REDMOND,Wash。

July30,2003MicrosoftBusinessSolutionsrecentlylaunchedtwoupdatedreleasesdevelopedspecificallyforsmallcompanies,whichoftenfacethechallengeofneedingtocentralizemanagementoftheirbusinesseswithoutspendingafortuneonIT。

MicrosoftBusinessSolutionsSmallBusinessManager7。

5,launchedJuly21,includesfeaturestohelpsmallcompaniesmanageorders,inventory,assets,payrollanddeductions。

SmallBusinessManager7。

5alsoincludesstrongerreportingtools,moreflexibility,andmorecompatibilitywithavarietyofotherapplications。

WevegearedSmallBusinessManager7。

5towardcustomerswhoareoutgrowingpackagedsoftware,

saysKarenEngel,groupproductmanagerwithMicrosoftBusinessSolutions。

Theimprovementsandadditionstothefunctionalitywillgivesmallbusinessesthepowertheyneedtoretaintheircompetitiveedgeintodayschallengingmarketplace。

AnditsobtainedthroughMicrosoftBusinessSolutionsnetworkofcertifiedpartners,whohaveproventhemselveswhenitcomestocustomizingtechnologytohelpsmallbusinessesgetuptospeedquickly。

MicrosoftBusinessSolutionsRetailManagementSystem1。

2(MicrosoftRMS1。

2),releasedtomanufacturersonJuly1,includesnewfeaturesandcapabilitiestohelpsmallandmid-marketretailersimprovethewaytheymanagetheirbusinesses。

BrendanOMeara,productunitmanagerwithMicrosoftBusinessSolutions,saysthatMicrosoftRMS1。

2allowsretailerstomorestrategicallymanage,controlandplanthegrowthofasingle-ormulti-storeretailoperation。

OMearasaysthatretailerswhouseMicrosoftRMS1。

2canalsoenjoythehighdegreeofcompatibilitywithSmallBusinessManager7。

5,whichwillhelpthemimprovetheirabilitytomanagebusinessassets,streamlinefulfillment,andselectfromevenmoreoptionsforsophisticateddataanalysis。

MicrosoftRMS1。

2willpavethewayforindependentmerchantstomanagetheirbusinessesinwaysthatworkbestforthem,ontheirowntimeline,andatanaffordableprice,

OMearasays。

MicrosoftRMS1。

2willhelpretailersimprovethewaytheymanagetheirbusinessinfourkeyareas。

First,thankstostrongercompatibilitywithotherbusinessapplications,retailerscanmaketheirbusinesssoftwaremoreversatileandmorepowerful。

Newpayment-processingandservicefeatureswillenablenewmeansofpaymentprocessingthatwillmakeiteasiertofulfillcustomerordersmorequickly。

MicrosoftRMS1。

2willsimplifyprocessesandsafeguardbusinessinformationandtransactions。

Finally,OMearasays,MicrosoftRMS1。

2canbetailoredtothewayaretailbusinessisrun,ratherthantheotherwayaround。

WevebuiltMicrosoftRMS1。

2todelivermaximumvaluetotodayssmallandmid-marketretailer,

OMearasays。

And,buildingonitsstrongrelationshipwithCitibankMerchantServices,MicrosoftRMS1。

2willalsonowsupportdebitcardtransactionprocessing,apaymentoption,OMearasays,thattodaysconsumersexpect。

SmallBusinessManager7。

5:TheBellsandWhistlesofaMid-RangeSystemforaSmallBusinessPrice

LindyAntonelli,founderandCEOofAccessTechnologiesinNaperville,Ill。

sayssheexpectsSmallBusinessManager7。

5tobeapopularchoiceamongherclients,whichareprimarilydistributionfirms,non-profitsandfinancialservicescompanies。

SmallBusinessManager7。

5includesthebellsandwhistlesyoudfindinamid-rangesystemforasmallbusinessprice,

shesays。

SmallBusinessManager7。

5givesbusinessestheinformationthatiscriticaltotheirsuccesswiththeclickofamouse。

Itletsourclientsfocusonrunningtheirbusinessesinsteadofsittinginfrontofacomputertryingtoretrievehistoricaldata。

Itseasytouse,easytosetup,andcomeswithsupportfromMicrosoft。

Antonelli,acertifiedITprofessionalandcertifiedpublicaccountant,saysthatoneofthemorecompellingaspectsofSmallBusinessManager7。

5isitsbuilt-inelectronicaudittrailoffinancialtransactions,whichshesayswillfacilitatemoreaccurateaccounting。

Generally,smallbusinessesoftenputpatchesontheirsystemsastheygrow,becausetheirsystemsarenotabletogrowwiththem,

shesays。

BymovingtoSmallBusinessManager7。

5,theyreonarock-soliddatabaseengineMicrosoftSQLServerDesktopEngine,afullySQLServer-compatibledataengine。

Theresultisthattheyhavealotofthefunctionalitythatlargercompaniesusetobettermanagetheirbusiness。

AntonellisaysthatthetightconnectionwithotherMicrosoftproducts,likethoseoftheMicrosoftOfficeSystem,furtherdistinguishesSmallBusinessManager7。

5。

Otherproductssaytheycanlink,butitsacrudelink,

shesays。

Thisisafull-featuredlinking,whichisgoodforbusinessintelligenceandproductivity。

AntonelliaddsthatcompatibilitywithbusinessapplicationssuchasExcelcanmakeiteasierforasmallbusinesstogetthemostoutofitsbusinessdata。

WithSmallBusinessManager7。

5,acompanycandownloadsalesinformationintoExcelandthenquicklycreateagraphthatshowsthemwhotheirbestcustomersare,

shesays。

Thatinformationiscriticaltothesuccessofasmallbusiness。

Theabilitytoexercisetightfiscalcontrol,Antonellisays,isalsoakeybenefitofSmallBusinessManager7。

5。

WithSmallBusinessManager7。

5,businessescanclosefiscalperiodssothatnobodycanposttothem,

shesays。

Thatsimportantintermsofpreservingdata。

SmallBusinessManager7。

5alsoincludesMicrosoftBusinessSolutionsforAnalyticsFRx,whichprovidescustomerswithafinancial-reportingpackagethatcanbetailoredtoanindividualbusiness。

Sofar,Antonellisays,herclientsarepleased。

Theyveappreciatedthisproductline,whichdeliverslotsoffunctionalityatalowerpricepoint,

shesays。

Nowwiththesefurtherenhancementsandevenmorefunctionality,includingFixedAssets,WorkersCompensation,Assemblies,andcompatibilitywithADP。

MostofourcustomersareplanningtoupgradetoSmallBusinessManager7。

5。

MicrosoftRMS1。

2:ReadytoTakeOntheBigBoys

DanKingispresidentofNewWestTechnologies,atechnicalsolutionscompanybasedinPortland,Ore。

thatworkswithbusinessesinseveralsectors,includingretail。

MicrosoftRMS1。

2,hesays,isanofferinghelooksforwardtosharingwithhiscustomers。

Thebigboysareintownnow,

hesays,inreferencetotheincreasedpressureindependentmerchantsfacefromenormouschains。

Itsimportantforsmallretailerstohavethetoolstheyneedtoruntheirbusinessinthemosteffectivewaypossible。

MicrosoftRMS1。

2fitsthebill。

How?

AccordingtoKing,MicrosoftRMS1。

2helpssmallretailersimprovethewaytheymanagetheirbusinessinseveralareas。

First,MicrosoftRMS1。

2featuresahighlyintuitiveuserinterfacethatseasytouseandeasytolearn。

Acashiercanbetrainedin15or20minutes,whichisunique,

hesays。

Alotofpackagesweveworkedwithinthepasthaverequiredhoursorevendaysoftraining,butwithMicrosoftRMS1。

2thefunctionsarelistedatthebottomofthescreensoitsjustamatterofselectingwhatyouwanttodo。

Itssointuitivethatpeoplewhoknowcomputerscantrainthemselves。

KingexpectsMicrosoftRMS1。

2tosavebusinessesconsiderabletimeandmoneywhenitcomestothetaskallretailersdread:inventory。

Smallretailersoftenmanagetheirinventoryonpaper,anditssuchadauntingandmanualtaskthattheyllclosedownthestoreorworkallnightonceortwiceayear,

hesays。

MicrosoftRMS1。

2cycle-countingfunctionalityputsafreezeoninventorysothatretailerscancontinuetosellwhiletheyretakinginventory。

Andhandhelddeviceslikewireless-enabledPocketPCshandhelddevicesthatsynchronizewithMicrosoftRMS1。

2reallyspeeduptheinventoryprocess。

Betterinventorymanagement,Kingsays,leadstobetterbusinessintelligence。

Smallretailersareoftensurprisedbywhattheylearnabouttheirinventory,

hesays。

TheconventionalwisdomissomethinglikeIknowwhatIdoeveryday。

Thatspartlytrue,butpartlynottrue。

TheinventoryfunctionalityinMicrosoftRMS1。

2willgivethemvisionintotheirbusinessandtheabilitytoknowwhatsgoingonintheirstoreswithouthavingtobethereallthetime。

Theyllhavethebusinessintelligencetheyneedtomakebetterdecisions。

Functionalitythatallowsforintegratedaccounting,Kingsays,isanotherattractivefeatureofMicrosoftRMS1。

2。

MicrosoftRMS1。

2includesaccountingfeaturesthatwillofferanup-to-the-minutepictureofprofitsandlosses,

hesays。

Asasmallretaileryouvegottobetightonpurchasingandstocklevelandmaintainaquickturnoninventoryinordertonotwastevaluablefloorspace。

MicrosoftRMS1。

2willoffersmallretailersaccesstothefinancialbusinessintelligencetheyneedtodriveprofits。

KingcitesthetightconnectionwithQuickBooksandSmallBusinessManager7。

5asanexampleofhowMicrosoftRMS1。

2willautomaticallyconnectinformationfromacrossabusiness。

MicrosoftRMS1。

2willprovideaccesstoaccountdata,vendorinformation,inventoryandvendorpaymentterms,

hesays。

Havingaccesstoup-to-the-minuteinformationwillempowersmallretailerstomakemoreaccurateandprofitabledecisions。

OtherfeaturesofMicrosoftRMS1。

2thatKingsaysheexpectstobepopularwithhiscustomersincludetheabilitytosplitapaymentontomultiplecreditordebitcards;theabilitytomanagethecreationandsaleofkits,suchasgiftbasketsthatincludemultipleitemssoldasone;advancedsupplier-relatedfunctionality;thetrackingofmanufacturerssuggestedretailprice(MSRP),whichcanbeputontagsforpromotionalandmarketingpurposes;andenhancedmanagementofdiscounts。

WithMicrosoftRMS1。

2,retailerscanprogramthesystemsothatwhenacouponexpiresitsnolongeracceptedatthecashregister,

hesays。

Theresnoneedtogoinandcancelthecode。

Finally,KingsaysthattheresacomfortlevelMicrosoftRMS1。

2offersthatotherproductsdont。

ItsaMicrosoftproduct,

hesays。