THE MICROSOFT DYNAMICS ERP FAMILYLooking to make a choice from the Microsoft Dynamics suite of solutions is a sound start. Microsoft invests more in Research and Development than any of its competitors, in fact more than the entire turnover of most of its competitors. Microsoft provides more information and solutions on product strategy than any competitor, including long-term road-maps for each ERP product that help customers and partners plan future investments. A major advantage of any product solution from within the Dynamics suite is integration with other Microsoft products such as Microsoft Office and Windows SharePoint Services. If in the future a business changes so that one of the other Dynamics ERP solutions becomes a better fit, Microsoft will credit the original investment against any of the other Dynamics ERP products. The existence of the partner network makes it possible not only to choose the best product for a project but also the best partner to implement and maintain it. This means that choosing a Microsoft ERP solution represents a reduced risk across the evaluation criteria from user acceptance to future support and development.
Why there are four Microsoft ERP SolutionsMicrosoft offers four ERP solutions partly by accident and partly by design. When Microsoft decided to enter the business solutions market in 2000, the company started by acquiring the market-leader for mid-range ERP in the US, followed by the market-leader for Europe. Acquired in 2000 for $1.1 billion, Great Plains was the US solution that had previously merged with professional services software provider Solomon. These became Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics SL. Acquired in 2002 for $1.4 billion (the largest acquisition ever made by Microsoft), Navision was the Danish solution that had previously merged with Damgaard, a fellow Danish company that developed the Concorde XAL and Axapta products. Concorde XAL was already on retirement plan so the products that were taken forward into the Microsoft fold became Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Microsoft Dynamics AX. And latterly Business Central evolved from NAV.
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