Microsoft's Fragmented ERP Line At Least Gets Unified Pricing
Want some high-end financial software? You might want to try out Microsoft
Dynamics, er, Dynamics AX, NAV, GP or Solomon, that is. Redmond has four different
financial tools, which used to have four different pricing models. Microsoft
is working like demons to create a single uber tool, and in the meantime has
been making the interfaces similar and many of the components interchangeable.
This week the company took
the decent step of trying to rationalize pricing and licensing for the product
line. At first it sounded simpler: There is an entry-level, a mid-level and
a high-end product. Then I realized there is an entry-level, a mid-level and
a high-end product for each of the four tools -- 12 SKUs in all!
Despite the confusion (it takes a rocket scientist or an IRS auditor to figure
out this product line), look for Microsoft to own the mid-market ERP, CRM and
supply chain spaces in the years to come. Mark my words.
Firefox on Fire
None of my kids use Internet Explorer. The two boys on their iBooks
pound away on Safari, while my daughter (after cleaning spyware for the umpteenth
time) was finally convinced to use Firefox. Despite all this, IE maintained
a stranglehold on browsers -- until now. IE
is down to a paltry 83 percent -- nothing to sneeze at for most, but a disaster
for Redmond. I'm not sure if IE7 can reverse the slide, but I will tell
you that I don't see any exciting new browser technology on the way. What
do you want from the next-generation browsers? Tell us at email@example.com.
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Bigger and Bigger Hard Drives for More and More Junk?
Hard-drive makers and SAN and NAS vendors love it when we back up data,
no matter how useless it is! No one, it seems, ever asks if we need to keep
up all this clutter. And with all the laws about compliance, sometimes we're
not even allowed to ask. That's why information asset management (IAM) is such
a bright spot. This software promises to help IT save only what needs to be
saved, and archive only what needs to be archived. When was the last time you
cleaned out all your old e-mail and Word docs?
IAM player Ninji Corp. is serious about
this market and has $13 million fresh VC dollars to go after it.
What do you think? Are you more worried about adding storage capacity and better
backup, or do you also try to control the data itself through quotas, training
and other means? Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.