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Enterprise ERP Buyer's Guide: SAP, Oracle and Microsoft: Page 2

By Drew Robb     Feedback
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Oracle E-Business Suite

Oracle offers an awful lot of ERP options. E-Business Suite 12.1 spans all facets of ERP and all industries. The latest release includes an integrated portfolio of business intelligence tools. It also offers complete ERP suites from companies it acquired such as PeopleSoft and JD Edwards.

And the company also has its Fusion Applications, which are designed from the ground up using the latest technology advances and incorporating best practices gathered over the years from Oracle customers. The plan is eventually to forge everything into Fusion. But that may not happen for some time. In the meanwhile, via its Applications Unlimited program, Oracle has committed to providing ongoing enhancements to existing Oracle applications for as long as customers desire them.

"In today's economy, customers may not be inclined to implement large-scale upgrades of their core operational systems," said Bruce Richardson, an analyst at AMR Research. "The ability to recognize rapid value in the near term without requiring an upgrade could be viewed as an effective way to build a strategic IT roadmap and lay the groundwork for long-term success."

Fusion now replaces all the complicated middleware involved in all Oracle, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards and Siebel applications, as well as all as all the applications that run on top of them. Fusion isn't generally available yet, so don't be in any rush to implement it. The company is taking on a handful of early adopters to help iron out the kinks before unleashing Oracle's marketing might.

Users do have the option of trying out a module or two of Fusion and running it alongside other Oracle applications.

"Move to Fusion at a time of your choosing," was Oracle CEO Larry Ellison's suggestion.


Microsoft Dynamics

Microsoft provides four main ERP products: Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, and Microsoft Dynamics SL


Recently, the company made several products announcements: New development features for NAV 2009 R2, the expansion of AX for Retail to 22 additional markets, the release of the Microsoft Dynamics ERP two-tier connector, and the Global Reporting Initiative certification for the Environmental Sustainability Dashboard for Microsoft Dynamics AX.

According to Guy Weismantel, director of ERP marketing at Microsoft Dynamics, the company focuses on a couple of areas. The first is the needs of its largest customers, which are mid-sized enterprises and subsidiaries of global organization in key verticals: retail, manufacturing, professional services, public sector and distribution. Next are those customers that desire an ERP solution for improved financials and operations, or who require ERP tailored to a specific market.

Business software is often primarily a reactive tool, detecting problems instead of emerging trends, and complexity can slow the ability of companies to make critically needed business process changes, said Weismantel.

"Business software should be a critical enabler, facilitating decisions and proactively driving change into practice," he said. "Microsoft Dynamics is committed to a vision of software that fulfills this promise, evolving for a changing world to enable the dynamic business."

The company has plenty in the pipeline. This includes Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 R2, Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 R2 in the first half of 2011, Microsoft Dynamics SL 2011 in the second quarter of 2011, and Microsoft Dynamics AX 6 sometime in 2011.


This article was originally published on January 3, 2011
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