Baan, a leading provider of enterprise software solutions, announced the upcoming launch of OpenWorldX, a new open-standard platform to support the development of business process solutions. Scheduled for a September 2003 launch, OpenWorldX will support Gemini, code name for iBaan 6, the next generation of the iBaan suite of products, also scheduled for a September launch.
The announcement, made October 15 at Baan's user conference in Los Angeles, represents the company's first major new offerings since being acquired by British-owned Invensys two years ago. Laurens van der Tang, Baan's president, was on hand to make the announcements. He reported that since the acquisition Baan has signed up more than 400 new customers and has seen over 40 percent growth in licensing revenue.
OpenWorldX is the top layer of a three-tier architecture called the Real Time Enterprise Framework (RTEF) that allows the real time exchange of information across geographical, system, and organizational boundaries. "Business process span domains and enterprises," Van der Tang says. "Our customers need a platform that supports all enterprise operations. We have spent over $3 million developing OpenWorldX, which will enable the real-time enterprise." Applications supported by the RTEF include supplier collaboration, engineering design collaboration, e-sales with order promising, and dealer product configuration. "We have the complete cycle, from transactional applications to product life-cycle management, supply chain management, and customer relationship management." The open architecture allows for integrated-but-open capability, which can support both Baan and other vendors' products.
Baan choose the fall users' conference to make the announcements to begin preparing its customers for an eventual upgrade to Gemini. "Most customers are currently using iBaan 3 or 4," Van der Taag says. "Most of them are currently planning to move to iBaan 5. While we would like to see a quick migration to the OpenWorldX platform, we understand that it's a business decision on the part of individual companies as to whether to upgrade to 5 or wait for Gemini." New customers that come on board before September will be priced to start on iBaan 5 and upgrade to Gemini when it becomes available.