For several years now, Microsoft Dynamics has been a major player in the field of Business Solutions. But how did it all start and how did Microsoft come up with the software that is now recognised as one of the most stable and reliable Enterprise Software packages on the market?
How it all started for Microsoft and Dynamics
For users of the software, it seems only natural that Microsoft is associated with the Dynamics software. Many people are therefore surprised to discover that the software didn't actually originate in-house. All the components that nowadays form the Dynamics package, were at one time separate systems that dominated their respective markets with niche solutions.
In 2001 Microsoft made the first acquisition when it purchased Great Plains. Great Plains, in turn, had already bought Solomon Software in order to complete its Dynamics Release 1.0. Later that year, software company iCommunicate was also acquired. With this purchase, Microsoft was ready for the launch of Dynamics 8.0. With these two acquisitions, Microsoft hoped to be able to expand the software itself to create a package that would serve its entire Business Solutions branch; however, it soon became apparent that extra systems would be required.
To further expand the Dynamics package, in 2002 Microsoft bought the European software company Damgaard Data. Damgaard had just merged with Navision, so with one acquisition Microsoft gained the knowledge of two packages. With this acquisition, Microsoft felt ready to start on the development of its own package. Through the purchase of Damgaard, Microsoft now had both US and European knowledge and clients in-house. This was a good basis for a Business Solutions package that would need to serve the entire market.
A new division
The final acquisition marked the beginning of a new Business Solutions division within Microsoft. In the first few years, this division was dedicated entirely to the release of updates for the software bought by the company. But behind the scenes they were working hard towards the launch of their own “Microsoft CRM”.
In 2003, “Project Green” was announced. This was the end product born out of Microsoft's vision to bring all the ERP and CRM software together into a single software package. The aim of the software developers was to launch the package onto the market in 2004, and people from the market were invited to test a beta version.
However, the launch would be a long time coming. Even with the knowledge that had been assimilated into the company, the merging of four different systems proved to be a greater challenge than had originally been thought. The release of Project Green was therefore postponed so that Microsoft could further refine the product and add integrations with other products such as Office and Outlook.
The birth of Microsoft Dynamics
In 2006 the first cautious steps were taken towards the current Dynamics package. Navision became Dynamics NAV, Axapta became Dynamics AX, Great Plains became Dynamics GP, Solomon became Dynamics SL and Microsoft CRM became – no prizes for guessing – Dynamics CRM. In the meantime, Project Green was declared over, and Microsoft announced its intention to focus on the development of Dynamics.
In 2007 the Cloud was introduced within Dynamics CRM. With this, Microsoft took its first steps towards a more flexible future. 2011 heralded the start of a more Agile approach with two-yearly updates and, gradually, the other Dynamics products were also given a web client.
Finally, in 2016 the true Microsoft Dynamics 365 package that we recognise today was born. Customers can purchase the whole package or only the programmes within Dynamics that they need.
At one time, the plan was to introduce it as a SaaS-only product, but currently customers can decide for themselves whether they wish to use the product in the cloud, on-premises or as a hybrid variant of the two. Dynamics is now known as an accessible product that is perfectly adaptable to all kinds of companies. You only purchase what you need and can adjust the service as soon as your company grows.