The evolution of ERP/MRP comes together with the change in business processes and new business models emerging. If we look at the companies, going public in the .com era and now, we could recognize very unusual business models, such as Google, which is neither paid services nor advertising media. Looking at the other companies, such as eBay, Amazon.com – we could say that the shift for the ERP is made from traditional business processes, such as manufacturing, customer service, project management, accounting to more generic processes, such as Supply Chain Management (SCM), where you can’t identify “standard” functionality – it is a mixture of warehouse management, EDI and extranet for your business vendors and customers, barcoding, consignment, shipping & receiving, etc. Considering these trends, ERP design should be revised and geared toward future change and systems integration, customization and interoperability
o Late 1980th – this was the time when ERP functionality was kind of agreed upon: Finance, Discrete or Process Manufacturing, Sales Order Processing, Accounts Payable, etc. The real challenge was in surviving through computer hardware, operating systems, and database platform battles of the 1990th. We see multiple major ERP products currently on the market, architectured in this period: Microsoft Great Plains/Dynamics GP is a very good example. This product architecture is Great Plains Dexterity, which had the hardware, OS and DB independence in its design – C programming language was hope and Dexterity is a shell, written in C. In 1990th there was a conception of rich functionality MRP (Oracle, SAP, PeopleSoft) and standard functionality ERP – mid-market – Great Plains, Solomon, Navision, etc.
o Global Market. Even small or mid-size consulting company, having its ERP add-ons and small products, has to go for Worldwide clientele. Plus clients themselves are going Worldwide and require its ERP partner to support their subsidiaries “overseas”
o Axapta or now Microsoft Dynamics AX. Being designed at the end of the XX century with the three-tier model and supporting such modern technologies as Unicode (Chinese, Japanese languages), MS SQL Server, XML Web Services, having CRM module and being localized for over 30 nations. Axapta is targeted to upper mid-size and large corporate markets, plus it has excellent positions to automate worldwide operations for a multinational corporation.
o Brazil. Microsoft Business Solutions in Sao Paulo has Axapta as a rising star to win over the Brazilian market. In our opinion, Brazilian agriculture and food processing/export businesses might be in the best synergy, plus telecommunications, franchising network, services. Multinational corporations are also in the loop – Microsoft Dynamics AX is Microsoft answer to Oracle e-Business Suite and SAP mySAP
o Marx/X++ versus C#. As it was announced on Convergence 2006 – MorphX will be ported to .Net platform, so you as a software programmer/developer could us all .Net languages, including X++ to customize Axapta.