Microsoft started in the market for ERP solutions in 2001 with the takeover of the US company Great Plains. This was followed a year later by the acquisition of the Danish Navision software. With these acquisitions, Microsoft then had 4 different ERP solutions with some functional overlap along the way. Over the years, however, Dynamics NAV (for the SME market) and Dynamics AX (for the corporate market) have become the most successful solutions.
With integration as the biggest IT challenge for small and large businesses, Microsoft decided to change its strategy a few years ago, shifting the focus from loosely coupled solutions to a true platform approach. This involved bringing together all the individual components from its impressively wide range of software solutions. This change coincided with the transition to the cloud. Microsoft decided to make its most successful on-premise ERP solution for SMEs, namely Dynamics NAV (also known as Navision), the centrepiece of its 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 has set its sights on making Dynamics 365 Business Central the “world’s best ERP solution for small and medium-sized enterprises”, as Mike Morton, General Manager D365 Business Central at Microsoft announced at the Directions 2020 conference last November 2020. One of the focal points of the development department is the streamlining of the implementation – in Microsoft language the “onboarding process”. The goal is to make the onboarding process easier, faster and less expensive. All aspects that are of interest to companies in the SME segment!
Microsoft is a strong organisation. It has the financial strength and R&D power to develop world-class software solutions. It also has the marketing background and broad international distribution channels to market, distribute and implement Business Central on a large scale. Recent history shows us many examples where Microsoft became truly successful once it set its sights on the position of market leader.
To summarise: SMEs looking to modernise their ERP solution would be well advised to consider Dynamics 365 Business Central as a serious solution!