MAPICS, the product, started its life as a software product, within IBM. First released in 1980, MAPICS was a manufacturing product for discrete manufacturers. It ran on the IBM S/36 and S/38. In 1992, when IBM decided to get out of the software business, they sold MAPICS to Marcam, of Newton, MA. IBM had decided to stop competing with ISV’s who may or may not develop software for the still young AS/400. IBM had a great deal riding on the success of the AS/400, it’s “midrange” platform of the future.
Marcam had been a reseller and implementer of MAPICS in the late 80’s, and went on to develop their own manufacturing product, PRISM, which was geared for the market that MAPICS had ignored, the process manufacturing marketplace. Marcam enjoyed great success with PRISM, also an AS/400 centric product during the 90’s. The purchase of MAPICS from IBM brought a discrete product in house, and two solid AS/400 products with large customer bases.
The AS/400 was not the only game in town, and more “open”, Unix based systems were gaining in popularity. In an effort to get into the “open systems” market, Marcam purchased The Varnet Group (Varnet) out of Montreal, Quebec in July of 1993. Varnet was a Progress based, discrete manufacturing package that offered solutions for the Unix marketplace giving Marcam access to customers who were dedicated to the IBM AIX, the HP-UX, Digital VAX and Ultrix platforms and others. Marcam renamed this product MAPICS XP. In 1998, MAPICS was spun out of Marcam and reincorporated as a separate company, headquartered in Atlanta. Atlanta at the time was a hot-bed of AS/400 application development as the home of IBM's local General Services Division, which handled software for IBM's midrange platforms.
In December 2000, MAPICS bought Pivotpoint (formally known as Spectrum Software), a vendor of ERP, SCM, and CRM applications for the Windows server platform for $48M.
In 2002, Marcam acquired FrontStep, a maker of Windows-based manufacturing-centric ERP solutions, for about $25 million in stock and the assumption of $21.5 million in debt. Those acquisitions and the roll out of a very respectable SyteLine ERP package did not really help Marcam to expand its markets as much as it had hoped.
At year end 2004, Marcam had 4,500 customers in about 10,000 sites worldwide, and had sales of $172.8M.
In January of 2005, Infor announced a definitive agreement to acquire MAPICS for $12.75/share. At the time, MAPICS had 27.2 million shares outstanding.