Greg Weigard, assistant treasurer at Air Products & Chemicals Inc., based in Allentown, Pa., faces a risk that many treasury managers are wrestling with these days: technology vendor survival. For Weigard, the question of which provider will make it in a tough market is particularly timely since his company needs to replace its four-year-old treasury workstation–a product of now-defunct provider Integrity, which last March became a victim of the merger craze in treasury technology. "We have to make a change, probably this year," Weigard says. "We need more functionality, but we also need a vendor who will be around, so it's a little unnerving to have all this merger and acquisition activity."

Air Products is considered a best-practices treasury, so keeping on top of technology is important to Weigard and his boss, Laurie Stewart, vice president and treasurer. At this point, Weigard describes the deliberations as a two-horse race between the treasury module that is produced by ERP vendor SAP AG and SunGard AvantGard's Quantum. Four years ago, it came down to Quantum and Integrity. SAP's treasury software wasn't strong enough then, and Integrity seemed comparable to Quantum but less expensive, he explains.

SAP's software has improved dramatically, so SAP is in the mix this time because Air Products uses SAP's ERP system. But another reason is that there are just far fewer pure treasury technology vendors out there for Air Products to consider this time around, and those that remain face a murky future. After all, in the past year, SunGard bought Integrity; Thomson Corp. acquired Selkirk; and Trema bought Alterna. Now, private equity investors are taking SunGard and its parent, SunGard Data Systems Inc., private in a nearly $11 billion leveraged buyout, and the continued existence and development of its treasury division's arsenal of solutions–the largest in the industry–has been thrown into doubt. "Regardless of what SunGard says, equity investors have a history of breaking up a company and selling off pieces," Weigard notes. "But of all SunGard's products, Quantum seems to have the strongest franchise, so we'd probably be okay even if someone else ends up owning it."

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