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Microsoft Dynamics AX Will Evolve for Two-Tier, Multi-Tenancy, Cloud Scenarios, Avanade Believes

by Jason Gumpert

With over a year of experience offering and delivering Microsoft Dynamics AX in a software-as-a-service (SaaS) or cloud model, Microsoft partner Avanade has improved its understanding of the business cases that work, and others that haven't held up to real world scrutiny.  The most traction has come from two-tier ERP and from vertical solutions that introduce ERP into industries that have typically had difficulty adopting the technology.   And as Microsoft continues to develop its Dynamics AX story for Windows Azure, services firms like Avanade continue to develop their own understanding of the types of solutions and delivery models that will win in the marketplace.

Competing on "cloud"

"We had customers asking us for a cloud-based solution, and not all of them were really ready to buy it but were using it as a qualifying question for looking for ERP vendors," explained Bernd Weidenmueller, VP for the company's AX practice.

The firm, with an ERP presence in 20 countries and 650 Dynamics AX consultants,  launched its SaaS-based AX offering last year for two purposes, Weidenmueller says.  First, there isn't anything which you could get from Microsoft.  "It was a standard question, and you compete with the NetSuites of the world and others like SAP Business ByDesign and it wasn't a good answer to say no." 

However, asking about cloud options and actually selecting them are two different matters in Avanade's market segment.  "I'd say 90% of customers who ask about cloud solutions in the upper market are not really serious about it," says Weidenmueller . "These companies want to hear 'yes we can do that' but the ones who actually consider it are either startups with high growth perspective or are looking for a two-tier or, ...

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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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