ERP solutions are a lot like long distance runners in a marathon. You had your Oracle and SAPs making a blistering start, sprinting from the sound of the first gun shot, running at full pace like a dog at the races. But as they reach the 20th mile their legs begin to tire, their pace starts to slow and in come the Microsofts of this world, hugely experienced in the long distance race, biding their time to strike, waiting for the homeward stretch to overtake, and winning the race. This analogy works perfectly when considering the current rise of Microsoft Dynamics AX; as the established elite of Oracle and SAP begin to stagnate, Microsoft Dynamics AX has caught up like Usain Bolt on Red Bull. Now the purpose of this blog is not to evangelise Microsoft Dynamics AX and marvel at its recent growth, but to consider the potential for other ERP specialists to cross-train into Microsoft Dynamics AX and enhance their future career prospects.
Realise the opportunity
So why cross-train into Microsoft Dynamics AX? First and foremost let’s dispel the myth that this is the equivalent of moving from professional football to rugby. You won’t be starting from scratch, but merely taking a sideways step onto a career ladder with far less competition and obstacles to progression. Consider this… as a Functional Consultant, what is the most valuable commodity of your experience? Is it your knowledge of a specific ERP system? The answer is a resounding no. Consultancies are no longer looking for product specialists who can’t venture outside their chosen field. That’s the equivalent of a house cat! They are looking for lions comfortable in the wild – and by that I mean employees with a profound understanding of business processes, implementation methodologies, and business consulting. It takes years to build up these skills and just a few months to learn the functionality of a new system so with this in mind, why not join a growing market where candidate supply is low and demand continues to soar?
There’s also the classic argument that very rarely does Microsoft fail in its endeavours. Look at Windows, Sharepoint, Office, Xbox (for the purposes of my argument, we’ll forget their ventures into search engines and mobile!)… like the head of the pride, when Microsoft want something, they get it. With their trusted reputation, their considerable investment (their cash reserves exceed the GDP of Hungary!) and their desire to win, there is no doubt that Microsoft Dynamics AX is here to stay and will continue to lead the way in the ever-evolving ERP market.
So this all seems like a great idea in principle but what are the practical steps to cross-training? Well, essentially there are two main ways of doing so. Firstly, certain leading organisations who trust Cognitive for their staffing solutions, recognise the value of recruiting people with business consulting skills and offer them comprehensive cross-training programmes. They are providing finance, T&L and HR & Payroll consultants from other ERP backgrounds the opportunity to cross-train into Microsoft Dynamics AX through one-to-one mentorship with experienced professionals and sponsored courses with Microsoft themselves – all without forcing candidates to take a drop in salary, which is usually the main concern! Alternatively take the initiative yourself! Microsoft offer courses to help you become certified in various modules and this demonstration of commitment on your part will no doubt endear you to other Microsoft Dynamics employers.
To summarise, as the Microsoft Dynamics AX product continues to grow in popularity and candidate supply continues to wane, employers are now looking for talent from other ERP backgrounds who are willing and prepared to cross-train into Microsoft Dynamics AX. So if you find yourself constrained by a saturated or stagnating ERP market compounded by an abundant supply of candidates, consider the prospect of moving across to Microsoft Dynamics AX. If your career marathon has hit the proverbial ‘wall’, don’t languish in the middle of the pack, invest now in a new pair of ERP trainers, and win the race!
If you would like to discuss cross-training as a recruitment strategy for your company, or for help with any recruitment needs, get in touch with us:
Cognitive Group are specialists in Microsoft Dynamics jobs and recruitment with a focus on Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics CRM and other roles in the Microsoft Stack.
By Daniel Jay Rosehill