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Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail Released

Microsoft Dynamics AX for the retail industry was released this week in North America, as well as parts of Europe, Asia and South Africa.

The enterprise resource planning solution currently is available in "more than 16 markets," according to Michael Griffiths, global director of product management for Microsoft Dynamics Retail. In the coming months, availability will be expanded to "an additional 22 markets," he stated.

Microsoft's main selling point to retailers is that Dynamics AX for Retail integrates with the Microsoft solution stack. It's designed for midsize retailers, supporting various functions, such as merchandising, point-of-sale, store management and supply-chain operations.

The product enables role-tailored user interfaces, showing a different software view depending on an employee's role in the organization. Microsoft's partners can use a layout designer to customize the UI, which can then be deployed across store locations, according to a demonstration at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in July.

The demo shows how a "loyalty points" campaign for retail customers can be implemented using Dynamics AX for Retail. The points are racked up by customers with a touch screen or via a card swipe and are recognized across the retailer's locations "in real time," according to Microsoft.

Although the retail industry has been feeling the effects of a down economy, Microsoft is claiming momentum with its new ERP solution.

"Microsoft partners from around the globe, including Aldata, Columbus IT, Avanade, Tectura Corp., Maginus, Ideaca, and the Microsoft Dynamics Retail partner of the year, Junction Solutions, are already seeing success with retailers," said Griffiths said in a released statement.

Junction Solutions helped gourmet coffee roaster and retailer Peet's Coffee and Tea consolidate four disparate channels of its business into an integrated ERP system using Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail, BizTalk Server and SharePoint, according to the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference presentation.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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