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Watch out SAP and Oracle there is a new kid in town

November 8, 2013

Watch out Oracle and SAP! Someone else is gaining market share – Microsoft Dynamics AX. Why? AX is faster to deploy, easier to configure, simpler to use and way more cost effective to run.


Upper level management in companies and local government have been known to choose SAP, Oracle and even JD Edwards because, put simply they are brand names that look good on their resumes when it comes to show what they have implemented and used. As good as that may sound or look in your resume, history has shown us the considerable problems organisations face around the world and in many local Australian states when going through SAP and Oracle projects. Look at Queensland Health for example, whose SAP implementation went so poorly that the Queensland government had no choice but to ban IBM from any future state contracts into its part in the health payroll bungle. What began as a $6 million project is expected to cost tax payers $1.2 billion. I guess you could say they’ve been sapped! If it were up to me, I would find the lowest risk software vendor. I would not want to risk losing my job over a failed implementation. No way!

A recent independent comparison of SAP, Oracle and AX from Panorama Consulting Solutions shows each vendors’ overall market share for the time period from May 2012 to September 2013. SAP has 26% market share, Oracle has 17% and Microsoft holds 11%. Overall, Tier 2 and Tier 3 vendors market share including Infor and Epicor have decreased in comparison to last year’s report. The survey data reveals that SAP is the most commonly short-listed ERP system at 51%, followed by Oracle at 43% and Microsoft Dynamics 32%. The fact that SAP and Oracle are shortlisted at high rates suggests their strong brand recognition and a reflection of many organisations which simply do not have the proper skillsets in place to effectively assess ERP software packages.

The findings have shown that Microsoft Dynamics had the shortest overall implementation time of 12.5 months, followed by SAP at 18.5 months and Oracle at 22.5 months. Overall, the cost of implementation showed SAP being the most expensive to implement on average $2.55 million, Oracle $2.25 million and AX at $1.8 million. Of the three vendors, AX had the highest percentage of respondents, indicating they achieved functionality of greater than 40% of the modules implemented. It probably helps that Microsoft Dynamics has a similar look and feel to other Microsoft products such as Microsoft Office, and an implementation approach of out-of-the-box functionality allowing businesses to have quick wins.

SAP is about 40 years old now and will require a complete rewrite to modernise the product. For those who use it, it will be difficult to change as SAP is like a giant on big concrete feet. In other words, it is not agile. SAP’s market share is slipping away. A recent survey from Panorama Consulting Solutions notes that after “assessing the available information, organizations are not easily convinced that SAP is the best option.”

Oracle and SAP are great products but Microsoft Dynamics AX is gaining ground because it has kept up with the customer demands of a modern world. If you are selecting an ERP solution for your organization make sure you have Microsoft Dynamics on your list.

Good luck,

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