I don’t think that anyone in the Microsoft Dynamics community by now is unaware that Microsoft announced project “Madeira” 3 days ago. Its in like all the NAV blogs, this one included.
And it was a very big announced. Not in the way, that it wasn’t expected that Microsoft to have a SaaS version of Navision. That was sort of expected. With multi-tenancy, NAV Extensions, Azure and CRM Online, then most were expecting a NAV Online SaaS only.
My own expectations would have been that this NAV Online would have something like the Danish Microsoft Dynamics C5 (2014+). Here they have created a set of special “mini-app” pages, which presents a much simpler interface and thus faster to learn to use. You have for example no resources, but a setting on the item card, to say an item is a service – so no item ledger entries are created. So far what I have seen then “Madeira” is much more than that. It may be down-scaled a little, but in general its there, or going to be there.
Just 3 days I go, I was sure that project “Madeira” was just the name of the next version of Microsoft Dynamics NAV. At least “Madeira” is also the internal name for the next version, like “Corfu” was the name for NAV 2016.
Its not really that they don’t call it Dynamics NAV online that I’m “concerned” about. Its more that it’s like Microsoft with all force is trying to avoid mention saying neither Dynamics or NAV.
In the news, including on PC World, they talk about “Microsoft's Project Madeira turns Outlook into a small-business productivity hub”. They talk about Microsoft's Project Madeira turns Outlook into a small-business productivity hub. Gordon Macdonald, director of Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise product management, says it “Project Madeira is not Microsoft Dynamics NAV. It uses significant portions of today's NAV technology and functionality, but the two will stand apart and will evolve separately” on MSDynamicsWorld.com. Gordon continues: "Madeira is a new offering, built on NAV technology and other assets. Other things we're working on [include] taking things that work in GP from a client perspective and bringing them into Madeira. The all-in-one viewer has had a fantastic response and we're looking at how to we bring that specific feature into Madeira. There are other areas where GP does a great job, and when I said sharing innovation that's an example."Reading this comment (go read the full article for more).
So its not a Dynamics NAV Online, that's clear. Same technology as Dynamics NAV has today. And NAV continues exactly as it does today, was also the message from Microsoft to its NAV partners, when it was announced.
For a few years, Microsoft has transferred employees from their Fargo, MD office, that used to be Great Plains Head Quarter, from working on GP to work on NAV. And from Gordon we know they have played a very large part of creating this, which is way it’s only available in the US for the first release.
Is it a Dynamics GP Online, like Dynamics NAV is called Dynamics C5 in Denmark for the SMB market?
That could be closer to the truth. Looking at Dynamics GP then although they continue to release new version. I think having statements like “Functionality and technology releases” and “Top features requested by customers” as primary points on the roadmap for the next version, then everybody can see that its a shop closing down.
Dynamics GP Online could be an option.
If Microsoft at all was going to the Microsoft Dynamics brand for Madeira, then Microsoft would already use that brand as much as they could, when talking about it. It would be kind of stupid not to if it was going to be called Dynamics something.
So no. I don’t think this is even going to become a Dynamics product, like NAV and AX etc.
I think something “Microsoft” – something simple. I don’t really have a better suggestion. But would love to hear if you do? It will be a fully integrated package with mail, erp, crm etc. – so we may be surprised.