To date, I have never been asked by a prospective purchaser of accounting software for a .Net-based product.
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Stuart L. Tholen, CPA
SGS Technology Group
My clients are primarily small to medium businesses, just coming back to thinking about some accounting system enhancements or upgrades. Most have had a minimal experience with e-commerce, but have Web sites. Most are aware only that Microsoft has purchased Great Plains, and is marketing the heck out of them for the new small business product lines, but have absolutely no idea on what the heck .Net is or why it’s important to them.
Mission Viejo, Calif.
Most clients desire more and more browser-based applications. They are also beginning to learn about how important Web services will become to their companies. How these applications are built is less important. I have not had one client/prospect inquire specifically about .Net.
Synergistic Software Solutions
Some of our more technology savvy clients are asking about .Net solutions. Specifically, the interest is centered on B-2-B commerce. As an example, we have a client that has two companies and locations that take orders via the Internet. They wish to present one on-line catalogue to the customer. Then, when the order is placed, have the Web site be smart enough to route the correct items on the order to the correct manufacturing location. .Net technology would appear to help with this solution.
Most of our clients are not looking for .Net based products just yet. They are working toward deploying Microsoft XP to take advantage of the smart tags feature within their Microsoft Office XP and Great Plains. Many of our clients have already moved to XP to start the education process of .Net.
When we’ve tried to explain .Net to our current clients, the response is one of confusion. Obviously, we aren’t communicating the potential of .Net well, because Microsoft Business Solutions hasn’t communicated its vision of future products to us very well.
Colorado Springs, Colo.
We have only a few clients asking for .Net applications. They all seem to be interested in learning what it is all about though. I think it will be the responsibility of companies like ours to show the benefits of this new development environment. We at Cole Systems have dedicated a core team of developers to learning and mastering .Net over the past year.
New York City
They are not looking specifically for .Net products, but are wondering if the upcoming versions will be built with .Net. And 99 percent of those who mention it aren’t even sure what exactly .Net is. They think it is a programming language. The other 1 percent that do get .Net for the most part are looking to see if Great Plains has the .Net business object persistence in order to input integrating data.
Michael P. Young
K. Linda Rose & Co.
San Diego, Calif.
Most of our clients are not asking for .Net-based products by name. Instead, some of our more forward-looking clients are asking for flexible and cost-effective ways to send electronic transactions business-to-business. We have seen their motivation come from three sources: (1) Their customers or vendors desire or require it; (2) They are looking to gain a strategic advantage over their competitors; (3) They need to integrate transaction flow between their divisions which are on different systems. We have done two projects where we have used BizTalk and other components of .Net to effectively accomplish this electronic transaction flow, but the customer didn't care whether it was .Net—they just wanted their problem solved.
Our clients are not asking for .Net products yet. They ARE asking what .Net is, and why it’s beneficial to them. Since Microsoft is buying everyone, our clients who want to stay on their current systems will have no choice but to go to .Net products, right?