Direct Wines is preparing to go live with a Microsoft-based IT platform for its US business.

The international division of the business has rolled out the same platform already to its Swiss, German and Australian operations in the past 12 months.

Direct Wines International is using Microsoft Dynamics AX integrated with an application from Omnica that has been designed specifically for mail order and web-based retailers.

Direct Wines chief information Officer Gary Isaacs said that the Microsoft platform was chosen for the international business because it is simple to configure for different markets with the appropriate language, accounting and tax options. Direct Wines can run and support the system for each country from the UK.

Isaacs added that the tight fit between the Omnica MCR application and Direct Wines International’s business model meant that the software could be implemented quickly.

He explained: “The people at Omnica have a background in mail order and the web and that is our business. It’s an add-on application that works with the Microsoft code, so it has reduced the customisation necessary to a much smaller amount.”

The company, which trades as Laithwaites in the UK, did not want to extend its largely bespoke UK computing platform to support its international division.

It has not made any decisions on whether the Microsoft platform could be extended for the UK business at some point in the future.