Business Software Applications

How well does Microsoft with their Enterprise Dynamics ERP AX GP NAV SL CRM

Very often business executives question us about Microsoft Enterprise software solutions and how effective those are? what is the install base? and why so many of them and their origins? Due to the consolidation of software players, Microsoft has acquired/built a portfolio of software solutions that sometimes complement each other; but other times users get confused about them.

Definitely Microsoft does very well in the Enterprise sector (of course, they are Microsoft!) but let us give you a quick explanation of what is available and their respective origins:

(1) Microsoft Dynamics GP was originally developed by Great Plains Software, an independent company located in Fargo, North Dakota. Great Plains version 1.0 was released in February 1993 as one of the first accounting packages in the USA that was designed and written to be multi-user and to run under Windows as 32-bit software. In late 2000, Microsoft announced the purchase of Great Plains Software for $1.1 billion. This acquisition was completed in April 2001. Today, Dynamics GP is considered a mid-market business accounting software or ERP Software package and marketed in the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific.

(2) Microsoft Dynamics SL, originally called Solomon IV for Windows, was created by Solomon Software, an independent accounting software company headquartered in Findlay, Ohio. In April 1999, Solomon Software refocused the product on an all Microsoft technology strategy: Microsoft SQL Server as the database technology; Visual Basic as the software language; and Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) as the customization language. Solomon was acquired by Great Plains Software in June 2000 and Great Plains was subsequently acquired by Microsoft Corporation in May 2001. Microsoft Dynamics SL provides ERP project functionality to assist professional services, government, construction, and distribution industries with the features they need to better manage their projects.

(3) Microsoft Dynamics AX was originally developed as a collaboration between IBM and Danish Damgaard Data as IBM Axapta. Axapta was initially released in March 1998 in the Danish and US markets. IBM returned all rights in the product to Damgaard Data shortly after the release of Version 1.5 before Damgaard Data was merged with Navision Software A/S in 2000. The combined company, initially NavisionDamgaard, later "Navision A/S", was acquired by Microsoft in July 2002. Hence; becoming Microsoft Dynamics AX.

(4) Microsoft Dynamics NAV originates from Navision, a suite of accounting applications which Microsoft acquired in 2002. Navision originated at PC&C A/S (Personal Computing and Consulting), a company founded in Denmark in 1983 that developed client/server-based accounting application that allowed multiple users to access the system simultaneously. Due to success of the product the company changed name to Navision Software A/S. In 2000, Navision Software A/S merged with fellow Danish firm Damgaard A/S to form NavisionDamgard A/S, later "Navision A/S". On July 2002, Microsoft bought Navision A/S to go with its previous acquisition of Great Plains. In September 2005, Microsoft re-branded the product and re-released it as Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

Was there a plan to consolidate into a single ERP? In 2003, Microsoft announced plans to develop an entirely new ERP system (Project Green). But it later decided to continue development of all ERP systems (Dynamics AX, Dynamics NAV, Dynamics GP and Dynamics SL). Microsoft launched all four ERP systems with the same new role-based user-interface, SQL-based reporting and analysis, SharePoint-based portal, Pocket PC-based mobile clients and integration with Microsoft Office.

(5) Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a Customer Relationship Management software package/developed by Microsoft. Out of the box, the product focuses mainly on Sales, Marketing, and Service (help desk) sectors, but Microsoft has been marketing Dynamics CRM as an XRM platform and has been encouraging partners to use its proprietary (.NET based) framework to customize it to meet many different demands.

What is the Microsoft Dynamics ERP: AX GP NAV SL CRM install base? An article published by the ERP Software Blog here: How Many Companies Use Microsoft Dynamics ERP? Updated 2014 provides an interesting breakdown of the Microsoft Dynamics customer numbers worldwide by product - here rank by install base:

102,000 companies use Microsoft Dynamics NAV
47,000 companies use Microsoft Dynamics GP
40,000 companies (or 4 million users) use Microsoft Dynamics CRM
19,000 companies use Microsoft Dynamics AX
13,500 companies use Microsoft Dynamics SL

Posted on August 17, 2014