After a quiet twelve months on the acquisition front, Microsoft has announced its intention to buy the technology assets of five companies, four of which are designed to boost the functionality of its mid-market ERP application Dynamics AX.
Microsoft’s fifth acquisition is that of the technology assets Interactive Supercomputing, “a company that specializes in bringing the power of parallel computing to the desktop and making high performance computing more accessible to end users”, according to a company blog.
The technology buys relating to Dynamics AX are as follows: process integration from a company called Fullscope, project management functionality from Computer Generated Solutions, store management and merchandising tools from LS Retail EHF and To-Increase Denmark.
The press release explaining the acquisitions makes plain Microsoft’s desire to disrupt application vendors Oracle and SAP with its Dynamics range. It quotes the IT director of a biochemical company as saying: “We chose Microsoft Dynamics AX with the process manufacturing solution from Fullscope over Oracle and SAP because Microsoft’s industry solution enabled a better fit with our business processes instead of dictating a set of fixed industry best practices”.
With trademark bravado, Microsoft belittled its competitors’ acquisition-heavy strategies, even as it announced four acquisitions of its own. “With these acquisitions we are investing in building industry functionality directly into the Microsoft Dynamics AX application, while other ERP vendors are cutting corners or trying to reconcile multiple industry offerings as a result of acquiring several companies,” said Crispin Read, general manager of Microsoft Dynamics ERP.
Meanwhile, the Interactive Supercomputing acquisition will bring with it the company’s research team, lead by CEO Bill Blake. “This move represents our ongoing commitment to parallel computing and high performance computing (HPC) and will bring together complementary technologies that will help simplify the complexity and difficulty of expressing problems that can be parallelised,” said Kyril Faenov, general manager of Microsoft’s high performance and parallel computing technologies division.
Users of Microsoft’s HPC Server product include Lloyds TSB, which uses it to support risk management calculations.