Redmond, Wash, February 22, 1999 — When Battery Network, a San Diego-based distributor of more than 4,500 different batteries for cellular phones, laptops, and other portable devices, found itself working overtime to compensate for daily problems caused by an outdated accounting system, the company knew it was time to take stock of its software. The Novell NetWare operating system, running Open Systems accounting software, was unable to handle the demands of this fast-growing company. With a 110 percent annual sales increase, Battery Network needed not only a “bulletproof” system, but also one that was flexible and scaleable enough to accommodate such rapid, ongoing growth. They turned to Navision Financials software, running on Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0.
The performance, reliability and scalability of Windows NT 4.0, combined with the Navision software, have paid off for Battery Network. Efficiency for the sales force increased by 40 percent based solely on data integrity, and inventory has been reduced by 15 percent. In addition, valuable resources once focused on manual inventory have been reallocated to positions that will more directly affect the company’s bottom line.
Battery Network is just one of many companies that are migrating to Windows NT Server 4.0 to better meet their business needs. International Data Corp. (IDC) last December released preliminary statistics confirming the continuing customer acceptance for Windows NT Server, again recognizing it as the fastest-growing commercially marketed server operating system in the country. According to IDC, Microsoft shipped 1.56 million new licenses last year, nearly 50 percent more than Novell NetWare and twice as many as the various versions of Unix combined.
IDC expects license shipments of Windows NT Server to grow nearly 23 percent annually through 2002, versus 11.2 percent for Unix and 7 percent for Novell NetWare.
More ISVs are developing Windows NT-based solutions, and this is building momentum behind Windows NT Server 4.0.Currently, 2,092 ISVs are shipping approximately 4,000 business applications that support Windows NT Server. Some vendors, including AccPac International, Best, GoldMine, Great Plains Software, Macola, Navision, PC Docs, Sage, SBT, Solomon, Software Technology (STI) and Timberline, are focusing their development resources on applications for Windows NT Server.
“As third-party studies show, Windows NT Server is gaining popularity across the board, from small businesses to international enterprises,” said Edmund Muth, group product manager at Microsoft. “Customers are taking advantage of the multipurpose nature of Windows NT Sever and using it for a variety of applications, including mission-critical messaging, online transaction processing, and Web-based services.”
For Integrated Systems Group (ISG), a systems integration and consulting firm in New York, the seamless integration of Windows NT Server with applications such as Great Plains’ Dynamics C/S+ business management solution was key to the company’s decision to move to Windows NT Server 4.0. ISG looked to Windows NT Server to simplify its IT environment and provide a consistent platform for its enterprise applications. Because the company was also moving to Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Exchange, the migration to Windows NT Server was a natural one, according to Morris Beyda, director of business consulting at ISG.
“The simplicity of administration and the reliability of Windows NT 4.0 have helped ISG focus its resources on the growth of its products and services instead of the maintenance of our outdated systems,” said Beyda.
The ability of Windows NT Server 4.0 to scale to multiple processors, as well as its large memory capacity, have given the operating system the performance ISG needs for its applications, Beyda added.
According to Mindcraft, an independent testing lab, the performance of Windows NT Server 4.0 gives it a decided advantage over other server operating system environments. It found Windows NT Server 4.0 to be more than 25 percent faster than Novell NetWare 5, with data integrity and streamlined functionality that provides a more efficient system. In addition, tests revealed that Windows NT Server 4.0 offers 2.7 times better price performance in file server environments than NetWare 5, making Windows NT Server the optimum choice for businesses that want high performance at the lowest cost.
Many ISVs cite performance, ease of use and scalability – as well as sheer demand – as reasons for developing products that run on Windows NT Server.
When Timberline Software Corp., an international supplier of accounting and cost estimating software for the construction and property management industries, began developing its Precision Collection and Gold Collection software for Windows NT Server, it did so primarily because potential clients felt that Windows NT would be easier to install and maintain than other solutions.
“That perception turned out to be true for both our clients and for us,” said John Geffel, vice president of marketing at Timberline. As a vertical software company, Timberline often supports not only its own applications but also its clients’ environments in general. “Our help desk began to prefer supporting Windows NT Server over other server operating system environments because it was so much easier to install and use. After that, it became our primary platform,” said Geffel.
Timberline has experienced significant growth in last several years, adding nearly 3,000 new clients annually, for a total of almost 20,000 customers. Geffel said that Windows NT Server’s reliability and performance have significantly lowered Timberline’s support burden.
“This kind of growth would have killed us if there was a lot of support involved,” Geffel said. “Because Windows NT Server is a very reliable platform, it lets us add clients rapidly, while maintaining a high level of support.”
Great Plains, another solutions provider that supports the Microsoft BackOffice family of products, sees Windows NT Server’s undisputed market momentum as a decided advantage. “Positioning Great Plains on Windows NT Server allows us to tap into the largest pool of new and innovative solutions that are delivered to the IT marketplace,” said Jeff Johnson, information services manager at Great Plains. The company’s Dynamics C/S+ business management solution for BackOffice runs on Windows NT Server.
Great Plains sees fewer seams and incompatibilities using Windows NT Server 4.0, for its products as well as the company’s own enterprise network. This advantage translates into faster turnaround times when Great Plains is bringing new services, companies or offices online.
“Now that our network is based on Windows NT Server, we are able to grow and extend with fewer concerns than we used to have,” he said. “Our security, messaging, file and print, database, and Internet services are integrated, with fewer points of administration. Because of Windows NT Server, our technology is facilitating company growth rather than holding it back.”