When faced with an implementation decision concerning SAP vs Microsoft Dynamics, it can get a bit confusing because such a decision requires in-depth research and foresight, just as with adopting any other new management system out there. If you haven’t done your homework, you can never be sure whether you are making the right decision or just waiting for another disaster to happen. Regardless, this article will help tell you why you should always choose Microsoft Dynamics over SAP at any given time, of course assuming that you want a system that can improve productivity, deliver lower cost of ownership, provide vertical solutions, as well as scale your business to match its ever-changing or ever-growing needs. Another assumption is that you are in dire need of a new solution that will be effective in managing the operational as well as the financial aspects of your business.
To begin with, how do you select software? Unfortunately, buying software is not like purchasing a piece of jewelry – where you walk right into a jewelry store, pick what you want, pay for it, then walk out happy and satisfied. With software you have to take your time to assess your business needs, consult a professional if necessary, perform a series of tests, use the trial or demo version, perform a cost benefit analysis just to mention a few. The nitty gritties can be overwhelming, but they don’t have to be. This guide will help compare both Microsoft and SAP, side-by-side, to help accelerate your decision-making process.
Looking at what these software companies have to say about their products can be misleading; you will not get a true picture of what each one can do. Instead, they will blow their own trumpet and leave you more confused than before. SAP’s evangelism tends to focus on selling their implementation methodology that has stood the test of time. Microsoft Dynamics, on the other hand, is implemented by one of the trusted partners of your own choosing; thereby affording Microsoft sufficient time to concentrate on UX (user experience), with product-related post-implementation. Technically, software implementation is just the first step towards the ‘1000-mile journey’ involving ERP. Therefore, take your time to go through the side-by-side functionality comparison to ease you of the headache of having to make tough decisions.
SAP VS Microsoft Dynamics- Who Wins?
Ease of Use
In terms of UX, Microsoft Dynamics end users gave the application a higher rating compared to SAP users. Microsoft Dynamics won with a 17% margin over SAP in virtually every UX category, including collaboration, flexibility, transaction efficiency, familiarity, and business insight. Microsoft Dynamics’ familiar and intuitive UI can significantly reduce the learning curve and/ or training cost for new users.
Ease of Customization
With Microsoft Dynamics AX, partners and customers have layered architecture and platform where each can personalize the application without interfering with one another’s work, making ongoing upgrades possible and more manageable; unlike SAP, which separates partners’ and customers’ object ranges for customization.
Having a critical look at SAP vs Microsoft Dynamics reveals that while they both provide role-specific UIs, each one of them has a rather different approach: SAP offers a series of UIs, each with unique structures to allow the addition of extra work to allow the IT department to deploy and upgrade, while Microsoft Dynamics delivers role based information directly to Role Centers, allowing users to cut through the clutter, and delivering the needed information.
Through SAP Enterprise Portal (EP), which requires user access to be separately set up in the Portal on in addition to the security set up in SAP All-in-One, SAP is able to offer a portal experience for users, but Dynamics AX offers “out of the box” portal capabilities to save clients from having to re-implement security features.
Self-service Business Intelligence (BI)
Having self-service access to critical information and analytical tools enhances productivity and cushions against possible overstretching of organization’s valuable resources. Organizations are still required to deploy SAP Warehouse – with own server, security schema, and database – even though self-service BI is in SAP ERP.
However, Microsoft Dynamics AX BI is achieved through rendered and flexible business management solution that allows collaboration and communication capabilities, as well as integration analysis, without the need for a separate costly analytics program or add-ins.
Having looked at both of the programs, it is clear why one would choose Microsoft AX over SAP. For instance, while both of them deliver powerful application features, functionalities or capabilities for the sole purpose of managing business processes, the two application programs offer distinctively different benefits. Apart from these benefits, Microsoft Dynamics apparently receives favorable analyst rankings, crowning the program as a market leader based on functionality and usability, according to Nucleus Research (May, 2012). Additionally, it is obvious that rigid systems can overload, frustrate, or overwhelm employees and other stakeholders: partners, vendors, and customers.
This can be very unfortunate for employees who consistently work hard to make things happen or take your business to another level. But a flexible, easy-to-use system allows people to adapt to it and achieve faster results, boosting overall productivity.
According to independent research, Microsoft Dynamics provides a high ROI whilst lowering overall cost. This is why it registers the highest number of users. On the other hand, Microsoft Dynamics can scale with your business, as it is designed to enable people to become more productive with a longer lasting system in place. It also provides the ability to scale up and accommodate rapid growth in a dynamic business environment, as you can modify business processes to differentiate your business with the ERP application software that delivers the agility that allows easier growth or change through adaptability.
Every organization is looking for flexibility, adaptability, profitability, cost saving properties just to mention a few. The decision to choose between either of these ERP systems can overwhelm any one individual or an entire enterprise. However, due diligence, research and foresight can make the process easier and less painful. And while both systems are capable of delivering great value to end users, an enterprise must make the tough call in the best interest of the organization. An analysis of SAP vs Microsoft Dynamics provides a clear overview of what both ERP systems can offer; you can use the information to make your decision.