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Is Microsoft Dynamics Cloud Based?

Yes - if it suits your business. Read on to understand the relationship between Microsoft Dynamics and the cloud today.
Hamish Haldane
December 14 2015

Microsoft Dynamics is a comprehensive Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software suite that comes with a variety of products (such as AX, NAV and GP) and modules (such as HRM) that can handle all the aspects of managing, analysing and controlling almost any kind of business.

The long history of the software causes some confusion about whether it can be used in the cloud or only run on-premise/locally.

Is Microsoft Dynamics a Cloud Based software suite?

The simple answer is that Dynamics can be a cloud-based software if it suits your business needs. Like many other Microsoft products, Dynamics can be deployed in two ways (like Microsoft Office and Office 365 - the same product, delivered in a different way). You could decide to run Dynamics locally on your own internal network. This type of on-premise setup means you control every aspect of the implementation, but this can limit your flexibility and ability to change or adapt to different business conditions. In terms of your IT costs, this method generally involves  larger, infrequent "capex" type expenditure. 

The other option is to deploy Microsoft Dynamics in the cloud. This allows you to largely decouple the software from your local hardware (and hardware upgrade costs). It also makes it possible to access vital company information from different locations and devices, and unlocks new possibilities for running and growing your business. For example, this includes the same work experience on mobile devices, so that employees can access and update critical information even when outside of the office, to ensure improved customer experience. In terms of IT costs, cloud delivers lower, predictable, regular  "opex" type expenditure.

Alternately, there are ways to also deploy Dynamics as a hybrid product. You could technically have some modules being run on your premises while other modules are in the cloud. This is an option if your business already has Dynamics locally deployed and wants to deliver certain functions through the cloud.

Microsoft Dynamics is a very complete package that can transform your entire business. It has a granularity and flexibility not found in most other ERP software, which is most powerful when delivered through the cloud. For example, Microsoft will initially release the latest version of Microsoft Dynamics AX, called AX7, only on Microsoft Azure – read more about AX7 here.

Your options for running Dynamics in the Cloud

Cloud-based Dynamics can be done in two ways. The first is through a private cloud. The software will feel “closer” to your business with all the benefits of being in the cloud and dedicated resources, or a publi ccloud with shared resources (but no data sharing of course!)..

A second option is to use Microsoft Dynamics on Azure. Azure is a global cloud network made by Microsoft. Azure hosting can be very powerful especially if you are using other Microsoft products. You will have very few security, performance and configuration problems. Along with many other Azure benefits, you can also get large amounts of support through partner services. Azure is quickly becoming a preferred way of managing Dynamics in the cloud.

Dynamics and Managed Cloud Services

One of the most efficient and effective ways to use Dynamics is through managed cloud-based services. Companies like SaaSplaza can take care of most of the aspects of your cloud, Microsoft Azure and Dynamics setup. Microsoft Dynamics managed services allow you to reduce internal information technology workloads that are dedicated to maintenance, and dedicate more time to key business tasks.

Some of the services that can be managed include backups, load balancing, resource allocation and updates/upgrades. Combining Microsoft Dynamics, Azure and managed cloud services can give you an incredibly powerful software suite and a versatile platform for future development and expansion.

The best way to leverage all of the power of Dynamics is through the cloud using Azure and managed services. Although you can run the suite on-premises, the future of Dynamics is firmly in the cloud.

Read our blog post Microsoft Dynamics: In the Cloud or On-premise?: 7 critical factors for businesses to consider when it comes to making the choice

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