The Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) products sold under the Microsoft Dynamics name remain the software of choice for midmarket, growth-oriented businesses. As Microsoft continues to invest in and position each of the products, it becomes clear how Microsoft views the target market for its Dynamics ERP software. Below are the latest publicly disclosed figures as of July 2012 of the number of companies worldwide running each of the Microsoft Dynamics ERP software products.
Microsoft Dynamics ERP Product
No. of Companies
Microsoft Dynamics NAV (Navision)
Microsoft Dynamics GP (Great Plains)
Microsoft Dynamics AX (Axapta)
Microsoft Dynamics SL (Solomon)
The table shows that Microsoft Dynamics NAV, or what was formerly called Navision, is used globally by 92,000 companies, making it the favorite solution for small- and medium-sized businesses. Microsoft Dynamics NAV has always had a strong global footprint and a vibrant global partner community, but its true strengths have been its ease of deployment, its adaptability to a variety of businesses, and how easily it can be customized to the unique business requirements of a company without breaking the upgrade path. Microsoft Dynamics NAV is often the best choice worldwide for small but growing businesses that have outgrown QuickBooks and need a complete ERP solution that can adapt to their business processes and grow with the company. Microsoft Dynamics NAV is also a favorite choice of medium-sized companies that have grown weary of the high cost of running SAP or Oracle, often seeing a return on making the switch in twelve to twenty-four months. In the latest release, Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 is completely web enabled and can be accessed using popular browsers, including Microsoft Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Apple Safari.
Microsoft Dynamics GP, formerly Great Plains, remains a favorite among businesses operating in English speaking countries. Its strength has always been quick deployment out of the box in addition to its strong financial management features and functions. Like Dynamics NAV, Dynamics GP enjoys a vibrant and committed partner channel that continues to invest in extending the product in a variety of industries. Microsoft continues to invest in and improve Dynamics GP to make it the clear choice for companies looking for an out of the box financial management solution and who have operations in the US, Canada, UK, and Australia.
In its latest release of Microsoft Dynamics AX, formerly known as Axapta, Microsoft is clearly taking on SAP and Oracle for the large-scale enterprise ERP market. Microsoft’s significant acquisition of intellectual property coupled with significant investments in the product itself enables Microsoft Dynamics AX to run in the very largest global companies. Specifically, global companies can now consolidate all their ERP instances into a single instance. The growth Microsoft Dynamics AX has experienced against SAP and Oracle indicates that companies have been waiting for an alternative to the high cost of ownership required by SAP and Oracle.
Finally, Microsoft Dynamics SL, formerly called Solomon, is widely adopted by project-based businesses looking for integration with Microsoft Project.
I believe that the numbers presented here support the claim that the Microsoft Dynamics family of products are some of the most widely used ERP products globally and, given Microsoft’s continued investments in them, will continue to achieve the same high level of success that they have experienced over the last decade.
Greg Kaupp is the CEO of ArcherPoint, LLC, a Northern California Microsoft Dynamics NAV (Navision) partner. Greg has been involved in Dynamics NAV implementations for companies throughout the U.S. since 1997.
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