Quebec City, Canada (Aug. 22, 2003) -- Accpac International kicked off its annual partners conference by unveiling a bold product development strategy that includes an online version of its customer relationship management software, and roundly criticizing its major competitors in middle-market accounting software -- Microsoft Business Solutions and Best Software.

The company launched, an Internet-hosted version of its Accpac CRM product, which lets users seamlessly transfer all their CRM data to the desktop application if they opt to switch platforms. The company said the rollout uniquely positions it between Internet-based, one of the market leaders, and the much-publicized desktop CRM systems from Best and Microsoft.

The new offering “raises the bar” because end users “don’t want to be handcuffed to inflexible vendors that try to lock them in to a particular technology or platform” said Accpac chief executive David Hood. He also criticized Microsoft for “breaking promises to its partners like it’s going out of style,” and said “Best has kept most of its promises, but historically has not been making many.”

CRM is part of Accpac’s broader “end-to-end” development strategy, and its other applications, all built to work with its accounting software, include electronic data interchange, electronic commerce, and warehouse and supply chain management. Accpac also announced plans to significantly upgrade those other solutions in the coming years, including a long-range plan to have them all integrated on a “Web and wireless” platform.

Accpac is offering its partner-resellers 20 percent of the revenue its receives from the resellers’ customers who use the online CRM. It is also offering those partners free use of the online CRM for their internal operations through the end of the year.

-- John M. Covaleski

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