Outsourcing Solomon

Microsoft will offload maintenance of Microsoft
Business Solutions’ Solomon line of software to that company’s original

The Redmond, Wash., software giant is closing the Findlay, Ohio, office that, for the most part, is devoted to the Solomon product line, the company acknowledged Thursday.
Great Plains Software acquired Solomon in 2000, just before it was itself
acquired by Microsoft and rolled into the Business Solutions division.

At the same time, Microsoft has signed a letter of intent to contract
with Findlay-based Plumbline Software to maintain Solomon. Solomon Software
co-founders Jack Ridge, Gary Harpst, and Vernon Strong announced the
formation of Plumbline on Thursday.

“This is a sign to me that Solomon is no longer core enough to Microsoft
that they want to invest in updating it,” said Directions on Microsoft
analyst Matt Rosoff.

“Solomon is project accounting, and I suspect a lot of
that will go into Great Plains.” Microsoft has committed to supporting
Solomon customers through 2013, Rosoff said. “I suspect most of the advances
will be on the Great Plains side now,” he said.

Plumbline won’t put all its eggs in Solomon’s basket, however. The new
company plans to work with resellers to integrate and customize Microsoft
Business Solutions Business Portal offerings. It will also help Microsoft
customers move to the .NET architecture.

Approximately 108 employees out of the 177 based in Microsoft’s Findlay
office will be laid off; a Microsoft spokesperson said that as many as 70
may find work with Plumbline.

This is a cost-cutting measure for Microsoft, Rosoff said.

“They have
four product lines plus software they’ve developed internally or gained
through other acquisitions,” Rosoff said. “They need to streamline and get costs down. They
looked at what was selling and what wasn’t, and this looked like the obvious
thing to go.”

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