Microsoft buys Axapta toolkit to offer partners

Microsoft has bought an Axapta toolkit for simplifying deployments that it plans to offer free to its partners.

Microsoft Corp. has purchased from one of its partners a toolkit intended to simplify deployment of Microsoft's Axapta software for managing finances, employees, supply chains and other business resources. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Microsoft bought the toolkit, called ERP (enterprise resource planning) Complete, from En'tegrate Software LLC, a Rolling Meadows, Illinois, services firm that specializes in Axapta implementations. ERP Complete includes a wizard-based configuration and setup tool intended to guide administrators through deployment and reduce startup time and costs. Microsoft said it will provide the tool for free to registered Axapta partners in its channel program.

Axapta General Manager Mark Jensen said Microsoft expects to release the kit to the channel next quarter. "We're changing some of the terminology in it and cleaning up parts of it to make it really plug into the MBS methodology work that we're doing," he said.

Axapta is one of the products offered by Microsoft's Business Solutions (MBS) group, which focuses on back-office software. Microsoft acquired the software in 2002 when it purchased Danish software firm Navision. Jensen said Microsoft's impetus for buying ERP Complete was its desire to continue advancing Axapta and positioning it as a low-cost option for midmarket ERP needs.

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