Target Market: Midmarket
Microsoft's target market for the suite is midmarket companies, particularly those in the manufacturing sector, Wang said. "But I think the bigger opportunity is in subsidiaries of large companies where people are really looking at the cost of investing in a larger ERP system," when they may feel it is more complicated and more expensive than what they need, he said. These companies may end up looking at something "a lot lighter than an SAP or Oracle footprint. And I think there is a significant market in there," Wang said. Its also getting on 10 years since many companies, large and small, implemented new ERP systems to resolve Y2K technology conflicts. Some of these companies may be looking to replace these aging systems with something less costly and less complicated.The user interface is also designed to look like Microsoft Office, which many information workers are already familiar with, which reduces the amount of time it takes for them to become productive with the AX 2009 package, said Chris Caren, general manager for Microsoft Dynamics marketing and product management.In addition, Dynamics 2009 is integrated with technology from Microsoft Business Intelligence to provide what Caren calls "self-service" business intelligence tools designed to give business managers KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and to simplify end-user reporting. The KPIs alert managers to changes in business conditions, such as sales slowing down and inventory backing up, signaling a need to make changes, such as reducing prices or implementing other sales incentives. These KPIs are part of a "compliance center" built into Dynamics AC 2009 designed to give managers an integrated view of internal business controls and an organization's financial performance. Microsoft released Dynamics AX 2009 on June 2 in 21 nations in North America, Europe and Asia. It will gradually be released in additional markets over the course of the year, Microsoft officials said.