Microsoft Announces Dynamics ERP for the Cloud

Microsoft announced today its plans to bring its Microsoft Dynamics ERP software to the Azure Cloud Platform.

Microsoft has been lining up its business products for the cloud over the past several years with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and, more recently, the announcement of Office 365 for small, medium, and enterprise businesses.

At Convergence 2011, a conference for everything Microsoft Dynamics, CEO Steve Ballmer and vice president of Microsoft Business Solutions Kirill Tatarinov explained that Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online has been a success, and that the company now plans to bring Dynamics ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) to the Azure Cloud Platform.

Customers will have the option of continuing to run Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions in the traditional on-premise model, online on the cloud platform, or a combination of both in the form of a hybrid system.

“We’ve created options and choices,” Ballmer said.

Microsoft considers its combination of on-premise and cloud solutions to be superior to cloud-only solutions like those offered by its competitors, such as Salesforce.com.  Rather than software-as-a-service, Microsoft offers what it calls “Software-plus-Service“.  It is all tightly integrated with standard Microsoft applications and tools, something many businesses prefer for the sake of familiarity and reduced training costs.

At the conference, Microsoft also announced the upcoming release of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 in August and Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 R2, which will be available in May 2011.

“Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 frees customers from the electronic concrete that has plagued the ERP industry for so long,” Tatarinov said. “Customers want flexible yet cost- effective business applications that work the way they do instead of being forced to adapt to the software.”

Microsoft Dynamics ERP consists of four distinct Microsoft products:  Microsoft Dynamics GP, Dynamics NAV, Dynamics SL, and Dynamics AX.  Much of the software integrates with other Microsoft products, including Dynamics CRM.

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