Microsoft Great Plains is a major Microsoft Business Solutions accounting package for the US market. You should probably expect some issues when you have software development company to be bought by big player – in this case Great Plains Software was bought by Microsoft (Bill Gates was a friend to Doug Burgum – owner and leader of Great Plains Software – Great Plains Dynamics / eEnterprise). We certainly have some influence level in Microsoft Business Solutions, but what happened is out of our decision level and this is really sad story.
OK. Let's go to the story itself. Imagine – you are small company who serves to your clients as payroll / Human Resources outsourcer. Old-days Great Plains Dynamics on Ctree or Pervasive SQL / Btrieve was excellent and inexpensive solution. You could have all your clients need installed on your home computer somewhere in Southern States, enjoying the sun and the niceties of California for k $ 2 per year with Great Plains software list price of around k $ 10 with unlimited number of Payroll / HR employees
Now – you have sudden hurricane – over Florida – somebody who is in charge in Microsoft – but really without clear understanding on what is in stake – this person needs to retune the cheap Great Plains version. Good – now you have Small Business Manager with restriction on employee count, then you have so-called Great Plains Standard which is available on MSDE and MS SQL Server 2000 – it caps you at 500 employees and … – as a result of this decision – you can not conduct your business with Microsoft Business Solutions any more.
We have multiple examples of our customers who had to switch to Accpac, Adapta Soft and other cheap vendors of Payroll HR versions without limitation on the number of employees. We do certainly respect the right of Microsoft to compete with Oracle, SAP and PeopleSoft – but what is going on is probably non-planned and side effect of the solution which was made too soon. Of course the need to finish the contract with Pervasive software was a good idea – but cutting your small loyal customers – we actually doubt this
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