Microsoft has been hyping its Dynamics 365 platform for months and now is finally showing it off to its channel partners.
For those who came in late, Dynamics 365 is an integrated CRM and ERP. Vole talks up the software’s machine learning skills, business intelligence and advanced data integration features.
Vole announced that Dynamics 365 will be released next month, giving customers a cloud-based customer relationship and business management solution that delivers predictive insights by using artificial intelligence.
Microsoft thinks the software will create opportunities for partners to drive business transformations.
Dynamics 365 is fully integrated with Office 365 and the Cortana Intelligence Suite, and works with Microsoft’s productivity tools, email and business intelligence solutions.
The product, accessible through a mobile app, leverages machine learning algorithms to help sales, service, and marketing agents gain insights into their professional relationships.
CRM rival Salesforce has a similar product which it calls Einstein, an artificial intelligence technology infused into its sales, service and marketing apps.
Research outfit Gartner has warned that 90 percent of ERP projects will fail because of integration disorder, greater complexity and cost by 2018.
It warned that nine out of 10 ERP projects will end in failure by 2018 as end users struggle to contend with the increasing complexity of “post-modern” ERP. .
Big G has urged systems integrators to “raise their game” as postmodern ERP represents a shift away from a single-vendor “megasuite” towards a “more loosely coupled and federated ERP environment”.
Despite this shift, by 2018 some 90 percent of firms will lack the ability to integrate postmodern applications, resulting in integration disorder, greater complexity and cost, Gartner said.
Carol Hardcastle, research vice president at Gartner said that this new environment promises more business agility, but only if the increased complexity is recognised and addressed.
The systems integrator partners responsible for rolling out ERP solutions need to take at least some of the responsibility, she said.
Hardcastle said ERP projects are still often compromised in time, cost and business outcomes more than 25 years after hitting the market.
“The focus of postmodern ERP is on improved business agility and flexibility, for example through deployment of solutions and services that are better targeted at the business capabilities and address other needs such as user experience,” she said.
Alaskan natives are a little restless about a huge SAP project which is supposed to have been running since 2011.
The project, which said enterprise resource planning (ERP) software implementation, when they bought it was supposed to be state of the art. While it is unlikely that anyone really knew what the software did, they did know that it cost a lot of moose antlers to buy.
Now the City of Anchorage, Alaska has put the project on hold again and this time, its future is far from certain.
The project is tens of millions of dollars over budget and years behind schedule and the local council is not happy about putting more money into it.
At the time of its launch, the project was intended to replace Anchorage’s legacy
PeopleSoft system with ERP software from SAP. It was originally planned to cost $9.8 million and to go live at the start of 2013.
However toward the end of last year officials began an independent review of the project, after it missed its second “go-live” date. It has spent $35 million so far and budgeted another $11 million for the project, but a further $20 million to $30 million is expected to be required to complete it.
The council is looking at proceeding with a scaled-down version, or scrapping the lot.
SAP software is used successfully by tens of thousands of government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, financial departments in the states of Florida, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina, and counties such as Howard County, Maryland, SAP said.
No one is sure quite how the project got to a 600 percent overrun, but it appears that the Alaskans did not have anyone who really understood the project or how it all worked. But then they did buy SAP and anyone who knows what its business software does is worth their weight in HP printer ink and is as rare as a left wing politician in the US.
A survey of 300 IT decision makers in the UK and the US has revealed that 86 percent of their companies fail to use mobility to change their businesses and make more money.
Matt Bancroft, president of Mobile Helix, which commissioned the survey said that while widespread enterprise mobility is “still its infancy” making good choices today will increase revenues.
“Mobility has the potential to disrupt business in much the same way as the internet, but at the moment, cost and complexity challenges lead people to frequently ignore the enormous possibilities available,” he said. He sees the value of mobility as consisting of three stages – turning existing enterprise apps into mobile apps, adding mobile capabilities to existing apps and making new mobile apps as where necessary.
The survey shows that 87 percent of the CIOs think most employees will gain from increased access to CRM, ERP and SharePoint on mobile devices. But 66 percent of CIOs think it is too complicated while 72 percent say it’s too expensive to integrate mobile into legacy applications.
The CIOs are also concerned about development, support and security.
SAP is too inflexible and is being defeated by an AS400 legacy ERP software which is soon to be open sourced.
While the esoteric software outfit, which makes software that no one really understands, is jolly popular with distributors, it might actually be holding them back.
A top Italian distributor Esprinet has saved a fortune by owning the source code for an AS-400 legacy ERP system.
Speaking exclusively to ChannelEye , the CEO of Esprinet Alessandro Cattani said his company provided services to suppliers who were using his company’s services because they were hooked on SAP software.
He said that his company sells them services because the AS-400 legacy code is faster and more flexible than anything the distributors who use SAP ERP systems can write.
“SAP software is less flexible and is difficult and expensive for businesses to write specific code for what they want,” Cattani said.
Esprinet owns the source code for the code and has a team which can churn out code when ever it is needed.
Cattani said that he recently had the chance to benchmark his AS-400 applications against and an SAP equivalent. They cleaned SAP’s clock managing to be 50 percent more efficient and cheaper, he said.
While SAP might not be too concerned that one company is doing rather well ignoring its software, it might be concerned that an Italian firm called SME-UP is planning to open source the software.
That means that some of the bigger suppliers would be wondering why they would shackle themselves to expensive ERP installations when with some nice old IBM box they could be as free as a bird.