Microsoft reveals Business Apps roadmap

Microsoft Corp is starting to open up regarding the scope of its business software ambitions with the revelation at its partner conference in Minneapolis last week that it plans to launch five application sets over the next 12 months in a bid to provide end-to-end software support for SME business activities.

Three of the five application sets will be available by the end of this year. In addition to the long-trailed CRM application, the company also intends to launch two vertical market applications: Microsoft Business Solutions Professional Services Automation and Microsoft Retail Management System. A portal product is planned for the first half of 2003, while data exchange software is likely to appear after that, which will provide a means for organizations to exchange data over the internet with both partners and customers.

Ultimately, the company aims to provide integrated functionality covering business operations, retail management, manufacturing, supply chain and service automation, enabling tight integration between front- and back-office functions. If that sounds familiar, it should do, because it is the same message that has long been promoted by enterprise-level business applications vendors such as SAP, Oracle and PeopleSoft.

News source: The Reg

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