A Look At Microsoft Dynamics AX, Oracle, and SAP

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There are many different enterprise resource planning systems available. Finding what system that best fits your business can be difficult but with a little research you can find the system that best benefits your unique business. I will look at some of the top systems available including Microsoft Dynamics AX, Oracle, and SAP.

Microsoft Dynamics AX

There are many benefits to this system. First of all, it has an architecture that is multilayered which makes it very user-friendly for everyone and can adapt to a changing business. If you have other Microsoft programs on your computer, such as Word, Excel and Outlook, it works seamlessly with them allowing for an easy transfer of information. Collaboration both external and internal is quite easy with this system as companies can share information with each part of the business quite simply.

For large, international businesses the system works very well due to multi-language and multi-currency capabilities. Microsoft Dynamics AX now meets regulatory requirements for 36 countries. Not only does Microsoft Dynamics AX work with larger companies but it also works equally well with companies that have only one location. Global ERP support also comes with the system to answer any question or solve any problem that may come up. If you have Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0 or AX 2009, there is a simple upgrade to all of the new features. The 2012 version has over 1000 enhancements over the 2009 version.

One of the many reasons that companies are now turning to Microsoft Dynamics AX is that it has a shorter implementation due to the familiar nature of Microsoft products with an average implementation time of 13 months which is several months shorter than its competitors. The system also allows users to make changes more rapidly. According to a recent survey by Panorama Consulting Solutions, Microsoft Dynamics AX had the shortest implementation time comparing it to Oracle and SAP.

While there are many benefits to Microsoft Dynamics AX, there a few negatives as well. One of the more recent complaints is that the system has moved towards larger companies and left smaller companies behind. Having a strong cloud ERP option is also something that can be improved.

Oracle E-Business Suite

Oracle E-Business Suite is one of the leading competitors to Microsoft Dynamics AX. One of the benefits of this system is that they integrate many different modules very seamlessly into one system allowing for easy use. The Oracle system also allows for customization similar to that of Microsoft Dynamics AX.

Another strength of the system is the automation of many processes, so that manual data entry by employees is no longer required from other systems. Rather, employees can focus on other areas to spend their time on, making the company much stronger.

A very nice feature that Oracle has that when inventory falls below a certain point, the system creates a purchase order for the item in question. The system then notifies managers the next morning keeping the people in power with up-to-date information.

One of the disadvantages of the Oracle system is that it tends to be less user-friendly to smaller businesses where as Microsoft Dynamics AX works well with both types of businesses. The E-Business Tax module does not particularly well if you are not operating overseas. Another weakness is that of the sales module which is quite important. Many customers tend to use other sales modules or try to make their own.

SAP ERP

SAP is a company that has been around for quite some time and owns quite a large share of the market. In other words, they know the ERP market very well. In 2012, SAP owned roughly a quarter of the market, according to Forbes. Despite being such a large company they also do business with companies with fewer than 1000 employees which shows their diverse client base. They work with businesses in over 45 countries.

One of the areas that SAP has excelled at for many years is business intelligence. They have a very integrated and user friendly system which includes dashboards, report writing, and data warehousing.

If you are not familiar with SAP software it tends to take longer to pick up and the implementation process tends to take longer than other alternatives. Not only does the implementation take longer but it also tends to be more expensive than other systems. Another negative about ERP software is that it demands many upgrades which can be come costly.

Whichever system you choose it is important to find out what is best for the type of business that you run. Microsoft Dynamics AX, Oracle E-Business Suite, and SAP ERP all have their advantages and can benefit your business if implemented correctly.

This guest post was contributed by Kinga. She is working for Cognitive Group, a Dynamics AX recruitment agency in the UK.

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5 thoughts on “A Look At Microsoft Dynamics AX, Oracle, and SAP”

  1. I am an accountant and worked for many big companies with many different ERP programs. To state that AX is user-friendly baffles me. ....works well with microsoft office... in what universe. Have you ever exported standard reports from the financial module?Have you ever created a customer/vendor/prospect...why a default currency... The enormous amount of mouse-clicks to make a single booking. What users are you talking about, the developers or the end users? The company I'm working for now, is two year in the Implementation state and we can not print a decent customer invoice, can't print decent open invoice reports. sum of total open invoices does not equal the total on the report?!?), fill out the tax forms...etc etc...
    This is not the consultant, it is AX. Every company I worked for with AX, the same problems, never the same "certified" developer.

    Please talk to end users, before writting something that looks like information. Please, please....

  2. Thanks for sharing such an informative post. I have been working on SAP ERP from last five years and its a great user experience. But Sap is complex for new users

  3. Apparently Kinga has a very shallow knowledge of ERP systems he is talking about. I've worked in SAP as a functional consultant for more that 7 years. And reorder point planning is the simplest thing in MRP. SAP has much more complex planning solutions for different industries. And pointing out a simple must have thing as a huge feature is very primitive.
    That proves that the whole article is useless.

  4. I have not used SAP or Oracle. I have been involved with Dynamics AX for many years.

    Dynamics AX 2012 is the most configurable solution out of all the Dynamics products. Built for Enterprise level organisations, who typically have enterprise level requirements. More configuration typically requires a larger budget, but I would imagine under an SAP level budget.

    We have implemented AX to a site where the CFO had previously implemented and used SAP and had provided feedback to me on go live that he was surprised how much functionality AX has compared to SAP (he though AX would have a lot less) and that with AX he can have things configured easier than he had experienced with SAP.

    As SAP/Oracle is more complex one would then logically think it cost more to implement and has more risk in its implementation.

    If it helps, at a headline level, we have a page about the top 10 reasons to choose Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012. You can find it at;

    http://www.renown.com.au/MicrosoftDynamics/Dynamics_AX/Why_Choose_Microsoft_Dynamics_AX.aspx

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