New Navision head eyes expansion

Microsoft Corp. this week has appointed Mogens Elsberg as the new head of its Navision enterprise applications business, in charge of leading product strategy and managing partner relationships.

He replaces former Navision general manager Rene Stockner, who left the company in November to work for a Danish startup.

Elsberg hails from Aston Business Solutions, where he served as chief executive officer before the company was bought by Tectura Corp. last August. Aston was a leading Microsoft Business Solutions (MBS) partner, offering Microsoft-based business applications to midsize companies.

Elsberg hopes to use his experience and contacts with customers and channel partners to continue to grow the Navision business, he said in an interview Tuesday.

The Navision unit was formed after Microsoft acquired Danish application developer Navision A/S in 2002. Since then, the Redmond, Washington, software giant has been ramping up its efforts to become a significant player in the mid-market enterprise applications market.

Last October it released the first major upgrade to the Navision product suite, Navision 4.0, which includes financial, manufacturing, customer management, supply chain, analytics and e-commerce data tools. A key feature of Navision 4.0 is further integration with the Microsoft software stack and Elsberg said Tuesday that future releases of the suite will feature even more integration.

Elsberg will also be concentrating on adding new channel partners and expanding use of the existing channel, he said.

"The general idea is to increase Microsoft Business Solutions in all countries," Elsberg said. Navision is currently available in 39 languages and 41 localized versions. Asia is one region that is not well penetrated, however, and Elsberg said he will be looking to add distribution there.

Although new at the job, Elsberg said that it's clear that Microsoft's ambitions for the unit are high.

"There's no doubt that they are focused on Navision bringing in results, and by that I mean revenue," he said.

Elsberg will be based at the Microsoft Development Center in Vedbaek, Denmark, reporting to MBS Corporate Vice President for Marketing and Strategy Tami Reller.

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