Whispers on the acquisition grapevine are saying that Microsoft has its sights set on the Swedish software firm IFS (Industrial and Financial Systems).
IFS offers an ERP suite, along with a range of enterprise services including EAM (enterprise asset management) and ESM (enterprise service management). The organisation's core product is IFS Applications 9, and its customers include Saab, NEC, Nestle Waters, Olympus and Sky among others.
The rumour that Redmond could be looking to acquire IFS comes from analysts including Christopher Wilder of Moor Insights and Strategy, who told Computing that the company was a "logical next target" for the software giant.
Wilder said: "Microsoft would benefit from IFS' ERP, EAM and [ESM] solutions, loyal customer base, and the ability to provide hosted mission critical solutions."
IFS, on the other hand, would obviously benefit from a vastly raised profile, not to mention Microsoft's contacts and resources – though the firm's CEO said that no acquisition was on the cards, save for smaller organisations IFS might be looking to hoover up itself.
Earlier this month we heard speculation (from Bloomberg) concerning Microsoft picking up Salesforce, which would obviously be a massive acquisition – but Reuters later poured cold water on this idea, with its own sources claiming Salesforce was simply too big and expensive for Redmond to swallow, but there could be a bid further down the road.
IFS would certainly seem to be a much safer option for Microsoft's near-term expansion plans.