Saturday, December 10, 2011

Did Dynamics Ax already make it to the cloud?

SAP is the latest to jump on the cloud bandwagon with their aquisition of SuccessFactors, an established player in cloud offerings.  First weekend of December 2011 it was announced that the deal was worth $3.4 billion, not a minor expense.  Last October we saw this other big ERP player Oracle buy RightNow for $ 1.5 billion.  Earlier in October, Oracle unveiled Oracle Public Cloud. That's when they publicly entered the cloud arena, with an 'Enterprise cloud for your business' as Oracle states it.
You can argue whether they are all just hosting solutions or real cloud solutions.  But it's clear these contenders are more then willing to link their corporate names to the cloud.  Cloud isn't about consumers anymore, it's also about enterprises.

And what about Microsoft?  And Dynamics?  Where are they?

Well with Dynamics CRM 2011 already has a cloud offering for one member of the Dynamics family of products. When it was released January 2011 the online features were a key selling point.
Dynamics NAV 7 has been postponed once or twice.  Currently slated for Fall 2012, it expects to be  run on the Azure platform.  And the client to be a webbrowser, whether NAV is running on premise or in the cloud.

At Convergence 2011 in Atlanta, Steve Ballmer already announced all members of the Dynamics family are or will be engineered to "deliver the full benefits of the cloud".  And that's with focus on Azure, Microsoft's cloud development platform.

And the recently released Dynamics Ax 2012, is that a cloud version?  The answer is 'no'. 
During the virtual launch event in August 2011 Hal Howard, corporate VP of ERP at Microsoft, already stated that Ax 7, not AX 6 will be the first real Ax cloud offering.  He repeated that statement in his keynote at the Dynamics Ax 2011 Technical Conference in Nice. 
So Ax is not the first, not even the second to make it to the cloud.

Should Ax customers and MS partners be unhappy about that?  More about that in the next blog post.