This week ERP vendor Infor announced that it is acquiring GT Nexus, a vendor with a global commerce platform. Beyond the impressive economics of the deal (a $675 million acquisition, even in these frothy times, still gets attention), it is an indication of general changes in the business world, and what that means specifically for technology vendors.
Only a few decades ago, the manufacturing process was a generally homogeneous one. Automobile companies, for example, tended to own the majority of their manufacturing plants and, at least for the critical elements, controlled manufacturing processes from soup to nuts. The world has changed seemingly overnight, and manufacturing, like business in general, is a far more organic and distributed structure. Companies like GE and BMW no longer call themselves manufacturers of industrial items or automobiles, but rather design and software houses that control the processes and system that produce those outcomes.