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Right we are onto the final part of Convergence Europe as we kick things off here in The Hague for our Western Europe leg of our 3-city tour de force. Having gone through a number of the key announcements we have made during Convergence Europe it left just one for me to write about….and some would argue that given the attention/focus on 2-tier ERP of late this is the biggest piece of news to come out of the event….at least in terms of how we are delivering a solution that addresses the needs of the market.  In May we introduced a new two-tier ERP connector for Microsoft Dynamics AX so companies can benefit from a flexible solution while facilitating integration to their administrative SAP Business Suite, and during Convergence Europe we announced that the connector is now generally available. The Microsoft Dynamics ERP two-tier connector enables common business process integration between headquarters and subsidiary locations, for:

  • Financial consolidation. The sharing and consolidation of detailed financial information from subsidiaries using Microsoft Dynamics AX can be automated and exposed through a central SAP installation, increasing visibility of financial performance across the organization.
  • Intercompany supply-chain integration. The integration of intercompany procurement and supply-chain processes between local and regional distribution with centralized fulfillment organizations helps facilitate automated order processing.
  • Plant automation. Integration of decentralized manufacturing operation processes into centrally orchestrated planning processes enables more accurate and responsive manufacturing planning across the organization.

In addition to all of that (here comes the marketing jazz)  the connector provides business ready scenarios for managing end-to-end processes by using Microsoft BizTalk Server. Those business scenarios are meant to be customizable so our partners can easily adapt and change those processes to meet customer needs. Companies such as The Würth Group, the worldwide leading supplier of screws and other fasteners, are using Microsoft Dynamics AX in their subsidiaries and are seeing great benefits. The Würth Group uses SAP Business Suite as its headquarters solution and Microsoft Dynamics AX for approximately 70 subsidiaries in more than 30 countries. As a result, these operations have been able to reduce their order-processing workload by 50 percent, while providing Würth with greater visibility into its dispersed operations. Oh and we have a case study on The Würth Group which you can read here (yes Microsoft Dynamics ERP does have references :).)

Other benefits of a two-tier ERP implementation model include:

  • Standardization – If your business is plagued by various disparate ERP solutions across your subsidiaries, divisions or branches, a two-tier approach will help you increase your IT efficiency through rationalization of IT investments, and puts you in a better position for rapid innovation due to standardization of implementation and business processes.
  • Business agility – Enterprises with operations of various sizes around the world can quickly implement and run a solution that best meets their specific requirements, both from an operational stand point (running manufacturing operations is different than managing recording studio facilities) as well as from local legislative requirements.
  • Value – A single ERP solution across your subsidiaries, divisions or branches will help drive down IT maintenance costs, lower training costs while proposing a flexible architecture that enables faster implementation to lower cost of deployment for better time-to-value, and leverages existing IT investments for maximum saving through reuse.

If you’re interested in learning even more about two-tier ERP implementations, I’d encourage you to check out a new article by Crispin Read, general manager, Microsoft Dynamics ERP Product Marketing Group. Or, you can visit the two-tier ERP page on the Microsoft Dynamics site, here.

Ok back to work….I will return tomorrow for a full event recap.

Until then…

Luke Shave
Sr. Industry Marketing Manager   

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