You have probably noticed that Microsoft is getting more assertive about its Dynamics line of products. Massive advertising, press releases, increased presence at events … It's pretty obvious the 'softies are no longer content to play second fiddle to SAP, merely picking up the small fry surrounding a massive SAP core.
What's in store for the future, when Microsoft pulls the AX, NAV, GP etc. components into a single Dynamics package in 2008? Is the Redmond giant a threat to SAP? Or will SAP continue to make progress based on technical excellence and sheer robustness?
Veteran SAP guru Axel Angeli says the battle is largly one of fundamental principles: SAP is pushing a complete and fully integrated ERP package. The solution should cover all aspects of the business without the need to ever have a third party solution. Microsoft, on the other hand, seeks its success through supporting disparate system installations. In order to make this vision transparent to the clients, Angeli says, Microsoft introduced the metaphor of "Hub and Spoke" technology. It pictures a central ERP residing as the hub of a wheel whilst still being connected to satellite systems through the spokes. Practically it means that one installs a central ERP system and more local installations are installed where they are needed. Both the hub and the satellites can be any ERP solution as long as they are able to exchange messages with each other.
For now, SAP's approach seems to be the winner, according to Angeli. But Joe Gulino, ERP Practice Director, Green Beacon Solutions, has a different take on the matter. He buys into the "working the way your people work" mantra, which clearly favors Microsoft as the dominant midmarket ERP player in the years ahead.
Each expert make the case for their respective position in our new Face-off: SAP All-in-One vs. MS Dynamics . Make sure to send in your comments for a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift certificate!