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Thursday, March 06, 2008

Microsoft Software+Services a Go-Go!

Well early this week Microsoft got a lot or web ink geared around the announcement made (Press Release Here) on Monday about expanding their Online Services for businesses, or better known as Software+Services model.

When Microsoft first started offering this, it was considered beta, and it was only for those companies that had seat numbers >5,000. Now that beta testing is over, and Microsoft is expanding this Software+Services offerings of Exchange and SharePoint to all businesses.

This is the first real big move in realizing the buzz term of 'Software+Services' to a greater user base. This means that instead of talking about what 'Software+Services' could mean, customers have the ability to choose and see what it can mean for them with Exchange and SharePoint.

These offerings, are really a choice to customers, one were they make a decision to either host Exchange / SharePoint on their own managed servers or allow Microsoft to host their instances in the 'cloud' via Microsoft based hostings and partner shared hosting.

When asked in an interview, Bill Gates talked about Microsoft's focus on symmetry between 'Server and Service'. This is actually the focus of what Microsoft what to achieve in the future of these offerings. Meaning, right now when a customer chooses to go with the Service hosted offering of say SharePoint, they actually will loose some ability of customization and configuration options. So Right Now These offerings do pose more than just a host or not question. It's a host and loose some options or own and not loose those options.

So this symmetry that Microsoft is driving towards, means they are pushing for the next level of these offerings, to be in sync as far as options, customizations, etc. etc. to where the choice becomes more about scalability and delivery vs. that plus loosing ability.

With these new announcements, a week before Convergence 2008, in Orlando, one might wonder what this means for the future of Dynamics AX?

Well with the push of MOSS being the front end more and more for Dynamics AX 2009 (And beyond) and the Dynamics AX platform become more agile and having the ability for parts of it to be subscribed too, this means that such an offering for SharePoint to be hosted in the cloud (not just SaaS), could mean that we are very, very close to Hybrid architecture to where half a customers Dynamics AX implementation in on in house owned servers, and have lives in the cloud on services. And to the end user, they have no idea... unless one part goes down. ;-)

Check back soon!

P.S. It was about a year ago when I started talking about the Hybrid offerings that Software+Services from Microsoft would bring. Check this post out from last year: 'ERP Live - Software+Services'. Now we are seeing this type of offering coming even closer, with guess what... SharePoint at the heart of it. ;-)

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