eOne and Microsoft have mutually agreed that from the release of Microsoft Dynamics 2013 the Dynamics GP eXtender module will no longer be available via Microsoft.

In 2006 eOne granted Microsoft the rights to market, sell and support Dynamics GP eXtender and Dynamics GP SmartList Builder via an OEM agreement. Under this agreement One has continued to perform all development and quality assurance for both of these modules, as well as provide marketing and support escalation services to Microsoft.

During this years annual review of this OEM agreement it was mutually decided that it would be best to withdraw Dynamics GP eXtender from this agreement. You may ask why?

There are a number of reasons behind our decision to not renew the extender OEM agreement.

  1. Development: Working within the OEM we were limited to Microsoft protocol as to additional functionality we were able to add to eXtender. We are now able to remove our blinkers and be as creative as we like to be at eOne – to add all the functionality we dream up.
  2. Web Client: With the upcoming GP web client we saw a world of potential for how we can enhance eXtender to provide a great deal more flexibility. Outside of the OEM agreement we are able to make much more regular releases and not need to ask for Microsoft approval to add functionality.
  3. Two Versions: For the past 6 years we have maintained 2 separate products (Dynamics GP Extender and eXtender Enterprise). Strangely both products used the same extud dictionary which was a little confusing during upgrades. This move has allowed us to combine everything into a single set of code to simplify development and at the same time simplify upgrades.
  4. Tighter Integration: eOne is passionate about making ALL our products work together within the eOne stack. Inside the OEM agreement it was not possible to build in specific functionality to suppot non-OEM eOne products.  We are now able to significantly improve the integrations between eXtender, SmartConnect, SmartView and other upcoming eOne products.
  5. Contract Reviews: While we had these thoughts going on regarding development direction, Microsoft went through their cylce of thinking ‘we should review and make changes to our OEM contracts’. We took this opportunity to say OK  – lets make it easy and we will make our customers happy by taking eXtender back back in house at eOne.

Why I thought this was a good idea and the best result for eOne, our customers and Microsoft?

  1. Good for eOne: I’ll be honest – outside of the OEM we no longer have to share our revenue with Microsoft!
  2. Good for Microsoft: The OEM agreement has really achieved it goals.  Extender sells standard with most new GP sales and is used widely by partners to differentiate Dynamics GP from other ERP solutions. There are many thousands for eXtender customers. Given Microsoft GP resellers know the product so well they will continue to use eXtender as a major differentiator to sell more GP. Microsoft will also benefit from new creative features that will ensure our partners can differentiate GP even further from its competitors. This results in more sales of GP.
  3. Good For Resellers: Extender gets better fatser and easier to deploy and upgrade. The only difference is that AEP is paid to eOne and not Microsoft.
  4. Good for Customers: Really no change at all for existing customers – other than the product will get better faster.

As you can see this is a win/win situation for everyone.

What do resellers and customers need to do?

  1. Stay tuned for more process announcements from both Microsoft and eOne
  2. If you are not already an eOne reseller (not sure why you would not be) then you need to sign up with us as soon as possible. There is a $2,000 sign on fee for partners but this has been waived for any partner that signs on before April 2013.
  3. Customers and Partners will receive communication regarding an ‘opt in’ process that will transfer all your eXtender related information from Microsoft to eOne. (purchase dates, contacts, AEP dates etc).  As a reseller you will be able to check a box that ensures all your current eXtender customer information is transferred to eOne in one go. This means that as soon as you are signed up as a reseller you will be able to place orders and make AEP payments online via our website.

The Good News
eOne and Microsoft are going to do everything to ensure this process is simple and seamless. Existing customers who are current on AEP will transition ‘free’. The product remains unchanged so you have no compatibility or upgrade issues. So really everything will remain ‘same old’ but you will find eXtender gets better faster.

In November/December we will hold some informational webinars regarding the process and will be able to answer any questions you may have.  Keep an eye out for those sessions and be sure to sign up as they will have lots of time allotted to Questions and Answers.

You can read the microsoft announcement on Partnersource here

Yours in selling more Dynamics GP