Marcam started in 1978 as an IBM partner helping customers install, implement, and customize IBM’s Mapics product. Marcam was founded by Paul Margolis (the Mar) and John Campbell (the "Cam"). Who were soon joined by Tom Ebling and Olin Thompson with these four leading the company into the 90's.
In 1980, Marcam saw a glaring need to address the Process Manufacturing market, as Mapics was targeted for Discrete Manufacturing companies. Marcam’s first product, from which it gained fame and momentum, was PRISM. PRISM is widely considered the first ERP system to be designed specfically for process companies (the other products often discussed in the same terms were from Datalogix (now part of Oracle) and Ross Systems) PRISM written in RPG, and was designed originally for the S/38, and later the AS/400. PRISM eventually had several thousand customers with approximately half being food companies and a quarter being chemical companies.
In 1992, Marcam acquired the Mapics product from IBM and ran it as a separate operation, spinning it off in 1996.
In 1994 Marcam began developing it’s next generation product for platforms beyond IBM’s AS/400. This product, known as Protean, was written using Object Oriented Programming.
Marcam's revenue peaked in 1994 at 200 million.
In May of 1999, facing the downturn from the Y2K crash, and many technology challenges stemming from the Proteon project, Marcam threw in the towel and sold out to Invensys, Plc, a factory automation vendor, and owner of the the well know factory automation products Wonderware and Foxboro. The purchase price was $60M.