Microsoft Dynamics is a set of customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software applications for use in both small and large businesses. The latter set of software applications consists of four primary products namely: Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, and Microsoft Dynamics SL. Each of these four products as well as Microsoft Dynamics CRM is used for unique operations in the daily operations of the business. Operations supported by this software include sales, finances, supply chain as well as customer relationships.
Microsoft Dynamics AX
Formerly known as Axapta, the product is a comprehensive solution that works towards enhancing the operations of both small and large organizations over many sites and countries. It is renowned for having strong functional support for manufacturers and distributors through its ability to link resources in different locations. The product provides an important link thereby harmonizing the operations of the company across multiple site locations. The availability of a rich and flexible industry foundation means that Microsoft Dynamic AX can provide business visibility while standardizing business processes and simplifying compliance.
In relation to the other Microsoft Dynamics products, this one has an advanced technology that enables it to support thousands of users conveniently, a feature that is only becoming visible in the others now. However, the heavy-weight nature of the product means that it takes much more time to implement and equally requires more skills (Kasat & Yadav, 2015). The product is a very powerful system that provides strict conformity in operations and can do almost anything. However, the system requires that a company avails huge resources to effect the implementation process. In terms of price, acquisition of Dynamics AX license is the most expensive due to the high number of users.
Microsoft Dynamics GP
Microsoft Dynamics GP was formerly referred to as Great Plains and is both an ERP as well as accounting software. As thus, the software provides ideal financial management and human resource capabilities. It is best suited for small to medium organizations that are leaving an entry level accounting system for a more advanced system. Ideally, it is integrated with other systems therefore providing detailed reporting to the management. Because of the ease of setting up the software, it can easily be customized for efficient use in growing a company’s business.
Unlike other software products such as NAV and AX that have built in add-ons, Microsoft Dynamics GP authorizes external developers to create bolt-ons for the product (Bellu, 2008). The availability of this option is that companies could stretch the operations of the product from mere accounting to cover other functions such as manufacturing and distribution. Basically, any operation can be supported in the software through the various bolt-ons available from Independent Software Vendors (ISVs). The price of the software ranges from $10k t0 $100k depending on the number of users which is usually capped at between 25 and 100 users.
Microsoft Dynamics NAV
Popularly known as Navision in the past, the new ERP software is best suited for midsize companies with an appetite for growth. The system, just like Microsoft Dynamics AX, also provides strong functional support for both manufacturers and distributors albeit in a flexible and configurable manner. The system works by providing unique functionality based on the specific industry and therefore meeting the relevant needs of the company in an industry-specific fashion. Currently, the software is available in over 40 versions unique to the different countries in which the software is in operation. The variety of versions coupled with the its suitability for highly specialized business and industry operations render it easy to implement, configure and operate.
Today, Dynamics NAV offers job control, distribution, service management as well as sales marketing due to the incorporation of different additions. The additions are availed through the application’s add ons unlike GP which uses bolt-ons from other developers (Oberoi et al, 2010). Some examples of add-ons in use in NAV include local payroll and TVision’s Agency Time both of which make the application more effective. NAV software is more expensive that GP as its price range is between $8k and $250k with a user range of between 5 and 750.
Microsoft Dynamics SL
Microsoft Dynamics SL is formerly renowned as Solomon primarily aimed at helping in the timely achievement of projects within the set budget. The solution package is specialized to help midsize companies that center their operations on projects. As thus, it is a project management tool for managing projects, people and profitability at one go. Often times, the solution is used in companies offering professional services, construction management as well as operations and field services (Shankar & Bellefroid, 2011).
The product supports a variety of functionalities including complex allocations, change order control, budgeting and forecasting. It is structured to help in the reduction of inventory and distribution costs while streamlining processes as well as improving customer service.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM
Customer relationship management software package is another product of Microsoft Dynamics that focuses on the service sectors of the company. As thus, it is mostly operationalized in the sales, marketing and service departments of the organizations to bring about proper management of the company’s relationships with customers. It links the clients to the company’s servers and can also be used to provide services to the clients while receiving feedback from them (Snyder et al, 2011). The software has the ability of meeting the changing expectations of customers through robust and flexible service solutions. In so doing, the system aids in the harmonization of the organization into a connected, integrated and collaborative organization thus informing staff in the customer service department with insightful guidance.
The completion of this assignment has given me better insights into the working of Microsoft Dynamics software. In particular, I am now well versed with most of the applications and their different roles in an organization setting. Moreover, I was able to study and understand practical case studies of the product application therefore providing me with a real time aspect of the software. From the study, I am now more interested in the different functionalities of the products. Specifically, I am interested in learning more about the Dynamics GP for its accounting capabilities. In future, I plan to volunteer in an accounting firm and recommend the installation of the software to further boost my understanding.
Bellu, R. (2008). Microsoft Dynamics GP For Dummies. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Oberoi, S., Sachdev, A., & Miller, D. (2010). Microsoft Dynamics NAV administration: A quick guide to install, configure, deploy, and administer Dynamics NAV with ease. Birmingham [U.K.: Packt Pub.
Snyder, M., Steger, J., & Landers, B. (2011). Microsoft dynamics CRM 2011 step by step. Redmond, Wash: Microsoft Press.
Kasat, Y., & Yadav, J. J. (2015). Microsoft Dynamics AX implementation guide: Your all-in-one guide to exploring and implementing Microsoft Dynamics AX.
Shankar, C., & Bellefroid, V. (2011). Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step 2010: The smart guide to the successful delivery of Microsoft Dynamics business solutions. Birmingham, UK: Packt Pub.
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