Q&A: FRx Software Takes On Microsoft Brand and Builds New Integrations with Microsoft Dynamics Product Line

Editors’ Update, May 8, 2006
– FRx Software will remain a legal entity and a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation, and will not move forward with the retirement of the FRx Software brand. The entity will be referred to as FRx Software Corporation – a Microsoft subsidiary.

REDMOND, Wash., March 26, 2006 – This week at Convergence 2006, Microsoft Business Solutions Group’s annual customer conference, being held in Dallas, FRx Software, a Microsoft company, announced that it will transition to the Microsoft name in its marketing efforts and begin the process of retiring its FRx Software brand. The new direction helps highlight Microsoft’s commitment to providing financial performance management applications designed to give small- and mid-size businesses, large organizations and divisions of global enterprises the ability to gain immediate control over their financial reporting, budgeting and planning processes.

PressPass spoke with Andy Kamlet, vice president of marketing for FRx Software, about the new direction and what it means for customers and partners.

PressPass: What are you announcing today?

Andy Kamlet: Beginning in early April and coinciding with the five-year anniversary of when FRx Software became a Microsoft company, we will more closely identify our team, our marketing efforts and our products with the Microsoft brand. With our software currently licensed to over 130,000 business sites worldwide and growing, we’re excited to continue our tradition of bringing financial performance management solutions to small- and mid-sized companies, large businesses and divisions of global enterprises. Now we will do so through the strong Microsoft brand name.

PressPass: What benefits do you see for customers in this change?

Kamlet: We expect that it will bring a certain amount of clarity through a direct association with the strength of the Microsoft brand and the company’s reputation for excellence, innovation and unparalleled partner and customer support. This change sends a strong message to our customers that Microsoft is behind these products and has an ongoing commitment to them.

PressPass: There are currently two leading FRx Software products. How will you identify them now?

Kamlet: The product names will remain the same. Our financial reporting solution, Microsoft FRx, is a financial reporting application used by controllers, CFOs and accounting managers to build out both statutory and management reports such as balance sheets, income statements and statements of cash flow based on their financial data. Internally, it’s used for managing against budgets, looking at variance analysis and departmental reporting.

Microsoft Forecaster is a comprehensive budgeting and planning application designed to give businesses a fast, affordable way to gain control of the process by helping decision makers improve and speed up their budgeting and planning business initiatives.

PressPass: Will there be new integrations with Microsoft FRx and Microsoft Forecaster and the Microsoft Dynamics enterprise resource planning (ERP) product lines?

Kamlet: Integration across the Microsoft Dynamics product line has been a long-standing priority for FRx Software. We’ve had integrations with Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics SL and Microsoft Dynamics AX for quite some time as many customers use our solutions as key component of their ERP system. At Convergence, we announced that we just released a new integration with Microsoft Dynamics NAV, now making Microsoft FRx and Microsoft Forecaster easy to use with all four Microsoft Dynamics ERP systems. In addition, we will have integration with Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0 when it is released later this year.

PressPass: FRx Software Corp. was headquartered in Denver when it was acquired along with Great Plains by Microsoft five years ago. Will your operations remain in Colorado?

Kamlet: Yes, we are planning to continue our work from our Denver offices. But, Redmond has become a frequent destination for many of us across our product group!

PressPass: In addition to their availability among Microsoft Dynamics products, are Microsoft FRx and Microsoft Forecaster also provided by other ERP software development companies?

Kamlet: Yes, we work with other mid-market segment ERP software publishers that are either Microsoft partners or that build on the Microsoft stack. These partners recognize that it’s a natural transition for us to brand our products and align them with the Microsoft brand. There’s such a strong connection between our partners and customers and the Microsoft name, so it makes good sense for us to really identify ourselves as part of the Microsoft organization. Our products are part of the Microsoft offering and that means that there’s a commitment to these products now and in the long term.

PressPass: Then you expect this move to strengthen the position of Microsoft FRx and Microsoft Forecaster in the market?

Kamlet: Because of its ease of use, familiarity to financial professionals and integrations to over 50 general ledger systems, Microsoft FRx has a great following. We have customers that profess their love for this application because it makes their jobs so much easier to do. It helps them shorten their closing cycles and allows them to do deep analysis of their company’s financial health. It also helps them adjust to change rapidly, as internal and external pressures impact their business.

Microsoft Forecaster has done an unusually good job of helping midmarket companies get a handle on what’s going on with their business and to plan for the future. This is reflected in quicker planning cycles and being able to get more participants involved in planning and budgeting for their organization.

Above all, we’re excited about the investment and commitment Microsoft has made to our financial performance management solutions for the long-term. As I mentioned earlier, Microsoft has a strong reputation for innovation and development, and we’re happy to identify with a strong brand and continue bringing solid applications to our target market.

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