A Diary of reIMAGINE 2016: Part 12 – Conference Day 2/Dynamics 365 for Consultants

reIMAGINE2016The second session was one with somewhat controversial content, the Dynamics 365 for Consultants session. This session was opened by Errol Schoenfish and then handed over to Chad Sogge for the demonstration section. Dynamics 365 does look fairly swish, but I do wonder where we’d fit it our offerings.

Yes, the Cloud is not just coming, but is also here now. Dynamics 365 would appear to be pitched at the bottom end of the ERP market; a market which can be met by a hosted Dynamics GP implementation while Dynamics GP also retains it’s ability to scale upwards as required. Perfect Image has a client with over 250 concurrent users, and Njevity spoke of one with 400 plus concurrent users). It is viewed by some people as the next Office Accounting; remember that? Yeah, not many do.

At Perfect Image, we have a small number of clients who have gone for web client only implementations of Dynamics GP and I have been looking into providing what would basically be a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) offering. It turns out there are US partners out there who are far ahead of us, not only in thoughts about it, but actually implementing it, such as Njevity. I am lead to believe MVP John Lowther was responsible for much of their work (more on this in the next post) along with their wider team.

So, while having a cloud offering is required, this is something which can be offered by partners using Dynamics GP, rather than taking on a functionality limited cloud only offering. At the moment, it is limited not only in functionality of features, but also in how it can be extended; it is a vary rare implementation which does not require some customisation or development of something somewhere; which you cannot do in D365.

The only way to add extra functionality is to write an app for it to Microsoft’s guidelines and publish it to the Dynamics 365 app store; I can’t see a single client paying for something which then ends up in an app store. I’d also expect Microsoft to reject the majority of this type of development as not being suitable as it would be too focussed on one clients needs.

I will be taking a more detailed look when Dynamics 365 launches in the UK.

It is also worth noting that while I mentioned Njevity above, there are other US partners who are in the clou space as well such as RoseASP and WatServe.

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MDGP 2013 R2 Feature of the Day: Azure Backups

Microsoft Dynamics GPThe Inside Microsoft Dynamics GP blog started a series of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 R2 Feature of the day posts the other day. As they did with the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Feature of the Day posts they are doing them as short posts containing a PowerPoint slide show. I am translating these from the PowerPoints into posts; you can find my series index here.

The seventeenth Feature of the Day covered is Azure Backups.

The SQL backup and restore windows in Dynamics GP 2013 R2 have been enhanced to allow backups to be stored on Azure. I’ve noticed the same problem that MIcrosoft have with backups; namely that people will make a backup of the SQL databases and then leave them on the same server. This is pointless from a disaster recovery point of view as if something happens to the server you have lost both the database and the backups.

But, as of 2013 R2 the backups can be transferred to Azure storage. The Company Backup window (Microsoft Dynamics GP menu ¯ Maintenance ¯ Backup) has been enhanced to allow Azure to be selected as the backup location and a path specified:

Back Up Company

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