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Microsoft Upgrades Small Biz Offering

Microsoft bolstered its position in the small business computing software market today with its revamped accounting and business management product.

Business Solutions Small Business Financials (SBF) North America Edition, the lengthy name of the new product, is a rebranded and updated version of the company's Business Solutions Small Business Manager software.

The latest effort, designed for enterprises in the United States and Canada with 10 to 49 employees, is aimed at improving growing businesses' ability to connect people and information while streamlining the information processes to help manage more effectively, according to Microsoft.

Users will have greater ability to customize reports, streamline order processing and inventory management, and automate scheduled data backups, according to the company.

The enhanced compatibility between SBF and Small Business Server 2003 also provides businesses with a server solution that paves the way for efficient and effective communication and collaboration, according to Jeff Young, general manager of Microsoft Business Solutions.

"Microsoft Small Business Financials complements the upcoming Microsoft Office for Small Business Management edition by providing a logical growth option for those businesses that require the additional functionality of an entry-level system or a move to a server-based infrastructure," Young said in a statement.

Young also said users of the new software can scale it with Business Solutions through an upgrade from SBF to Microsoft Business Solutions, Great Plains.

Richard Lederer, a partner and director of accounting software solutions with PDG Consultants, specialists in customizing Microsoft Business Solutions systems, said developing products in-line with the customers' business life cycle is beneficial to both customers and partners.

"The Microsoft Business Solutions family of products allows our customers to start out and grow into the solution that best suits them at the appropriate time and a competitive price point," Lederer said in the statement. "For all our customers, the decision to purchase a Microsoft Business Solution was easy because of their familiarity and use of other Microsoft products in their businesses."

The product is scheduled to begin shipping today, and it will be available through Microsoft's network of partners.