Microsoft Dynamics VS SAP – Who Will Win?

There have been quite a number of debates on Microsoft Dynamics VS SAP and whether one is better than the other when it comes to managing business processes effectively and efficiently. The truth is… making the tough decision to switch your enterprise business management system is something that requires careful thought, backed with foresight, and only after intensive research. You want a system that can improve productivity, offer a low cost of ownership, scale with your business, and deliver vertical solutions.

When searching for a new solution that will help you manage the operational and financial aspects of your business, it pays to ensure you conduct some thorough research beforehand. The same applies when comparing market leaders such as Microsoft Dynamics vs SAP.

Microsoft Dynamics VS SAP

Selecting Software Appropriately

If you have to strictly look at what some of these software companies have to say about their own products or services, then it would become very difficult to get a true picture or a clear understanding of what the products and solutions are really like. SAP’s messaging focuses on promoting their proven great implementation methodology. Microsoft Dynamics AX, on the other hand, is implemented by the trusted partner of your choice, thus, letting Microsoft have enough time to focus on user experience with product post-implementation. Typically, implementation is nothing but the beginning of the journey with an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution. So, below is a functional comparison of Microsoft Dynamics AX and SAP.

Ease of Use

According to a recent research conducted by Keystone Strategy research paper, Dynamics AX end users – on average – rated their experience with Microsoft Dynamics applications more favorably than SAP users did. In fact, Microsoft Dynamics AX users ranked it so favorably that it beat SAP by 8-27% in virtually every category, including collaboration, transactional efficiency, flexibility, business insight, and familiarity. Users ranked Microsoft Dynamics AX as 17% more usable that its rival SAP. This could be attributed to the familiar and intuitive interface known to reduce the learning curve, as well as training cost for newly recruited users.

Role-Based User Interface

While both SAP and Microsoft Dynamics AX offer role-specific user interfaces, they approach it in a rather different manner. For instance, SAP provides a set of user interfaces, each with its own role structures capable of adding extra work for the IT team to deploy and even upgrade. Microsoft, on the other hand, delivers role-based information straight to Role Centers (customized home pages for each user), enabling users to cut through the clutter by delivering only the information people need, when and where needed.

Portals

SAP offers a portal experience through SAP Enterprise Portal (EP) which demands that user access has to be set up separately in the Portal besides security set-up within SAP All-in-One. Dynamics AX provides out-of-the-box portal capabilities that save customers from re-implementing security features.

Ease of Customization

Dynamics AX provides a layered architecture to enable partners and customers have a platform where they can be able to make customizations without interfering with each other’s work. This makes ongoing upgrades and changes more manageable. SAP All-in-One enables partners and customers to have separate object ranges for personalization, but they remain on the same layer and this could lead to additional expense and even testing.

Self-service Business Intelligence (BI)

Self-service access to both information and analytical tools can help improve productivity and minimize the strain on valuable resources. While some self-service BI exists within SAP ERP, companies are often required to deploy SAP business Warehouse, requiring its own server, database and even security scheme. Dynamics AX meets the category of BI needs by rendering an adaptable and flexible business management solution with collaboration, integration analysis and communication capabilities that do not require the separate analytics program or costly add-ins.

Why Would One Choose Dynamics AX over SAP?

While both software applications deliver powerful features, functionalities and capabilities that help manage business processes, below are reasons why companies seeking new ERP solutions would choose Dynamics AX over SAP:

Favorable Analyst Rankings

Nucleus Research ranked Dynamics AX as a market Leader in its Value Matrix, based on usability and functionality (May, 2012). Garter, Inc. identified Dynamics AX as a Leader in its (December, 2010) ERP Magic Quadrant. And Forrester research discovered that Dynamics AX is a Leader when it comes to providing Order Management Solution (Aug, 2010).

Improve Employee Productivity

It is no secret that inflexible systems overwhelm, frustrate, and overload people – employees, managers, partners, customers, and vendors – who are working hard to perform miracles, make things happen, grow your business and take things to the next level. When a software application is easier to use, employees are able to adapt to it fast and your organization will reap the benefits of the system much faster. You will also be setting the stage for increase productivity.

Low Total Cost of Ownership

Independent research has clearly demonstrated that, on average, Dynamics AX delivers a higher ROI and lower overall costs over SAP and other major competition offerings. According to a recent survey by Panorama Consulting, Dynamics AX bears the highest percentage of users, who apparently realized 81 to 100% of benefits compared to SAP.

Scale with Your Business

Dynamics AX is specially designed to empower people within an organization to be more productive and systems to last longer, with the power or ability to scale up to accommodate growth while at the same time delivering the insight needed in order to respond promptly in a dynamic or ever-changing business environment. You can be able to expand your business and business opportunities, modify business processes, and differentiate your unique business with comprehensive ERP software that delivers unprecedented agility that allows it to adapt easily, grow, and even change.

Flexible Deployment Options

Dynamics AX provides deployment options that enable you to have a choice today and flexibility for the coming future. Companies are free to deploy Dynamics AX on-premise or even in the cloud if they wish, all with a single ERP solution that can effectively be implemented at once, or bit-by-bit (in phases), according to their needs.

Conclusion

While the decision to switch company business management system is normally a tough process, one has to make such a decision but after research and foresight. And while both Microsoft Dynamics vs SAP deliver great value to the end user, Microsoft Dynamics AX has proven to deliver more value for companies that SAP does, and this explains why customers prefer Microsoft Dynamics AX over SAP.

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Michael Taylor
Michael is the Lead Author & Editor of DynaMe. DynaMe is a blog focused on cloud based Microsoft Dynamics.
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