From the flexibility of the Windows Operating System to the Microsoft Office Suite, Microsoft software has been an integral part of business operations in the modern world. While they may have been late to the ERP market (not entering it until 2001 when they purchased Great Plains Software), Microsoft has used their robust experience to quickly gain a considerable presence in the market, going up against giants such as Oracle and SAP. In a mere six years,
Fast-forward to 2014, and Microsoft has an entire suite of ERP products in the Dynamics line, each one targeted at a specific market. If your organization is looking to move to Dynamics, how do you determine which one is right for you?
Microsoft broadly categorizes the Dynamics line into two groups. NAV, GP and SL are targeted at small to mid-sized businesses, while AX is primarily for the enterprise sector. Even within these broad groups, however, there is a measure of overlap. To understand which version will best serve your needs, it's important to understand the roots of each specific product.
In 2001, Microsoft acquired Great Plains Software, makers of a multi-user accounting application that served as the basis for what would become
As such, GP is the perfect solution for rapidly-growing businesses that need accounting abilities that far exceed software like QuickBooks. GP's out-of-the-box approach means that it covers a range of functionality and industries, while providing robust reporting to help you monitor and manage your business. With its focus on simplicity most companies add on third-party modules to extend GP beyond its basic features.
In 2002, Microsoft purchased the Danish software firm Navision. Navision had merged with Damgaard Software in 2000, and Microsoft's acquisition of the combined company brought two future Dynamics products into the line.
Shortly before being purchased by Microsoft in 2001, Great Plains acquired Solomon Software, makers of a standalone accounting package. With the Great Plains acquisition, Solomon's application became
SL is geared first and foremost for project-based businesses. This makes SL the perfect solution for government contracting, finance, professional services, construction and similar businesses.
When Microsoft acquired Navision, it also acquired Axapta, the software Damgaard had developed before being acquired by Navision. The resulting software, Dynamics AX, has becomes the flagship of the Dynamics line.
Because AX covers such a wide array of functionality, and boasts the greatest number of available modules, it's the ideal solution for organizations looking to eliminate any number of legacy systems and consolidate around a single accounting platform.
So How Do You Choose the Right Option?
Without a doubt, there is a measure of overlap among the various Dynamics products. To a large degree, which one you choose will depend on the industry your organization operates within, the specific functionality you need now, as well as the degree of customization you may need in the future. A Dynamics reseller will help you navigate your way to finding which product is right for your business, so finding the right reseller is your first step.
Whichever option you choose, you can be sure you're investing in a robust ERP system that is continually evolving to meet the demands of an ever-changing market.
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