Microsoft to Add Office Link to Its Dynamics ERP Apps

Similar to Duet tool that links SAP to Microsoft desktop

Microsoft Corp. today is set to introduce a new tool that it says will let end users more easily access Dynamics ERP applications from its desktop software.

Officials said the company plans to unveil the new Dynamics Client tool, which will link 12 Microsoft self-service ERP products to Microsoft Office and SharePoint Server applications, at its Convergence 2007 user event in San Diego.

Microsoft said the offering reduces the need to train Office and SharePoint users to run its ERP software.

James Utzschneider, general manager of Dynamics marketing at Microsoft, also noted that Dynamics Client will allow users to access back-end ERP data without having to buy a full software license.

Greater ERP Benefit

Nick Garbidakis, chief technology officer of the American Bible Society in New York, said that Dynamics Client has the potential to significantly extend the benefit of an ERP system.

He noted that the tool could save money on software purchases and allow end users to access back-end corporate data without special training.

Microsoft said it also plans to bring out new ERP implementation and migration tools, a new configurable interface and several updated Dynamics ERP applications during the conference.

Utzschneider said Dynamics Sure Step, the set of ERP implementation and migration tools and processes, will help customers more efficiently roll out the Dynamics software.

The new role-based user interface can be tailored according to an employee’s position — such as a financial or manufacturing post — within a company, Utzschneider said.

Product Upgrades

At its Convergence user conference, Microsoft announced the following upgrades to its ERP software:
•  NAV 5.0, with sales and procurement upgrades, is available now.•  GP 10.0, with a new Windows Vista interface, will ship in June.•  SL 7, which adds native .Net support, will also be available in June.

Utzschneider also noted that Microsoft already offers a similar tool, called Duet, that can access ERP applications from SAP AG through the Microsoft Office software. 

The biggest challenge in a customer relationship management or ERP application implementation is end-user adoption, noted Rob Bois, an analyst at Boston-based AMR Research Inc.

He said the new Client software should help users more quickly access customer and other related information without making them log into the full-blown CRM application.

Microsoft Dynamics Client for Microsoft Office and Windows SharePoint Services, which includes basic data access and collaboration capabilities, is priced at $195 per user.

Microsoft Dynamics Client for Microsoft Office and SharePoint Server, which includes an executive dashboard and enterprise search and role-based reporting capabilities, cost $395 per user.

The Dynamics Client will be available in May. 

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

7 inconvenient truths about the hybrid work trend
Shop Tech Products at Amazon