In last week’s blog, we started a series of posts related to cloud trends for manufacturing.
This week, the DynamicsGP User Group Summit event presents us with a great opportunity to expand a little more on that subject, as one of the key topics at this event is certain to be The Cloud. More specifically, it is likely to be how Microsoft, the owner of the Dynamics brand products, is planning to execute and drive adoption of Cloud technology for this business audience, even if this business audience doesn’t really believe they need it.
But before we go there, let’s consider what we really have here in Tampa.
Business commentators and theoreticians will frequently comment on what makes a great product great and we think a visit to the expo floor in the Tampa Convention Center this week will allow us to see what great looks like. This week, the Dynamics Community organization executes a series of co-located events for the many faces of the Dynamics brand. Among those faces are the end users of DynamicsGP, a product that we at Horizons are proud to be connected with for over 20 years.
Since the day they assumed ownership, the DynamicsGP product has been a valuable asset for Microsoft. The customer base in North America is particularly large. In fact, we are told that within North America it far exceeds the ownership levels of DynamcsNav or DynamicsAX (other products within the Dynamics brand). Many tens of thousands of North American and English-speaking businesses of various specialties and sizes around the globe depend on DynamicsGP software for business activities and reliable financial reporting. And for some of those end users and potential end users, a ‘cloud’ solution is not going to be the right solution.
Now, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the future of less “cloudy” products is a focal point of this event. This opportunity to communicate with large volumes of users in an environment where messages can be well-controlled and distortion-free is valuable for getting out the right message. But even with those benefits for clear communication, there will still be uncertainty about these strategies for Dynamics users. This uncertainty brings the opportunity for competitors to leverage fear and to disrupt what has been an otherwise healthy and lucrative market, not just for Microsoft but for all the businesses that have long been their partners.
None in this community would argue that cloud products and initiatives such as Dynamics365 Business and Enterprise are fresh solutions to evolving needs. No, that won’t be the argument. The argument will be about why the arrival of the NEW so diminishes the value of the proven. Why is it that Microsoft struggles with reinforcing the value of the well-established when introducing the new?
We know that cloud computing is not ready for everybody and we know that everybody is not ready for the cloud. Maybe if Microsoft sold directly to end users the way their partners do, they would better understand this reality. We just hope they get to that understanding before too many new customers go elsewhere simply because they think the cloud is the only offering Microsoft partners have.