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Update: Microsoft puts ERP in the Azure cloud

Chris Kanaracus, IDG News Service | April 11, 2011
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.

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.

Although Microsoft has big plans, ERP and CRM software currently represents a small fraction of its overall revenues, much of which comes from the Windows OS and Office productivity software.

But the company is hoping to use Dynamics' position amid a slew of other Microsoft technologies as a positive.

"Dynamics might be seen as a stand-alone business unit, but really benefits from Microsoft's other areas. And it's a key integration point," CEO Steve Ballmer said during the morning keynote.

The software will benefit from products like Microsoft's Bing search engine, Lync unified communications technology and even the Kinect motion controller for the Xbox gaming system, Ballmer said, although he didn't provide specifics of when or how that would be.

Convergence continues through Wednesday in Atlanta.


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