In 2001, Microsoft stepped in the market for ERP solutions with the acquisition of US based Great Plains. Followed one year later by the acquisition of Danish Navision Software. These acquisitions created a range of 4 different ERP solutions including some functional overlaps. But over the years, Dynamics NAV (for the SMB market) and Dynamics AX (for the corporate accounts market) turned out to be the most successful solutions.
With integration as the number one IT challenge for small and big companies, Microsoft decided a few years ago to change her strategy. They moved their focus from loosely coupled solutions towards a true platform approach. One that brings together all the individual components from its impressively wide range of software solutions. This change coincided with the transition to the cloud. Microsoft chose to transform her most successful on-premise ERP solution for SMB companies, being Dynamics NAV (aka Navision), into the heart of her intelligent cloud platform strategy for this market segment. This cloud solution is called Dynamics 365 Business Central.
Microsoft has recently defined a clear goal for the near future. The company is committed to make Dynamics 365 Business Central “the world’s best ERP solution for small and medium businesses”. That is what Mike Morton, general manager D365 Business Central at Microsoft stated at the Directions 2020 conference, last November 2020. One of the focus areas for the development department is to streamline the implementation – the ‘onboarding process’ in Microsoft terms. The goal is to make the onboarding process both easier, faster and cheaper. All aspects that appeal to companies in the SMB segment!
Microsoft is a strong organization. The company has the financial strength and the R&D power to develop superb software solutions. On top of that, it has the marketing machinery and wide international distribution channels to market, sell and implement Business Central at scale. The recent history shows us many examples where Microsoft became really successful as soon as they put their cards on the number one position in the market.
SMB companies looking for modernizing their ERP solutions do well if they consider Dynamics 365 Business Central as a very serious option.