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The Microsoft ERP Puzzle - 3 / 3

Microsoft's Proposed ERP

Integration Strategy ...And Some More

Benefit From Gray Arrow Kaytek IT - ERP Consulting Perspectives

An earlier article spoke of Microsoft's proposed Unification strategy for the above four different ERP products - Axapta, Great Plains Navision and Solomon.

Based on questions received on the same, some points were clarified earlier. Some more thoughts are presented below.

Microsoft's 3-4-5 Strategy is pretty clear.

Broadly speaking as follows :

Gray Arrow Work forwards with the customer base of the four respective ERP solutions plus the CRM one.

Gray Arrow Use XML to integrate wherever possible between the above four ERP software packages and the MS-Office Productivity Suites and all the other MS Software products in the Enterprise.

Gray Arrow Simultaneously, design new applications using Agility and Process Change as the driving anchors without meddling too much with the existing end-user interfaces.

From a Microsoft (and even from an end-user's perspective), there is really not much difference between various categories of software such as Operating Systems, ERP and EAI Software.

ERP software solutions sit on top of Operating Systems.

EAI solutions integrate different pieces of functionality of discrete pieces of software in the enterprise.

Besides Open Source Vendors (if one can consider the same as one monolithic entity), which other Software Vendor is in complete control of the enterprise applications on a large global volume user base across distributed geographic locations ?

In our Opinion, currently only Microsoft.

Look at our visualization of the different hierarchial software layers in the the current IT Computing Platform.

Down Arrow Now, look at the above Layered model from Microsoft's perspective :

Down Arrow End-User Knowledge


Down Arrow End-User Data


Down Arrow Customised Software

(Horizontal-Function Specific and Vertical-Business-Segment Specific Applications built on top of the Microsoft layers below)


Down Arrow Standard Software

(MS Office Suite, MS 4 ERP Products, MS - Databases, MS - Other Software, etc


Down Arrow Operating Systems

(MS-Windows Family, NT, etc)

When you see their 4 different pieces of ERP solutions (at the Standard Software level) from the above layered perspective, it makes imminent sense to us.

They are probably in the best position to integrate the software stacks from a top-down layered approach starting with

Down Arrow End-User Knowledge

Down Arrow End-User Data

Down Arrow End-User Customised Software Applications

Down Arrow Standard Software Applications

onto the Operating Systems.

(At the bottom of the Software layers within the above visual).

It has to be Microsoft's interim strategy to move their existing applications shown above closer to each other.

Till the time the new applications (with a vision of built-in agility and process change) are in place.

Someone asked a question about High-End or Low-End ERP.

To my mind, a High-End or a Low-End ERP distinction is based on two parameters of scalability and complexity.

If SAP has 24,000 + Tables which make it more complex and can deliver say an end-user response time of less than 30 seconds at full load, does it make it High-End ?

If Google can promise 2 Gigabytes of Storage to every Person on the planet, does it make it High-End ?

The user does not really care about High-End or Low-End.

As we go ahead, we shall see drastic downsizing of complexity and scale focussed on the end-user experience.

The biggest worry for Global ERP Vendors is Salesforce.com types of business models.

In our thinking, there will be no high-end or low-end. There will be just the User-End.

Yes. End-User Experience forms an important part of their '4' and '5' elements of Microsoft's 3-4-5 Strategy.

No affiliations to any of the Enterprise software product or Service companies mentioned above (except Google as their AdSense Publisher).

Gray Arrow Email Us : Any thoughts on the above ?

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Updated on 7th April 2009.
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