Navision/Microsoft: Let’s look at the facts.

Navision/Microsoft: Let's look at the facts.

I refer to the recent articles on the Microsoft acquisition of Navision and in particular Dennis Keeling's assertion that Navision Attain is old technology and Microsoft Great Plains (MGP) does not fit the .Net strategy, thus in one sentence apparently consigning both products to the scrap heap.

As a relative insider (Tenon is a major user of the product and one of the leading resellers in Europe) I thought you might be interested in what we believe is actually happening, as opposed to idle speculation.

I agree that the main target of the acquisition was the Axapta product.

However, to say MGP has no place in Microsoft’s .Net strategy avoids the fact that MGP is by far the largest SME player in the US. It paid over $1bn for that business and has spent considerable sums in the intervening 18 months rewriting the product to achieve maximum gains when eventually .Net is delivered. It is obvious that nearly all software will have to be rewritten in some way to exploit web services.

Fortunately Great Plains is owned by a company with the resources to do just that.

My view is that MGP will focus on the English speaking world until they have the multilingual versions available to allow them to compete in Europe, which they will do.

The real reason behind the Navision move is because with #1bn excess cash being generated each month Microsoft are in the enviable position of being able to act quickly to achieve their target of a $10bn application business. To write off both Attain and MGP is at best cavalier.

David Rankin, Tenon Group.

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