Microsoft is going to make the latest version of its Dynamics AX 2012 enterprise resource planning (ERP) product available Dec. 1 for managing large-scale global companies.
Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Release 2 offers multiple new ERP features for companies in four key sectors, including manufacturing, retail, the public sector and professional services.
"These very different organizations share a common theme. Each is committed to delivering exceptional results but faces the complexity of global operations," wrote Christian Pedersen, general manager Microsoft Dynamics Product Marketing Group, in a blog post announcing the update. "Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 simplifies global operations by enabling organizations to use their solution globally via a single instance."
The news was also made public at the Dynamics AX Tech Conference that Microsoft hosted in Bellevue, Wash.
Microsoft announced the acquisition of MarketingPilot Oct. 17, a company that provides integrated marketing applications and will be incorporated into the Microsoft Dynamics line of customer relationship management (CRM) software.
AX 2012 R2 localizes the ERP applications for 36 country localizations by including specific regulatory requirements in various countries and localities. The update adds 11 new localizations for large countries such as Japan, India, Brazil, Russia and China, but also smaller countries such as the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.
Also new in AX 2012 R2 is a talent management system for matching the skills of job candidates to open positions within an organization. Microsoft added that customers in the U.S. can also now bring payroll processing in house where they can exercise better control of this sensitive data than with a third-party payroll processing company.
Besides specific new features for different industry silos, R2 also adds tools to gauge business performance using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and other benchmarking capabilities for deeper analysis to deliver actionable business insights, wrote Kees Hertogh, director of Microsoft Dynamics ERP, in another blog post.
Hertogh also linked to a McKinsey & Co. research report released this month that shows that the largest companies based in developed economies currently derive only 17 percent of their revenue from emerging markets, even though these markets represent 36 percent of global GDP. Despite advantages in scale, technology and access to capital, multinationals often lose out to more nimble local competitors in those markets.
"There are huge opportunities still untapped—significant growth predicted [with] GDP expanding from $12 trillion to $30 trillion by 2025–and 2 billion new consumers to enter the world market," he noted, adding that Microsoft Dynamics AX could help global companies tap into those markets.
Microsoft Dynamics AX is part of a family of Dynamics software products based on code from companies Microsoft has acquired over the years. Dynamics AX is from the acquisition of Axapta, Dynamics GP from the acquisition of Great Plains Software, Dynamics NAV from Navision and Dynamics SL from its Solomon acquisition.