Baan Company N.V.
Called are made and
no one seems to know anything about my letter of introduction
sent a month earlier to CEO Tom Tinsley. Part of the problem
has to due with the fact Tinsley is no longer CEO. Luckily, nice
guy Gerrit van Munster, Vice President-Human Resources, has time
to answer questions and show me around.
Though Barneveld is a very small town, Munster says it's famous all over The Netherlands. Why? It's known as the "chicken village" because of all the chicken farms in the area. Matter of fact, Baan's facility sits on the site of a former chicken farm.
Any similarities between this Dutch software company's head office and those I've visited in Silicon Valley? Hmm, no recreation facilities here-not even a Ping-Pong table, no casual dress days and no employee perks. However, if you head a mile in any direction you're in beautiful farmland country.
Founded in 1978, Baan went public in 1995 and had revenues in 1998 of $735 million. Since June, Mary Coleman is the new CEO. She's been spending most of her time in the Reston, Virginia office. Her office here is on the second floor with an uninspiring view of the parking lot.
Is this computer software firm taking advantage of the Internet? Munster says Baan conducts business on the Internet. Actually it doesn't sell its software systems on the Internet but customers can go to the company's website and purchase add-ons.