Retailers are vital to the global economy, responsible for 18 percent of the US GDP while supporting more than 41 million jobs in the US alone. It’s no secret that Microsoft Dynamics AX has marked retail as one of its focus industries, and early in 2013 Microsoft announced the latest release of Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail that offers new capabilities to help retailers deliver a complete shopping experience through search-based e-commerce, new point of sale (POS) capabilities, and an omni-channel commerce engine.
But many important functional pieces will still have to be delivered by partners. Most recently, EdgeAX, a unit of Visionet Systems, Inc., announced the general availability of its apparel product lifecycle management (PLM) solution that is embedded in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 and harnesses the underlying technology.
Microsoft Convergence 2013, which took place in mid-March 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana, was reportedly the largest annual Convergence conference ever, with more than 11,000 attendees. Although I could not attend the multiday event in person, today’s collaborative technology marvels made it possible for me to follow it fairly closely even from a thousand miles away. Many of the conference messages I first heard at the Microsoft Dynamics’ Fall Analyst Event (FAE) back in November 2012, where the industry analysts and bloggers got conference peek previews (see blog here). Featuring high-profile customers, such as Chobani Inc., Habitat for Humanity International, Revlon Inc., Shock Doctor Inc., and Weight Watchers International Inc., the opening keynote by Microsoft Business Solutions president Kirill Tatarinov talked to how Microsoft Dynamics, as a unifying fabric, is “uniquely positioned in the market to serve as a catalyst to help businesses unite their organizations, unite their people and technology, and unite with their customers.” Read the rest of this entry »
It’s my pleasure to announce that another software product within the manufacturing ERP model has been recently certified by TEC. The Process Industry solution for Microsoft Dynamics AX, developed by Edgewater Fullscope, now features the “TEC Certified Product” badge in TEC’s IT Showcase, meaning the software vendor has filled out TEC’s functionality questionnaire and gone through a comprehensive demonstration of the product with TEC analysts, whereafter we were able to confirm that the product fits the process industry vertical and can be used by businesses in food and beverage, pharmaceutical, chemical, and other areas of manufacturing where recipe-based and formula-based processes are extensively used. Read the rest of this entry »
Microsoft recently held its annual Dynamics Fall Analyst Event (FAE) in Redmond, Washington, where news about the company’s Windows 8 platform (see Part One of this blog series) and Microsoft Dynamics products (see Part Two of this blog series) was released. Among the demos and tours was info on some of the lesser-known data platforms and business intelligence (BI) capabilities for Microsoft Dynamics.
I recently attended the Microsoft Dynamics Fall Analyst Event (FAE) 2012 in Washington state, which started with a tour of a local Microsoft Store (see Part 1 of this blog series, Microsoft Analyst Event Part One: What’s New for Fall 2012). At the company’s Redmond, WA Microsoft headquarters, Kirill Tatarinov, President of the Microsoft Business Solutions Division (MBS), gave us the 2012 year-end review. One major point that he made was that he and the entire MBS department have been promoted into a full-fledged Microsoft division (no longer folded together with SharePoint and Office), and that the division has been recruiting new executives and rank-and-file employees. I take this as a sign of the company’s serious investment in Microsoft Dynamics.
The 13th Vendor Shootout for ERP is a great opportunity for companies looking for a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution to evaluate some of the important players. Previous editions featured Oracle E-Business Suite, IFS, Sage ERP X3, SYSPRO, and others.
The 13th edition features eight vendors specializing in discrete manufacturing, with one exception (SAP Business ByDesign, which focuses on services). Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this blog series talked about my attendance of the 11th Vendor ShootoutTM for ERP event, which took place in Boston in mid-August 2011. I was able to experience this co-opetitive gathering of eight solution providers and several dozen end users seeking new solutions first-hand as a neutral (and yet very active) observer (for the inner workings of the event, see my article Demystifying “Vendor Shootout for ERP” events).
My blog post then mentioned the following four enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions (based on my partial attendance of their scripted demos): Infor ERP SyteLine, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Epicor 9, and Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne. Part 2 of this blog series will conclude with the remaining four products that I had the chance to see at great length.
Over the last few years I have repeatedly seen ads for the Vendor ShootoutTM for ERP event appearing in TEC’s website banners and newsletters. In addition, I would come across mentions of the event in other industry magazines, press releases (PRs), social media feeds, Web site banners, and so on and so forth.
Needless to say, I was curious (and dismayed by my lack of information) about the event that even carried the “Moderated by TEC” tagline on its official logo. Even more, every now and again various software vendors’ staff and other industry contacts would ask me about the event (probably expecting my in-depth knowledge), and I would somewhat embarrassingly have to pass them on to my selection services colleagues in the Montreal HQ office (who have been directly involved with the event).
Well, in mid-August 2011, the 11th Vendor Shootout for ERP event took place in my neck of the woods, Boston, and I was able to experience it first-hand as a neutral (and yet very active) observer. What follows now is my report on the event and my take on several vendors’ demos that I attended. Read the rest of this entry »
Notwithstanding Microsoft’s recent purchase of Skype, some pundits have started to question its relevance in the long term (in view of the ongoing consumer mobile devices and/or social media success of Apple, Google, Facebook, Oracle, salesforce.com, etc.).
However, there are still many Microsoft products that are quite relevant. One of them is undoubtedly Microsoft SharePoint or Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS). Until the recent runaway success of the Kinect for Xbox 360 “gesturing entertainment platform” (which Microsoft hopes to deploy well beyond the juvenile games playing use, say, in harmful industrial environments), SharePoint was the product that reportedly grew the fastest to the US$ 1 billion mark in revenues (and it had been the fastest growing Microsoft technology for three straight years before the advent of Kinect). Read the rest of this entry »
In 2008, I wrote a four-part series that explained in great detail Microsoft’s platform technology pieces, commonly used in Microsoft Dynamics and many other enterprise applications. Primarily, these “plumbing” tools were Microsoft SQL Server, SharePoint, and Office within enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) applications, while Visio and SharePoint have also been embedded in a plethora of business process management (BPM) solutions.
Mid-2010 marked the business launch of Microsoft Office 2010, SharePoint Server 2010, and Visio 2010. For the hundreds of thousands of people around the world who use some combination of Microsoft Dynamics ERP, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft Office, and Microsoft SharePoint Server to run their businesses, that announcement signaled new opportunities to increase productivity.
Part 1 of this blog series positioned all four Microsoft Dynamics enterprise resource planning (ERP) product lines and concluded that Microsoft Dynamics AX [evaluate this product] has been selected as the ace in the Dynamics ERP lineup and a global “platform” player in selected industries. In other words, the product has been providing an industry-enabling layer upon which certified partners can build their sub-vertical solutions to cater to so-called long tail (sub-vertical) niches.
Part 2 went through the eight previous generations of the Microsoft Dynamics AX (formerly Axapta) product including the current Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 release. The final part of this blog series will peek into the product’s near future and analyze its traditional strengths and still outstanding weaknesses.
Part 1 of this blog series positioned all four Microsoft Dynamics enterprise resource planning (ERP) product lines and concluded that Microsoft Dynamics AX [evaluate this product] has been selected as the ace and global “platform” player in selected industries in the Dynamics ERP lineup. In other words, the product has been providing an industry-enabling layer upon which certified partners can build their sub-vertical solutions to cater to the so-called long- tail niches.
I have no reason to doubt Kirill Tatarinov, thus far the longest-standing corporate VP of Microsoft Business Solutions, when he keeps reassuring the market by stating that “Microsoft equitably loves all of its children.” Indeed, the Microsoft Dynamics division and its staffers are careful not to reveal any individual enterprise resource planning (ERP) product results (growth, new licenses, etc.), as everything publicly reported is lumped under the overall Microsoft Dynamics and Microsoft Business Division results.
Still, there have been many indications and plausible reasons why Microsoft Dynamics AX [evaluate this product] might be the ace in the Microsoft Dynamics ERP rotation (to use a baseball analogy). Shortly after the 2002 acquisition of Navision (which also included former Damgaard’s Axapta product, the predecessor of Microsoft Dynamics AX) and the late-2000 acquisition of Great Plains (which also included Solomon, Microsoft Dynamics SL’s predecessor) there were some obvious demarcation lines between the four ERP products.
Technology is changing at a breakneck pace, and is there anyone out there who will debate me on that issue? The undeniable evidence that I am getting old is the fact that I got my engineering degree in the late 1980s. Imagine how much easier my studies would have been then had only the Internet, word processors, Wikipedia, presentation software, multimedia products, etc., been available?
The other day I saw a TV commercial where an oblivious “back to the future” dude in a crowded coffee shop was noisily typing away on an ancient typewriter and getting strange looks and grimaces from other patrons in the shop who were all using nifty smartphones and PC’s. Well, guess what, I had to type my final paper on a squeaky typewriter, make multiple photocopies of it, and have it bound into books for the final exam committee.
At least, I wasn’t doing anything that would have been considered archaic for the time.
Microsoft recently acquired four vertical solutions that target process manufacturing (Fullscope Inc.), professional services (Computer Generated Solutions Inc.), and retail industries (To-Increase and LS Retail ehf).
These acquisitions are no different from any other software industry vendor acquisition, as each player in the enterprise resource planning (ERP) space is trying to expand its reach of features and functions in a variety of vertical industries.
What’s different here is that Microsoft Dynamics’ aim Read the rest of this entry »