Microsoft unveils Dynamics ERP for the cloud
Regional availability of Microsoft Dynamics AX and CRM Online allows businesses to do more, be more flexible and lower total cost ownership
Microsoft has launched its next-generation ERP solutions, Microsoft Dynamics AX and CRM Online. The enterprise applications suite is built to run on Microsoft’s cloud platform, Azure, with all the benefits that offers, according to Christian Pedersen, GM, enterprise ERP, Microsoft.
“The offering itself is very exciting because it really departs from the traditional way of thinking about ERP,” Pedersen told ACN. “ERP is very much optimising and how to protect resources. We’re taking a more radical approach where the solution is much more focused on enabling businesses to innovate and transform.
“You’ve got to ask what forces rapid change and it’s the inability for companies to reinvent themselves and have that technology in place that enables that.”
While Microsoft is emphasising AX as a cloud platform, on-premise customers need not worry. “We’re making the exact same solution available for deployments in private cloud and on premise. We are going to stick with the exact 100% code base,” says Pedersen.
He is in no doubt, however, that customers stand to benefit from taking the platform into the Microsoft Azure cloud.
“We want to move customers towards the cloud because of the benefits that exist for customers,” he said. “We believe that the elasticity and scale of the Microsoft cloud is of such a nature that you leverage infrastructure more effectively and in a more financially viable way.
“We believe we’re able to offer a better total cost of ownership for customers in the cloud than if they run on premise.”
Dynamics AX is available for a per user, per month price, with different pricing levels depending on the level of functionality chosen by the user.
Customers have a choice of three versions: a Self-Serve user, a Task user and an Enterprise user. Subscribers can be up and running quickly and add business processes and users as their organisation grows.
“Those price points include the underlying infrastructure, but the customer’s total cost of ownership is not what they spend with us, it’s the total cost of the project,” says Pedersen.
“We are providing a total cost of ownership tool where customers can compare what’s it’s going to cost to run on premise, in the private cloud and in the public cloud.”
“There are still customers that want to run on premise. It will still be more expensive over time to run your own deployment because you don’t get the scale you do in the cloud.”
One aspect of cost, he adds, is the notion of peak scale. A business may have the need to scale up processing power for a certain amount of time, meaning necessary on-premise IT infrastructure has to be installed, but ends up being seldom used. “In the cloud, especially with the Azure cloud, we have the concept of elastic scale, so we can assign additional power for that period and then scale it down,” says Pedersen.
The launch of Dynamics AX further builds out Microsoft’s cloud portfolio, says Pedersen. “We now have the ability to run a business’s software needs in the cloud, across what we do with Office 365, Power BI, Cortana analytics, Dynamics CRM and Dynamics AX,” he said.
The new Dynamics was presented to regional customers at the recent Dynamics Summit in Dubai. Customers across the Gulf region are already using Dynamics AX to run their business processes in the cloud.
“Our Middle East customers consistently report tangible gains from using the Microsoft Dynamics suite,” said Talhouk, “and we launch the latest version at a pivotal moment for cloud computing in the region.
“Figures released earlier this month by Gartner show the MENA cloud-services market growing 18.1% in 2016, to more than $860m, and software-as-a-service [SaaS] is expected to show a 26.4% surge. This is a forceful indicator that regional organisations are embracing the cloud and we believe the next generation of Dynamics is the perfect travelling companion for this migration.”