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How the Cloud Is Becoming a Source of Accelerated Innovation for Microsoft Dynamics Users

by Jason Gumpert

Cloud computing offers all kinds of financial and capacity benefits, but increasingly, Microsoft is "trying to look at where the cloud unleashes new value," according to Mike Ehrenberg, a Technical Fellow working on business application architecture for the Dynamics team.

At a Convergence 2011 session, he emphasized the "innovation" possibilities of Cloud computing, to go with the frequently discussed benefits of "getting out of the infrastructure business" and "pay as you go."  Ehrenberg argued that "Cloud innovation drives better products" by "forcing us to innovate in certain areas."

He noted that the simple "power of choice" helps drive innovation. "You have to decide whether to expand on-premises solutions in the cloud." In the process, companies are increasingly being driven to "pursue new solutions enabled by the Cloud."  

Among these new solutions are shared data via "truly connected supplier chains sharing through a Cloud hub" and "product compliance, where everyone needs the same shared, but volatile data," said Ehrenberg. "Why not just maintain one source of truth in the Cloud?"

Ehrenberg pointed out that the move toward greater innovation prompted by the Cloud is being felt at Microsoft as well. For example, the company has, in its Cloud applications, moved away from the three-year upgrade cycle for on-premises applications like Dynamics AX and NAV. Now, upgrades for CRM 2011 Online, for example, are happening six to nine months apart. "The Cloud helps us with this," he said. "We're not being focused on writing code, but on customization."

About Jason Gumpert

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. He has also held consulting positions at CSC Consulting and Monitor Group.

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