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Focus on Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012: Understanding Updates for Verticals, Architecture, and 1,200 New Features

by Jason Gumpert

With the public unveiling of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 at Convergence this week, Microsoft has made clear its plans to compete in several distinct ways in the middle to upper ERP market.  Many of the factors that Dynamics product managers believe make AX 2012 competitive are not exactly new - industry-specific IP capabilities (retail, manufacturing, public sector, professional services, and distribution), a retail strategy, and a hub -and-spoke, or two-tier ERP market strategy. 

But Microsoft has demonstrated progress in all of the areas it claims as strengths in Dynamics AX 2012, as well as other tangible feature improvements for SharePoint integration, customization infrastructure, and the notion of a ‘unified natural model' that drives the product's architectural decisions.  Post-Convergence, they are well aware that prospects now in the sales pipeline or with pending implementations are likely to take a close look at the new version. 

We sat down with Kees Hertogh, director of product management for Dynamics AX, to discuss the significance of the AX 2012 release in more detail. What product decisions have Microsoft made that you feel will give Dynamics AX a competitive advantage in the next one to three years?

Kees: We talk about it in 3 key pillars or themes in this release.  First - powerful.  For us what that means is a very rich ERP system with rich financial administrative capabilities, budgetary control capabilities, a lot of richness around the financial domain, SCM capabilities, among others. Combine that with industry capabilities in 5 industries.  A great example is in manufacturing where discrete and MRP and lean as well as process work in one instance, one product.  In the past systems were either designed for process or discrete or had a separate lean module.  In 2012 these are brought ...

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About Jason Gumpert

As the editor of, Jason oversees all editorial content on the site and at our events, as well as providing site management and strategy. He can be reached at

Prior to co-founding, Jason was a Principal Software Consultant at Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC), where he implemented solutions, trained customers, managed software development, and spent some time in the pre-sales engineering organization. He has also held consulting positions at CSC Consulting and Monitor Group.

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