MSDW Podcast: Microsoft Dynamics AX to 365 upgrade journeys, Part 11 – A cloud skeptic

November 18 2019

This episode of the MSDW Podcast is sponsored by Avalara.

Priefert Manufacturing is a Microsoft Dynamics AX customer that operates in a rural location in the US that still loses internet connectivity to the outside world from time to time. The company maintains its own data center and IT expertise, ensuring that its critical systems are never lost due to failures beyond its control, like when all three of its ISPs fail at the same time.

Darren Goebel, VP of Technology at Priefert, joins our upgrade podcast series to share his experience looking into the company's path forward from Dynamics AX 2009 to something new. While Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations would seem to be the obvious choice, Goebel explained that, after lengthy discussions with Microsoft, his team is nearing the conclusion that the company will likely migrate to another vendor.

He speaks frankly about his observations, research, and skepticism about moving to the public cloud. He recounts conversations with Microsoft representative and he explains why he most likely does not see Microsoft's ERP priorities as the best match for his organization's future plans.

Our cohost for the AX to D365 upgrade series is Peter Joeckel from TurnOnDynamics, specializing in Microsoft Dynamics AX to D365 Upgrades and Project Rescues.

Show Notes

  • 2:30 – Priefert's history with Microsoft Dynamics, and how the company's evolution has impacted its ERP usage.
  • 7:00 – challenges of transitioning the business model to process manufacturing
  • 15:30 – Assessing capabilities and cost of moving to D365FO – why stay on maintenance for an out of support product, and what the cost comparison looks like
  • 19:30 – How their license transition to D365FO might look.
  • 20:30 – Using AX on forklifts, kiosks, and other devices, and what it means for a cloud vs hybrid vs on-prem architecture for a business in a rural location that loses its internet connection.
  • 23:15 – Conversation with Microsoft reps about assessing total cost of ownership
  • 26:30 – What Priefert was told about hybrid D365FO, and why they can't afford manufacturing to lose connectivity for an hour.
  • 36:30 – Considering alternatives like private cloud or other ERP vendors
  • 39:30 – Recounting support calls to Microsoft – two in the last ten years.
  • 44:00 – How other vendors compare to D365FO for Priefert's needs
  • 45:45 – Is D365FO an ERP product or a development platform? And what is reasonable for customers to expect from Microsoft in weighing cloud vs on-prem?
  • 51:30 – How another ERP vendor's on-prem to cloud mix compares to Microsoft's
  • 53:30 – What does the next year hold for Priefert's ERP plans?

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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magic1949's picture

He probably did not get the full license cost, and that those costs have increased again with the new licensing model. changes.
However there are also considerable cost savings in hardware, sql, electricity etc to also factor in.
D365 technically is amazing but there are hidden costs to a common data service in the amount of data flowing how much you pay for storage, iops, flows , what test platform a t what cot you need to test integrated systems, what HA or Dr you need for non production systems etc.

Its an enterprise platform and comes at an enterprise price. The initial hype of the cloud was to position it for cost saving reasons. Well you need to look at all the costs and all of the savings and also evaluate does it make sense for other reasons.

No way does D365/Ax slitting and offcuts without a specialist add on, nor pipe making nor commodity trading of steel,. That situation has not changed and is not likely to do so in the foreseeable future.

The Opex - Capex trade off of moving to the cloud has one major catch sometimes the business cycle is such that you just don't have the cash - to pay this months bill- what then? Skip your maintenance and you can still run and maybe opt to pay back maintenance later.

IT staff saving are not straightforward you still have to mange your clients and printers, and test and reporting systems, and non D365 software as well as rolling testing and new feature adoption. Staff on premise can always be used for other things when the need arises.

There are many important considerations in the podcast to help customers evaluate the move to the cloud
It does not consider the many benefits the wider platform brings, but those are covered well elsewhere but its healthy to hear the other side,