Office 2010 and ERP – Microsoft misses out

Amongst the news about the ashcloud in northern Europe and the build-up to the FIFA 2010 soccer World Cup here in South Africa, there was an announcement from a US software company called Microsoft 🙂 about the release of Office 2010.

Reading the Dynamics-related articles, my impression is that Microsoft is trying to sell Office 2010 as the user interface for ERP – which is what I said almost exactly 2 years ago.

For data manipulation and presentation, Excel now has ‘Slicers’, ‘Sparklines’ and PowerPivot:

  • Slicers are a better, more visual way of filtering for pivot tables.
  • Sparklines are another of Edward Tufte’s innovations of graphical data presentation which provide a simple, ‘word-size’ graphic to accompany a number in a table. This looks cool and is obviously a feature made feasible via XAML.
  • PowerPivot is a set of tools to get data out of a SQL database and into Excel and/or SharePoint.

If you have seen SYSPRO 6.1 you will know that the Fluid User Interface with XAML allows graphics like sparklines to be created, and SYSPRO Analytics already has the data management capabilities of PowerPivot – so Microsoft, no differentiator there for the Dynamics ERP products.

However, they show up one of Microsoft’s traditional focus areas – Office. Microsoft seems to have abandoned the opportunities made available from ProClarity, which could have complemented their ERP offerings, in favour of the product they know so well … and which earns them so much money.

What do you think of Office 2010? Will the Excel and other features encourage you to get Office 2010?

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