Microsoft launches Solomon 5.5

Microsoft Business Solutions has fully integrated its Solomon Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) application with several other Microsoft Corp. applications, as the latest upgrade – version 5.5 – rolled into Canada on Tuesday.

The key upgrades and enhancements to Solomon v5.5 “revolve around the complete integration into Microsoft Project 2002 using professional services automation enabler,” said Mississauga, Ont.-based Garth Dean, general manager Microsoft Business Solutions, Microsoft Canada.

“Solomon has had an integration into [Microsoft] Project 2002 for a couple of versions, but this is a complete enhancement and complete integration release,” Dean said. “It really brings the two elements of project management together with financial information system.”

The upgrade provides improved information flow, the ability to connect database and functionality into one common collection system for better reporting, and also increases business management with the ability to pull out key performance indicators and monitoring of business metrics, he added.

Other features to Solomon 5.5 include the integration to Microsoft Business Solutions Retail Management System (RMS), which Dean said is a point of sale system operating in the retail environment.

The integration allows for the easy sharing of information between RMS and the financial capabilities of Solomon. Microsoft Office XP users will be able to use Outlook, Word and Excel through the smart tag capabilities.

The Smart Tag Manager lets Office users drill down on customer, vendor, inventory, account, salesperson or employee detail information stored in the Solomon 5.5 database.

Small- to mid-market businesses are the targeted users of v5.5, specifically companies that utilize high labour involvement in their business practices, such as engineering firms, architecture firms and general contractors, Dean added.

Solomon 5.5 is now available in Canada and the United States. It is delivered through the Microsoft Certified Business Solutions reselling partner channel. A typical three-user financial solution starts around $19,050.

In other news, Microsoft also released the Real-Time Communications Server (RTC Server) to the growing family of the Microsoft Office System, as an instant messaging (IM) server. It is expected to be available in the third quarter of 2003. Licensing and pricing for the RTC server has not been determined. [Please see Microsoft to ship RTC Server 2003 in Q3].

Microsoft Canada is on the Web at