Not a lot of time to blog about the next big announcement, announced at the second day of Directions EMEA, because I’m actually preparing my session still a little bit.. . I should, because network connection is a problem, and I was kind of depending on it.. :(.
What is the big announcement:
Microsoft Dynamics NAV managed Services For Partners
Now, what is it? Well, it is: Tooling to enable you to not think about the cloud infrastructure, and
In short: “We build it, Microsoft runs it, we sell it”.
Or in my simple words: Microsoft is going to host your database in the cloud.
Or in yet other words: you don’t need to care about cloud infrastructure and installation/montoring services anymore.
In my opinion: they solve one of the biggest hurdles we as partners had to deploy to the cloud.
Dmitry Chadayev showed how it looks like in a demo.
The portal is clearly built in NAV (we are already very familiar :-). You get a clear overview of the SaaS solution that we (as partners) provide to our customers.
He shows how we can make available our product, and how they are also making available all platform updates that Microsoft ships .. . We are even able to do some (basic?) branding of our product, changing the splash screen and such.
Dmitry create a new application, with the possibility of uploading template data and all that.
The things we upload are Azure SQL databases in bacpac format. It’s easy to convert stuff to bacpac, so that shouldn’t be a hurdle – may be interesting to create a simple script for it (I’ll look into that ;-)).
Too much to blog the details Dmitry showed .. But it really looks good, slick, easy, .. Simple! What we expect from Microsoft, right?
Marko mentions that there are already customer running live on this service, like quite some customers from GAC (the Netherlands).
How to provision tenants was almost childish .. So easy. It was just clicking “New”, defining a few fields, like Name and country .. . Next, adding users (obviously) AND THAT’S IT! A new tenant gets created with the template data from the backpack we provided while setting up the application .. . Wow!
This is going to kick ass. Great stuff.
“The management portal is super easy to use. Our deployments are now handled by the sales team, without the need for a technical resource. We can get customers up and running with a login email in 6 minutes from when they sign up”
A quite from a partner that are already running 50 live customers on this service (might have misunderstood), though. Well, I can’t see our Sales department doing this, but it is easy, super easy, I really agree!
Next, Dmitry shows how an upgrade is managed .. Simply by moving tenants to your newly (upgraded) application service. That’s !t. Obviously, you need to have everything in place (upgrade toolkit, codeunits obviously)! The services even manages the extensions! There are even services available to debug and even dive into SQL diagnostics!
Next, also backups are also possible, including downloading backups of tenants .. .
There was a lot more – too much to mention.
OK, I have a problem now .. My mouth is wide open and now I need to find a way to close it again. Wow! Jaw-breaking!
Next, something about licensing .. And a big announcement was that Microsoft will allow 1 license per application. We will be able to add, and remove users and a lot more. So customers don’t have to wait to add users, and all the time it took to add or change the license. Good feedback from partners, and Microsoft listened! :-). Next, we will only get 1 invoice per month, for everything, with all details available.
Now, what about pricing – will, I’m not going to put that on a blog – don’t think that would be wise, but I’m sure you all will have your channels to get pricing information asap!
A few things worth mentioning is the partner profile ..:
- Cloud – the services are only for cloud business, not on premise
- Multitenant – the solution needs to be multi-tenant!
- Repeatable – and repeatable. You will need to have a number of customers on there!
So, your business model needs to be repeatable, volume-oriented, low cost of sale and annuity (whatever that means..)!
Now, I know that there are a few limitations still – they were not announced, so I will only mention them in next blogs from the moment they get confirmed, but all this is a Microsoft Service! Which basically means, we really can expect this is going to grow .. And limitations at this point, will really soon become new features in the futures ;-).
To conclude, Marko announced already the roadmap of the next version of Microsoft Dynamics NAV, codename “Madeira”. I don’t know whether it’s wise to already mention too much of it, but there is definitely a focus on an even tighter integration with Office 365, where we could see NAV customer data in an email from that customer – talking about integration! Same integration for vendor, and we can even create purchase order, starting from an email conversation with that vendor – or create new contacts of NAV doesn’t find any contacts from an email.. .
That’s it from your reporter from DirectionEMEA ;-).. again, this blogpost is “as is” .. Including typos and misinterpretations! Nevertheless .. I’m excited! 🙂