Microsoft Goes Head to Head with QuickBooks with Project Madeira Preview

Posted by Donna Krizik on April 29, 2016

Two weeks ago, Microsoft released its Outlook-centric, software-as-a-service business management offering for SMBs. Microsoft wants to make ERP capabilities more attainable for small and midsize businesses using Office.  Targeted at companies with between 10 and 100 employees, Madeira is designed for those that need more than the simple financial and accounting tools they started with, but don’t want or need a full-fledged ERP system.

Is it Dynamics NAV?

Some people in the industry are calling it NAV “lite”. It’s clearly built on a NAV platform, but has some GP and SL features rolled in. Plus, the added feature of living right inside Office365 gives Madeira a solid “uniqueness” that we haven’t seen from Microsoft before. It definitely doesn’t replace Dynamics NAV (or GP or SL for that matter), as we are seeing independent new releases of all three Microsoft Dynamics products this year.

Is it a resurrection of the old “Project Green?”

Not really. Project Green was an initiative several years ago that purported to combine all the best features of Microsoft Dynamics AX, GP, SL and NAV into one solution. Project Madeira clearly isn’t a replacement baked from all ingredients in the Dynamics product line.

So what is it?

Project Madeira is a new multi-tenant, public cloud solution (SaaS), geared at easing SMB users into the world of ERP software and reducing the need to switch between apps to complete tasks. It was designed from the ground up with simplicity and intuitiveness in mind. Every window and screen has been evaluated for ease-of-use and streamlined all-in-one functionality. For example, Project Madeira can scan for invoices and quote requests, right within Outlook. “If you can use Microsoft Office, you can use Project Madeira.”

Crestwood has tested out the preview, and found that it lives up to the hype. It is ridiculously simple to set up (even for non-technical folks), functions exactly as it says it will, and works everything into one clean system.

We are still learning about Project Madeira and there are still some questions yet to be answered. I think we may be surprised at just how feature-rich Madeira is.  We are anxiously awaiting the full release in late 2016 and will keep you posted on updates. 

When can I get it?

Now! Project Madeira is slated for general availability in the United States sometime in the second half of 2016, but is available to the public right now in preview

The preview offers a demonstration company along with guides that allow you to explore the product's core capabilities and tasks, including viewing reports and creating sales invoices.

Other great features include:

  • Setup tools which allow you to tailor Project Madeira to your company.
  • Migrate some of your own data from Excel or QuickBooks.
  • While you’re at it, assign some sales tax codes and set up your email.
  • Try out the mobile app and view invoices, sales quotes and key performance indicators (KPIs) on your tablet or phone.
  • Madeira even supports camera image capture and sharing.

What if I need a customization or add-on?

Microsoft is encouraging third-party software vendors to build both horizontal and vertical extensions for Madeira. There's already a Power BI content pack for Madeira.  Both Microsoft and independent software vendors (ISVs) will build extensions, and there will be an easy marketplace for them.  Additionally, it comes with standard integration to Dynamics CRM Online.

I think people will be surprised about the depth of the capabilities as a full powered business management solution for SMBs.

Have some product requests or suggestions?

The Madeira team is eager for your feedback. Anyone can provide feedback here.

Want more information?

Read more about the features of Project Madeira and explore the business areas it supports. Click Here! Watch the hour long video from Mark Brummel, an independent Dynamics NAV expert.  In this video he goes through a short demo of Project Madeira and then does a lengthy Q&A session. Watch Here!

For more information, contact Crestwood Marketing at

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