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Dynamics AX vs. SAP

Dynamics AX versus SAP

Based on a Comparison From Panorama Consulting and Customer Experience

A brief Dynamics AX vs. SAP R3 review reveals that both ERP solutions bring along a series of positives. While Dynamics AX is renowned for its superior flexibility and scalability, ease of implementation, customization and integration, familiar user interface, and strong financial, project, mixed-mode manufacturing, multi-language and multi-currency functionality, SAP R3 delivers good quality control and quality assurance functionality, product development features, support for make-to-order processing, and good cash management and retail functionality. An updated Nucleus Research report out July, 2016, says that 6 out of 10 customers would not choose SAP again.

To help you choose the right system for your company, we’re going to focus on the differences between these two solutions based on the findings of Panorama Consulting’s study, Clash of the Titans 2014: An Independent Comparison of SAP, Oracle and Microsoft Dynamics.   

  • Ease of use – On average, Microsoft Dynamics AX users rate their experience with AX applications more favorably than SAP R3 users rate their experience with R3. In fact, Dynamics AX beats out R3 by nearly 20 percent in categories relating to familiarity, flexibility, and functionality. That's not only because Dynamics AX comes with a familiar user interface but also because it’s more intuitive and has a lower learning curve compared to SAP R3. In addition, AX has a lower frequency and length of operational disruption than SAP (while the average go-live disruption time is four months for SAP R3, Dynamics AX disruptions don’t exceed two months).  
  • Implementation approach – Although more than 50 percent of customers prefer to follow a phased approach to ERP implementations, SAP R3 users can only use about 40 percent of the basic functionality after the go-live phase. On the flip side, Dynamics AX provides full basic functionality as soon as the system is up and running. Customizations can be performed later on, after the users test the capabilities of the system.
  • Customization – Though customization is key to a successful ERP implementation, extensive customization may negatively impact the usability of the ERP solution along with the business processes of the company using the system. According to Panorama Consulting's Dynamics AX vs. SAP R3 comparison, R3 exceeds Dynamics AX’s level of customization by 7 percent.
  • Total cost of ownership – Based on the same study, Dynamics AX is less expensive ($1.8 million compared to $2.55 million) to implement and maintain than SAP R3 .  Dynamics AX also has a shorter implementation time frame compared to SAP R3.  
  • Cloud usage – Although cloud deployment options are becoming increasingly popular, only 29 percent of survey respondents confirmed that their Dynamics AX systems were hosted in the cloud. With 18 percent of ERP solutions deployed in cloud environments, SAP R3 had a substantially lower number of survey respondents indicating cloud usage.  

Dynamics AX vs. SAP R3: Case Study

Sulzer Ltd. is a Swiss company currently offering turbine maintenance and repair services across four continents, including throughout the US. As it grew, Sulzer found it very difficult to standardize financial and operational processes across its global network. Commonly occurring complaints were related to the inability to track materials and costs, manage work orders and projects efficiently, roll up local reporting, and integrate existing business processes with complex industry regulations and project-specific customizations.

To overcome challenges, the company chose to replace SAP R3 with Dynamics AX in its Houston office first. After a detailed discussion with the leadership team, the specialists working at Clients First decided to complement AX with their extensive knowledge and experience in implementing ERP products for MROs. As a result, our experts developed the ProMRO module (formerly known as the Extended Project Manager), which specifically addresses the needs and requirements of the companies operating within the MRO industry.   

Audited by corporate, the implementation was declared successful and Dynamics AX implemented across all Sulzer subsidiaries. Additionally, the Clients First team was chosen to manage the deployment of Dynamics AX to more than 20 newly acquired Sulzer locations in the UK, Australia, and Argentina.

When selecting an ERP system, one of the most important things is to find out what works best for your company, both in terms of the ERP system and implementation partner, before making any investment decision. If you’re looking for a reliable ERP software provider, we invite you to get in touch with our knowledgeable and experienced specialists located in Dallas, Texas, by calling 800.331.8382, or email

*SAP R3 should not be confused with the SAP Business One software.  

  What is Dynamics 365

Tags: Microsoft Dynamics AX, ERP Software

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