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Dynamics GP and Intelligent Cloud Insights: What is Microsoft trying to do here?

by Mark Polino
Director of Client Services, Fastpath, Integrated Business Group
October 09 2018

No doubt many of you will have heard about Microsoft’s new Intelligent Cloud connectivity offering  that is part of Dynamics GP 2018 R2. If you haven’t, expect to hear plenty at this year’s GPUG Summit. There’s a lot confusion around this offering and on GP's positioning on what Microsoft calls the "intelligent edge."

A number of people have asked for my take. Now that I understand the offering, I thought I would try to explain it in simple terms. (Note that I’m interpreting a bit for simplicity.)

First, this approach is driven by the fact that Microsoft wants to sell more Azure licenses and services. That’s not a surprise, it’s their business strategy. Second, Microsoft wants to connect more applications to their Azure apps and services, because Azure is pretty cool and …well… see above. As part of this strategy, Dynamics 365 Business Central (D365BC) as a SaaS application was built with connections into all kinds of cool MS toys like Power BI, PowerApps, Flow, and Azure Machine Learning. Once that was done, it made sense to look at connecting this combined offering to Dynamics NAV, SL, and Business Central on premises, along with your favorite and mine, Dynamics GP.

For GP, Microsoft could have built their own endpoints for each product to tie in all of the Azure stuff. But they already had D365BC, so why reinvent the wheel? In the case of GP, just pass data up to a SaaS instance of D365BC and use that to deliver additional functionality. (That’s also going to be the case ...

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About Mark Polino

Mark Polino is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a former Microsoft MVP (2007-2018) for Business Solutions. He is the author or coauthor of 5 books related to Microsoft Dynamics GP.  Mark also maintains the Dynamics GP focused website He speaks and writes regularly about ERP related topics. Mark has been a controller and CFO for a division of a publicly traded company and he has  worked as a consultant implementing ERP solutions. Mark holds additional certifications including Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP), Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) , Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA). Dynamics Credentialed Professional for Dynamics GP 2015 (Core Install and Core Financials), Xero Certified. He holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Central Florida and an MBA from Rollins College. Mark lives with his family in Florida.

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Submitted by jefflfrye on Tue, 10/09/2018 - 17:02 Permalink

Mark, does this connection come with the caveat of having to pay for the subscription and other costs for D365BC in order to use the Azure stuff (Power BI, PowerApps, Flow, and Azure Machine Learning) or is Microsoft being kind enough to not charge us for the extra ERP application we will not be be using?

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)