Redmond, Wash. (April 30, 2004) -- Microsoft Corp. has bought software products from nonprofit accounting suite maker Encore Business Solutions Inc. to strengthen its Great Plains offering in the public sector.

Microsoft is buying Encore’s purchase order and cash flow management modules for Great Plains, which Microsoft sells today under a special license from Encore, as well as Encore’s not-for-profit accounting suite.

Financial details of the deal with Winnipeg, Canada-based Encore were not disclosed.

As a result of the purchase, Microsoft’s Great Plains 8.0, due out midyear, will include grant management and encumbrance management functionality. Encumbrances are purchase orders or other commitments for goods that have not been provided, or for services that have not been performed.

"This acquisition will broaden the functionality of the Great Plains solution, making it an even more robust solution for companies that work in the public sector -- including government, not-for-profit, education and healthcare," a Microsoft spokesperson said. "The code acquisition is further evidence of our commitment to our independent software vendor partners. We remain deeply committed to building broad horizontal business applications functionality and providing this to our partners as a platform to customize and add value for specific vertical markets."

Additionally, Microsoft is adding functionality from the Encore nonprofit accounting suite to its existing inter-company, payables management and requisition management modules, according to the spokesperson.

The move is similar to Microsoft’s relationship with independent software vendor and MBS partner Serenic Software Inc., which has a nonprofit and government agency accounting add-on for Microsoft’s Navision accounting product. But unlike Serenic, Microsoft chose to acquire Encore rather than partner with them.

"The Encore Business Solutions code is solid, tested and proven software code that is available for customers today, and can be found in more than 300 sites across North America," the Microsoft spokesperson explained. "Additionally, we have an advantage in terms of channel knowledge and readiness. We have more than 100 Great Plains resellers already certified to sell Encore."

-- Seth Fineberg

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