Partners react positively to Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations (AX 7) on-premise plans

By:  Linda Rosencrance

Last week, Microsoft announced that it will be offering Dynamics 365 for Operations (formerly AX 7) as an on-premise solution or in partner-hosted environments, outside of Azure, sometime this summer.

Reaction to the news from partners has been positive.

“This is big news for many of the customers that are not yet ready for cloud for several reasons,” Yogesh Kasat, a partner at RealDynamics, told “Finally Microsoft is listening to the customers.”

In a blog post, Clients First Business Solutions, which noted that the on-prem solution is expected to be generally available in June, acknowledged that there are benefits to running Dynamics 365 for Operations in the cloud such as embedded analytics, machine learning and Internet of Things (IoT) functionality.

However, the company stated that despite these advantages, some organizations might not be ready to store their critical data in the cloud for any number of reasons, including that they need control of their “data, data residency, and data isolation.”

Marketing coordinator Anita Smallwood, the author of the Clients First post, said the flexibility in the deployment options of the solution will now enable new and existing customers to license both local business data and cloud and edge deployments.

But Smallwood pointed out that on-premise data will not benefit from Microsoft’s intelligent cloud capabilities like Power BI, artificial intelligence or other capabilities available to cloud subscribers.

Ellipse Solutions also weighed in on the new development.

“While services like Power BI are technologically available to those who opt for the on premise option, they will have to buy the license separately,” according to a blog post by their team.

Additionally, there are services, such as Cortana Intelligence Suite’s machine learning, Azure IoT Suite, and future services that will require a cloud or cloud/edge deployment, the blog author noted.

“While it is unlikely that Microsoft will build on-premise connectors for these services that surround Dynamics 365, it is possible that partners will fill this void,” according to the post.

The blog went on to say that as businesses decide whether to run Dynamics 365 on premise or in the cloud, Microsoft will incentivize cloud options as the less expensive and the most capable deployment. This is especially true for services such as disaster recovery, which will be included in a cloud subscription but will be more expensive when done locally.

Microsoft is still betting big time on cloud services. It is driving the digital transformation message and that message becomes hamstrung when assets are ‘bunkered’ or ‘siloed’ on-premise (aka, ‘Local Data Model’). Nonetheless, Microsoft is providing options and allowing their customers to bite off what they feel comfortable chewing.

Robbie Morrison, vice president, Enterprise Group, SBS Group, described the cloud and on-premise options as “The Best of Both Worlds” in a blog post.

“This is fantastic news for enterprise firms looking to harness the power of the Microsoft Cloud while still being able to run certain processes locally,” he stated, noting that Microsoft will provide some type of “switch” mechanism to allow companies to control cloud synchronization and their business data.

The hybrid cloud deployment allows enterprises that couldn’t consider a cloud-only solution to receive the benefits of Microsoft cloud technology while still maintaining the security and control they need to run their firms, he stated.

Yogesh Kasat of RealDynamics is cautiously optimistic that this decision by Microsoft will lay the foundation for a continued commitment to the full range of deployment options.

“I hope Dynamics 365 for Operations on-prem won’t  come at the price of delayed or limited availability of features and ‘step child’ treatment over the long run,” he said. “I’m looking forward to learning more at the Tech Conference in March.”

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.