With Lots of Partner Help, Microsoft Launches Small Business Accounting 2006
- By Paul Desmond
Microsoft today added to its small-business arsenal by announcing
the general availability and promotional pricing for Microsoft Office
Small Business Accounting 2006 and Office Small Business Management
Edition 2006, which is a version of Office that includes the new
SBA 2006 is intended to be an accounting package that is simple
to deploy and use, yet includes everything a small business needs
to manage its sales, marketing and financial processes. It costs
$149 in the U.S., after a $30 mail-in-rebate. Small Business Management
Edition is priced at $569 for new customers, or $399 as an upgrade
for existing Office users. Both prices are after a $100 mail-in
The Management Edition includes SBA plus Outlook 2003 with Business
Contact Manager Update as well as the 2003 versions of Word, Excel,
PowerPoint, Publisher and Access. "It’s the full meal
deal for small businesses," says Doug Leland, general manager
for small business for Microsoft’s Small, Midmarket Solutions
and Partners group.
Partners of various stripes are playing a significant role in the
launches, Leland says.
On the OEM front, Dell is offering SBA 2006 pre-loaded on select
Dimension desktops and Inspiron notebooks while Gateway will offer
the Management Edition on its new S-series desktops and notebooks.
Microsoft has agreements with large retailers to distribute the
product, Leland says, including CompUSA, Staples, Office Depot,
Amazon.com, OfficeMax and Best Buy. The agreements mean the products
will be available from more than 5,000 retail outlets in the U.S.
More than 65,000 VARs and system builders have already received
the SBA product, Leland says, and Microsoft has online training
available to get partners up to speed on the products. Recognizing
that accounting pros will likely play a significant role in recommending
SBA to their clients, Microsoft previously launched the Microsoft
Accountants’ Network to support their efforts. Members get
a free copy of the SBA product, he says, along with support and
training to help them get certified on it.
Some 135 ISVs are participating in the SBA early adopter program
and more than 300 say they will be or are building solutions on
top of SBA, Leland says. Twenty of them announced products at the
launch today, including tax and legal applications, and he says
75 applications are expected to ship within the next few months.
Microsoft also has agreements with a number of service providers
to integrate their offerings with SBA. They include:
- ADP - payroll and tax processing
- Chase Merchant Services - credit and debit card processing
- Digital Insight and Checkfree - online banking and bill payment
using Direct Connect
- Deluxe Small Business Services - checks and various forms
- Thomson Creative Solutions and Taxsoftware.com - tax services
For more details, go to: http://www.office.microsoft.com/sba
Paul Desmond, the founding editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine, is president of the IT publishing firm PDEdit in Southborough, Mass. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.