by Thomas Wailgum

The One and Only Choice in SMB ERP: Microsoft Dynamics AX!!

Jun 12, 20092 mins
Enterprise Applications

Gartner says Microsoft is the one and only "leader" in its new Magic Quadrant for mid-market ERP. OK.

If you’re a midsize or small company and you make all of your business-software purchasing decisions by relying solely on Gartner and its Magic Quadrant, then the decision on your next ERP system just got a lot easier!

I’m serious, here: Gartner just released the “Magic Quadrant for Midmarket and Tier 2-Oriented ERP for Product-Centric Companies” report (say that three times fast), and the one and only vendor in the “Leaders” square is Microsoft and its Dynamics AX product. (It’s scientific, ya know: I can tell Microsoft is the top dog because the little yellow circle in the “Leader” square says so.)

I can also tell that this deserves immediate (immediate!) coverage, because Microsoft’s PR staff wasted no time e-mailing me (twice) about the glorious achievement in its “leader”-ship.

Your other, non-leader mid-market ERP vendor choices in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant?

SAP’s Business All-in-One? Just a “visionary,” sadly, says Gartner.

Oracle’s JD Edwards EnterpriseOne? A “challenger,” at best.

Enterprise System Spectator blogger Frank Scavo points out that Gartner had actually ditched the mid-market ERP Magic Quadrant back in 2007. Why bring it back? “Apparently Gartner found some more vendors and has now brought the mid-market ERP MQ back from retirement,” Scavo opines.

Scavo sagely points out several flaws in this MQ—which you can choose to ignore if you don’t want to muddy your SMB ERP decision-making process.

ERP guru Vinnie Mirchandani does, as well, questioning why SaaS ERP providers (such as NetSuite or Intacct) are not anywhere on the MQ list that supposedly demarcates a “changing of the guard” in SMB ERP—from “older, established systems with deep functionality being displaced by more modern and agile systems.”

Seems those magicians at Gartner have a crystal ball that some of the top minds in ERP just don’t understand. (Foolish Muggles!)

A month ago, I wrote that Dynamics’ “alternative” status (OK, more like “ugly, red-haired stepchild” status) in the ERP market was declining: MS was becoming a playa, though there was lots of competition from the establishment (SAP, Oracle and others) and SaaS vendors gaining more and more customers.

I guess I was way, way off.

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