Thursday, March 5, 2015

What the heck is Microsoft Dynamics®?

If you are running a successful business, you know that you need an accounting/distribution system to keep your company going. You need a software system to manage financials, reporting, and daily operations.

In 2001, Microsoft® entered the ERP software market through acquisition of four premier applications in that market at that time.  Microsoft then re-branded them all under the name Microsoft Dynamics and took control of all development efforts. Since that time Microsoft grown to become as a significant player in the market. With cloud and mobile options already available, they are in it for the long run. Each of the four applications have strong and extensive installation bases of customers. Microsoft has become a dominant player in the ERP industry.

Microsoft Dynamics is the brand name for the accounting and distribution solutions. Vicinity software integrates exclusively with Microsoft Dynamics providing specific manufacturing functionality to process manufacturing companies.

At Vicinity Manufacturing, we integrate with three of the four accounting solutions offered by Microsoft Dynamics. Specifically, Microsoft Dynamics GP, SL, and NAV.

  • Microsoft Dynamics GP (formerly Great Plains Software) - Microsoft Dynamics GP is widely used in the United States and was developed in Fargo, ND.  Since 1985 Microsoft Dynamics GP has lead the US market with easy to implement and core out of the box functionality.  It has a rich tradition of involving a diverse set of Independent Software Developers (ISVs) and Value Added Resellers (VARs) to address very specific challenges customers address.  Microsoft Dynamics GP is the gold standard in ERP software in North America for companies or divisions of companies from start up to $100 million in sales.

  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV (formerly Navision) – Microsoft Dynamics NAV was acquired largely due to its market position in Europe.  It is the most customizable of all Dynamics ERP products in which Vicinity integrates.  That makes sense when you consider in Europe a business must deal with far more financial reporting variations than in the US.  Multi-currency and flexible customization tools makes Microsoft Dynamics NAV a natural fit in industries that have very unique requirements that can only be addressed via customization.

  • Microsoft Dynamics SL (formerly Solomon IV) – Microsoft Dynamics SL has largely been relegated to project management and costing since its acquisition by Microsoft.  While Microsoft Dynamics SL has a loyal reseller, consultant and install base its market share has decreased significantly over the years.  With that said it remains a terrific inventory and distribution system with surprisingly robust customization capability.

Vicinity’s role in the Microsoft Dynamics community is to address the unique requirements of formula/batch manufacturers.  From formula management to batch ticket processing – from quality to scheduling Vicinity provides what is needed to address the operational concerns of process manufactures and integrates identically well with each of the Microsoft Dynamics offerings.

While Microsoft Dynamics AX is a member of the Dynamics brand we at Vicinity find that the cost of implementation and ongoing maintenance of that platform far outpace the cost of the other software solutions in the Microsoft Dynamics brand.  For that reason we find adding Microsoft Dynamics AX to the integration stack is not warranted at this time.

Microsoft Dynamics as a brand is scalable which allows companies to start with what you need now, and easily adapt as your needs change—in the cloud or on your servers.  The key is to identify the flavor of Dynamics that is right for your business.

Rest assured that not matter your choice Vicinity Manufacturing works with these great accounting and distribution offerings to build a complete, industry specific ERP solution.

Check out this short clip from Microsoft Dynamics.

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