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Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Guide to Microsft Dynamics Cloud ERP - Dynamics AX

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, Microsoft Convergence 2011 - The Aftermath, Microsoft Dynamics Cloud ERP was a main topic and highlight as part of the overall Convergence 2011 event. (Conv11).

With the announcement of Microsoft Dynamics ERP Online, and with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 now in public beta, more specific information can be shared and talked about, in regard to Microsoft Dynamics Cloud ERP vision for Microsoft Dynamics AX.

The Vision: Today
Today we have Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009, a very stable world class ERP platform, deployed throughout the world. With it, was introduced a lot of great functional depth, as well as technical enhacnements, that drive bottom line business value.

It, along with the soon-to-be released Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, targeted August, you have a Cloud Story that starts to unfold. What is this cloud story?

Now, and building up to Microsoft Dynamics AX 7.0, the model for running Microsoft Dynamics AX in the cloud, is through Partner Hosting model. This offers different flavors, of cloud offerings, depending on the hosting partner. Your Microsoft VAR of record is still your Dynamics AX expert and trusted guide / advisory, as well as implementor for your AX investment.

What this partner hosting model involves, is a set of certified and trusted hosting partners, that work with your VAR, to deliver a subscription based, license model, running on a hybrid cloud approach, depending on need that have IaaS-ish, and SaaS-ish aspects to it.

Let's be clear here: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 & 2012 are not designed to be multi-tenant, 100% SaaS offerings. When you look at the benefit of a SaaS offering, being multi-tenant, who does that benefit? The Provider! It does not benefit you the customer. What benefits you the customer, is the SPLA license, to where you can by month, per user.

That, is where the Cloud Story for Microsoft Dynamics unfolds into the true benefit for customers. You can take and offload the infrastrcute needs to a hosting partner, that can have some mix bag of IaaS / SaaS aspects to it, to lower your TCO from a management point of view, but also now have SPLA's that allow you to take and "rent" the software, including ISV solutions, including having your own customization needs, through a by month, per user fee.

This means that you can have an, isloated-tenant model, with getting all the benefits for license, and service, of a multi-tenant subscription offers. This, for some companies, concerned around shared environments, gives you the best of both worlds. And leads you to the subscription based model, lowered TCO, and better scale, than you could get from a total on-premise implementation.

Now this is not for everyone, as on-premise is very much a part of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 and Microsoft Dyanmics AX 2012. It will remain, most likely, in some geo-locations, and vertical splits of company and size, the main focus for the next 5-10 years and beyond.

The Vision: Tomorrow
Moving forward, and looking ahead to Microsoft Dynamics AX 7.0, it is being developed to run 100% on Microsoft Azure, PaaS offering. It's being developed first, for the cloud, but still the same applies that it can 100% run on-premise.

With this, you will have a true set of possible ways to run your Microsoft Dynamics AX 7.0 instance, with either running as PaaS offering on Azure, with the Partner Hosting Model and it's IaaS-ish offerings, or 100% on-premise.

This flexibility is what sets Microsoft apart, because it realizes that not everyone wants to run 100% of their total business solution on the cloud, and companies want options. For some it's all-in, everything, while others, it will be a hyrbid, best of breed for their case mix of SaaS, IaaS & PaaS cloud offerings that makes up their total overall solution.

To help close this post out, I hosted a session as part of AXUG DayOne while at Convergence 2011, specifically on Cloud Computing for the Microsoft Dynamics AX Company.

Take a look at slide deck, mixed with this post, to help get a better idea of what the Microsoft Dynamics Cloud ERP story is, and how it's unfolding. The idea is to offer choice, flexbility, and scale that drive business value for your company and needs.

After reviewing the post, if you have any questions on this, still need answers, have concerns, looking for a partner that undertands the vision for today and tomorrow, email me through my profile or leave me a comment and I will get back with you.

That's all for now, but check back soon, and often as more to come!

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