Microsoft is opening Office to third parties through a new add on feature called Line of Business interoperability, or LOBi, for Share Point Server. With LOBi, Microsoft Office applications will be able to manage transactions with back office ERP systems.
Microsoft will be offering this integration with their Microsoft Dynamics range half way through next year ,what is interesting is ,there are third party vendors who have signed up to use Microsoft LOBI with their own ERP systems such as Epicor and Workday.
Microsoft is releasing BizTalk Server 2006, which includes native support for the EDI and AS2 communication protocols, and a new set of services supporting RFID technology. This should be available in 2007
Microsoft has purchased adapters from iWay software so instead of having to purchase your specific EDI, RFID product from a third party ,Microsoft is offering one package allowing you to vent your feelings at one company when the software does not work out the box.
The RFID services will utilize a set of open APIs that Microsoft business partners, such as Unisys, can use to create an end-to-end solution for customers.
Pricing for BizTalk Server 2006 costs $30,000 per processor, BizTalk Server 2006 R2 will also support the new WinFX programming model that Microsoft is building into Windows Vista and the next release of Windows Server.
Hasso Plattner, of SAP is open to chatting to suitors for a possible merger or buyout saying : “There are only three potential buyers: IBM,Microsoft and Google of all companies. I don’t see anyone else. If shareholders think that a combination, and not independence, is better, then it will happen.”
Platter’s thoughts on IBM were: “I do not want to invent rumours because there are no talks. However, I do not want to say that I dislike IBM so much that I could not imagine such a scenario at all.” But the two companies have formed an agreement for IBM in the us to resell SAP to the small to medium sized market.
Microsoft: They did talk a couple of years ago but there would be EU competition issues there which could sour the party.
Google: nothing mentioned that would be a huge culture clash to manage but imagine having a SAP application that was flexible .If Google could change the mindset in SAP, having customer focused approach would work wonders.
There will be no dance with Larry (Oracle) though, he must be miffed.
The company that takes on SAP will need to have deep pockets Sap’s turnover is $64bn plus they are leading the field in organic sales with plans to double their stock price by 2010
The staff at Microsoft has been busy at the annual convergence event held in Dallas; they have just previewed Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0 which will be released in June.
Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0 will integrate with SQL Server so users can perform business intelligence (BI) analysis of any data within the application; and SharePoint-based portal technology, which supports their new roles-based user interfaces.
Look and feel will be outlook 2003 and supposed to have a beefed up web services architecture.
There will be wizard tools to help for upgrades and quick setup for new implementations.
Microsoft is moving to a per user pricing for their ERP systems currently they work on a module basis.
Specific pricing has not been released, but there will be a partner conference in July which should be a good time to sort out the changes in their pricing.
Existing customers will have the option to stay with their current pricing structure or look at the per user pricing ,talk is that customers who have maxed out on the modules from Microsoft’s ERP products will pay less than customers who have taken the core modules?
Microsoft has released Microsoft Dynamics Snap, a new collection of software packages that integrate in to Microsoft Office 2003. These four new programs help enable information workers to easily coordinate and manage data in Microsoft Axapta and Microsoft CRM 3.0
The different packages are
Timesheet Management Snap-In,
Vacation Management Snap-In
Business Data Lookup Snap-In for Axapta and CRM 3.0
Microsoft Corp.'s Linux and open-source lab on the Redmond campus has been running some interesting tests of late, one of which was looking at how well the latest Windows client software runs on legacy hardware in comparison to its Linux competitors. The tests, which found that Windows performed as well as Linux on legacy hardware when installed and run out-of-the-box, were done in part to give Microsoft the data it needed to effectively 'put to rest the myth that Linux can run on anything.'"
The follow up comments argue both points if Microsoft thinks they can use this info for a marketing drive the slashdot geeks would rip them to pieces.