Microsoft’s aggressive drive into the business software market is paying dividends, with Gartner this week naming the company’s Dynamics AX enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution as the best bet for companies with 100 to 1 000 employees.

The finding, contained in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant report, suggests a significant shake-up in the ERP market, which was previously seen as large and mature.
“We see this market as undergoing a ‘changing of the guard,’ with older, established systems with deep functionality being displaced by more modern and agile systems,” says Christian Hestermann, research director at Gartner and co-author of the report.
“As this change continues, Gartner concludes that only one offering qualifies as a leader in the market at this time: Microsoft Dynamics AX. The product is robust, it delivers low total cost of ownership (TCO) through integration with other Microsoft products, and, most importantly for the midmarket, Microsoft is adept at managing its channel of resellers.”
Richard Halton, a director at the Johannesburg-based consultancy Exordia, says Gartner’s views echo the market perception that Dynamics AX is cheaper to buy and run than the biggest players in the ERP environment.
Tracey Newman, who heads the Dynamics business at Microsoft South Africa, says that, while the Gartner report doesn’t translate into direct sales, it does confirm that the company has the right long-term strategy and products for midsized businesses, and that its successfully executing against that vision.
“We hear stories daily about how our customers are getting real value from our ERP solutions, which is particularly important in today’s business environment,” says Newman.