Microsoft has announced the global availability of Dynamics AX, including in Australia where it will be hosted locally in the company's datacentres.
According to John Leonard, Microsoft Dynamics Australia general manager, the decision to locally host Dynamics AX was to help customers address any latency issues and meet any regulatory obligations, particularly for those in the public sector and financial services market.
Leonard said Dynamics AX is the company's flagship enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution built for five main verticals in mind: Public sector, retail, financial services, healthcare, and manufacturing.
Microsoft boasts Dynamics AX enables businesses access to real-time insights on any device, as well as the flexibility of cloud with faster deployment times and a smaller financial investment.
The company initially announced plans to release Dynamics AX at the end of last year, saying at the time it would be more tightly integrated with other Microsoft business services.
Microsoft Dynamics ERP technical fellow Mike Ehrenberg revealed during the announcement that the cloud-first model of Dynamics AX would debut ahead of the on-premises complement, which is not scheduled for release until the latter part of calendar 2016.
All existing local Microsoft partners will be offering Microsoft Dynamics, in addition to new CSP Dynamics partners UXC Eclipse, Oakton, and Sable 37, Leonard said.
As part of the launch, Microsoft has announced that New Zealand-based furniture and design company Citta Design will be one of the first organisations to go live with the platform.
Since last October, Citta Design has been undergoing a cloud-based transformation program that is due for completion in June. As part of undertaking the program, Citta Design has already implemented Microsoft Azure, SharePoint, and Office 365, with COO Grant Taylor saying the next step was to upgrade the existing ERP system, which relied on Microsoft's Dynamics AX 2012.
"We're growing and we want to be able to provide scalable services and more sophistication to the ERP system we already have, which is already AX 2012. When I arrived, having worked with AX before, I wanted to see what we else we could do.
"We're a SMB with nice ambitions and want to put a platform in place that can enable all of those without taking on a whole bunch of back office costs, and really looking to leverage what has been quite a revolution in how these services can be provided," he said.
Taylor added that as the company looks to improve staff and customer interaction and keep track of stock availability, the advantage of having transparency across its data will be a "big one". The company will move a majority of its data that currently sits in spreadsheets and onto the AX system.
He explained potentially, for instance, staff will be able to access data on AX to create a more seamless shopping experience during the Christmas period.
"A really good application is during Christmas time where we could be on the floor with the customer making a sale and pushing that information to our gift wrappers. So by the time the customer reaches the counter all of their products will be gift wrapped and ready to go and their receipt would be emailed to them," he said.
Citta Design also plans to roll out a loyalty program in the near future using Dynamics AX.