SSA Global Technologies (SSA GT), the reborn BPCS enterprise software (ERP) developer, is doing it again: “like a phoenix rising from the ashes,” as Kara Romanow with independent analyst AMR Research, puts it, attempting to reinvent itself and rebound. The firm, which was rescued last year from bankruptcy by a US consortium headed by Gores Technology, changed management in May with new man Michael Greenough, ex of Geac at the helm, Vic Shepherd out of the picture and $6bn investor Cerberus, with majority ownership since August 2000, in charge. Says Romanow: “SSA GT removed unnecessary infrastructure, reducing the run rate to be consistent with a $140 million company and is finally cash positive. Now it’s targeting the extensive customer base, arguably the principle asset.” AMR is rightly upbeat about SSA GT’s prospects. Romanow: “SSA GT is realistically looking inward, concentrating on the 6,500 customers running BPCS, including 3,500 not paying maintenance. Global Guide Groups were established to direct development with retention-focused product plans.” And hence all the functionality of the latest release, BPCS Release 8. She adds: “SSA GT plans to keep previous BPCS versions alive, making new functionality backwards compatible and adding enterprise architecture to tie multiple versions together with a common portal.” But there is a little more. Remember SSA’s lean manufacturing emphasis – and, it’s only a couple of months ago that SSA GT bought Max International from ICL, with plans to build out its SME end. AMR thinks the phoenix will go places. Romanow comments: “It’s a compelling story if the company can execute on plans. The good news is the plans hit the right things: customer retention, industry verticals, keeping older versions alive, and customer-share instead of market-share. “The strategy should resonate with manufacturers that rely on BPCS and that don’t want to replace functioning ERP systems deeply embedded in plants worldwide, especially when budgets are tight.”