Microsoft putting ERP in the Azure cloud

Marking a major change in the way Microsoft sells Dynamics ERP, future versions will be on Azure

Microsoft is moving its Dynamics ERP (enterprise resource planning) applications to its Azure cloud platform, the company announced Monday at the Convergence conference in Atlanta. The belated move represents a major change for the way Microsoft sells Dynamics, which has traditionally been sold through partners in on-premises and hosted form.

The next major releases of Dynamics will run on Azure, and customers "will be able to move to the cloud on their own terms," Microsoft said in a statement.

Microsoft is also planning to discuss how partners can profit from the Azure deployment model. For one, partners will be able to sell "cloud-enabled" vertical applications, services and add-ons through the Dynamics marketplace, Microsoft said.

Also Monday, Microsoft gave showgoers a look at Dynamics AX 2012. The beta version of the ERP application will be available this month, with a general release expected in August, Microsoft said.

Features in AX 2012 include a series of "Unified Natural Models," described by Microsoft as "a library of business processes that reflect real-world situations."

In addition, Microsoft announced that Dynamics SL 2011 and the on-premises version of Dynamics CRM 2011 are both generally available, and that Dynamics GP 2010 R2 will be generally available on May 1.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Kirill Tatarinov, corporate vice president for Microsoft Business Solutions, are expected to discuss the news and other topics during a keynote address Monday.

(More to follow.)

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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