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Supply Chain Integrator Switches to Microsoft Dynamics AX From Oracle for Major Cost Savings


PACCESS anticipates savings of $1 million over five years in total cost of ownership, with faster and easier reporting than with previous technology.

REDMOND, Wash.— Microsoft Corp. today announced that PACCESS, a global supply chain integrator based in Portland, Ore., has selected Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0 as its enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, replacing an Oracle 11.0.3 system that had become very expensive to maintain and too limited in its ability to meet the company’s needs. Microsoft Dynamics AX is a comprehensive business-management solution providing midsize and larger companies with end-to-end, industry-specific functionality, enabling them to do business across locations and countries.

PACCESS chose Microsoft Dynamics AX because it allows many disparate systems to be unified under one core application at a lower total cost of ownership. These factors were crucial to PACCESS, a global service company whose paper, packaging, and sourcing divisions integrate procurement, logistics, distribution, and fulfillment services to meet their customer’s specific supply chain needs.

Previously PACCESS faced expensive upgrades to its Oracle system, which it had modified repeatedly to meet its business process requirements. Scaling the system was very costly. “We tried to add five users, but we would have had to pay Oracle $365,000 because of a license-model change,” said Nina Palludan, vice president of IT for PACCESS. “The five-year total cost of ownership for Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0 was more than $1 million less than Oracle’s, even though we already owned the Oracle software. Actually rebuying the Oracle e-business suite would have cost less than upgrading our current licenses.”

Furthermore, training costs for employees were far lower with Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0 than they would have been with the Oracle solution. The Microsoft solution uses a very familiar interface, similar to that of the Microsoft Office system. Employees intuitively understand how to use and navigate through Microsoft Dynamics applications. Therefore personnel need not be pulled away from their work for training sessions. With minimal instruction, they grasp Microsoft Dynamics functionality easily as they work, avoiding downtime.

PACCESS, working with Microsoft Gold Certified Partner Hitachi Consulting Corp. of Dallas, Texas, implemented Microsoft Dynamics AX 4.0. The new technology integrated seamlessly with the other Microsoft applications the company was using, including Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SQL Server databases, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server and the Microsoft Office system.

“The overall lower cost of ownership with Microsoft Dynamics AX will allow us to focus our resources more effectively and bring more service to internal and external customers,” Palludan said.

Beyond the cost advantages, PACCESS anticipates gaining a number of other important benefits:

Improved reporting. The company had found it difficult to retrieve data from the Oracle system for employees and partners efficiently. Now PACCESS can empower users to retrieve data, through built-in report and query tools, alerts, favorites and SQL Report Writer. With Microsoft Dynamics AX, PACCESS can now generate a customized report in hours instead of the weeks previously required to obtain even a standardized report.

Ease of use. Microsoft Dynamics AX is much more intuitive than the company’s previous system, with an environment similar to that of Microsoft Office Outlook and Microsoft Office applications. With a centralized page containing customized capabilities and information for each category of employees, based on their roles, most users will be able to work with their applications from one screen in Microsoft Dynamics AX.

Integration of data. Whereas PACCESS had previously been drawing its information from a number of sources, the Microsoft solution allows it to bring together all its key information into one database, eliminating the many versions of documents that it had to sort out before. Everyone now will have access to the same up-to-date information that they can trust to be accurate and timely.

Support for growth. Because Microsoft Dynamics AX is easy to scale and easy to use, it can grow as the business expands, enabling PACCESS to roll out new features and functions around the globe as they are needed in the future.

Better planning. PACCESS had been using Microsoft Office Excel spreadsheets for its scheduling. Microsoft Dynamics AX allows it to adopt a more full-featured master planning module that will produce more accurate forecasts, procurement and delivery across the company and its supply chain.

Supply chain management. PACCESS is implementing improvements in its own supply chain, and Microsoft Dynamics AX will produce the results the company needs in this endeavor, including more accurate forecasts and logistics planning, cost savings on materials and freight, and a degree of visibility across the entire supply chain that was not possible before with multiple, nonintegrated solutions.

Industry-specific requirements. PACCESS found Microsoft Dynamics AX to be the only technology able to handle, in one solution, the detailed requirements for offering products and services spanning many traditional industrial boundaries.

IT support and management. The very strong IT staff at PACCESS gains a functionally powerful ERP technology with a state-of-the-art development environment that will add significant value to the company.

“Global companies are finding ways to simultaneously save money and advance their processes with the capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics AX,” said Michael Park, corporate vice president for Microsoft’s U.S. Dynamics business. “Companies that seek new business management systems are looking for solutions that are simpler to use, less costly to own and easier to scale than their existing solutions. Around the world, companies are finding these benefits in Microsoft Dynamics AX, an ERP solution designed for growing businesses.”


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