Over the past couple years, Microsoft has made a dramatic – and welcome – about face on cloud computing. Steve Ballmer says, “We’re all in!” Meanwhile, the Office 365 announcement demonstrates Microsoft’s commitment to the cloud.
So how will Microsoft Dynamics fit into this equation? It’ll be complex to move four enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to the cloud and migrate hundreds of thousands of customers. But despite this complexity, Microsoft will surely be sporting new innovations in the future for this transition.
Here are some factors of Dynamics that’ll likely evolve as cloud computing takes a firm hold in the future:
Architecture - The current Microsoft Dynamics ERP products are built on a single-tenant, hybrid client/server and web-enabled architecture. This architecture works well; the solutions can be hosted to offload IT burdens. But future innovations will likely enable a pure web, multi-tenant architecture that can take full advantage of enhanced economies of scale in the cloud.
Multiple products - It will be interesting to see how Microsoft addresses the four different Dynamics products - AX, GP, NAV and SL - in the transition to the cloud. While they’re all built on Microsoft platform technologies, their data models and application logic are each unique. Converging all four onto a cloud architecture could be part of Microsoft’s cloud strategy.
Partner channel - Microsoft’s channel partners will probably update their business strategies for the cloud. They'll likely switch from reselling Dynamics, implementation services, hardware sales and upgrade cycles to new sources of revenue. There will still be a need for customization and integration of cloud-based Dynamics products though, so this service will probably still be offered.
Market readiness - Microsoft probably wants to time such a major product cycle with its customer base’s appetite. There’s plenty of hype over the cloud – and the benefits of cloud computing are very real. But the market demand hasn’t fully developed yet. When demand is strong enough, the innovations will likely be just around the corner.
By: Hunter Richards, market analyst at Accounting Software Advice: