Jeff Raikes, vp at Microsoft's business services group said: "As [Microsoft and Great Plains] talked about the next generation of Internet-enabled .NET software services, we came to the realization that we see the future of business applications for small and medium companies in the same way."
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Great Plains sells through a 2000 strong network of solution providers and is likely to adapt its suite of financial and supply-chain management software for delivery via the web and remote hosting, as well as the traditional in-house solution.
The Great Plains suite includes finance, distribution, enterprise reporting, manufacturing, payroll, human resources, and service management modules.
The billion dollar tie-up with Microsoft will place this software at the centre of Microsoft's remote services push into the small business arena.
"A family-owned business that employs 35 people will have access to – and will be able to afford – the same kinds of technology purchased by a multi-national corporation," said Raikes.