What the what

Sitting back and trying to understand the details behind Microsoft’s Dynamics Office 365 announcement.

With all the money and resources at their fingertips, Microsoft gets one critical thing wrong in their Dynamics Office 365 strategy. My guess is that once again love of technology and/or a need to drive Azure licensing has overcome common sense.

The Dynamics Office 365 announcement is confusing to understand with a lot of moving parts but here is the Twitter version:

Dynamics Office 365 will have two versions. Small businesses will have a version based on a cut-down version of Dynamics NAV (the Madeira project) and enterprise customers a different version based on Dynamics AX.

Why does the shortsightedness of this not scream at anyone and everyone involved?

What is the most expensive, time consuming and disruptive event for any company in regards to their ERP system?

When they outgrow their existing system!

And please, spare me the inevitable upgrade pricing plan and upgrade tool set that will be announced to “seamlessly transitions companies and provide richer content to empower users”.

Why not create a small business version of Dynamics AX that will allow companies to grow into a full enterprise solution as their business grows?

Here is my guess.

AX has become so bloated with “technology overkill” that running it in the cloud is a nightmare. I hate to beat this horse to death but who exactly was screaming for browser based accounting software with Son of Siri…sorry Cortana integration?

So making a small business version of AX that runs economically in the Azure cloud was or is not possible. Instead of fixing that issue it was evidently easier to create a QuickBooks alternative using Dynamics NAV as the foundation.

Who is the ultimate loser in this strategy? The customer of course.

Maybe it would have been harder or taken more time to do this right but the clock is ticking on Azure revenue and the stock market is watching. Business publications have speculated that the legacy of Satya Nadella is tied to his pivoting Microsoft to be all in on his cloud direction.

So we have this bifurcated ERP cloud strategy for business reasons or because someone did not have the strategic vision.

Maybe I am missing a third explanation but what a missed opportunity!

Imagine being able to start a company on a small business version of your ERP software that works seamlessly in the Office 365 stack and never have to worry about outgrowing the solution.

Now that would have been The ERP Killer Product for partners and customers to embrace!

About the author

Peter Joeckel, with more than thirty years in the ERP business helping companies select and implement software solutions, is in a unique position to offer alternative solutions for “tried and failed” ERP software selection and implementation strategies.

TurnOnDynamics employs senior ERP architects who work as great teams to assist management in new, challenged or failing ERP projects.