What is Microsoft Dynamics 365 Tenerife, really?

March 3 2018

ArtThe weather right now might not feel like it, at least in Europe, but Spring is just around the corner.  For the Dynamics community that means that Microsoft's promised launch of the product codenamed Tenerife is rapidly approaching. But the most common questions I get is still: ‘What actually is Tenerife'? It is important that we all get an answer if the product is going to be successful, right?

About James Crowter

I'm passionate about how businesses can improve their efficiency by getting process optimal more of the time. For the last twenty five years I've worked to help organisations of all sizes and types implement the ERP & CRM software that typically they decide they need when things are going wrong. I've seen that work unbelievably well and enabled those organisations to rapidly grow but I've also had some hard projects over that time where it's felt more like warfare at times.

Since 1996 (and version 1.01) I've been working with a small Danish product called Navision that's now become Microsoft's Dynamics NAV and I've also been using and consulting around Microsoft CRM since 2005. As managing Director of one of the longest established first Navision and now Microsoft Dynamics partners I've been involved in the complete history including numerous product councils and system design reviews. It's my privilege to know many of the key Microsoft executives and product designers and have insight into both where the products are now and their future direction.

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David_Singleton's picture

This is THE best explanation of Tenerife that I have read anywhere, by far and by a lot. Damn nicely done James.

james.crowter's picture

Thanks David, had so many conversations about this I thought I'd get it written down. Looking forward to the actual product now.

peikba's picture

I agree with David. This is a perfect explenation. I will include it in my future courses. Thanks James. /Peik

DLO's picture

I hope Microsoft will explain as clear as in this article when Tenerife is launched. Thanks James!

avanamersfoort's picture

Thanks. So on-prem will be on-prem, looking forward seeing Azure interop make up for lost .net interop.

markr@rocktonsoftware.com's picture

What a wonderfully researched and written article, succinctly putting out what's known about Tenerife so far. But you posed a question that begs answering. The primary reason to not adopt Tenerife, and why it will fail, is because this is the seventh or eighth iteration of a small business accounting platform Microsoft has put out there in the last 20 years, decided was a failure, and pulled off the market. This has all the same writing on the wall as all the others. The product is an ERP system but ran and marketed by the Office 365 team which thinks an ERP system is like adding spell check to Microsoft Word. The O365 team will think landing 50 sites in the first year to be a failure. If 50 sites went up in Year One, it actually would be successful. But Microsoft is all about the numbers and the money, and when they don't see reach their poorly researched and ludicrous adoption numbers, they will cancel the project. I wouldn't be surprised if they want to hit 10,000 installs in Year One, which is a pattern they've had in the past. And it matters not how good the product is. Why? Because people don't just change ERP systems because something new is out there. It's a huge deal to change ERP systems, and I would caution any company jumping on this latest bandwagon to be careful. I would also recommend any ISV to stay away until the product has proven traction. As an ISV, we've been burned by this cycle badly, and we don't plan to do it again. If Microsoft adopted the attitude that "some" customers want ERP in the cloud (quite a few don't), saw Tenerife as a long-term, slow-growth play that will take a decade to win over a few hundred customers before establishing itself as a potential front-runner, then it might be successful. But Microsoft wants immediate results for a product that simply cannot be successful because of type of product it is: an ERP system. Microsoft doesn't understand itself. I appreciate the effort Microsoft and team has put forth on this, but it will be dead in about two years. Make sure your business doesn't follow suit.

John2909's picture

I sooo needed this. Please give yourself a "plain talking" scout-badge.

Mearnsman's picture

Contrasting views here on James' excellent summary. My take... We've been doing NAV since the mid-90s and it's been a terrific product for us. Not quite like Mark, we have watched from the sidelines as the various reincarnations and revolutions were announced. Who can forget "Project Green" which supposedly would consolidate GP, NAV and AX into one catch-all product to which customers could migrate? Established NAV resellers such as ourselves have delayed jumping in for 3 reasons: Savvy - or "been there, done that". We would never recommend a customer to go with verion 0 of any product. If you're on the leading edge, you tend to fall off. But D365 has had more comebacks than Mick Jagger so that .0 version has hung around. Once it's done and dusted, the final version, the final name, the final marketing spin... then we'll make a judgement and we may push it. Meantime, we'll carry on with the day job. Commercial - or "show me the money". When you've spent a fair number of years selling sizeable on-premise solutions with healthy margins, being paid within a reasonable timescale i.e. THAT year, the subscription model doesn't fill you with joy. Speaking to 'established' in-the-cloud, subscription providers and hearing that in 5 years you'll break even and possibly start making money... hmmm. And those that are making money seem to have held fast to the on-premise sales, just to keep the cash coming in. So forgive me if I'm not 100% converted. Customers - or "how much?" - are not daft and are way better informed than they once were. Where is my data, how easy is it to configure for me, look after me, provide support, log-on and fix a problem, add 3rd party products, integrate... And, and, and It's a subscription, it will be updated to the latest and greatest whether you want that or not. And you will keep on paying? And lower-cost competition is more established and fierce. 2018 may be the "Year of the NAV Subscription Model" but we were being told that 5 or more years ago. So, you'll understand if we don't all just dive in, not just yet anyway. We'll be keeping all options open.