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Power BI: Where's The Real Opportunity for Microsoft Dynamics Users and Partners?

by Dann Anthony Maurno
Assistant Editor, MSDW

Power BI and Microsoft Dynamics AX
Microsoft Dynamics AX data in Power BI (source

Power BI went into general release in late July, though of course partners and some intrepid users have been test driving it for several months. Microsoft in December released a Power BI preview, and closed it down in mid June to put on a final coat of polish.

Initial response from early adopters indicates generally positive response to the capabilities offered for just $9.99/user/month and 10 GB of data (free if you can get by with just 1 GB). Of course, the paid version buys you more than 9 GB of cloud storage; it buys a more frequent and larger refresh of 1M rows/hour versus 10k, and an hourly versus daily refresh. It also buys you collaborative capabilities, like collaboration within Office 365 Groups, and shared data queries through the Data Catalogue (among other tools).

So Power BI (Power BI Pro if you spend ten bucks) is still shiny and showroom new, but how does it drive? Are Microsoft partners at all incented to recommend it to customers, and does its freemium/direct sales model create opportunities for partners or just threaten them?

Three experts from the partner channel who shared their thoughts with are:

About Dann Anthony Maurno

Dann Anthony Maurno is a seasoned business journalist who began his career as International Marketing Manager with Lilly Software, then moved on as a freelancer to write for such prestigious clients as CFO Magazine; Compliance Week;Manufacturing Business Technology; Decision Resources, Inc.; The Economist Intelligence Unit; and corporate clients such as Iron Mountain, Microsoft and SAP. He is the co-author of Thin Air: How Wireless Technology Supports Lean Initiatives(CRC/Productivity Press, 2010).