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New ERP products to target midmarket

Microsoft, Oracle and Baan are readying new enterprise software applications in a bid to capitalise on midmarket demand for integrated front and back-office systems.

Microsoft is expected to unveil two new enterprise resource planning offerings, featuring technology it has acquired from Navision, that are focused squarely on small and medium-sized business needs.

Microsoft's new Axapta 3.0 ERP solution features an enterprise portal, designed to provide users with data tailored for their role in the organisation, said Shawna Van Buskirk, Axapta product marketing manager at Microsoft. In addition, the user interface for Axapta has been altered for more logical navigation in three clicks or less, she added.

The new Navision 3.6 - the next generation of Navision's Attain financials module, which will ship in November - integrates financial management, CRM, and supply-chain management into a single database. It features tighter integration to Microsoft Outlook and Excel and enhanced order-promising capabilities. Navision also leverages smart tags via the .net platform to allow users to launch Navision from a Word or Excel document or from an e-mail message.

Netledger, which makes the Oracle Small Business Suite, has announced a new online suite that combines ERP and CRM for companies with fewer than 500 employees. The new NetSuite adds advanced accounting, warehousing, and CRM to Version 8 of the small-business suite. "The best-of-breed application for this market is an integrated system," said Zach Nelson, president of NetLedger.

Meanwhile, Baan has unveiled its new OpenWorldX platform, which is designed to allow enterprises to rapidly create and deploy business processes that span the enterprise and to allow iBaan Value Apps to eliminate the data latency between companies in a supply chain. OpenWorldX will be a key enabling technology for the company's next-generation ERP system code-named Gemini, according to Baan.

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