Over the last 6 months or so, Microsoft have been busy making strategic moves towards enterprise mobility. Acquisitions for their Dynamics CRM arm include FieldOne and Adxstudio. Dynamics NAV 2016 was built up from the ground up to be a mobile first solution and more recently, Dynamics GP 2016 boasts a HTML 5 enabled web client.
Then came Project “Madeira”.
A statement of intent from Microsoft
Project Madeira is the latest statement of intent from Microsoft that mobility is a key part of their strategy for Dynamics going forward. It’s a business management solution for Small and Midsize Businesses (SMBs) that automates and streamlines business processes, aiding the management of your business.
A true cloud-based ERP solution for SMBS
As an entirely cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution, delivered as a SaaS (Software as a Service) and hosted on the Microsoft Azure platform, it’ll be the first time Microsoft has a fully-fledged SaaS offering. Designed for growing businesses between 10-100 employees, Project Madeira is integrated seamlessly with Outlook on desktop and accessible on a wide range of mobile devices. You’ll be able to manage invoicing, workflows and other features associated with the Dynamics family of products.
Competing with SalesForce and Netsuite
The move to a SaaS offering, positions Project Madeira in the same market as competitors such as SalesForce and Netsuite. This is significant because some of the key issues that SMBs typically face, are exponential growth and struggling to pay overheads of an on-site ERP system.
Project Madeira takes aim at both of these issues, by offering a low cost solution designed to assist in boosting organisational productivity and efficiency through centralising organisational functions.
Focus on mobility
Microsoft’s focus on mobility doesn’t come as a surprise to us at Advantage Business Systems. The benefits of promoting mobility in business are well documented, with a whopping 80% of SME employees reporting that flexible working made a positive difference in their working life . British employees could also save £3.8bn in commuting costs and 533 million hours a year in commuting time according a study conducted by Cebr.
Microsoft have stressed that Project Madeira isn’t the death knell for their other offerings in the Dynamics family and Advantage’s NAV Business Unit Director Darren Waller is keen to point out:
“Project Madeira hands small and midsize businesses the opportunity to obtain the benefits of ERP in a cost-effective manner. The cloud and Project Madeira empowers SMBs with the tools they need to match the prowess of an Enterprise class organisation.”
Project Madeira was released to the public as a preview on the 12th of April 2016. At the moment, it’s only available for customers based in the United States. At Advantage, we’ve managed to get exclusive access and will be covering its specific features in future articles.