Microsoft Dynamics AX: Feels So Good
Along with pretty much everybody else in the world, your editor got a live
demo last week of Microsoft AX 2009, one of Redmond's Dynamics Enterprise Resource
Planning suites, which is generally
available this week
Other bloggers and commentators have mentioned how the latest version of AX
looks like a showcase for the Microsoft technology stack (which it
does indeed, Mary Jo Foley) and how AX might be moving Dynamics closer
to SAP's market territory -- something we've suspected and written about
for a while now.
But, if you'll allow us to gush for a minute, what struck us was how pretty
AX's interface is. OK, so it's based on the Office 2007 "ribbon" look,
which isn't actually our favorite. But it's still the simplest-looking, most
easily navigable ERP interface we've ever seen. And, as we've said before, that's
a major selling point for Dynamics partners.
After all, why do you think SAP was so interested in getting an Office front-end
in the Duet product? Because Microsoft still does user interfaces better than
most vendors and much better than most ERP vendors. And that might help users
actually use AX rather than try to avoid it.
"You don't want to spend the IT budget in user training," Kees Hertogh,
director of Dynamics AX product management at Microsoft, told RCPU during the
demo. "The value of ERP is having all the departments connected to each
other. The more people who use it, the higher the value."
It's the Microsoft party line, of course, but it makes sense; complexity is
the enemy of ERP adoption, and Microsoft has made its interface simple and attractive.
Now, maybe other vendors have something comparable, but they don't often come
by and give us demos. So, SAP, Oracle and the others: If you think your products'
look and feel can compare to that of AX 2009, bring it on. You know where to
For a look at an AX 2009 demo, check out this
link -- but be forewarned: It'll launch Windows Media Player.
Posted by Lee Pender on 06/03/2008 at 1:22 PM