Microsoft Adds More Vertical Infrastructure to Its SMB Product Family

The Redmond company has acquired public-sector accounting software that it plans to integrate into its 'industry enabling layer' of technologies.

Microsoft announced Tuesday morning that it has purchased accounting products from reseller partner Encore Business Solutions and is adding them to its Microsoft Business Solutions (MBS) stable.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Microsoft purchased Encores non-profit accounting software, as well as its inter-company payables management and requisition modules. MBS already resells these Encore products via an OEM agreement with Encore. Microsoft purchased Encores intellectual property only; Encore will continue to operate as an independent company, Microsoft officials said.

MBS plans to make the Encore modules part of its Great Plains 8.0 suite, which is due to launch this July, Microsoft officials said.

MBS also plans to offer the public-sector modules as part of its horizontal "industry-enabling layer" technologies. MBS is in the midst of an independent software vendor (ISV) road show where it is evangelizing this layer of technologies to existing and potential ISV and reseller partners. Microsoft is touting these layered Microsoft technologies as a base upon which partners can build vertical-market solutions.

MBS is advocating that other companies use MBS bill-of-materials, project-accounting, payment-processing, core transaction-processing and EDI distribution modules from its Great Plains, Navision and Axapta products as the foundation for their own products. Microsoft officials are encouraging partners to embed these Microsoft modules right into their own vertical products or customize their applications in a way so that they work atop these Microsoft modules.

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