Thursday, October 02, 2003

Feedback regarding Microsoft's Project Green

I've been getting feedback regarding my post earlier this week on Project Green. Readers are making four main points:
  1. Microsoft Business Solutions (MBS) resellers have known about Project Green (formerly known as "NextGen") for at least a year now, so it's old news.

  2. Customers of Great Plains, Navision, and Axapta are not at risk from Project Green because Microsoft is planning to offer free upgrades to existing customers, as long as they are current on maintenance payments.

  3. Microsoft plans to use the functionality of Axapta as a starting point for requirements for Project Green.

  4. Microsoft will offer conversion routines to make it easy to upgrade from existing products to Project Green, so that it will not be like implementing a whole new system.

I welcome this feedback, and here's my response. On the first point, it may be old news to MBS resellers but I don't think the implications are well understood by MBS customers and prospects. On the second point, if I were an MBS customer I would still have a concern: if I want to stay current, I am still facing a major upgrade or conversion in 2-3 years. Even if the license cost of the upgrade is zero (which it should be if I'm paying maintenance fees to Microsoft), the implementation costs could be substantial and the process could be disruptive to my business. On the third point, I can't find any public indication that Axapta is being used as the starting point for Project Green requirements, so it's just a rumor as far as I can tell. On the fourth point, we'll just have to wait to see how difficult or easy the upgrade path will be. Generally, it's not easy for vendors to transition a customer base to a whole new technical architecture. Perhaps Microsoft will do better than others have in past attempts.

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