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New Microsoft products for large and small businesses

Posted by iTech - 2005-10-11

Microsoft touted two product rollouts on Monday, one a service pack aimed at attracting large corporate customers with remote offices; the other a licensing and services promotion for small businesses.

The software giant launched Service Pack 1 for Navision 4, a product designed to integrate data from various departments, such as finance, distribution and manufacturing. This edition of Navision is intended to expand the market for its business application and security features to include not only small and midsize busineses but also enterprise customers.

Microsoft also introduced a consulting services subsidy for small-business customers in its Open Value licensing program.

Under its Small Business Platform SKU promotion, Microsoft is tying the purchase of at least five Microsoft Office 2003 licenses, or one Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 license, with an offer of up to US$100 in free consulting services from any Microsoft Partner Program member of the user's choice.

The consulting subsidy announcement comes as other large industry players, such as IBM, roll out their own announcements to lure small and midsize customers.

Open Value customers can apply Microsoft's check toward consulting services focused on installation, deployment, risk and security assessments, as well as training for end users. Customers who purchase both the server and at least five Office 2003 licenses are eligible to receive a consulting subsidy of as much as US$125.

Microsoft Navision 4, which was released last year, is designed to enable companies to organize and share data among employees, partners and customers. Through Microsoft's Navision Employee Portal, Service Pack 1 (SP1) seeks to make the business application more secure and accessible to a wider range of users.

Microsoft has been adding more security features to its service packs, especially since the release of SP2 for its Windows XP operating system.

Navision 4.0 SP1 is also designed to improve the inventory costing, planning resiliency and other features of the business application.

"Divisions of larger enterprises...can use the solution in a decentralized environment while remaining connected with their organization's primary enterprise resource-planning solution," Mogens Elsberg, Microsoft Navision general manager, said in a statement.

The Navision software is part of Microsoft's Dynamics product line, which the software giant last month rebranded. Previously, some of the Dynamic products were part of Microsoft's Business Solutions products line.



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