Blog / Microsoft Dynamics 365: Where did all these business applications come from? – Part 1

Microsoft Dynamics 365: Where did all these business applications come from? – Part 1

Learn how the Microsoft Dynamics family of products was born and what they can offer us today.

As we all know, Microsoft likes to dominate every sector it gets involved in. The brilliance of Bill Gates and a few others, combined with good timing, led to the first PC operating systems and the rest is history. In this blog, we will outline a brief introduction to the Dynamics family of products and in the following installment next week (Part 2), we will discuss each application individually.

Networks to business applications

Using their success in writing operating systems as an accelerator, Microsoft expanded into networks and then into business productivity applications like Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Remember Lotus123 or WordPerfect? At one time they seemed so dominant we couldn’t see how they would ever fall by the wayside. Microsoft took them out through relentless investment and improvement, even if the innovation at times was left to others.

Where Microsoft couldn’t beat competitors or wanted to gain leadership, it often pulled out its checkbook. Anyone remember Sybase? Can you say SQL Server or SQL Azure??

In some cases Microsoft was late to the market and generally backed away if it couldn’t see a way through to industry leadership. Zune, Explorer, and smartphones are a few examples. The jury is still out on the Surface lineup, but it hasn’t been as popular as it could have been.

Microsoft moves into the accounting and ERP space

Traditionally, Microsoft stayed away from actual business applications built for automating business processes. That all changed on April 15, 2001 when they issued approximately $1.1 billion in stock for Great Plains, who was the owner and developer of the Great Plains and Solomon accounting systems.

Microsoft Dynamics, formerly Great Plains

A year later on July 11, 2002 they took another big bite of the accounting and ERP space when they bought out Navision, the owner of the Navision and Axapta brands, for $1.45 billion.

This last step was a significant one. While Great Plains, Solomon, and Navision were directed towards the midmarket space, i.e., anything bigger than QuickBooks but not tier one, Axapta was specifically developed to compete in the tier one space against SAP and Oracle.

CRM followed next

The fifth member of the business application family was Microsoft CRM, of which version 1.2 was first released on December 8, 2003. The system wasn’t very popular and it wasn’t until version 3.0 was released on December 5, 2005 that the product started to gain some momentum.

For quite a while, these five products really formed the key pieces of the Microsoft Dynamics family. Now, after some significant investment in new technology over the last 15 years or so, the Dynamics group has grown to include a number of very interesting additional pieces.

Catch our blog (Part 2) next week which will go deeper with a brief overview of each of the Dynamics products. Please contact us for a no-obligation discussion about which Microsoft Dynamics applications can help your business run more efficiently.

*Did you know our ODT Service 365 app is now available for download on Microsoft’s AppSource? Learn all the details about what this solution can offer your business in our previous blog here.