What is our primary use case?
Microsoft Dynamics AX product is an ERP solution. We provide this solution to three categories. One of them is the supply chain, one finance, and the other, retail commerce. We are implementing the supply chain through a simple warehouse model, which is finance-based. This includes the general ledger and other accounting functions. We are providing solutions for cash registers and E-commerce alongside other back-office solutions.
How has it helped my organization?
We currently work with retail companies in Turkey. We have implemented the biggest retail company which are apparel companies and grocery companies. These companies sell 40 products, worldwide. There's a lot of change currently happening in the business. For example, there are lots of new features, new functionalities, and lots of new requests from the business side. Existing local solutions cannot handle this, or change it. All local companies and enterprise industries need new functionality to adapt to the market. Hence, there is a good business case to use Microsoft Dynamics AX. You can expand it with open-source code with the partners. This gives the customers options to extend and manage their business.
What is most valuable?
Customers want all the business flow to be contained within the application. If they're using a lot of Excel and other documents, in addition to working with several other third-party applications, the problem is that these applications cannot integrate. That's a huge problem for business. It's possible to provide a solution to this by using an interconnected ERP solution with Dynamics. It is possible to interconnect to other products such as SAP, Oracle, and other global ERP types. Microsoft Dynamics AX makes this possible. Dynamics AX provides a lot of functionality. You have all your information to hand in one application. The application provides these values into the accounting application, and the accounting application executes the rest of the workflow. It's completely integrated. This is a huge and flexible design for customers.
What needs improvement?
Flexibility with how it is used. For example, if you have a specific way of working, Dynamics AX may or may not accommodate that. Although it provides a whole solution you may have to adapt your working methods to suit the product, and not how you would like to work. Sometimes the data forms provided for specific retail applications are not adequate and do not provide enough functions as the product itself is not designed for the retail industry it is mainly designed for automotive companies and distribution companies although Microsoft tried to add a retail element into the system. The product is standardised across industries so it is not a good fit for all types of sectors.
For how long have I used the solution?
We have been working with Microsoft using this solution for about 12 years. We are a gold partner in Turkey, and we've implemented this solution in Turkey. We have also implemented this solution in Sweden. We support the old versions. The first version we used is the AX 2009 but today we are implementing the latest versions. We prefer to implement the solution in the cloud, although for economic reasons, some customers require the on-premises solution.
How are customer service and technical support?
Premium support is good for the Microsoft aspect, but cloud support is not quite as good. They usually resolve issues very quickly, but sometimes do not provide key information when it is required by customers. This sometimes leads to clashes between partners and customers, as the partner is acting as first-line support.
How was the initial setup?
The time it takes is mainly due to industry type and customers expectations. Customers often make a big mistake during implementation by not providing business logic upfront when it is required. Once it is known they start to test the application to make sure it is suitable for the business logic. They are in a rush to implement ERP. Some management consulting services companies are ignored during the project implementation. We usually implement Microsoft Dynamics AX within two months. Ultimately, it depends on the customer's expectations, not how can we manage, or design the solution. This can cause a delay in implementation times, and project timelines are increased. For example, in retail, an implementation can take just 2 months or 2 years. Retail business company's logic can be different from each other. The implementation part is easy if you know your business logic but if you don't know, it can take between 1 to 3 years to implement.
What about the implementation team?
In Turkey, implementation has been difficult, as our customers are trying to reduce their IT personnel, and they want to push these services to the partners. This means the partners do not have experienced IT staff to liaise with on the implementations. The partners tend to use senior-level IT personnel working freelance, as it is not sustainable to pay the level of salaries they require permanently.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
There are about 50 to 100 users, generally at each company. One of our customers has 200 stores. There's a lot of users when you calculate the number of users at each site. We negotiate licences with Microsoft. Microsoft provides a premium support agreement with partners. It's expensive for my country, Turkey. It's too expensive for customers to take this on themselves. As partners, we will buy this on behalf of the customers and then charge this value for each project.
What other advice do I have?
The solution is good. I would give Microsoft Dynamics AX 8 out of 10.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?