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As Microsoft Dynamics ERP Team Readies Azure Option, Competitors Step Up Too

by Linda Rosencrance
Contributing Writer, MSDW

Microsoft has been making a well-publicized and long documented effort to get into the "cloud ERP" business with the impending, if still publicly incomplete, plan for offering Dynamics ERP in the Windows Azure platform. 

But just as the Dynamics team's public marketing campaign started ramping up in earnest, enterprise software watchers took notice of Dynamics ERP competitors Epicor Software Corp. and The Sage Group plc as they each announced recently that they too will support versions of their ERP solutions on Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud platform.

Epicor is working with Microsoft to use Windows Azure to expand on-demand delivery of its next-generation enterprise resource planning (ERP) suite worldwide. The Epicor ICE Business Architecture will also benefit from Windows Azure and SQL Azure.

Sage is working with Microsoft to develop certain Sage ERP solutions for small and medium-size businesses on the Azure cloud platform. Initially, development will start in Europe with Sage 200 in the UK and Sage Murano in Spain using Windows Azure.

In the upcoming months, Sage will roll out the solutions, which are currently being developed, to a small number pilot sites. The solutions will be commercially available in 2013, company officials said. The solutions will also integrate with Microsoft Office 365.

The fact that competitors of Dynamics ERP solutions are moving to the Microsoft cloud is an intriguing development, according to Robert Helm, an analyst at Directions on Microsoft.

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About Linda Rosencrance

Linda Rosencrance is a freelance writer/editor in the Boston area. Rosencrance has over 25 years experience as an reporter/investigative reporter, writing for many newspapers in the metropolitan Boston area. Rosencrance has been writing about information technology for the past 16 years.

She has covered a variety of IT subjects, including Microsoft Dynamics, mobile security issues such as data loss prevention, network management, secure mobile app development, privacy, cloud computing, BI, big data, analytics, HR, CRM, ERP, and enterprise IT.

Rosencrance is the author of six true crime books for Kensington Publishing Corp.