating to the cloud under the Dynamics brand name.
- After the turn of the millennium, Agilisys went on a shopping spree in Europe with venture capital and took over providers that had not quite made it to global market presence – including Infor, the conglomerate’s later namesake, Brain, Lawson, Baan and SSA. The full integration of the solutions continues to this day.
- And now the Step Ahead Group is merging under this umbrella name with Steinhauser Informing and Mainz-based godesys. It is also exciting this time that venture capital is promoting the merger. Elvaston Capital Management GmbH, which had previously provided the Cologne-based GUS Group with capital for a shopping tour, is the lead company. This time, the global trend towards cloud computing is the technology background.
The good news behind the current wave of consolidation: for investors, the market for enterprise software is apparently still lucrative enough to engage in through acquisitions. The bad news: the diversity in the ERP environment continues to decrease. This is especially fatal when proven industry solutions have to go the way of everything earthly.