Microsoft India today announced the availability of its Dynamics Suite of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications as a subscription service which will allow businesses to use these solutions without the need to install it within the company's own premise. This model will increase the affordability of ERP solutions by eliminating upfront capital expenditure and also eliminating the need for in-house IT resources and additional infrastructure. Customer will have to pay on a per user per month basis. Microsoft believes that this new offering will allow a much larger set of SMBs in India to adopt and benefit from ERP services.
The ERP application will be hosted by a Microsoft Channel Partner and can be accessed by companies through multiple access modes such as VPN and Internet. The Partner will also provide turn-key solutions right from initial setup and staff training, to management of the application for the company and complaint resolution. Microsoft's first partner for this service is Bangalore-based Affordable Business Solutions (ABS), a leading IT solutions provider that is focused on the SMB market in India.
4 simple steps to use Microsoft's subscription-based ERP
Step 1 Sign-on as subscription-customer with Microsoft's Channel Partner
Step 2 Compile and submit the initial Master Data – items, bills of materials, customers, vendors, etc. with the help of the Channel Partner.
Step 3 Undergo a short training and test the configured application with some sample data
Step 4 Submit opening balances for uploading and start using the ERP application.
Currently ABS is offering 3, 5 and 10-user ERP packs for basic material and financial accounting functionalities for a small business priced at Rs 25,000, Rs 35,000 and Rs 60,000 per month, against the Rs 10-15 lacs upfront payment in the traditional model -not taking into account the additional cost of hiring and training an ERP professional to manage the application.
Speaking at the launch Mr. Rajeev Mittal, Group Director– Small and Medium Enterprises, Microsoft India, said, ‘By reducing upfront investment costs and eliminating need for in-house IT management resources, our new offering makes ERP solutions much more affordable and easy to deploy. We are confident that the SMB segment in India will benefit from the accessibility to ERP solutions that this model offers, and that it will in turn accelerate the already healthy pace of IT adoption in the SMB community.'
This announcement comes at a time when the market for ERP in India is booming, with increasing number of firms especially in the SMB segment looking to adopt ERP solutions as the first step to a broader IT deployment. According to IDC, the ERP market is expected to maintain a CAGR of 18% over the period 2006 -2010, with the SMB segment accounting for 47 %.
‘While the hosted ERP application has all the functionalities available as in the traditional on-site model of deployment , customers can opt to subscribe to the specific functionalities that they need at the moment and expand the subscription to others when they are ready.', says Mr. Srikant Rao, Founder-Director of Affordable Business Solutions. ‘Feedback from initial conversations with customers has been very encouraging, and we believe that this will trigger a rapid upswing in IT usage especially in the SMB segment in India. We are proud to be the first to associate with Microsoft Dynamics to bring the hosted, subscription-based ERP model to India.' he added.
One such early adopter of Microsoft's Hosted ERP Service is Mysore-based Raman Fibre Sciences, a mid-sized organization that designs, develops and manufactures special fibre-based products. According to Mr. Aroon Raman, Managing Director, Raman Fibre Sciences, "Our decision to subscribe to Microsoft's Hosted Dynamics AX offering from ABS, was made after extensive market research. We wanted to use ERP not only for our Business Essentials, but also for Manufacturing and Project Management. While not compromising on functionality, we were looking for lower upfront investment along with scalability and outsourced operational management. Our decision has helped us streamline our business processes including R&D and pilot production of components, without any initial investment."
Microsoft aims to provide hosted ERP services more broadly with a help of its partners and is already in the process of enabling many more partners across India. This announcement is part of Microsoft's Software plus Service vision, under which the services are being designed to complement existing Microsoft applications and extend them to the Web. ‘We believe this new world of software plus services delivered via the Internet is a fundamental shift that will take place in the future – and one that we aim to lead. Microsoft is dedicated to helping users and partners take advantage of the wide array of technology available today and realize the full capabilities of the networked environment by delivering innovations such as the hosted ERP model.', added Mr. Mittal
About Microsoft Dynamics
Microsoft Dynamics is a line of financial, customer relationship and supply chain management solutions that help businesses work more effectively. Delivered through a network of channel partners providing specialized services, these integrated, adaptable business management solutions work like and with familiar Microsoft software to streamline processes across an entire business
About Microsoft India
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software-any time, any place and on any device. Microsoft Corporation India Private Ltd is a subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation USA. It has had a presence in India since 1990 and currently has offices in eleven cities - Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi, Pune, Ahmedabad, Nagpur, Indore and Chandigarh.
Affordable Business Solutions offers business process and analytics consulting aggregated with comprehensive Information Technology solutions to Indian organizations. Their services include ERP Readiness Consulting Services, Rapid Usage Methodology for implementation and change management and effective end-user education leveraging Affordable Business Solutions' Center for Functional Excellence.