Software
News
5/27/2010
02:59 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Microsoft Piles On Dynamics Apps Upgrades

Free new features include a financial reporting module, CRM integrations and an SAP connector.

Microsoft has been on a tear recently when it comes to Microsoft Dynamics applications announcements. This week the company added a new Management Reporter module for the ERP lineup. Last week it announced new CRM integrations for Dynamics NAV and an SAP Business Suite connector for Dynamics AX. In all cases the upgrades are free new features in the latest software.

Management Reporter for Microsoft Dynamics ERP is a financial reporting module that replaces Microsoft FRx, a legacy reporting tool built on aging technology. Designed for deep financial reporting and cross-functional analysis and reconciliation, Management Reporter has the familiar look and feel of a modern Microsoft Office product. It also takes advantage of the latest Microsoft SQL Server services. Advantages over FRx include direct integration to the Microsoft Dynamics ERP general ledger for simplified reporting, a building-block approach for mixing and matching reusable report components, and a report library where sensitive reports can be stored and securely shared.

The first release of Management Reporter works with Microsoft Dynamics GP (formerly Great Plains). It's available as a free download along with a tool said to largely automate the migration from FRx. Future releases of Management Reporter will be compatible with other Microsoft ERP products, including Dynamics AX (formerly Axapta), Dynamics NAV (formerly Navision) and Dynamics SL (formerly Solomon IV).

Matching functionality introduced in last month's Dynamics GP 2010 release, Microsoft has announced a Dynamics NAV 2009 R2 upgrade that will include built-in integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Integrations between ERP and CRM eliminate data redundancies and are increasingly common, particularly within enterprise application suites. The R2 upgrade is set for release in the fourth quarter. Microsoft customers will be able to choose between on-premise CRM deployments or Dynamics CRM Online. The software-as-a-service version is currently offered only North America, but the R2 release is expected to coincide with a global rollout of Dynamics CRM Online also set for late 2010. Dynamics NAV originated in Europe and remains popular in that market.

In other R2 enhancements, the upgrade will include built-in links to Microsoft's Online Payment Service for online credit card processing. Built-in compatibility with Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) technology promises better support for remote Internet access and hosting scenarios.

Microsoft also announced last week that Dynamics AX will gain a connector to SAP systems. The Microsoft Dynamics ERP Connector for SAP Business Suite is set for release in the third quarter. It will facilitate two-tiered ERP deployments whereby companies use AX across subsidiaries, divisions and branches while still tapping into entrenched SAP deployments at corporate headquarters.

The general trend in enterprise applications is headed toward standardization and consolidation. But Microsoft cites research from Altimeter Group that shows that 32% of respondents to a recent survey are considering a two-tier ERP approach, citing cost as a key reason for opting for lower-cost ERP software at the subsidiary level.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Google in the Enterprise Survey
Google in the Enterprise Survey
There's no doubt Google has made headway into businesses: Just 28 percent discourage or ban use of its productivity ­products, and 69 percent cite Google Apps' good or excellent ­mobility. But progress could still stall: 59 percent of nonusers ­distrust the security of Google's cloud. Its data privacy is an open question, and 37 percent worry about integration.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Dec. 9, 2014
Apps will make or break the tablet as a work device, but don't shortchange critical factors related to hardware, security, peripherals, and integration.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 7, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program!
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.