Microsoft Acquisition Bolsters Great Plains

Microsoft's purchase of Sales Management Systems enables it to integrate SMS' QuickSell point-of-sale apps with its Great Plains financial apps.

Strengthening its Microsoft Great Plains Business Solutions software for small and midsize businesses, Microsoft Corp. announced earlier this week the acquisition of Sales Management Systems Inc., a provider of retail point-of-sale software.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Microsoft, of Redmond, Wash., will integrate SMS QuickSell series of point-of-sale and retail management applications with its set of Great Plains financial applications, according to officials.

The combination will offer customers increased operational efficiency like multistore inventory control and fast transaction entry, they said.

SMS line of QuickSell products includes QuickSell Commerce, Commerce HeadQuarters and QuickSell 2000.

Commerce enables brick-and-mortar retailers to expand in-store capabilities to chains as well as the Web.

Commerce HQ pulls and integrates point-of-sale and back-office information from multiple store-level installations back to the main office, allowing retailers to manage from a single location.

QuickSell 2000 is geared more for the single-location store. It manages inventory, including specialty hard goods, soft goods, grocery, services and high-volume convenience stores.

The QuickSell series will also integrate with Microsofts .Net, SQL Server and XML Web services platform.

Microsoft has been on an acquisition course of late.

Purchased by Microsoft last year, Great Plains is primarily low-end ERP (enterprise resource planning) software.

To supplement that purchase, earlier this month Microsoft announced the acquisition of European-based Navision for approximately $1.3 billion. Once the sale is complete, Navision will become part of the Microsofts Business Solutions division, which includes Microsoft Great Plains software.

The combination of Navision and Great Plains will make it easier for Microsoft to deliver .Net business solutions for SMBs, according to officials.

While the SMS acquisition brings functionality for a specific vertical market, the Navision acquisition is expected to bring a much broader European customer base to the Microsoft SMB table.

SMS QuickSell applications will continue to be available as stand-alone offerings. Point-of-sale pricing starts at $990 for QuickSell 2000 and $1,200 for a single store, single register with QuickSell Commerce.

The Great Plains integration--with Great Plains Dynamics and Small Business Manager--will be available in the third quarter. Pricing will start at $2,285.