In this annual, worldwide survey of ERP solutions for the Manufacturing, Wholesale and Retail industries, Gartner has evaluated each provider and positioned them within the Magic Quadrant. Microsoft Dynamics AX has been categorised as a visionary amongst other ERP solutions, with Gartner praising the vision, usability and flexibility of Microsoft Dynamics AX.
The functionality of Microsoft ERP has developed significantly in the past 12 months. In the latest Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 release in May of this year, comprehensive warehouse management system (WMS) and transportation management system (TMS) modules was added. Microsoft is also investing heavily in Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail and Customer Experience Management to empower these industries to enhance operations with vertically aligned ERP. Microsoft Dynamics AX also offers distinctive functionality for omni-channel retail, including an integrated Point of Sale (POS) solution and new call center functionality to help retailers take advantage of an increasingly digital market place with greater channel connectivity.
The integration with other Microsoft products, such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Office 365 is recognised by Gartner as a crucial element of the solution. According to Gartner, it’s rated by customers as a very distinctive experience. Microsoft Dynamics AX is now a cloud hosted solution, available via the Microsoft Azure platform for anytime mobile access. Alongside the existing infrastructure as a service (IaaS) model, the next installment of AX, expected in late 2015, will also be available to be hosted upon the public cloud.
Another significant development that Gartner acknowledges is Microsoft Dynamics’ Lifecycle Services (LCS). With extensive process flows and performance management capabilities, LCS is seen as a valuable addition to the implementation of Microsoft Dynamics AX to help users optimise the benefit of their ERP system.
Gartner is quite critical of the integration of Microsoft Dynamics AX and CRM. The user interface and the processes bear some differences. It is expected that the next version of the AX user interface will be the same. HSO sees great potential in Microsoft Dynamics CRM as a modular solution for commercial and service processes, developing a comprehensive connector to enable greater integration between the two systems.
Gartner has acknowledged some challenges associated to the Microsoft solution, primarily a scarcity of international Dynamics ERP Partners. Customers who want to deploy Microsoft Dynamics AX internationally will find few partners who can support their growth ambitions. Exercising its global reach, HSO has formed a special team: HSO International. HSO International is a team of Microsoft Dynamics AX experts who have specialised in international ERP implementations. HSO International acts in many international deployments as the linchpin between international clients, alliance partners and the local offices of HSO in the UK, Netherlands, Germany, and the US.
The complete ERP Gartner Magic Quadrant report can be downloaded here