It's only a number, and the best we're going to get. But buried in the news about Microsoft's earnings, and its Business Division's $3.51 billion in revenues, was the fact that Dynamics was up 19%. True, this was qualified as customer billings, which doesn't say anything about whether Dynamics was profitable, or what geographies did well, or what the impact of the weak dollar was, or anything else. But it's a measure of growth, and one that looks a lot better than the Business Division's overall 5.5 percent decline. And, in the wake of SAP's 7.2 percent revenue growth in the same period, it looks like the much smaller Dynamics group is outpacing SAP. At least for now.
That may give some meaning to SAP's mid-market push, as if further justification was needed for SAP to look to the mid-market for growth. SAP's growth guidance for the next year is north of 12 percent, which definitely means that some more mid-market revenues need to come its way. And, considering how relatively easy it is to dig into SAP's numbers -- while Microsoft continues to hide Dynamics inside the much bigger -- and apparently less successful -- Business Division, home to Office and the like -- I have to believe that it's really not fair to compare Dynamics to its much more transparent competitors. Much to the detriment of Dynamics.
Of course, this opacity isn't new, and the problems it causes have been outlined here before. It's a pity that we can't see more of Dynamics success -- assuming that's what 19 percent really means -- or understand the details that would help everyone get a better view of where this market is going. But at least we can see some momentum, for what it's worth. Which is a whole lot better than nothing.