Cyrus Razzaghi admitted Microsoft's acquisition of Great Plains came as “quite shocking news to the industry”, but stressed that ACCPAC, which is a subsidiary of Computer Associates, had nothing to fear from the latest developments.
“It was quite a shock to learn that Microsoft was willing to enter the market and compete with alliance partners like Sage, Navision and ACCPAC. From our point of view, we are not too concerned for several reasons. First of all, unlike 99 per cent of our competitors, we never put all our eggs in one basket."
Razzaghi pointed out that the company was platform independent, adding that although ACCPAC worked very closely with Microsoft, it also had a Linux system and an IBM DB2 package, together with Oracle and Sybase-based systems.
“In this respect, we are way ahead of the vast majority of competitors who rely heavily on Microsoft. Personally, I believe that Microsoft has so much to risk if it really wants to go head-to-head and compete with hundreds of vendors.
“Microsoft sells billions of dollars worth of software through vendors like us, and that is many, many times the revenues it can generate through Great Plains — so in the short run, I don't see any danger.”
Turning the focus back onto ACCPAC, Razzaghi stated that the company was seeking to greatly increase its channel partner numbers across the UK and Europe.
“We have about 35 partners in the UK at the moment, but we can definitely increase that four or fivefold without saturating the market. There is a disparity at present in that we have 5,500 partners worldwide, but only around 50 in Europe. Our aim is to have between 150 and 200 partners in the UK.”