If you remember this logo …

Baan LogoThen you are part of an elite group of people who implemented Baan before it was purchased by SSA Global Technologies, which is now part of Infor Global Solutions.

Maybe you even knew or knew of the brothers – Jan and Paul Baan – who founded Baan in 1978 in the Netherlands. Their software was a leader in what was to become the ERP software industry. Before there was Great Plains, Microsoft Dynamics, SAP, Oracle, Infor … there was Baan.

The Baan Company, as such, however, became defunct in 2003. Still, Baan ERP software has its supporters and evangelists. That is because Baan is a fantastic product, especially for manufacturers. And we want you to know that Strategic Systems Group (SSG) has been implementing and supporting Baan for nearly 30 years, since 1991.

Are you still running Baan? We understand all the reasons why you love Baan. SSG loves Baan, too. Continuing our support of Baan is not just a labor of love. It is part of the commitment we make to our Baan clients. We will not leave them without support for their Baan software.

The Legacy Story

When another entity purchases ERP software products, one of 2 things can happen. The origin products can be folded into the new entity and remain viable, or the original products can be discontinued over time.

Take, for example, Great Plains, Solomon, Navision, and Axapta. All 4 of those ERP software solutions were purchased by Microsoft and became part of the Microsoft Dynamics family under new names. Great Plains became Microsoft Dynamics GP. Solomon became Microsoft Dynamics SL. Navision became Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Axapta became Microsoft Dynamics AX. All four remained viable and supported for many years. Microsoft continued to enhance these four products and release new, updated versions on prescribed schedules.

That is until Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft’s own cloud ERP solution was released and effectively supplanted Dynamics AX, which then became what in the industry is known as “legacy” software. New versions of Dynamics AX are no longer being released. But what about Microsoft support for AX?

Microsoft’s mainstream support for Dynamics AX 2009 Service Pack 1 (SP1), Dynamics AX 2012, and Dynamics AX 2012 R2 ended on October 9, 2018. Only security hotfixes will continue to be provided for these three versions through the extended support period that ends on October 12, 2021.

We should note that Microsoft announced those end dates many years ago so that Dynamics AX users would not be taken by surprise and left stranded. Microsoft also encouraged AX users to transition to Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations, and they provided tools for that transition.

We should also note that Microsoft is not alone in its practices. Many software publishers offer similar support end dates for older products. We were just using Microsoft as one example of how the process works.

In some cases, users of legacy software products, no longer supported by the publisher, can find reseller partners who are willing to continue supporting their ERP systems.

Strategic Systems Group (SSG) Provides Support for Baan and Other Legacy ERP Software

What happens if you do not want to migrate to a new ERP system? Or can you not afford to?  You can turn to the SSG team. We still support several legacy software solutions: AX, Baan, Manman, and MK. Some of our clients do not want to switch. Some of our clients cannot afford to switch. We do not judge their motives.

Can we support those legacy ERP software products forever? Well, forever is a really long time. And there are reasons why, even with the best of intentions, we may not be able to support you forever. We wish we could. But you know what they say about wishes: If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride. An interesting turn of phrase…

What are some of the reasons why we may not be able to support your legacy solutions forever? Or why you may decide to transition to a modern solution!

Cost: As applications age, they become increasingly expensive to support.

Knowledge Gap: As applications and platforms they run on get older, internal knowledge becomes increasingly scarce.

Proprietary: Many legacy applications are built around proprietary, single-vendor tools that included everything from a unique programming language to methodologies and management tools. Modern applications have largely transitioned to common tools and programming languages, allowing IT staff with appropriate knowledge to work on a wide variety of applications.

Expensive Infrastructure: Older applications generally require an older technical environment, which might include legacy operating systems, databases, libraries, or even specific hardware. Just as applications grow more expensive to maintain as they age, so does the underlying infrastructure. Modern applications that are designed for virtualization and cloud-style platforms do not experience this problem.

Custom Code: Companies today are looking for a high level of systems integration. When dealing with a legacy application, the only way to achieve that level of integration is by writing piles of custom code, and custom code is not just expensive, it also creates upgrade problems. Conversely, modern ERP software platforms use new technologies such as service buses and standardized APIs, making integrations far easier.

Cloud Pricing Model: Cloud computing has completely revolutionized several sectors that were once dominated by large and expensive legacy applications. The CRM space is a significant example, where companies can now provision an enterprise solution with a click on a credit card. This takes a massive capital expense off the balance sheet for the CFO and alleviates the need for teams of consultants or specialized engineers reporting to the CIO.

Lack of Documentations: More often than not, legacy software systems do not come with documentation. The documentation of the system configuration, custom coded apps, and integrations often resided with individuals who are no longer with the company. They have left or retired. If you are running legacy ERP, it is a good idea to have the person who set it up provide you with documentation before leaving your company.

Licensing

Some legacy ERP systems require a combination of hardware, OS, or convoluted licensing that keeps them on aging technical infrastructure. As support expires and warranties end, costs increase—just another hidden cost of supporting a legacy application.

It Is Difficult to “Mobilize” Legacy

Mobile devices have revolutionized enterprise computing. While technologies like virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) can serve as a “quick and dirty” means to getting legacy applications onto mobile devices, legacy applications are designed for large screens, keyboards, and mice, making the mobile transition difficult.

Someone Already “Built a Better Mousetrap”

In the intervening years since your legacy applications were first deployed, there have been obvious (dare I say jaw-dropping) advances both in technology and in business processes. Product development, marketing, sales, supply chain management, accounting, and you name it have evolved. Simply stated, you are missing out on the significant benefits of modern applications.

Contact Strategic Systems Group for Baan and Legacy Support

For more information about how SSG can support your Baan ERP software as well as several other legacy ERP solutions, please contact SSG at (310) 539-4645 or via our contact form today!


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