Microsoft Great Plains announced a beefed-up version of its Solomon IV e-business and supply-chain management (SCM) software for small-and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), adding
modules for inventory, sales, and accounting.
The rollout of Solomon IV Release 5.0 comes a week after Microsoft
forked out $1.3 billion to buy Navision, a Danish company that will expand Microsoft’s
reach into the European market.
The three new modules of Solomon IV Release 5.0 are:
- Inventory replenishment, which helps companies track and restock
- Order-to-purchase, a sales-fulfillment tool; and
- Landed-cost, an accounting tool for figuring in extra costs – shipping,
handling, and import fees – above merchandise costs.
Solomon IV 5.0 also offers new payroll functions for construction
businesses, a project series for international invoicing, a multi-company
database, and a dispatching tool using Microsoft MapPoint.
The new Solomon software costs $4,500 for a single user.
Microsoft has attacked the enterprise resource planning (ERP) mid-market
with a vengeance since acquiring Fargo, N.D.-based Great Plains in December 2000 in a $1.1 billion all-stock deal. The move marked Microsoft’s first foray into a new business area since 1995.
Navision is designed to serve as a European complement to Great Plains,
giving Microsoft a powerful presence in the ERP market for SMBs in just a
year and a half. The new business solutions division, with 3,600 employees
and strength in both the U.S. and European markets, will be a formidable
competitor to ERP stalwarts like SAP, PeopleSoft and Oracle.
Meanwhile, Microsoft Great Plains has said it remains on track to release
its much-anticipated customer relationship management software later this year.