In a recent email to Financial Director magazine, Accountancy Age’s sister title, Phillip Taylor, founder of SquareSum set out his stall against the Microsoft and Navision merger.
‘The acquisition of Navision by Microsoft, coming only a year after the GreatPlains takeover, shows that Microsoft has made a major change of direction and policy. Bill Gates’ claim that Microsoft, unlike Oracle, would never go into competition with its own partners is dead. Microsoft has embarked on a new course that now brings them into direct competition with many of its loyal supporters,’ Taylor said.
‘Many of us have bet our companies on Microsoft technology and have believed the party line that Bill Gates’ company was friend rather than foe. Suddenly finding that someone you have been promoting as a first class reliable supplier for many years is now a competitor causes a bit of heart searching.’
But Taylor doesn’t believe that the deal spells complete doom for the rest of the financial software industry. He claims that a merged entity combining Microsoft, Great Plains and Navision will have difficulties defining its strategy and will be slow to react to market changes:
‘The overlap of products, technologies, partners and market segments within Microsoft, Great Plains and Navision will now mean that nothing can really move forward in this combined subsidiary for at least two years. However this is good news for the rest of the industry, who will continue to develop innovative solutions that will add value to customers that can’t wait until the Microsoft Great Plains Navision Business Solutions division has decided on its future product strategy,’ he says.