Mid-market is new, untapped battleground

Microsoft is positioning its Axapta solution squarely at the mid-market along with the traditional enterprise software providers who have all earmarked this sector as they work to futureproof revenues in a highly competitive climate.

Describing Australia's second-tier ERP market as fragmented, Microsoft business solutions Axapta product manager Yolanda Delport said this is one segment where the company is finding plenty of untapped opportunities.

Delport admitted the mid-market was receiving plenty of attention from tier-one vendors, adding that Axapta's core market is companies with 100 to 500 employees as well as the upper mid-market of 500 to 1000 employees.

However, she said it is the big players that are bumping into total cost of ownership (TCO) issues, a problem which Axapta can exploit.

Microsoft Axapta is a multiple currency ERP solution with core strengths in manufacturing and e-business, as well functionality for the wholesale and service industries. Microsoft Axapta 4.0 is planned for local release next year.

Speaking at a media briefing in Sydney yesterday, Microsoft business solutions Axapta group product marketing manager Rolf Carsen presented research undertaken by Nucleus Research into Axapta's return on investment (ROI).

Carsen said the research shows that 75 percent of Axapta customers have achieved ROI with an average payback period of 23 months. He said the average deployment time was 13.4 months, with a range of five months to 36 months for a phased deployment.

The research also found ERP is being deployed in more areas of organizations and is being used as a collaborative tool.

"The competitors to us are now often the big boys like Oracle, SAP, PeopleSoft and JD Edwards," Carsen said.

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