Infor Acquisition of TDCI Would Include MAC-PAC
May 7, 2013 Alex Woodie
It’s been a few years since Infor made an IBM i-related acquisition, but that will likely change as the result of the pending acquisition of TDCI, the Columbus, Ohio-developer of two products, including the Windows-based BuyDesign product configurator and MAC-PAC, an IBM i-based ERP system.
Infor announced its intent to buy TDCI in late April at the company’s annual Inforum user conference in Orlando, Florida. Infor says it entered into a non-binding agreement to buy TDCI for an undisclosed amount of money. The company says it expects the deal to close within 30 days.
It is clear that Infor has its eyes on the BuyDesign suite with the TDCI acquisition, and not MAC-PAC. The product is a collection of Windows-based programs designed to streamline the configuration and sales process for ordering and buying customized products. The software is often integrated directly into ERP systems, providing a big boost for sales and order entry personnel, who would otherwise be hampered by the restrictive nature of ERP order entry screens when the customer is making a complicated purchase that involves a lot of variables.
BuyDesign is used by more than 500 companies, primarily in the make-to-order business, such as door and windows manufacturers. TDCI has integrated BuyDesign with a variety of IBM i-based ERP systems, including Infor’s own XA, LX, and PRMS, Oracle JD Edwards, and Friedman‘s (now Constellation Software‘s) Frontier, as well as non-IBM i ERP systems, like Microsoft Dynamics.
The TDCI acquisition (if it goes through, which is nearly certain) will also bring MAC-PAC into Infor’s house. Infor undoubtedly didn’t want another legacy IBM i-based ERP system with a manufacturing focus. After all, it already has many such ERP systems, including older products like PRMS and PRISM that the company is no longer actively enhancing, but which the company has committed to never killing outright.
Nevertheless, TDCI has been a strong backer of MAC-PAC, which was originally developed by Anderson Consulting (now Accenture) many, many moons ago. Both Infor and TDCI are privately held, so they’re not discussing specifics of the acquisition. However, it seems likely that TDCI insisted that any deal for BuyDesign must also include big brother MAC-PAC. Infor did not respond to requests for comment about MAC-PAC before this issue of Four Hundred Stuff went to press.
TDCI has only about 85 MAC-PAC customers on maintenance. But they are some big names, such as Nissan Forklift, Ingersoll Rand, Watlow, Quaker Window and Door, AT Cross, and Steelcraft. Microsoft even once famously used the application to manage its product packaging business, but replaced it long ago with its own Dynamics ERP system, (or so we’re told).
Earlier this year, TDCI gave some strong public comments about its support of MAC-PAC, and committed to delivering version 12.5 by June. “The MAC-PAC user community is a very important part of TDCI’s success,” TDCI president Bob Irwin said at the time. “We’re extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished during these 15 years … What we’re really looking forward to is the next 15 years,” said Rhonda DeMuth, TDCI founder and chairman.