I was sitting in the back of the room, nervously taking notes, while my customer settled in for the third of three Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software demonstrations that we had scheduled for them. We were at the end of a software selection cycle, and the first two demonstrations of Tier 1 ERP products had, putting it politely, bombed.
As the leader of this particular software selection process, you generally do not want to waste your customer's time showing them software solutions they have no intention of buying. This was our last chance to revive the project.
Next, we demonstrated Microsoft Dynamics AX to a chorus of "Ooohs and Ahhs" and even a few rounds of clapping. Finally, an intuitive ERP solution that could be tailored from the user interface, easily customized, rich in functionality and scalable as a multi-country enterprise solution.
The year was 2003 and our client became one of the first companies in the United States to implement Dynamics AX for their manufacturing operations and back office.
This was also the year that Tribridge launched its formal partnership with Microsoft and started focusing on Dynamics ERP solutions, including Dynamics AX. The first iPhone would not hit the market for another four years.
Virtual Launch of Dynamics AX
With the virtual launch last week of Dynamics AX7, now referred to as just Dynamics AX, Microsoft continues to fulfill, and in my estimation, surpass the vision they had for the solution.
The original goal was interoperability: your ERP solution should be part of your productivity suite and fully integrated with the other great solutions you use every day, including Word, Excel, SharePoint and Outlook.
Microsoft achieved that goal with new releases of AX 2009, and took things a step further in both functionality and scalability with the release of AX 2012.
Just as Microsoft was beginning to hit its stride with the AX solution, a couple of major technology disruptions occurred: the launch of the iPhone, iPad and the torrid growth of IT solutions delivered in public and private clouds.
Expectations for how we use software and where that software's infrastructure is located changed seemingly overnight. I have many clients that expect (as they should) to run ERP-based transactions from any mobile device and be able to speak to their ERP system. (Yes, we will soon be speaking to what used to be our boring old ERP systems.) In the new Dynamics AX virtual launch, audiences saw a demo of placing an order using the user's voice for data input, leverage Microsoft's personal assistant, Cortana.
A Modern ERP Solution
Microsoft has reacted to these market changes, and created a modern ERP solution that checks all the boxes. The new solution:
- Can be used on any mobile device via the HTML5 user interface.
- Can be consumed in a public cloud monthly fee model that can be easily scaled up or down with Microsoft Azure (Azure based private cloud options coming later this year).
- Integrates with other key technologies from Microsoft including Cortana, Power BI, and of course, Office.
It also has a slick design. Dynamics AX modeled its user workspaces after modern airplane cockpit designs to create a simplistic and highly productive work environment. Microsoft also had the vision to wrap the entire solution in Lifecycle Services to help customers interact with the solution in efficient, predictable and repeatable ways.
ERP continues to change, and just like the story in 2003, Dynamics AX leads the way. Surely, more "oohs and ahhs" are on the way.
Supports an On-Premise, Cloud and Hybrid Cloud Deployment Model
For over a decade, Tribridge has implemented Dynamics AX with a stellar reputation for focusing on solving business problems and implementing solutions for our customers. We utilize a flexible implementation approach, tailored to a customer's industry and business needs, with the ability to support an on-premise, cloud, or hybrid cloud deployment model.
To see Dynamics AX in action, check out our On Demand Demo.