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VARBusiness: Microsoft Acquires Add-On Software That Works With ERP App

Microsoft Acquires Add-On Software That Works With ERP App


VARBusiness logo By Rick Whiting, VARBusiness
4:12 PM EDT Thu. Mar. 15, 2007
Here's a new metric of success for VARs: Microsoft was so impressed with the Lean Manufacturing software U.K.-based solution provider eBECS developed to work with Microsoft's Dynamics AX ERP application that it has acquired the product, the two companies said this week.

By the end of this year, Microsoft will offer the eBECS software as a separate add-on module as part of the Microsoft Dynamics Industry Solution for Lean Enterprises under the Microsoft Dynamics Business Ready Licensing program. Further out, Microsoft plans to build the eBECS code directly into Version 5 of Dynamics AX that is expected by mid-2008.

The financial details of the deal were not disclosed. The agreement also includes a plan for eBECS -- with support from Microsoft -- to develop a Lean Centre of Excellence to provide support services to Microsoft channel partners and customers in North America, Europe and other parts of the world.

Lean Manufacturing is a methodology developed by Toyota Motor for boosting production and distribution efficiency. Working with customers and suppliers, manufacturers can better match production to demand, reducing inventories of components, raw materials and finished goods. That lowers costs and helps businesses respond more quickly to market changes.

Founded in 2000, eBECS resells Dynamics AX; it developed its Lean Manufacturing technology to run with the Microsoft application. The eBECS software is now installed at 24 customer sites, said Kevin Hall, eBECS managing director, at an interview at this week's Microsoft Convergence 2007 conference in San Diego.

Manufacturing is one of five industries (along with retail, distribution, services and the public sector) that Microsoft is targeting with its Dynamics software line.

Although Microsoft now owns the eBECS code and related intellectual property, eBECS will continue to sell the software until later this year when the product joins Microsoft's price list. After that, eBECS will resell Dynamics AX with the Lean Manufacturing capabilities, providing business-process consulting and software implementation services. Microsoft and eBECS also will continue to enhance the Lean Manufacturing technology.

From VARBusiness: http://www.crn.com/software/198001243

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