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Until the age of about 14, I thought that Harvest was the time of year when your Mum hunted through the cupboards and handed you an out-of-date tin of pineapple chunks to take into school.
You would then wrestle with Christmas wrapping paper that’s thinner than gold leaf, trying to make a hamper before presenting it to the local home for the elderly.
Oh, don’t forget the inevitable assembly that went with it.
These days I understand that harvest time is about reaping the rewards of your long labour over spring and summer; tending to young shoots, feeding them with suitable nutrients, watering well and, finally, after a few catastrophes along the way, exhaling with delight as you wrench the glistening fruit from the soil.
OK, OK, a rather romantic view from a very amateur home grower (see bio) but *tenuous link alert* it takes time for anything to move from sowing to being harvested, whether towering sprouts or, say, a new release of software (I warned you).
Over the summer in particular, I have seen a number of developments in ‘the industry’.
Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 has seen its interim release, known as R2, which adds further functionality to a great ERP solution.
Sage has released its 2013 version of Sage 200 both on-premise and online – a key step forward in Sage’s own strategy. Whilst slightly delayed from the original plan, crucially, Sage has tended carefully to the green-house and fed its product with the equivalent of Miracle Gro to produce fruits of its labour that are bigger than ever.
There's Windows 8.1 , due on 18th October 2013, which addresses a few items of ‘feedback’ from the user community, and should cement it as the number one choice operating system for all business users.
We even have the latest iOS release available (if you’re into it) , with its new flat, less-skeuomorphism based design (hmm, that sounds familiar) – it’s early days for this; we’ll see if this is a step forward, or whether it’s playing catch up to a Microsoft look that feels bang on trend.
But perhaps the most anticipated release this autumn will be Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013. As far as this allegory will go, imagine this as the genetically-modified super-food, grown in a laboratory before being transported to a secret field with maximum level security so as to avoid protestors (in this case, probably Salesforce.com users).
As a multiple competency Microsoft Gold Partner, TSG is covered by all sorts of non-disclosure agreements about various new releases of software, so at this stage I can’t really talk too much about what we may have seen.
However, there is plenty of information now in the public domain, and if you want to see what is coming in the next few weeks ahead, then I’d recommend this document as a must read – it’s official and from Microsoft. We’re really excited about what we’ve been involved in so far, and are ensuring that we’re absolutely ready for launch.
For all these new releases, when it comes to the moment when the fruit is just ripe enough to be plucked, glistening in the Autumn dew, we will be right at the front of the picker’s queue and have it ready and waiting for you, faster than it takes Bird’s Eye to pick, shell and freeze their peas.