Enterprise Software Top 10


Enterprise software is big business; the Top 10 enterprise software companies  generated 22.5 billion USD revenues in 2008, and some of the world’s largest  software companies are in the enterprise software business. German giant SAP continues to lead the market it has been leading for  over a decade. Oracle, that stepped into the enterprise software market in  a big way in 2004 with the acquisition of Peoplesoft and JD Edwards for $10.3  billion, is currently in second place in the Enterprise software Top  10.

Top 10 Enterprise Software Companies
Rank Companies Software revenues (mln)
1. SAP 10,500
2. Oracle 6,105
3. Sage 1,496
4. Infor 1,100
5. Microsoft 1,000
6. 959
7. Lawson 463
8. Unit4 Agresso 326
9. Epicor 283
10. Visma 254

The Market Leaders Nine large enterprise software companies made it to  the Software Top 100 of 2009. Most of these companies experienced revenue growth  in 2008, despite the challenging economic circumstances. CRM company is a rising star, outshining the rest:  Salesforce software revenues were up 45% last year, after already achieving 51%  revenue growth in 2007. However, with 959 million USD they still have a few  strides to make before they can enter the Top 3: UK-based company Sage is currently in third position with revenues of 1,496  million USD.
History of enterprise software Actually the  enterprise software market is pretty young. It is a recent term that was  invented to encompass the related ERP, CRM and SCM markets. As ERP companies  started entering the SCM arena, and then started buying CRM companies to add to  their portfolio, a new market definition was necessary: enterprise software. SAP, the company that made ERP popular in corporate  business, was founded in 1972 by five former IBM engineers in Mannheim, Germany. They wanted to help  businesses link their processes and information, starting with production and  logistic processes. Modular design made it possible to change and add software  modules, while still keeping oversight in one central database. Businesses  embraced the new software as it ended the traditional ‘automation islands’  between business departments: back then, computer systems of different  departments could generally not communicate with each other, and data was stored  separately for every department, resulting in data discrepancies. Over time,  more functions were added in the fields of finance, HRM and CRM. This integrated  approach proved to be very useful for large enterprises and ERP soon became  popular. In the nineties almost every large corporation started adopting ERP  software, and SAP was their partner of choice.

Enterprise Software Acquisitions
Rank Companies Acquisitions
1. SAP Top Tier
2. Oracle Peoplesoft, Siebel
3. Sage Tekton, Emdeon
4. Infor SSA, GEAC
5. Microsoft Dynamics, Navision
6. -
7. Lawson Intentia
8. Unit4 Agresso Coda
9. Epicor Scala, NSB Retail
10. Visma Accountview, Volym

Acquisitions As ERP proved to be a financially rewarding market,  ERP vendors started using their cashflow to buy competitors. Acquisitions were  so many in number, that most of the ERP vendors of the nineties now no longer  exist as separate companies. All companies in the Top 10 used acquisitions to  gain or strengthen their position. SAP bought Top Tier, Oracle spent lavishly on  PeopleSoft and Siebel, Sage bought a host of smaller players. Infor, which is backed by Golden Gate Capital, has bought so  many companies that they earned a position above Microsoft on the list. Microsoft did not originally make  enterprise software, but decided to get into this growing market by buying some  medium-sized players. As the Top 5 have been growing in the past few years  through acquisitions, number 9 and 10 on the list - Epicor and Visma - are now rumored to be targets themselves.  More consolidation is definitely expected for the future.
Future  developments: jumping the SaaS band wagon A relatively new development is  the increased interest in Software-as-a-Service. Both SAP and Oracle have  announced a shift of their activities in this direction, spurred by the strong  financial results of SaaS companies like and Netsuite.  Despite others jumping the SaaS band wagon, we expect Salesforce’s momentum  to continue, and a Top 3 position is possible within two years time.

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