Letters to Redmond
Letters@Redmondmag.com: Dec. 2006
This month, readers size up Microsoft Dynamics and Virtual PC. Plus, is the world ready for President Gates? Some readers aren't so sure.
Dynamics: The Perfect Fit?
I am preparing for an ERP [enterprise resource planning] system selection and
really enjoyed Doug Barney's article in the November 2006 issue, "Should
You Buy Microsoft Dynamics?
" I've seen a lot of companies make a huge
ERP system selection mistake by trying to "run with the big dogs."
The size of the "organization unit" staff should be the indicator,
not the size of the overall company.
I'm currently working for a company that has roughly $1 billion in sales and
almost 7,000 employees. I can tell they want to go with the "best"
and seem to be leaning toward SAP. If we were a single business with factories
in multiple locations serving the same or similar markets, they might have a
The fact is we have at least five different markets served by three very different
businesses with 27 fairly autonomous locations on three continents. We only
have two sites with $100 million in sales, and the average is closer to $25
million. I think we'll be making a huge mistake trying to force the complexity
of Oracle or SAP on $25 million business units where each has less than a 50
total G&A headcount. We need a flexible SMB system with some of the financial
consolidation and analysis tools of an enterprise -class company.
In my opinion, one of the selling strategies for SAP and Oracle has been to
focus on total corporate sales volume and not operating unit size to expand
their target audience.
Name withheld by request
Los Angeles, Calif.
No Great Expectations
[In regard to the November 2006 Reader Review, "Microsoft
Virtual PC: Good Enough -- for the Price,"] when Microsoft bought Connectix
(and thus gained Virtual PC) it was a very competitive product with VMware.
That was a bit over two years ago. Since then, VMware has added a whole slew
of new features. I haven't seen a single new feature in Virtual PC or Virtual
Server in that time. I don't expect anything from Microsoft. However, its virtual
offerings aren't even close to VMware and I wouldn't recommend or use them in
a corporate environment.
Sorry, but currently Bill would only garner the "Windows geek" vote,
as discussed in Doug Barney's October 2006 column, "Bill
for President." He needs to drop exclusive alliances and broaden his
acceptance of alternate worldviews.
For example, Bill should install VMware Workstation on his XP laptop and run
at least three different flavors of Linux. This would likely endear him to "all
Second, Bill has no appeal in the southern "red" states. He needs
to start a NASCAR racing team (a la Joe Gibbs). He can endear himself even further
by jumping over the pit wall from a standing position.
Finally, Bill needs the "Hollywood celebrity" vote. Bill should hire
Mel Gibson to do a movie about his life. Mel can get some blood and guts in
the screenplay to toughen Bill's image. At this point, Bill will be ready to
take on all comers, including Arnold. But, with Microsoft's software release
track record, could Bill accomplish all this by 2008?
Nice thoughts, Barney, but unfortunately that is all they are. You answered
your own question when you doubted that all regimes would react the same way.
Why? Because their approach to the world is not logical. Is Islam logical? Or,
as a matter of fact, is any religion logical? Or is any human really logical?
I'd like to think I am, as I'm a very analytical type. But I have to admit,
I do have my illogical moments. Who am I going to vote for? Probably a Republican—lower
taxes, less government regulation, a strong defense, pro-life, marriage between
one man and one woman and a host of other reasons.
Bill? Well, I doubt it, but then again, I didn't think a former actor who became
governor of California would make a good president, either. Now I think he's
one of the best we've had.
I'm an independent software developer developing custom database applications
with Microsoft Access. I'm also a retail business owner. I've got 35 years of
experience in the software business so I've experienced just about all of it.
Lon A. Wiksell
Overland Park, Kan.
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