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Posts Tagged ‘mn’

The History of Microsoft Dynamics ERP Systems – SL, GP, AX & NAV

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

Microsoft has multiple ERP solutions that were acquired at different points in the past.  They had somewhat different target markets and capabilities and there still exists some market confusion, especially with the  similar names.

Microsoft Dynamics SL

Dynamics SL was originally known as Solomon Software and was acquired by Great Plains who was later acquired by Microsoft.  SL is focused on small and midsized companies with a heavy emphasis on Project Accounting.  However, SL’s technology platform has gotten dated and Microsoft outsourced all development on the product years ago.

Microsoft Dynamics GP

Dynamics GP was originally known as Great Plains Dynamics.  At one point, Dynamics was one of the top selling small and mid-market accounting systems and typically was ‘neck and neck’ with State of the Art’s MAS90 (Later to become Sage 100).  It was a very competent general accounting system with basic distribution and manufacturing functionality.  It was based on a language that was built for the solution known as Dexterity.  It’s still sold today, but given that it’s not localized to run outside of the US, it’s not a strategic solution for Microsoft as it moves to the cloud.

Microsoft Dynamics AX

Dynamics AX, originally called Axapta, was a solution that was created by a group of executives who left Navision.  It was later acquired by Navision before Navision was acquired by Microsoft.  Axapta historically focused on complex customization, global implementations and later a strong focus on manufacturing.  Over the years Microsoft has pushed AX upmarket to compete head to head with the likes of Oracle and SAP at large multi-national corporations.  Although it can fit a variety of industries and business sizes, its deep functionality and thus longer implementation times leaves it best in complex multi-plant manufacturing environments and those that need to run one system instance across multiple geographies with multiple localization requirements.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV

Dynamics NAV, formally Navision Financials, was developed by Navision.  It was a solution that introduced many capabilities that have been copied by others since including a multi-dimensional chart of accounts, built in real time summation and analytics for fast summaries and instant drill down anywhere and a rapid development environment designed to be mold-able to a client’s needs rather than a solution that assumes you will change to it’s ‘best practices.’  Over the years, the distribution functionality of NAV was heavily enhanced along with a mid-level range of manufacturing functionality and is ideal for financials only, distribution and light manufacturing companies.

The Future:

Microsoft has known for sometime it needs to streamline its offerings while still not leaving existing clients abandoned.  It’s opportunity to do so became clear while it simultaneously is retooling its solutions to be offered in the cloud.  The fact that Microsoft get’s the majority of its revenues from international sales spells trouble for Dynamics GP & SL because neither solution can be used outside of the US in most cases and are among the only solutions of the hundreds of products Microsoft offers to be in this position.

With Microsoft’s introduction of Dynamics 365 for Financials and Dynamics 365 for Operations, Microsoft has retooled NAV for the small and mid-market cloud ERP market and retooled AX for the upper mid-market and upper market cloud world.

Microsoft has rebuilt the core architectures of NAV & AX to run smoothly in the cloud and to be run completely in a browser.  If you are a mid-size distribution or light manufacturing company, NAV & Dynamics 365 for Financials are the Microsoft solutions to look at today and Dynamics AX and Dynamics 365 for Operations for those with complex manufacturing requirements.

Did you know if you are on Dynamics GP or SL (Great Plains or Solomon), you can get 100% of your license investment applied toward upgrading to NAV or AX?  Read more about it HERE.

Epicor Embedded Education…What is it?

Friday, May 8th, 2015

Epicor ERP 9 and Epicor ERP 10 (Formally Vantage and Vista) offer a unique module called “Embedded Education”.  We have found many customers are confused by what it is and why they might want it.

Out of the box, Epicor includes one of the most robust online Help systems available.  It includes native English well written field by field level instructions for the vast majority of the screens in the application.  In many areas it includes illustrations and real life examples and is fully searchable.

In addition, Epicor includes Robust User manuals.  They can even be purchased in full color printed form which is a rarity in Enterprise software nowadays.

Like most publishers, Epicor also offers classroom style training classes.  Usually held at their corporate offices in California or Minneapolis.  These classes include a complete training guide, access to the software with a training database installed and an instructor.  Epicor also offers some classes via both live web instructors as well as completely recorded videos.

Clients First also offers an extensive library of Epicor 9 and Epicor 10 demonstration and training videos at no charge at www.erp-demos.net.

However, one unique module available is called Epicor Embedded Education.  This is the complete library of the same training materials used in the classroom but available to all licensed users of your Epicor installation.  They can be brought up within the Help Tile in Epicor 10 and by clicking on the ‘Graduating Student’ icon on the launcher toolbar in Epicor 9.  This training goes much more into the full lifecycle process of a function such as how to process RMA’s, versus the built in help which describes field by field the individual screens.

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Embedded education provides you with HTML based interactive training manuals.  The important difference is the manuals are built around the Epicor Education company that should have been installed with your software.  This means you can go through the lessons and examples using the Education Company (Training database) and you can play with modules that may not be fully configured in your live system and make entries that won’t accidentally post live data into your system.  In addition, when it refers to an actual menu or function in the system, the hyperlinks will open up that function in your training company.

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It’s an ideal solution if you are a growing company or have a lot of turnover because rather than paying for live training every time you move or add an employee you can simply assign them to go through the built in lessons.  Many even include ‘quizzes’ to help ensure the user is absorbing the knowledge.

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We hope you find this valuable!

How Many Companies use Microsoft Dynamics?

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

We often here the question from prospects and others, “How many companies use Microsoft Dynamics NAV or Microsoft Dynamics AX etc.

Well Microsoft has just released its 2015 worldwide breakdown a their Convergence Conference that Clients First is attending.

Here are the numbers:

Microsoft Dynamics® AX 20,000 companies
Microsoft Dynamics® GP 47,000 companies
Microsoft Dynamics® NAV 110,000 companies
Microsoft Dynamics® SL 13,500 companies
Microsoft Dynamics® CRM 40,000 companies

 

Dynamics NAV install base

Just with Dynamics NAV alone, over 8,000 companies purchased a new system in the last year as there were only 102,000 last year.

Dynamics AX may have fewer companies using it but they tend to be larger with more user licenses per site.

Dynamics GP and SL are US only solutions and for all intents and purposes, SL is dead as it has shown zero new customers in the last 3 years.  GP, according to Microsoft also shows 0 new customers in the last year.  Obviously there have been new companies buying it but they likely were offset by those abandoning it. Remember, if you own a solution like GP or SL, and are on maintenance, you can get full credit toward a solution like NAV or AX.

It’s our understanding these statistics make Dynamics NAV the most installed and used mid-market ERP system in the world by a decent margin and AX a leader in the upper mid-market as well.

Microsoft Dynamics ERP–Growth Statistics

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

 

The latest statistics are out relative to the overall install base, unit and percentage growth of all four Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM products.

This includes:

  • Microsoft Dynamics AX
  • Microsoft Dynamics GP
  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV
  • Microsoft Dynamics SL
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM

The conclusion is hands down Microsoft Dynamics NAV is the install base leader.  It’s the most installed mid-market ERP solution in the world.  CRM often has many more users per company so although it only has 40,000 companies on it, that equates to 3 million users.  To compare, NAV has just over a million users with over 100,000 companies.

Dynamics AX has been growing steadily.  The average size and complexity of company using it and average cost of the projects makes AX a much bigger player in terms of overall revenue to Microsoft and the industry than the unit counts would indicate.  For example, many of the new Dynamics GP sales this year were because of heavy promotions selling 3 and 5 user GP systems.  AX rarely get’s installed in companies using less than 20 users.

Clearly Dynamics SL is not a growth product for Microsoft although it does fit the niche of project accounting companies well.

The details are here:

http://www.erpsoftwareblog.com/2014/03/how-many-companies-use-microsoft-dynamics-erp/

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Getting Financing–How a New ERP System Can Help

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Enterprise Accounting SoftwareThis article on our Microsoft Dynamics AX site is actually a applicable to anybody considering purchasing any new ERP system.

It discusses the benefits of how a modern ERP solution can significantly impact how your bank and other financial backers view your business and can increase the odds of you getting the financing you are looking for.

I’ve seen numerous companies over the years struggle with financing where a big factor was their use of QuickBooks which doesn’t follow GAAP principals.  It’s ‘loosy goosy’ features, that end users love, make accountants and bankers cringe. The ability to ‘cook the books’ with low end solutions like that often give financial institutions pause, even if you are actually clean as a whistle.

Here is the full blog post:

Getting Financing due to a Modern ERP System