**UPDATE 2/27/17** – An On Premise version of Dynamics 365 for Operations has been confirmed! Check out the details here!
With yesterday being Valentine’s Day, we’re sure you were thinking of how much you love Microsoft Dynamics AX or Dynamics 365 for Operations. For those AX users who haven’t quite been feeling the love because they have no interest in moving to the cloud, things might just be looking up. With no official announcement we can’t say for sure, but it appears that Microsoft is readying some form of an on premise version of Dynamics 365. Whether this new version will be just a broader version of the existing hybrid model or a true fully on premise one, we will just have to wait and see. AXUG originally had a Microsoft Town Hall scheduled for yesterday to discuss changes to the road-map, which has since been re-scheduled for March 3rd. Again, nothing is set in stone, but rumblings point to an April preview and June release.
What took them so long?
It was easy to get caught up in the push for the cloud when Dynamics 365 was announced last fall. There were several reasons for Microsoft and other major ERP players to trend that way. Greater operational capabilities, ease of deployment, scalability… the list goes on. When Microsoft went in on cloud, they went in big.
While Dynamics 365 has been heralded as a blueprint for modern cloud-based ERP, it was missing something. Back in October at AXUG Summit, Microsoft openly declared that AX 2012 R3 is the last on premise version, going as far as to say businesses pre-occupied with on premise are stuck in a bunker.
Just like cell phone service providers doing away with “unlimited data” a few years ago, leaving an on premise option out of new ERP offerings altogether inevitably left some users feeling like they had been left in the cold.
Notice how those companies just brought unlimited data back? (Even Verizon)
It was, and is, clear that cloud technology is playing an ever-increasing role in enterprise software solution. With so many big players going all out with the push to use it however, offering a new on premise solution became a big differentiator for those businesses who weren’t quite ready. As mentioned in a recent post by Brandon Ahmed, SAP ALMOST had a field day by simply continuing to offer new solutions for both cloud and on premise deployment.
We say almost, because even though some were ready to jump ship if Microsoft did not offer on premise for Dynamics 365 soon, we don’t know a single AX customer that actually jumped. However, we have encountered prospects who are ignoring Dynamics 365 until an on premise version is an option. Microsoft isn’t quite out of the woods yet though. If they announce an option that turns out to be another hybrid variation with a different marketing spin, those prospects may go from ignoring to forgetting.
If Microsoft does indeed move Dynamics 365 forward with three distinct deployment options (cloud, hybrid, and truly on premise), they could easily go from potentially losing some loyal customers to gaining a bigger share in the market.
Dynamics 365 for Operations (Cloud)
If your business is ready for the cloud, D365 for Operations is ready for you. Since officially bursting onto the scene last November, Dynamics 365 has received rave reviews. The first Ellipse Dynamics 365 customer has now been live for five months and, following a smooth implementation, has not only avoided issues of any significance, but is experiencing a true digital transformation. In our experience, we have seen much more interest from existing AX customers in the upgrade to Dynamics 365 than in the early days of the prior releases (AX 2009 or AX 2012).
Dynamics 365 for Operations (Hybrid)
Utilizing the “best of both worlds” approach, a hybrid deployment works well for businesses that need to be able to continue operations as normal even when connection to the cloud is temporarily lost. Services such as analytics and business intelligence still require cloud connectivity for now.
Dynamics 365 for Operations (On Premise)
Tentatively arriving in June of this year.
At this point in time, at least until we have more official information about this new on premise Dynamics 365 offering, it wouldn’t be fair not to continue to mention Dynamics AX 2012 R3 as a viable option for some businesses who want to remain fully on premise as well.
Whatever your preference, it’s probably a good idea to put the March 3rd AXUG Microsoft Town Hall on your schedule!