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Microsoft packages up Biztalk Server for branch offices, offers bundle

When Microsoft ships Biztalk Server 2006 R2 – which it has promised to do in September — it will offer a new version packaged and priced for branch offices.

Listing for $1,800 per CPU, this edition will run in the spoke offices of typical hub-and-spoke organizations, Microsoft executives said. BizTalk Server Enterprise Standard edition weighs in at $8,500 per CPU and Enterprise Edition at $35,000 per CPU.

And that’s not all: Microsoft will reprise its famed “bundling strategy” by packaging up Biztalk Server with SharePoint Server 2007, Visual Studio Team Studio; and SQL Server 2005 at a combined price the company says is 10% lower than for those products brought separately.

Burley Kawasaki, director of product marketing for Microsoft’s Connected Systems Division, said this is not just a collection of CDs; it includes some integration, reference applications and guidance.

Finally, the company will offer a version of Biztalk that ISVs can embed in their own applications and make a BizTalk margin while selling their own technology. This addresses the classic “buy vs. build” decision, Kawasaki said. Rather than do one-off integrations, they can just use these, he said.

Microsoft execs have already said BizTalk Server 2006 will include better electronic data interchange (EDI) links and radio-frequency ID (RFID) connectivity.

Ben Cody, vice president of product management for Dallas based Global 360, is aboard. He especially appreciates the new EDI support coming in R2 “these pre-packaged integrations reduce our costs greatly,” he said.

Global 360 is specializes in business process management solutions.

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