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Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 is Prelude to Convergence

This week, a bit of news. Next week, the show. We love Dynamics here at RCPU. We're just into that heavy, complex, back-office stuff. And we love Convergence -- it's a shame that, due to lots of factors, your editor can't get there in person anymore.

But we can still talk about Dynamics and about Convergence. This week, Microsoft released details of GP 2010, which will be available on May 1.

This one isn't a revolutionary release or anything, but it does offer integration with Office 2010, SharePoint 2010, CRM Online and Microsoft's unified-communications platform. So, it works with everything else, which is great.

Well, almost everything else. As you know, Microsoft continues to sell four different Dynamics enterprise resource planning suites (which are GP, NAV, SL and AX). Long has that been the case, and long will it be the case based on pretty much everything Microsoft has said since Project Green -- the forlorn effort to merge all four suites into a single power suite -- died a few years ago.

And, still, we find the whole four-suite thing baffling. Yes, we should probably just get over it. Microsoft says that it's working fine and that it makes a lot of sense and that it helps customers choose the suite that's right for them. Fair enough. But partners have told us over the years that it creates confusion the channel. (They've also told us that there's massive overcrowding in the channel around Dynamics sales, but it has been a while since we've talked to anybody about that.) And, frankly, the four-suite strategy seems to complicate what should be -- what is, in fact, supposed to be -- a refreshingly simple ERP offering.

And so, here we are writing about Dynamics again and saying again that one single suite --with some room for customization, to be sure -- would make more sense than the Four Horsemen of Microsoft Dynamics do. At Convergence next week, Microsoft will probably talk about GP 2010, about Dynamics CRM Online and maybe even about ERP in the cloud --although it has never really shown any serious interest in that last category.

But we'll still be sitting here in Framingham wondering why Microsoft has never managed to simplify its ERP offering and questioning whether having four suites (of which AX and GP are pretty dominant) is really better than having one. And for another year, our curiosity will likely go unsatisfied. Nevertheless, we're fans of Dynamics. The focus on low cost and simplicity of implementation makes sense for the midmarket. Only the four-suite thing doesn't. But we might have mentioned that already…

Dynamics partners, what's the take from the channel? Is the four-suite strategy working out OK? Is there still overcrowding in the Dynamics channel? Send your thoughts to lpender@rcpmag.com.

Posted by Lee Pender on April 21, 2010 at 11:56 AM


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