Microsoft Great Plains, Navision, Axapta - Selection Considerations

During the years of our consulting practice, which comes back to East Europe in mid 1990th and then continues in the USA, Brazil, New Zealand, Australia, Oceania, Germany, Canada - we would like to orient you - business owner, IT director or software programmer. Selection process can take several months and you may end up with non-Microsoft solution. We will give you our Microsoft Business Solutions products serving point of view.

? Small, midsize or large business. In our opinion - this was the to-be-or-not-to-be question of late 1990th when if you are public corporation you had to stick to rich functionality ERP: SAP, PeopleSoft, Oracle Financials. When SQL database platforms dropped in the price and Microsoft SQL Server is available for all the budget options - you can stake on midmarket ERP solution to serve even large company

? Great Plains, Navision or Axapta. Great Plains was purchased with the acquisition of Great Plains Software, Navision and Axapta were products of Navision Software and opened the European door for Microsoft. Again - this is what we see from our experience serving clients in these areas and this might not be official Microsoft positioning. We have no intention to do official product positioning here in this small article. Great Plains is popular in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Poland, Middle East, Pakistan, UK, Oceania, Latin America (in Brazil Navision seems to be officially promoted). Navision has very strong position in Europe, plus it has very matured market in the USA due to 1990th marketing efforts of Navision Software. We also see that Microsoft promotes Navision on the so-called emerging markets: Russia, Brazil (where it tries to compete with Microsiga and other local ERPs). Axapta is new ERP and it is targeted to large businesses and so we would say that it has rich functionality and can be considered as alternative bid to Oracle, SAP or PeopleSoft

? ERP Selection Advises. When you select corporate ERP you should think about product life cycle. If product is in the phase out mode - you definitely don't want to do new purchase and implementation. On the other hand - if product doesn't have reliable vendor behind and is very innovative - you should also apply portion of conservatism.

? Industries. We are confident in all the products: GP, Navision and Axapta to automate these industries: Aerospace & Defense, Pharmaceutical, Healthcare & Hospitals, Insurance, Textile, Apparels, Services, Placement & Recruiting, Apparels, Beverages, Logistics & Transportation, Food, Restaurants Supply Chain Management, Gold & Mining, Jewelry, Consignment, Wholesale & Retail, Advertising & Publishing

Andrew Karasev is Chief Technology Officer at Alba Spectrum Technologies ("> ), serving Microsoft Great Plains, CRM, Navision, Axapta to mid-size and large clients in California, Illinois, New York, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Arizona, Washington, Minnesota, Ohio, Michigan, Europe and Latin America