When your company plans to outsource its manufacturing operations to such countries as Brazil, the ERP system for the overseas subsidiary is one of the first decisions to make. In this small article we will concentrate on functional side of the Microsoft Dynamics ERPs, such as Microsoft Navision, Microsoft Axapta and Microsoft CRM
When your company plans to outsource its manufacturing operations to such countries as Brazil, the ERP system for the overseas subsidiary is one of the first decisions to make. In this small article we will concentrate on functional side of the Microsoft Dynamics ERPs, such as Microsoft Navision, Microsoft Axapta and Microsoft CRM and we will not touch background technologies (Microsoft .Net vs. EJB/Java discussions)
Localization. It usually has two components: language translation (in the case of Brazil it is Brazilian Portuguese) and sales, purchasing taxes and government regulation/reporting. In the case of Brazil we usually talk about these taxes & regulations: CNAE, CPF, IE, IEST, IM.
Local versus International MRP brand. This is usually the question beyond the functionality of the ERP you need to decide for yourself if you would like advanced localization features (usually provided by local made ERP Microsiga or Datasul to name two) or you want more control over your overseas operations from headquarters this will probably be international ERP brand, one of them we are evaluating here Microsoft Dynamics family (former name was Microsoft Business Solutions)
Navision/Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Around 2004 Microsoft Business Solutions tried to unify its international ERP offer. As the result, in many countries, including Brazil, East Europe, Russia and others Navision kind of pushed out of the market another MBS ERP Microsoft Great Plains (currently Microsoft Dynamics GP 9.0 Brazilian version is not available, however you can get local support from Alba Spectrum). There were multiple reasons, including technical feasibility, they are beyond the scope of this article. Navision is localized and has several years of successful implementation in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Curitiba, Belo Horizonte, Salvador and across Brazil. One of the strong points of Navision is Manufacturing module. We see strong demand for Navision ERP implementation from multinational corporations with headquarters in Europe, especially continental: Germany, Italy, France, Spain and Portugal.
Axapta/Microsoft Dynamics AX. This is relatively new ERP its design was completed in the very end of XX century, Navision Software bought Axapta prior to be purchased by Microsoft Business Solutions itself. Brazilian localization of Axapta is now complete and it will be released in the first quarter of 2006. In Brazil Microsoft has experiment with Axapta pricing and it is now targeted to compete with Microsiga and Datasul from one side and with SAP Business One from another side. Axapta implementation cycle is longer than for SAP BO, however Axapta is more flexible in its ability to automate upper midsize and large scale business.
Microsoft CRM/Dynamics CRM. Now we are in the process of upgrade from MS CRM 1.2 to its 3.0 version. Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 will be more flexible to automate franchisee networks and nation-wide servicing organizations. The question of selection is more simple if you are committed to Microsoft platform you should know that Microsoft CRM is promoted Worldwide. Here we have to say some words about technical side of Microsoft CRM, especially considering some challenges of MS CRM upgrade it heavily uses .Net platform, XML web services and requires strong server side programming, if you need Microsoft CRM customization and custom pieces upgrade (Microsoft CRM SDK 3.0 is a bit different from MS CRM SDK 1.2). In Brazil we saw instances of Microsoft CRM, coexisting with such corporate platform as IBM Lotus Notes Domino
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