Microsoft covets accounting market

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After recent acquisitions of mid-tier accounting software providers Great Plains and Navision, Microsoft Australia has bulked up it Business Solutions division to lead the charge for the M in the SME cake.

Microsoft Business Solutions (MBS) is now considered to be one of seven core divisions at Microsoft, despite representing only $1.2 billion out of Microsoft's $60 billion annual turnover.

Dave O'Hara, executive VP with MBS, said products were being readied for a mid 2003 launch in Australia.

“We do have solutions for small business in the US and Europe and we are now working on globalising those products so that we can offer solutions for the entire SME market going forward,” said O'Hara. “We expect to have a small business solution available in ANZ by mid 2003. It would be a natural fit to produce shrink-wrap small business ERP products to go with the Microsoft Office suite.”

O'Hara said that MBS expects to move to a single code-base for the business solutions products by 2004, and a huge campaign will be launched in the first quarter of 2003 to promote MBS with a focus on the new Microsoft CRM product which has now gone into final beta.

There are 78 partners selling MBS products in the ANZ region servicing 1200 customers and another 42 partners in the wider Asia Pacific region. MBS is predicting 25 percent growth this financial year.

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