In a move that apparently took nobody by surprise, supply chain technology vendor RedPrairie Corp. of Waukesha, Wis., has bought LIS, a provider of warehouse management systems. Operating under the RedPrairie name, the combined company now represents one of the largest players in the market, with projected 2004 revenues of $130 million.
Nigel Montgomery, director of European research for AMR Research, writing in an AMR Research Alert Highlight, called the acquisition one of the least surprising of the year. RedPrairie, already a large North American player, has been seeking to expand its overseas presence and its ability to serve global customers. This move will give RedPrairie access to LIS's expertise in international logistics and duty and customs management as well as a foothold in Europe.
Though Montgomery called the acquisition a generally positive move, he also pointed out that it does not "alter the battle lines between bestof- breed software vendors (like RedPrairie) and the much larger enterprise resource planning [providers]. The ERP vendors continue to encroach into traditional bestof- breed functionality," he said, which is forcing the niche vendors to fight back more aggressively.