We are the Titans, relatively!
Have you read the latest 2 reports about Microsoft Dynamics AX being offset against Oracle and SAP?
The first report is from Gartner and according to Gartner’s “Magic Quadrant for Single-Instance ERP for product centric midmarket companies”<http://www.gartner.com/id=2587915> Microsoft Dynamics AX is the most visionary ERP system, but Microsoft Consulting Services (MCS) and Microsoft partners are somewhat lacking in the ability to execute compared to previous year. For the areas measured by Gartner in the “ability to execute” rating see the chart hereunder.
The second report is from Panorama Consulting and according to Panorama consulting solutions’ report “Clash of the Titans 2014″<http://go.panorama-consulting.com/Clash-of-the-Titans-2014_Download.html> Microsoft Dynamics AX takes the shortest time to implement and has the shortest length of operational disruption compared to Oracle and SAP. However, Microsoft Dynamics AX projects have the largest delta between planned and actual costs. Also, it is noteworthy that although it is implemented faster, with the lowest project cost and costs the least to implement, it still has the longest payback period. Clearly Panorama hasn’t read the Microsoft blogs http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoftservices/resources.aspx. One of the blogs tells about an implementation with a 100% ROI in just 6 months. Or is Microsoft just advertising Microsoft here?
The question now is how objective are these reports? Panorama’s statement that implementing SAP has the highest failure rate and lowest success rate is not aligned with Gartner’s report stating that the vendor SAP has the highest ability to execute using these criteria weights:
Let’s ignore the position of Microsoft Dynamics AX compared to the other Titans. The more important question is how are the Microsoft Dynamics AX partners doing? Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) was introduced in 2011 and with that “Master Vars” <http://blogs.msdn.com/b/dynpartnercommunity/archive/2011/09/09/microsoft-dynamics-master-var-program-what-it-means-for-you.aspx>. Further, don’t forget that Microsoft partners have a new “colleague” on the market being Microsoft Consulting Services. Good initiatives? So why are we lowered in Gartner’s Quadrant?
Maybe the large System Integrators (SI) or Accounting firms will be interested in picking up Dynamics AX implementations (again)? The question is if their “ability to execute” would be better compared to the original Damgaard VARs who are only focusing on Microsoft Dynamics AX and have been doing so for the last 15 years? Maybe if we combine the Oracle implementation experience of the SI’s with the product Microsoft Dynamics AX we have a winning combination?
It can also be that the reason Dynamics AX dropped in ratings is not about Microsoft or about Microsoft partners. Maybe we should focus on the consultants, after all they are the ones implementing. The partner is just there to sell a solution, but if the consultant doesn’t understand the customers’ business the customer is doomed from the start. Let’s look at the junior, medior and senior consultants. Senior consultant in the USA means you have 3 or 4 years of experience with implementing Dynamics AX. Senior consultant in Europe means you have more than 10 years of AX implementation experience. And maybe this “senior” designation is not totally aligned with the customers’ expectations? Or maybe the reports have been written by Americans and the report applies only in the USA?
Speaking about cultural differences, I was part of a successful $25 million dollar program implementing Microsoft Dynamics AX2012 for a customer in North America. We all received an award because the CEO was happy it didn’t cost $100 million dollars like some SAP horror stories he had heard about.
So I guess “being a titan” is in the eye of the beholder?
P.S. In my next blog I’m going to tell how we can climb back up the status ladder.
Stefan van den Brink, MCT
Partner at Kaya Consulting