Aston gets first slice of Esselte ERP pie

The local arm of IT services company, Aston Business Solutions, has won a million-dollar slice of Microsoft's largest ever ERP deal, rolled out worldwide for office supplies manufacturer Esselte.

In late July, Esselte announced that it would roll out a solution based on Microsoft Business Solutions' Axapta software across four continents. The deal, which involves Microsoft Business Solutions partners in several countries, aims to consolidate Esselte's 18 ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems and nine warehouse management systems into a single business solution.

This solution will support 3,000 concurrent users around the globe making it the largest Axapta deal Microsoft has ever rolled out. The deal is worth $10 million to $15 million globally.

Esselte chose to implement the solution in some of its smaller markets first. Australia, Russia and the Benelux countries (Belgium, Holland, Luxemberg) were followed by the US, the UK, Poland and the rest of the world.

Managing director of Aston Business Solutions in Australia, Ian Whiting, said his office will gain significant licenses and services revenue as a result of the deal.

"The design for the core development will actually be done here in Australia and then rolled out to the rest of the world," he said. "It comes down to economics, we can provide the resources at a better value point than in both North America and Europe."

Whiting said another reason why Australia and Russia were chosen ahead of Esselte's larger markets was that these two countries have a more urgent need for the solution.

Development and deployment work will kick off in October 2003 in Sydney and Esselte anticipates its Australian operations will be up and running on the new system by May 2004.

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