MSDW Podcast: Microsoft Dynamics AX to 365 upgrade journeys, Part 7 -- Hosting and cloud services

May 3 2019

In the era of on-premises ERPs, private cloud hosting services were a relatively easy proposition to evaluate. For many small to mid-sized businesses without a robust IT department, hosting had (and still has) measurable value. But that story changes when the future of an on-prem ERP is mostly in the public cloud, as we see with Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations.

While the story has changed, it is not over for Microsoft partners who built their businesses around hosting and private cloud services. For one, most AX customers have not yet upgraded to D365FO, nor do they have immediate plans to do so. And second, as we have seen in previous episodes of this series, an ERP running in the public cloud and managed by Microsoft is not simple arrangement. Partners and customers alike need new skills on various Azure services and tools to be able to properly manage both their IT investment and its costs. Add to that the fact that a D365FO solution on Azure will become just one node in a most-likely multi-cloud topography for an organization, and the role of a cloud services partner starts to come back into focus.

Tyler Doerner, VP of sales at WatServ, a hosting and cloud services provider in the Microsoft channel, joins the podcast to explore how both private cloud and Azure services are impacting Dynamics customers. We discuss a range of topics with Tyler including how private, hybrid, and public cloud services are changing the partner channel, what Dynamics AX customers are doing today to plan for F&O, hybrid cloud scenarios are most important today.

Show Notes:

  • 01:35 – Background on WatServ and Tyler's history
  • 1:30 – Why hosting and private cloud infrastructure ought to be part of the D365FO upgrade discussion
  • 5:15 – A brief history of AX hosting in the Dynamics channel
  • 7:30 – The shift in hosting from private cloud to Azure IaaS
  • 9:30 – Why some AX customers remain hesitant on a D365FO upgrade today.
  • 10:00 – IT's role of the future (briefly)
  • 14:30 – The challenge of finding talent with cloud expertise
  • 18:00 – Why does D365FO on-prem cost the same as SaaS?
  • 21:00 – How much of the value in D365FO is the cloud infrastructure and promised level of support and how much is in features that are cloud-only?
  • 26:00 – How have cloud and hosting conversations changed in the Azure era?
  • 28:15 – Why developing a multi-year, multi-step plan from on-prem to the cloud is a realistic ERP strategy today, and why organizations are still lacking the skills to do it.
  • 31:30 – Why WatServ chose to add Google Cloud (rather than AWS) alongside Azure
  • 32:20 – How well are organizations dealing with their multi-cloud topologies?
  • 34:45 – What are cloud service partners' relationships with Microsoft today, and why those changes mirror other ISV areas on which Microsoft has encroached.
  • 37:00 – Is Microsoft ready for AX customers to move to D365FO?

About Jason Gumpert

As the editor of MSDynamicsWorld.com, 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 jgumpert@msdynamicsworld.com.

Prior to co-founding MSDynamicsWorld.com, 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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