Microsoft Project “Madeira”: my opinion

As many of you already knows, in April Microsoft has released the first public preview of Madeira, their SaaS ERP solution based on NAV and running on the Azure cloud. And also as many of you already knows, actually I was not a great fan of this solution (I’ve always said ACTUALLY 🙂 ).

Let me explain well why this…

This is the “Madeira vs NAV” chart:


Madeira is not NAV, at least it’s not the NAV that many customers has in mind and it’s not the Microsoft’s ERP that sells so well at least here in Europe.

The pros:

  1. Microsoft is making huge investments on Azure cloud and I think that they should have a completely SaaS solution for the entire Dynamics suite. Dynamics CRM is also online, so why not also an ERP online? This is where Madeira fits the gap. This is the cloud-based ERP offering by Microsoft and I think that Microsoft has done a right step. They must be present on this market!
  2. It’s NAV-based, so no new to reinvent but all is based on a solid platform.

The cons:

  1. Madeira is an ERP inside Office 365. Microsoft has always highlighted the native integration between Office 365, Outlook and Madeira. But unfortunately not all companies are Office-addicted and expecially Outlook-addicted.
  2. I see Madeira as a possible (and suitable) ERP solution only for small companies, where no big customizations are required and where cloud is a chance to cut costs.
  3. Unfortunately, not all ERP markets are the same. Maybe there are places and situations where a standard NAV ERP without (or really few) customizations are ok, but (at least here in Italy) the industry market is really complex, the ERP is the core software for the companies and they want that it suits all aspects of their business (workflow functions, integration with other existing software or machines etc). If you want a real ERP solution with all these aspects in mind, implementing Madeira could be not enough.

Obviously, I’m happy to see a SaaS ERP solution base on NAV, I hope a great future for Madeira but I can’t see it to satisfy a wide range of market now. It’s simply not enough for me…

I’ve placed in Bold the word actually because I think that the industry world (alias big companies) is not ready for Madeira now. In the future things could change (maybe also the cloud culture) and we’ll see what happens. Now I couldn’t recommend Madeira to a customer unless it has few technical requirements or it has a really small budget.

Standard NAV will remain the main proposal for a company that needs a solid ERP system, totally adaptable to its business model. With NAV you can choose for a totally On-Premise solution or an hybrid one (I’m pushing always more to use Azure at least for the database tier) and with NAV you’ve all the power you want for your business now and forever.


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