Jan Baan

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Jan Baan (Born in Rijssen, 9 March 1946) is a Dutch entrepreneur and venture capitalist, known as the founder of the Baan Company, a software company providing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. After selling the company, he founded Cordys, a company to provide web-related ERP products.[1]


Baan was born and raised in Rijssen as eldest son in a family of ten. His father was a carpenter, and his grandfather on his mother's side was cofounder of a regional bus company.[2]

At the age of 16, Baan started working at a meatworks, leaving secondary school without a degree. After serving in the military, Baan got a job at an accounting firm. In 1970, he started working for a wholesale firm, where after two years he became head of the accounting department. When the company bought their first computer, Baan got acquainted with automation. Mid 1970s Baan started working as a consultant, and shortly managed the financial department of a large company.[2]

In 1978, Jan founded The Baan Company, a software company providing ERP solutions, which became a major player in the ERP software industry. Jan Baan left the Baan Company in 1998. After his efforts with the Baan Company, Baan became a venture capitalist[2] and invested in companies like Top Tier and WebEx; both were eventually valued above $1billion. Top Tier was later sold to SAP, while WebEx was sold to Cisco. In an interview, Baan said that "... with WebEx and Top Tier I was an investor. Baan, and Cordys, I do for life. I am not a serial entrepreneur at all." [3]

In 2005, Baan wrote a book on his life as an entrepreneur, called The Way to Market Leadership.[4]


Baan Company[edit]

The Baan Company was founded in 1978. With the development of his first software package in 1979, he commenced his career in the ERP industry. His brother Paul Baan joined him in the management of the company. Under Jan's stewardship, the company made good market in the field of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software and grew from a $35 million company in the early 1990s to $680 million in 1998.

The Baan Company competed successfully with large companies like SAP and PeopleSoft and became the number 2 ERP player in the software industry.[5] However, the company's fall started in 1998 as the stocks started to dip and eventually in 2000 it was sold to the British company Invensys.[6]


In 2001, Baan started a new company, Cordys, along with Theodoor van Donge. The intention was to produce products serving to bridge the traditional Enterprise Resource Planning products with the internet, using the internet as the front end.[7][8]

In August 2013, Jan Baan sold Cordys to OpenText for 33M USD.


  1. ^ Abrahams, Peter (25 June 2004). "Jan Baan the software man". The Register. Archived from the original on 12 February 2014. Retrieved 12 February 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c Henk Post "De snelle groei van de Baan Company: de rol van Jan Baan in: Ondernemen in netwerken. Wim Hulsink, Dick Manuel (eds.), 2004. p. 291
  3. ^ CBR Online's Q&A: Jan Baan on the demise of Baan and the birth of Cordys Part 1, 20 April 2010
  4. ^ The Way To Market Leadership [1], 21 April 2010
  5. ^ Cordys Executive Team: Jan Baan, Executive Chairman and CEO [2], 21 April 2010
  6. ^ The Baan Company [3], 21 April 2010
  7. ^ Cordys Background [4], 21 April 2010
  8. ^ ERP pioneer Jan Baan on impact of BPM [5], 21 April 2010

External links[edit]