Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Microsoft Dynamics pains...

My organization has been using Microsoft Dynamics CRM and AX for almost 2 years now and have gone through one cycle of upgrades for both in that short time. And the reason? well, sad to say, is because both products fall short of what we wanted (and promised by vendor) initially as well as even now. Below are just a few examples of our disappointment:

1) AX Multi-timezone issue - we adopted the solution as a regional platform supporting 12 countries spanning 5 different timezones. Amazingly, the so-called enterprise class AX (previous version 4.0) cannot do this OOTB and even our vendor's promised workaround posed serious limitation to the way we do things. Having said that, the latest version 2009 does solve this problem.

2) CRM performance issue - The client side component of CRM is _extremely_ heavy (lots of small file fragments to load for a page and heavy use of javascripts) causing poor performance over WAN connections, adding substantial traffic to our regional corporate network (To make matters worse, network infrastructure across AP is still relatively poor, patchy and insanely expensive), and lastly requires reasonably powerful client side PC for snappy processing. We resorted to using Citrix to mitigate these issues (moving the load and traffic back to the server side) and even then, we are starting to find this "workaround" getting really expensive (Client license, rapidly growing Citrix farm increased hosting and management costs) as we scale up and throws our ROI right out the window. To top it off, the bloated and leaky (memory-wise) Internet Explorer in Citrix is NOT a good combination!

So in conclusion, IMHO, Microsoft Dynamics (especially CRM) is probably more suitable for small local shops rather than regional platforms with large number of users spread over geographically diverse locations.

1 comment:

dotbatman said...

Have you considered using Terminal Services? It supports applications almost as well as Citrix does these days.