When examining Microsoft Dynamics, one will observe that it does not suffer with these same forms of limitations. It does, however, have its pair of drawbacks that may be choking your growth.
For those that’ll not know, Microsoft (MS) Dynamics resembles Microsoft Office in that MS Dynamics is just a suite of business application products. In Microsoft Office, there’s Word, Excel, Outlook, Powerpoint, Outlook. All these programs have a distinct purpose and they interact pretty well together – but it’s not exactly the same picture with MS Dynamics as you will quickly see.
Essentially, Microsoft Dynamics is an advertising term for a number of business applications offering one CRM and and four (that we shall focus on) ERP systems. Only 1, the CRM, was created from the bottom up by Microsoft and is web based.
You can find primarily four main Microsoft ERP packages which are offered in the United States: GP (previously Great Plains Software), NAV (previously Navision), AX (previously Axapta), and SL (previously Solomon). These four business packages were purchased by Microsoft to be sure they own a foothold in the commercial software space. Each one of these systems are a Windows package (problematic in an increasingly Apple oriented world). Each system is targeted to serve different clients but there’s a quite heavy overlap in features and capacities.
All these ERP packages have an extended and solid history. But there are a few limitations when compared to Cloud apps such as for instance NetSuite. First and foremost, Cloud GP you have to buy equipment, server software, and labor to setup, maintain and manage the system. All this requires business expenditure – and that is where you could see your growth inhibited. All the money spent managing these processes, can be much better used to cultivate your business.
Another weakness with these independent packages is that each of them have their very own reporting capacities. Integrated reporting produces easier business planning. In Microsoft Dynamics, you should write your own reports to mix the information stored within the independent ERP and CRM systems. And Microsoft offers just one more product to get at important computer data, the Management Reporter. Overall, you won’t get the most effective business intelligence because the info is stored in multiple locations. This is one of many strengths of fully integrated business management software, such as for instance NetSuite.
Microsoft is promoting its Cloud offering. It is called Azure, which is a method to host these business apps to operate in the Cloud. This can eliminate the necessity for hardware and server software. But there are still challenges, like the need to determine and put up an Azure environment and make certain it functions properly. Meaning you still better have an IT geek nearby to help out. Naturally, there are third parties which are designed for hosting and set up. But many of these processes have costs associated together which can be avoided with the right architecture and offer; basically, this method means you’re outsourcing a part of your IT; but not nearly enough of it. For most businesses, there’s little competitive value in managing all that software in the cloud.
Your costs will undoubtedly be higher since the architecture of Dynamics is not multi-tenent. It was designed to be its unique instance. A huge drawback is that you should manually perform your own upgrades – and if that you do not, you’ll receive behind and possibly risk the need to do a new implementation; like setting up new software. The benefit of software systems, such as for instance NetSuite, is that the program is upgraded twice per year, is included in the contract, and you can’t get behind.