As we could imagine, if you are reading this article – you are in the decision making mode, probably replacing legacy system with the new one or abandoning either Unix/Mainframe or Apple direction for your corporation. In any case, nobody should make an outside influence on your decision – you should be maximally objective. Let us give you our estimates and the parameters to check on the pool of the possible ERPs/MRPs.
• Lifecycle. Each application has its lifecycle: from inception and initial fighting for the “place under the sun”, to maturing and then slowly or rapidly declining. Great Plains Software Dynamics, which is prototype of our days Microsoft Great Plains was released in 1994-95 as the first Graphical Accounting/MRP application, working on the Microsoft Windows and Mac OS. Plus Great Plains Dexterity – Dynamics platform was designed as both computer graphical platform as well as database platform independent (to some extent of course, especially when we talk about tuning it to the database platform for performance reason). So, technically Microsoft Great Plains has 10 years of history and is currently in the maturity phase.
• Database Platform. Current trends in the IT applied science are biased toward reliable and standard database platform. If you look at such product as SAP (Abap) or Navision (C/Side native database). This is probably reflection of the future multiple OS harmony: Linux, Windows, Unix systems will coexist communicating via XML (pure text) inbound and outbound streams. We’d say you should be looking for ERP which sits in the standard database: Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, IBM DBII, Ingress, Sybase, Unidata. SQL is the survivor and it will stay for a very long time. It should be possible to query your data via SQL queries – this will make your life easier when you face integration, customization and reporting needs. Microsoft Great Plains uses MS SQL Sever.
• Positions in your country. If you are in the USA – you should know these facts about Microsoft Business Solutions. First jewel, that was bought by Microsoft was Great Plains Software, in fact Doug Burgum, GPS leader was old friend of Bill Gates. Few years before acquisition by Microsoft GPS bought Solomon Software, its old and major competitor. Currently Microsoft Solomon is targeted to Project Oriented Business – Construction, Consulting, etc. Few years after Great Plains acquisition, Microsoft Business Solutions purchased Denmark based Navision Software. Navision had long presence in the USA, especially in the manufacturing ERP market. But, as we believe – and this is our private opinion – Navision acquisition allowed Microsoft to gain substantial portion of the European ERP market. We think that if you are in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Middle East, Latin America and your are not a construction company – then Great Plains is good choice for you.
• Industry specifics. Microsoft Great Plains should be considered as ERP platform ready for tuning to your business needs and so, you should make your decision if you would prefer customization or purchasing so-called rich-functionality ERP. Great Plains is the platform for the customization. It fits to all the spectrum of industries: apparel, medical, pharmaceutical, distribution, logistics, aerospace, defense, wholesale, metals, chemicals, retail to name a few.

Good luck with selection, implementation, customization and integration and if you have issues or concerns – we are here to help! If you want us to do the job - give us a call 866-528-0577 or 630-961-5918!

Andrew is Great Plains specialist in Alba Spectrum Technologies ( ) – Microsoft Great Plains, Navision, Microsoft CRM Partner, serving clients in
California, Minnesota, Illinois, Washington, Florida, Arizona, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Canada, UK, Australia, Brazil, Germany, Russia