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International ERP Selection SAP Business One and Microsoft Dynamics

When your company begins international expansion this is probably good news as it signals about growth and success.  At the same time you have to learn such international business lessons as selecting and implementing accounting software which is compliant to foreign country tax code and has user interface in foreign language.

By why don’t we just deploy the same software as we have here in the headquarters?  We’ll try to answer this and related questions in this small publication.  We will give also some comparison of Microsoft Dynamics ERP line and SAP Business One.  Let’s begin with Localized ERP concept:

1. Localized ERP concept has two sides.  First is obviously local language support in user interface and data entry.  It might sound like something trivial but think about such standards as Unicode where each character is represented by two bytes.  Unicode is technology allowing hieroglyph based alphabets such as Chinese, Japanese or Korean to be enabled in computing.  Applications initially introduced on the software market here in the United States do not necessary support Unicode as it is technically not required here.  And second aspect is compliance to foreign country legislation which is probably even more difficult to achieve and maintain as legislation is in constant change in time.  Let’s now take a look at offers from Microsoft Business Solutions and SAP

2. Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM family.  It has several products including GP, AX, SL, NAV, RMS and CRM.  Microsoft CRM is offered worldwide and supports numerous languages but technically it is not accounting or ERP package.  From ERP side we would like to mention Dynamics AX formerly known as Axapta and Dynamics GP or former Great Plains.  AX is offered in major world regions, including China, Brazil and Latin America, Europe and Russian Federation.  Dynamics AX supports Unicode.  You should realize that AX is geared toward upper midsize and large businesses.  If you are looking for something more budget oriented then you should take a look at Dynamics GP.  It is very popular in the United States and internationally.  However it is available in Spanish speaking Americas, Arabic world and Quebec in French Canadian.  Having said that you have to note that it is not a perfect option if your subsidiary is in Russia, China or Brazil

3. SAP Business One.  We are only discussing this product in this paper and if you are thinking about NetWeaver or other options from SAP please do your homework.  Comparing to Dynamics GP Business One at this time of January 2012 has also large number of add-ons however maybe lesser but still covering numerous industry niches.  Good news about B1 is the fact that it is localized in major world regions and it supports Unicode.  Localization is maintained directly by SAP.  We believe that it is good solution for compact multinational corporation where you expect number of named users in SAP B1 do not exceed one hundred across the globe.  SB1 is less expensive in software licenses and implementation hours comparing to Dynamics AX and even GP.  Let’s now take a look at ERP recommendations in specific country

4. Brazil.  Here from brand names we see the offer from Oracle, Microsoft Dynamics AX and SAP Business One and back in 2004 our company was approached by Microsoft in Sao Paulo with the offer to localized Great Plains Dynamics version 7.0.  The project was launched but later on cancelled by Microsoft as they tried to feature Navision and then again changed their mind in favor of Axapta Dynamics AX.  Local competition is presented with such packages as Microsiga so make your judgment

5. Russian Federation.  Both AX and SAP Business One are available and localized and we recommend you contact Microsoft Business Solutions and SAP offices in Moscow.  Strong competition is coming from locally developed package 1C Accounting

6. People Republic of China.  Business One and Axapta support Chinese and are localized

7. Deployment recommendations.  We have seen numerous ERP implementation projects in international environment mostly for US and Canada based multinational companies.  In order to retain IT and financial control we recommend you to consider hosting all the databases and application servers in the headquarters and open them to international users via Citrix or Microsoft Terminal Server

8. Please call us 1-866-304-3265, 1-269-605-4904,  We have local presence in Chicagoland, Southern California, South West MichiganPsychology Articles, Houston and Dallas areas of Texas. We serve customers USA and Canada nationwide and internationally via web sessions and phone conferences (Skype is welcomed)

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Andrew Karasev is SAP BO consultant and Great Plains Certified Master, MVP, 1-866-304-3265, 1-269-605-4904. He is also the initiator of eFaru project and founder of Alba Spectrum information space

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