Project Madeira, The New SMB Kid On The Block
There has been a lot of buzz about Microsoft’s Project Madeira this year but now we finally have a public preview and a definitive plan for what it will become.
What is Project Madeira?
Project Madeira is the public preview of Microsoft’s first SaaS ERP solution designed for small to midsized businesses, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Edition. This is a moving part of Microsoft’s new vision for “cloud first, mobile first” solutions, which we saw in the release of Dynamics AX 2016 (Version 7) this year and now the new Dynamics 365 product being released on November 1st, 2016.
These solutions are designed from the ground up as a true multi-tenant public cloud service on Microsoft Azure.
Dynamics 365 Business Edition (i.e Project Madeira) connects business processes with personal productivity tools in Office 365 (Outlook, Word, Excel), to help SMBs manage sales, finances, and operations. It is only available as a public cloud service running on Microsoft Azure, which means you can access the solution on any device with an internet connection.
Instead of switching in and out of applications like Excel, Outlook, and your accounting software, you can now do everything all in one single system. Picture how much time you can save by setting up a customer, creating a quote and sending an invoice all within Outlook. Pretty amazing, right?
Who Should Use Project Madeira or Dynamics 365 Business Edition?
Project Madeira is a best fit for SMBs with roughly 10-250 employees, who have outgrown their accounting and financial management solutions, like QuickBooks. The big selling feature for most SMBs will be the fact that Project Madeira connects these business processes with the classic productivity tools in Office 365 that most businesses are already familiar with. It kind of creates a more seamless transition when you already know your way around.
Project Madeira Feature Highlights:
Project Madeira was originally based on the Dynamics NAV platform – Microsoft’s financial heavy hitter ERP solution. The solution looks like NAV but the architecture is different and suited for SMB requirements. Here are some of Project Madeira’s big features:
Simple for the End User
Although Project Madeira looks and feels like Dynamics NAV, it was created for the end user and a modern environment. This is very different from Dynamics NAV, as the open code is really only for programmers. Inside Project Madeira, users have more control over troubleshooting.
Fast Data Migration
This feature makes data migration and the overall transition easy on SMBs currently running QuickBooks and other financial software. There is an extension you can install to migrate from QuickBooks to Madeira. If you are running another financial package, you can migrate using Microsoft Excel.
Tailored and Built for Growth
Project Madeira offers an extension model for customers to add horizontal and industry-specific vertical extensions to their solution. This enables SMBs to invest in a simple financial and accounting tool to get started, and continue to grow as their business grows.
Project Madeira is available in public preview for the next few months so Microsoft can collect feedback and fine-tune the user experience. Dynamics 365 Business Edition for Financials is scheduled to become generally available in North America by Q4 2016, with other countries to follow.
– Software Delivered as Promised. No Surprises.