In Cloud Era, Some Microsoft Partners in Danger of Being 'Lost in Space' Says Microsoft Exec

Jean-Phillipe Courtois at Convergence 2015 EMEA

As Microsoft's cloud offerings have advanced in recent years, many partners have taken steps to evolve the organization of their teams and how they go to market. But there remains a portion of the channel, including for Dynamics ERP products, that still relies on the traditional on-premise delivery model. For those who have resisted change until now, time may be running out to catch up with those who have already made the transition.


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As the editor of, Jason oversees all editorial content on the site and at our events, as well as providing site management and strategy. He can be reached at

Prior to co-founding, Jason was a Principal Software Consultant at Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC), where he implemented solutions, trained customers, managed software development, and spent some time in the pre-sales engineering organization. Jason has also held consulting positions at CSC Consulting and Monitor Group.

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Cloud Security

I think another reason for the hesitating move to the cloud is security of the partners data. But it seems Microsoft is going into the right direction

To quote Steve Ballmer: Bullshit.

The core issues are data safety or security, depending on how you look at it, and BANDWIDTH. If you are a customer on a global scale and have the security issues anyway, then cloud may be a technological option. For everybody else it's just not viable. Business critical data should be under the control of the business, and nobody else's. Oh, and consumption is not enough for most businesses. They want customization, individual business processes, and all that. This clashes heavily with ERP technology. All of it. And in most parts of the world, you can't get the data rates you need for an acceptable price. Backups are only possible in the cloud infrastructure (because bandwidth), but that's like no backup.

A one size fits all solution in need of a problem

A company publishing applications which only pay lip service to cloud computing (GP being the largest) should not wag its finger at all the partners who are not willing to push customers of those cash cow products to the not-ready-for-prime-time cloud.

Microsoft continues marketing under the fallacy that the entire customer base is interested in AX and CRM (the two products in MBS which are "cloud ready") while ignoring that a sizeable portion of that population in using a product that is still client-server/RDP because the thrown-together web interface is POS.

My perspective is that the push for "cloud" is not a grass roots campaign by users but a marketing effort to ensure companies like Microsoft can receive perpetual revenue streams from subscriptions/fees. Development of cloud-only features to market dominant products (ahem Office, SQL) will accelerate so users will feel the need to move to AX and CRM whether they really want to give data to Microsoft or not. How many businesses really want to pay more money for less control of their data?

It would be great if Microsoft would just sell Fargo or spin it off. We are obviously not an important part of the plan but we still have to read and listen to the witty cloud crap from the sales people wanting us to gasp over AX and CRM. For most GP customers the cloud is more pipeline to our checkbooks than tool.

This is just another example of another ham fisted, tone deaf presentation by a Microsoft executive shaming partners and customers into "getting with the program" they have designed for our benefit. Possession of the data apparently only provides a secondary benefit of locking the customer into their particular pay-to-play environment.

How long until Microsoft has eliminated all incremental and evolutionary improvement to non-cloud versions of its programs? How long until businesses will no longer get away from hearing a cha-ching in the Microsoft subscription cash register whenever they want to access their own data in an ERP or even Excel?

Jeff Frye
Dynamics GP customer (SMB)