Video: Insight into the Microsoft ERP Mix

Where does Microsoft Dynamics AX stand in the Microsoft ERP Mix?

Don Fornes, CEO of our partner Software Advice, interviewed the Microsoft ERP Director of Marketing, Guy Weismantel, about the latest updates to the Microsoft ERP product line. In this segment he provides some clues to release dates of Microsoft products and their fit to the market place.

Providing some interesting insight into the Microsoft Dynamics product line, Mr. Weismantel discusses the release plan for the various MS Dynamics products. Interestingly enough, he talks about how they go to market with the different products based on geography and customer buying behaviors. In the video, he talks about the following:

  • Dynamics AX and its niche for high end, multi-channel, multi-country/language strengths
  • Dynamics GP and how they play to its strengths (and even mentions a few weaknesses)
  • Dynamics NV which is a highly customizable solution for vertical markets
  • Dynamics SL which provides a good fit for project accounting clients
  • This is the fourth in a series of 7 videos that we will be posting.

    Is Microsoft ERP Dynamics AX the Favorite Child?

    Microsoft ERP

    Getting More Microsoft ERP Information

    If you are interested in exploring Microsoft ERP for your company, please select one of the two links below:

    ERP Channel Partners

    ERP Channel Partners

    For information on other ERP software products, please see our ERP Software Directory for many more vendors.

    Microsoft ERP Channel Partners

    For information on the Microsoft ERP Channel Partner Program, please see
    Insight into the Microsoft ERP Mix

When to use ERP Software Consultants

When to use ERP Software Consultants

Many times companies try to select and implement ERP software on their own. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t. So the question is, when should a company use an ERP Software Consultant to guide them in their ERP Selection or ERP Implementation?

The answer is not so simple. If a company is mature and has the resources that can look independently at the business processes, then it may make sense to embark on a selection on their own. Most of the time in mid-market sized or even smaller clients, then it is difficult for them to 1. Spare the resources and 2. Look at the business processes objectively.

Any good ERP Selection begins with a company evaluating their business processes. Borrowing from the Toyota Production system (aka Lean Manufacturing), a company should first eliminate waste and then consider automating. Automating bad processes will only make things worse faster. However, automating good processes will help grow the business and promote better communication.

ERP Software Consultants
Image via Wikipedia

ERP Software Consultants – Best Practices

The real question becomes how much is the company willing to flex their processes to adapt to “best practices” that are usually built into a commercial software system. If the company is flexible (and this takes a lot of leadership to make happen), they can select a system and model their business around that system. The larger commercial systems, such as those from Microsoft, Infor, SAP, Oracle, and others have all grown up from thousands of implementations from all sorts of companies. They have developed efficiencies that many companies who adopt the software’s methodology can benefit from.

The real key is understanding the fit of a software package to the business. If the company does some niche processing, then a mainstream commercial package may not fit. However it the company is a distributor or a manufacturer of discrete products as an example, then a standard mid-market product would likely work for them.

So how do you choose the software, it is back to the business processes and the key requirements. “Key Requirements,” not just all requirements. The things that the old system does not do well and those things that it does very well are good places to start. Additionally, discover those requirements or processes that set your company apart from others in your industry. Usually processes around your competitive advantage are part of the key requirements.

Going back to the original question, should you use independent ERP Software Consultants? If you have a clear and objective understanding, you can afford the time to really research the vendors and you have a strong will with salespeople, then going it on your own might be reasonable.

If you do not have the time, the understanding of the ERP Software market, or the will power to manage at an arm’s length the software vendor’s salespeople, then an ERP Software Consultant would be a wise choice.

ERP Vendor Selection
ERP Software Consultants
Enhanced by Zemanta

ERP Jobs – What am I worth?

ERP Jobs – What am I worth? At one point or another, everyone wants to know how they compare to others in the Job Market. If you are working in the ERP industry, just how do you stack up against others in the ERP market? How does ERP stack up against other information technology jobs. erp jobs

The key to remember with understanding salary comparisons is that the longer and more difficult it is to gain experience in a particular niche, the more likely the pay will be higher. For example, if you can take a few months and earn a networking certification you will make more than those without. But a job such as Enterprise Resource Planning take years of experience in all facets of a business environment to master will pay more. Similarly a person who hold technical skills will make one salary level, but the person in the same job with both the technical and the business skills combined have a higher earning potential.

ERP Jobs are once again becoming a desired segment of the job market.

ERP jobs – Resources

There are several websites that deal with these ERP Jobs concepts. We have listed a few here:

ERP Jobs Listings from

IT Salary Report: How Do You Stack Up?

The median expected salary for a typical ERP Project Manager in the United States

ERP Jobs, Average Salary for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Skills – United Kingdom

Local IT Job Market Reports –

ERP Jobs Summary

As mentioned above, there is an increasing demand for professionals in the ERP job market. This will continue to grow as the economy revives and business begins to expand. Additionally, there was a rush of ERP implementations at the early part of the 2000’s that is leading to a lifecycle shift to new ERP solutions now. This too is contributing for the rising demand for ERP jobs in our economy.

If you have other sources of information on this, please feel free to post them as a comment below.

The Shrinking Landscape of ERP

Chris Shaul

Now that Oracle has gobbled up its competitors, Peoplesoft and JD Edwards, and has aquired Seibel CRM, there is a shrinking landscape of Tier 1 vendors available in the marketplace. It used to be the old JBOPS (JD Edwards, Baan, Oracle, Peoplesoft, and SAP) that people relied on as the playing field for their selections. Now, you have Oracle and SAP battling it out at the top end. SSA Software is working at bringing Baan back to the game under the name SSA ERP LN, but the market has not yet recognized the “new Baan”. So essentially there are now three players in the Tier 1 space.

SAP and Oracle are continuing to compete on the extensiblity of their solutions. SSA is making some buzz in the market too.

So the question is, will there be more variety or options, or will it be more of the same. If it is more of the same from each of these three players, then who will companies turn to? One possible answer in the future will be Microsoft and their Axapta (Now called Dynamics AX) product. But that product is still a few years from being a true Tier 1 competitor. The advantage with the Microsoft solution is very flexible technology that allows solutions and modifications to be built around the product core easily, without breaking the upgrade path. This flexibility outshines the other players. The depth of the product will be their in a few years, but it is not there yet.

What about the Tier 2 players? Can QAD, Epicor, or Infor produce a competing product? As of right now, no. It seems that is not the niche they want to play in. So for now, in the upper tier space, there will be only a few players and few options. But with everything in the IT world, a short time can reveal many new changes.

Chris Shaul is a Sr. IT Consultant and specializes about ERP selections and implementations.