Some familiar names are taking leave of us. They are names that many in the accounting software world have known for a long time. They helped define the era.

Gone or going are Axapta, Great Plains, Solomon, Navision, Best Software, and the remnant of what had been the Pro Series, once owned by SBT Accounting Systems. If nothing else, it's giving value-added resellers a lot to do in reworking product literature and Web sites.

Also disappearing in a brand sense is Microsoft Business Solutions, which will market Microsoft Dynamics products that will have the extenders AX, GP, SL, and NAV. The name Accpac hangs on in Sage Accpac ERP, probably a tribute to that brand's high acceptance in Canada. That name replaces Accpac Advantage. Almost completely unrecognizable now is Sage Pro ERP, which was once the SBT Pro Series and then Accpac ProSeries. becomes as the company seeks global branding in the CRM market.

The once and again Sage Software has finally cast aside Best Software, which for the last two years was merely a name of convenience. Product names that did not get "Sage" slapped in front of them had it tagged on, such as Peachtree, Simply Accounting, and Timeslips, which are now trailed by the phrase "by Sage." Not surprisingly, the retail names are harder to change since they have far more name recognition than MAS 90 and companions.

Sage perhaps yielded to convenience on its Web site in listing product names alphabetically by the old name, instead of dumping everything into the S file.

This is one of the last great signs of the consolidation that has been under way since Sage bought what was then Best Software and Great Plains knocked off RealWorld and Solomon in 2000. It really does take a long time to merge cultures, product lines, and strategies, and there is a way to go.

Brand is a big part of any consolidation and the buyers get to put their name on the boxes, or perhaps more appropriately in the current age, on the Web sites.

It's kind of like high school graduation. It's a move to something new, something fresh. Still, there's a bit of sadness in saying goodbye.

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