Business as usual for Microsoft Axapta resellers

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Microsoft has no special plans for extra initiatives that may help its partners battle their way to Axapta sales in the heaving seas of an already overcrowded and over-traded ERP market.

Microsoft has no special plans for extra initiatives that may help its partners battle their way to Axapta sales in the heaving seas of an already overcrowded and over-traded ERP market.

Rolf Carlsen, Axapta marketing manager at Microsoft Business Solutions (MBS), said that, as usual, partners such as ISVs would be encouraged to build bolt-on applications to "fill in the gaps" in the software.

"Partners are having great success in building vertical solutions for vertical industries," he said. "Microsoft will focus on its usual strategy regarding partners."

MBS was also scheduling regular reseller roadshows and meetings to support partners that chose to push Axapta, he said.

Carlsen said the vendor's global Axapta sales had grown 50 percent year on year, but conceded that was from a small base.

Analysts had suggested ERP would grow six or seven percent in the next year.

He would not say how small a base but argued the product would prove popular.

"Axapta integrates well with other Microsoft product. It is very scaleable. It is three-tier and very flexible. It's easy to learn and it looks like a Microsoft product," he said.

Carlsen said Microsoft had been working to make the Axapta interface compatible with and similar to other Microsoft products "even" before the Axapta acquisition.

Axapta offered a lower total cost of ownership than similar ERP software, he claimed.

"It is easy to deploy. You can have a thin client application," Carlsen claimed.

The next version of Axapta, 4.0, would likely include RFID functionality. RFID capability was already being investigated in a Danish pilot of the next edition, Carlsen said.

Yolanda Delport, product manager for Axapta at MBS, said the Australian ERP market was "very fragmented" from an ERP software perspective.

"And it's not only fragmented but also over-traded," she said.

An advantage of Axapta was that it was quick and easy to make code changes to suit individual needs, she said.

Also, it would target the mid-market as opposed to the top end, Delport added.

"A lot of multinationals are hooked down into their systems. As you move into the mid-market space, that brings you into TCO issues," she said. "So that creates a good local market opportunity for us."

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