Microsoft's upcoming customer relationship management (CRM) software release isn't the only Dynamics-branded product to gain new cloud-based functionality.
On the enterprise resource planning (ERP) side of the fence, Microsoft is preparing an update for Dynamics AX that leverages Azure, the company's cloud computing platform, to enable hybrid cloud scenarios. The update to the flagship ERP offering, set to launch in December, "enables companies to run hybrid environments with an optimal mix of development, test and production instances," claimed the company in a statement.
The move is part of a broader, companywide push to make Microsoft synonymous with enterprise cloud services and software.
"The recipe for cloud success is rooted in the integration and interrelationships between cloud platform, cloud productivity and cloud Business Applications—and only Microsoft offers all three of these ingredients to customers," remarked Kirill Tatarinov, executive vice president of the Microsoft Business Solutions Group, in a Nov. 4 Microsoft Dynamics Blog post. "Together, Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics Business Applications embody our vision to deliver cloud experiences users love and businesses can count on."
Delivering on that vision also hinges on operating cloud services that adhere to regional regulations. "We are the only cloud provider that is certified by the European Union under the EU model clause—across all of our cloud services—Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online," added Tatarinov.
The EU Model clauses govern the transfer of personal data outside of the European Economic Area. "We are addressing the needs of privacy and security that global business require," said Tatarinov.
Also new to Dynamics AX is a mobile-optimized point-of-sale client for Windows-based tablets and phones. The app, said Microsoft, gives "in-store sales associates the ability to access product and customer information at their fingertips to deliver great shopping experiences."
The update follows a similar mobile-optimized experience launched last month for Dynamics NAV 2015, Microsoft's small and midsize business (SMB) ERP solution.
In a break from its desktop PC past, the software now sports a tablet-optimized interface. "With this release, new Microsoft Dynamics NAV tablet applications are available now from the Windows, Apple, and Google app stores," said Gordon Macdonald, SMB global outbound marketing lead for Microsoft Dynamics ERP, in a statement at the time.
Customers can also expect new order fulfillment features, including streamlined warehouse and transportation operations that help businesses get their products into customer hands faster.
Microsoft also reported that its year-old Dynamics Lifecycle Services (LCS), the Azure-based application lifecycle management service for Dynamics AX partners, is already having a major impact on the customer service operations of some organizations. "Businesses that currently use the service are realizing a significant 60 percent drop in days-to-resolution of their support cases."
According to Microsoft support documentation, LCS "provides a cloud-based collaborative workspace that customers and their partners can use to manage Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 implementations."