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Dynamics AX vs Nav vs GP vs SL.

Below I have included Microsoft's own positioning of the Dynamics ERP products. Generally, it's difficult to gain an unbiased answer from a Dynamics Partners as they are expressing their own interests based on their line of Dynamics Business.

Microsoft's positioning of Dynamics AX vs NAV, GP, SL

Within Microsoft's website they have positioned the packages into 2 business markets, Mid-Size (GP, NAV, SL) and Enterprise (AX). Dynamics AX is positioned this way as 'Enterprise' organisations typically require;

  • more configuration options (to meet more complex requirements, out of the box, typically associated with Enterprise requirements)
  • deeply configurable Workflow
  • transaction processing that can cross multiple team members (in the process)
  • a wider range of modules 

Microsoft Dynamics AX is the most configurable product of the Dynamics ERP range. Microsoft Dynamics AX also has specific 'out of the box' solutions for a number of industries;

  • Professional Services, Services Management
  • Distribution
  • Retail
  • Public Sector
  • Manufacturing

Microsoft calls out Dynamics SL for Time Billing, Professional Services, Project and Construction organisations. Nav has multiple languages, so more suitable when this is required. They all compete head to head in the marketplace on general ERP requirements.

The look and feel and the screen layouts for all products are all now very similar in design. Nav is also known in the global marketplace for its strength in manufacturing. A decision of which product may be better determined with partner's specific relevant experience to the industry and ERP.

Dynamics AX has a broader functional footprint, with more configurability. This makes it more suitable for larger organisations or organisations with more complex processes, possibly meaning less development.

In general, Dynamics AX modules provide more set-up configuration options, therefore more likely to have a higher functional fit out of the box. With extra configuration set-up effort, the implementation may requires more effort (i.e. higher cost), but the result is a better, more effective process and a better return on investment on the system. It may also mean less development (therefore less development cost) than alternative systems. You need to consider development cost vs. extra configuration cost and also keep in mid the impact of these costs now and in the future, specifically around upgrade costs of development.

The breadth of the Dynamics AX modules also means organisation can decrease the number of software system they use to run their business. Dynamics AX could replace a number of systems i.e. Financials, Project, Timesheets, Inventory, HR, Payroll, CRM, Workflow, Document Management etc.

About the Author

Rohan Wilson Lobo

With 13 years of experience in ERP, specialising in AX functionality across versions , Solution designing ,Project Management and delivery.

Rohan also has special interests in reading about new business processes and features along with understanding their viability. He also enjoys spreading this message across through his blogs.

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