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Great Plains gets an upgrade

Microsoft Business Solutions has released its Great Plains enterprise resource planning (ERP) software version 7.5.

The upgrade includes additional supply chain management and manufacturing features that assists with inventory, distribution and order management.

Other notable additions include the Available to Promise feature that enables businesses to oversee their inventory with complete stock views and access to important data, and the Advanced Distribution tool, which helps businesses to enhance distribution and manage their inventories. This is also a picking feature to help companies manage the order picking process. In addition, users can incorporate Crystal Reports 9.0 Professional into Great Plains 7.5 to design data views and publish recurring reports.

Great Plains also includes more integration with other Microsoft business solutions such as its customer relationship management (CRM), retail management system and its business portal.

Microsoft bought Great Plains Software back in December 2000 for $1.1bn (£691m). Its line of ERP applications were used to manage accounting, sales and marketing, manufacturing and supply chain, and was generally targeted at small and medium-sized companies.

Microsoft faces some competition in the ERP space, which features such industry  powerhouses as PeopleSoft, SAP, Oracle, JD Edwards and Siebel Systems.

Oracle offers an e-business suite that provides business intelligence, financial management, human resources and project management.

JD Edwards’ solution offers financial management, asset, project, and order management. SAP has a bundled offering in mySAP that includes financial accounting, financial supply chain and business analytics.

PeopleSoft’s ERP product, meanwhile, includes enterprise performance management and a financial management solution.

The Great Plains 7.5 product is available now and is priced at $7,000 (£4,397) for a single financial user.


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