Mitsubishi to trawl the Net for business

Mitsubishi Electric, the industrial electronics giant, is planning to target small and medium-sized businesses with an internet bureau service offering Navision financial software, writes Nick Huber.

Accountancy Age has learned the new bureau will form part of the company’s software implementation division, which was set up last year and implements the software of Navision, the Danish financial specialist. Mitsubishi will provide the service through its own internet service provider. Navision is talking to a ‘major’ electrical organisation as a potential client and a pilot scheme is due to come into force within six weeks.

Mitsubishi’s software division aims to create a ‘one-stop shop’ for companies looking at enterprise-wide business systems, as well as an internet services wing for e-commerce.

The news emerges just a month after Mitsubishi announced a three-year restructuring program, which will cut 14,500 jobs worldwide – nearly 10% of its workforce. The company said the restructuring was a reaction to falling demand in the hardware market.

Stephen Thomas, sales and marketing manager for Mitsubishi Electric’s UK software sales and solutions division, guaranteed the future of the software division. ‘Since July, we’ve done £300,000 worth of business and are on target for the year,’ he said. ‘Its focus is purely Navision Financials.’

Thomas said the internet service would give companies remote access to the Navision application via the internet or provide smaller companies with an internet front-end.

Mitsubishi has yet to decide how to charge users for this scheme, however.

The initiative follows a deal struck between SAP and BT, announced in March, under which small to medium-sized businesses can rent SAP’s R/3 application, hosted by BT.

Thomas added that Mitsubishi wanted to target smaller businesses, such as high street branches of electrical retailers that want a mid-range financial application but don’t always have the budget.

Yash Nagpar, UK managing director of Navision, said: ‘I am not aware of the bureau, but Mitsubishi is putting more resources into the software division.’

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