Microsoft Dynamics: Four into one won’t go
Why have four different ERP systems? Because they meet the market’s needs, Microsoft director Guy Weismantel told Martin Banks at the recent Convergence conference in Atlanta.
How does Microsoft justify developing and maintaining four Dynamics ERP product families, particularly when few of its users can keep up with the standard Microsoft business model of a major product update every two years?
For Guy Weismantel, Microsoft Dynamics director of ERP marketing, each of the product families has a distinct footprint and way of working. Rather than trying to tie them together in a mare’s nest of non-integration, Microsoft decided to maintain those identities and wrap a common integration code layer around them.
Speaking at the recent Microsoft Convergence conference in Atlanta, he noted that a significant amount of commonality can drive operational efficiency, but the four different ERP offerings bring advantages in the marketplace.
“It is not the right strategy is to have a one-product strategy. One reason is the Cloud. When you take something to the Cloud the underlying product strategy becomes secondary,” said Weismantel.
Another argument against the centralised core code base is provided by arch-rival Oracle’s struggle to achieve this with its Fusion project. “As you know Microsoft has tried this in the past. [Oracle] are leaving a pot of customers behind who don’t want this big, huge Fusion application with the cost, maintenance, implementation and bells and whistles that goes with all that. So we are seeing a huge opportunity with the PeopleSoft and JD Edwards customer base, because they don’t want a one-size fits all. They are producing an awesome product that will appeal to about 25 customers.