Microsoft ERP – an overview of the solutions

Microsoft ERP solutions are business management software that helps organizations to streamline their business processes and improve their productivity. It includes a suite of applications that cover financial, supply chain, commerce, service, marketing and sales. ERP software is designed to help businesses grow and scale by automating many of their core business processes.

Microsoft has two ERP solutions to choose from – targeting different market segments.

What is Microsoft ERP?

Microsoft ERP software is designed to help businesses grow and scale by automating key business processes and providing insights into organizational data.

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of an ERP solution from Microsoft.

  • Improved productivity: A Microsoft ERP-solution can help businesses automate key business processes and reduce the need for manual data entry. This can help businesses save time and improve their overall productivity.
  • Improved decision making: Microsoft ERP provides businesses with insights into their organizational data. This can help businesses make better decisions about their operations and strategies.
  • Improved customer service: Microsoft ERP can help businesses improve their customer service by providing them with the tools and information they need to manage their operations effectively.
  • Improved supply chain management: Microsoft ERP can help businesses manage their supply chains more effectively. This can help businesses improve their inventory management and reduce their costs.
  • Improved financial management: Microsoft ERP can help businesses manage their finances more effectively. This can help businesses improve their financial planning and reporting.

The different types of Microsoft ERP solutions

Microsoft offers a variety of ERP solutions that can be tailored to the specific needs of your business. The different types of Microsoft ERP solutions include:

  • Microsoft Dynamics Finance & Supply Chain Management: This is a comprehensive ERP solution that helps businesses manage their financial, supply chain, and manufacturing operations. For a brief period of time it was named Microsoft Dynamics Finance & Operations, which was abbreviated F&O, but for many years the solutions was named Microsoft Dynamics AX.
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central: This is an ERP solution that helps businesses manage their operations, including their financial, supply chain, and manufacturing operations. It is the successor to Microsoft Dynamics NAV (and in some way also Dynamics SL).

Microsoft has also offered two more ERP solutions in specific geographical areas, which are no longer sold today. Many companies are still using these solutions, though.

  • Microsoft Dynamics GP
  • Microsoft Dynamics SL

About Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

If you want the high level Microsoft pitch of Business Central, you can visit the Microsoft website. If you want detailed product information on Business Central you can find it here. Here the documentation of Business Central is available. Or instructional videos for Business Central here on this site. Otherwise, here is your overview of Business Central:

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is the successor to Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Microsoft Dynamics SL. Microsoft Dynamics NAV was first released in 1984, and Microsoft Dynamics SL was first released in 1993. Microsoft acquired both products in 2002. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central was first released in 2017.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is a comprehensive business management solution that helps businesses streamline their operations, improve their productivity, and grow their business. Business Central includes a wide range of features, including financial management, supply chain management, manufacturing, business intelligence, and accounting.

There are many benefits of using Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, including:

  • Improved productivity: Business Central helps businesses streamline their operations and improve their productivity.
  • Better decision making: Business Central provides businesses with the data and insights they need to make better decisions.
  • Greater control: Business Central gives businesses greater control over their finances, supply chain, and manufacturing processes.
  • Increased growth: Business Central helps businesses grow their business by improving their productivity and making better decisions.

How can Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central be hosted?

Business Central can be hosted on-premises, in the cloud, or hybrid.

  • On-premises: Business Central can be installed on your own servers. This option gives you the most control over your data and environment but requires more IT resources.
  • Cloud: Business Central can be hosted by Microsoft in the cloud. This option is less expensive and easier to set up but gives Microsoft more control over your data.
  • Hybrid: Business Central can be installed on your own servers and also hosted in the cloud. This option gives you the most flexibility but requires more IT resources.

Which option is better?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The best option for your business will depend on your specific needs and resources.

How much does Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central cost?

The cost of Business Central depends on the edition you choose and the number of users.

  • The Essential edition starts at $70 per user per month.
  • The Premium edition starts at $100 per user per month.
  • Team Members starts at $30 per user per month.

What does the Essentials edition of Business Central contain?

The Essentials edition contains the following:

  • Financial management
  • Customer relationship management
  • Human resources
  • Supply chain management
  • Project management

The Essentials edition is sufficient for most midsize companies that don’t need manufacturing or service management.

What does the Premium edition of Business Central contain?

The Premium edition contains all the features of the Essentials edition, plus the following:

  • Manufacturing
  • Service management

What is a Team Member license for Business Central?

A Team Member license is a restricted license that allows users to view data and perform a limited number of tasks, such as creating and viewing records, approving records, and running reports.

About Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Supply Chain Management

This solution is often called Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations – as the successor to the Dynamics AX solution. But in reality, today, Microsoft has split it into two separate apps. At first named Finance and Operations, and now Finance and Supply Chain Management. A bit confusing, but it’s still the same solution.

Finance and Supply Chain Management is a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that helps businesses manage their financials, supply chain, and operations. The solution is designed for businesses of all sizes and industries.

It is a part of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 suite of applications. It is available in two editions: Essentials and Premium.

If you want the high level Microsoft pitch of Finance & Operations (Supply Chain Management), you can visit the Microsoft website about Finance and about Supply Chain Management. Here the documentation of Finance and Supply Chain Management is available. Otherwise, here is your overview of Finance & Operations (Supply Chain Management):

What does Dynamics 365 Finance contain?

Dynamics 365 Finance is a cloud-based financial management solution that helps you automate and streamline your financial operations. It includes features for financial accounting, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and cash management.

Dynamics 365 Finance is part of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 suite of business applications. It is available as a standalone application or as part of the complete ERP solution with Supply Chain Management.

What are the benefits and features of using Dynamics 365 Finance?

Dynamics 365 Finance can help you improve your financial management process by providing the following benefits:

  • Improved visibility into your financial data: With Dynamics 365 Finance, you can get a real-time view of your financial data, which can help you make better decisions about your business. You can manage your financial accounting, such as your chart of accounts, journal entries, and financial reports.
  • Automation of your financial processes: Dynamics 365 Finance can help you automate your financial processes, such as invoicing and payments, to improve efficiency and reduce errors.
  • Improved compliance with financial regulations: Dynamics 365 Finance can help you comply with financial regulations, such as Sarbanes-Oxley, by providing features such as audit trails and control over access to financial data.
  • Customer service: With Dynamics 365 Finance, you can provide your customers with self-service portals and automated customer service processes, which can improve customer satisfaction.

What are the benefits of using Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management?

The benefits of using Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management include the following:

  • Improved visibility into your supply chain: With Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, you can get a real-time view of your supply chain, which can help you make better decisions about your business and supply chain operations.
  • Automation of your supply chain processes: Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management can help you automate your supply chain processes, such as order management and fulfillment, to improve efficiency and reduce errors.
  • Improved collaboration with your supply chain partners: Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management can help you improve collaboration with your supply chain partners by providing features such as shared calendars and task lists.
  • Improved compliance with supply chain regulations: Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management can help you comply with supply chain regulations, such as food safety regulations, by providing features such as traceability and quality control.
  • Improved customer service: With Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, you can provide your customers with self-service portals and automated customer service processes, which can improve customer satisfaction.

How do you make the decision?

The first step is to understand your business needs and objectives. What are your goals? What are your pain points? Once you know this, you can start to research and compare different ERP solutions, both those from Microsoft and others.

If you want to compare the two options from Microsoft in details, we have put together a comparison that may help you.

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Article by: Bernt Elkjær-Pedersen, Use Dynamics editor

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