Microsoft Dynamics AX-GP-NAV-CRM: Trends and international recommendations

The Microsoft Dynamics project – or formerly known as Project Green – was intended to unify and modulate all Microsoft Business Solutions ERP applications: Microsoft Great Plains/Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Navision (formerly Attain) Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft (Navision) Axapta/ Microsoft Dynamics AX. The unification challenge will likely result in a quality change for the unified interface, such as: e.g. web/business portal/Microsoft Outlook and MS Office integration, deployment of new technologies, e.g. B. Microsoft Sharepoint with workflow automation. Also, the development platform for Microsoft Dynamics products should move from proprietary tools like Microsoft Dexterity, C/SIDE, MorphX (no confirmation for Axapta yet – but we suspect it will follow) to C# and VB.Net with VisualStudio. In this small article, we will try to guide IT managers when choosing Microsoft Business Solutions MRP products for international and regional markets.

o Microsoft Dynamics GP. The regional markets for Great Plains 9.0 and the following version of Microsoft Dynamics GP 10.0 will be restricted: United States, United Kingdom, Canada: both English and French speaking, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and other English speaking countries in Asia, Africa and worldwide, plus Spanish-speaking Latin America. Microsoft Dynamics GP 10 will not be available for Germany, France, Belgium, Netherlands and Poland – the last localized version for these European countries is 9.0 – June 2006

o Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Currently, Navision has a very good presence in Europe, including Eastern Europe: Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Slovakia. Microsoft also localized Navision for new markets where it’s just getting started: Brazil for example – it was an interesting development in Brazil – first Microsoft examined Solomon, then Microsoft Great Plains 7.5 and replaced it with localized Navision in 2004

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o Microsoft Dynamics AX. Microsoft Axapta, unlike Navision or Great Plains where market share is gained/shared and competition is based on innovation and product improvement, Axapta has great untapped potential due to its modern and very futuristic system design and architecture. With its focus on upper midmarket and enterprise customers, Axapta is showing very good progress in emerging markets: in Russia, for example, the number of Axapta installations is similar and comparable to the number of Navision installations. Also in 2005, a large number of Gold-certified Microsoft Business Solutions partners burst into the Axapta consulting arena – this can be seen in the US, UK, Australia and continental Europe. In Brazil currently MBS in Portuguese Axapta local launch mode – localized for Brazilian tax law

o Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Planned as a front-line CRM solution for most Microsoft Dynamics ERP systems: Integration with Microsoft Dynamics GP is available for GP 7.5, 8.0, 9.0 and CRM 1.2 and 3.0, Microsoft Navision – Axapta integration is planned through 3rd party integrations. Microsoft offers Microsoft CRM as a worldwide product, so you should have no doubts about your regional market.

o competition. Oracle is underway with the Oracle Fusion project targeting Oracle Financials/Applications/E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, JDEdwards and possibly Siebel integration. SAP with the purchase of new ERP solutions for the medium and small market: SAP Business One and Mendocino – for SAP R/3 is catching up

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