Sage X3 vs Microsoft Dynamics AX





The shear number of ERP software solutions out there is daunting. As a result, the task of choosing the right ERP software for your company can be extremely difficult.

ERP systems are not “one size fits all.”  What works perfectly for one company may not fit for you, your users, your objectives, or your workflow processes.

So to help break it all down for you, here’s how X3 and Microsoft Dynamics AX– two popular ERP solutions on the market today – stack up against one another.

Industry Focus, Third Party Add-ons or Best-of-Breed?

X3 supports Discrete, Process, and Mixed-Mode manufacturing environments with built-in features delivered out-of-the-box.  This comes in handy for companies that run multiple businesses or divisions, each with different manufacturing needs and processes.

Sage delivers unique and pre-built implementation templates to optimize for industry-specific requirements during product setup. X3 also recognizes unique regulatory needs and accommodates FDA, USDA, MSDS, and other critical compliance requirements within the industries.

Like Sage, Microsoft Dynamics AX delivers industry verticals out-of-the-box while leveraging its Channel Partner ecosystem and Independent Software Vendor (ISV) community to develop 3rd party vertical industry applications that enhance the software.

Both X3 and Microsoft Dynamics AX tout strong international capabilities that include legislations meeting country specific regulatory requirements, multiple language translations, and strong collaboration features for complex multi-country projects.

Mobility and Usability

X3 has been delivering real-time access to business intelligence reporting and analytics from anywhere on any device and browser since 2013. Mobility apps simplify the X3 user interface for common functions and provide real-time access to information while delivering a rich user experience.

Microsoft Dynamics AX is promising mobile accessibility in its next release. Code-named “AX 7”, a future release of Microsoft Dynamics will deliver a user experience on nearly any device, from anywhere.  At the time of this publication, no formal release date has been announced and there are no customer success stories available to confirm its market acceptance.

Choice of Platforms and Technology

X3 Online offers customers the choice of three popular operating systems: Windows, Unix, or Linux. Platform of choice affords the customer the ability to retain their internal infrastructure and IT talent which reduces the initial cost, training & implementation.

Microsoft Dynamics AX is restricted to Windows platforms only.  This may require additional investments in the Microsoft technology stack, driving the initial investment and annual maintenance costs higher than other midmarket solutions.


Both X3 and Microsoft Dynamics AX are competitively priced for on-premises licenses. The biggest difference is how the user licenses are delivered and managed.

For example, Microsoft Dynamics AX is sold per Named User while X3 is more commonly sold per Concurrent User. Consider how this licensing model might impact your organization because different user licensing models can impact your investment and software usage significantly.

But for purposes of comparison, here’s an example of pricing for a 10-user system. Both solutions offer volume price discounts with the purchase of more users.

Microsoft Dynamics AX cost for 10 users On-Premises – including financials, inventory and manufacturing options starts at $47,500 plus annual M&S.  New customers are required to license a new Windows Server with the purchase regardless if they already own it or need it.

Microsoft Dynamics AX subscription model is currently not available for resale by partners; they are only permitted to sell the named client/server licenses.

X3 cost for 10 users On-Premises – including but not limited to, financials, inventory and manufacturing starts at $45,000 plus annual M&S.

X3 Online cost for 10 users – including but not limited to, financials, inventory and manufacturing starts at $26,640 a year.

*Note: cost calculations performed based on information available as of August 2015. Please check with a Sage or Microsoft authorized partner for a quote and current pricing.

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