Obviously it is non-official opinion and we are just trying to guess on the future direction of Microsoft Dynamics or former Microsoft Project Green. These lines are written in June of 2006, based on the analysis of Microsoft Business Solutions policy and real actions in the USA, Europe, Latin America and Brazil. Let’s begin.

o Software Initial Development vs. Purchasing and Branding. To create ERP application from scratch is probably too risky business and it requires venture capital intervention to make new-born MRP a success. Most Microsoft Dynamics ERP products were purchased, not developed from scratch (exception is Microsoft Dynamics CRM). Microsoft is good in finding a right moment to come to the market, when it is not yet mature, but it is clear that it is from now on real, not risky

o Project Green Initiative. At least this was how we understood it back in earlier XXI century. It was like this – ERP application modules should be kind of standardized: Financials, HR, Distributions, Manufacturing, Logistics, etc. The integration between so-called Microsoft Suites is just a matter of technical solution development. As MS now owns several applications: Great Plains (Financials,. Distributions, HR), Axapta (Supply Chain and large corporate businesses), Solomon (Project Accounting), Navision (Manufacturing) – MS can get the best part of each application, encapsulate it into respective modules/suites and integrate into Project Green (on .Net platform, using C# or VB.Net). However, look at the first bullet – this approach to Project Green requires revolutionary rewriting and modules redesign (in the meaning of making them cross-compatible)

o MS Outlook Interface. Obviously majority of office workers are familiar with MS Outlook, MS Word, Excel, or MS Office. And the idea to capitalize on this fact is very attractive. If you look at Microsoft Dynamics GP – it is evolutioning to get kind of the same interface as MS Outlook (the same should be told about Microsoft Small Business Accounting)

o What is the Plan? Maybe it is a way more simple than it was initially planned? Let’s for the moment assume this – why should we merge products? We can make them interact with MS Office, MS Sharepoint, MS CRM, Exchange, etc. We can expose business logic for light development on .Net level – eConnect approach (leaving initial proprietary technologies: Great Plains Dexterity, Axapta MorphX/X++, Navision C/Side)

o International Approach. Microsoft Axapta is good to be launched on emerging markets and we see strong MS efforts to launch Axapta (the newest in MS Dynamics ERP product line) in Brazil, LATAM, Russia – to name a few. Navision – well – this one has a lot of clients in Europe, plus MS BS probed Navision in East Europe and LATAM – for these existing clients MS will probably keep maintaining Microsoft Dynamics NAV line in maintenance. MS Great Plains – has strong presence in US/Canada – in order to keep these clients Microsoft Dynamics GP should be probably in maintenance and at the same time when company grows over its limits – conversion utility should help to migrate to Axapta/Microsoft Dynamics AX

o ERP Maturity/Life Cycle. There is another theory – ERP has life cycle and it is too risky to purchase newcomer, it is good to purchase market winner and it is not good to purchase ERP in its phasing out mode. However MS might be breaking this traditional approach by integrating ERP into its MS Office stack of products

o Multinational Corporation. Large company has to offset multiple risks, related to ERP market, MRP selection and implementation. It is good idea to have small budget to understand which international ERP brand (or combination of brands) is good for your international operations: Microsoft Dynamics, SAP mySAP or SAP Business One, Oracle E-Business Suite, etc. Good example – Brazilian operations of US company (Great Plains in Chicago headquarters) deployed SAP Business One in Brazil to comply to Brazilian regulation – one of the main reasons for this turn was GP is not localized and supported in Brazil

o Conclusion. We believe that future Microsoft Dynamics will be combination of several applications: Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft Small Business Accounting will be the flagships (form large/midsize and small businesses respectively). Microsoft Dynamics GP, NAV and SL will be in maintenance mode to serve existing clients and sell to their traditional niches. Microsoft Dynamics AX will be in development and expansion mode – to get into ERP horizontals and verticals and new sales will be increasing for Microsoft Dynamics AX

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Source by Andrew Karasev