Microsoft 365 Business Central

For about a year now, we have been talking about “Tenerife”. Despite going to great lengths to calm down the partner channel, the name and what it stood for has caused massive misunderstandings and great anxiety. Hopefully that anxiety will come to an end because today the new name has been announced: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (click here for the announcement and click here for the overview page). A catchy, easy-to-pronounce, 14 syllable name, and it is scheduled to be released on April 2, 2018.

I just wanted to put this out there, and I don’t have a ton of things to say right now, but watch this space for much more stuff to come. This week is Directions Asia in Bangkok, and there will be plenty of information coming out of that event. With the release of the new product there will be some new requirements for partners to get their IP into AppSource, and I will have plenty of things to share about that. Microsoft is working incredibly hard on getting all the information out there, including new material in the learning portal (the link that I had wasn’t working when I wrote this, so I owe you that one) and a ton of new and updated content in the new technical documentation site called ‘docs’.

I am in a very fortunate position to be involved in the very early stages of Business Central, I’ve had the pleasure to be working with the new product for a while now. I have to say I was skeptical of the Web Client and having everything in the cloud, but as I’ve gotten used to how it all works, and how the new ecosystem is forcing to improve our internal processes, I can’t help but be happy about the way that my industry is taking me into a more professional approach to my business. No longer do we get away with flying by the seat of our pants, and do whatever we can get out there in a short term, quick and dirty way. We must adapt and get ALL of our ducks in a row. Our approach to design, architecture, coding, marketing, delivery, automated testing, EVERYTHING must be in top shape in order to be successful in the new age.

This is the time where you have to adapt, or be disrupted. For me personally, it scares the heck out of me, but I also welcome the challenge. I am looking forward to what is to come next, I hope you are too.

CRS is an ISV Development Center

After months of intense scrutiny by Microsoft, and after having kept this quiet for a while once we knew that we were going to be accepted, we’ve finally come to the announcement part at the Microsoft Inspire conference that was held this week in Washington DC. I am very proud to say that we are one of only a handful of companies that have Microsoft’s trust to be a partner to their ISV partner channel.

My company, Cloud Ready Software, is one of only 7 companies globally to be selected in the initial group of ISV Development Centers, of which only 4 have a real competency in Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations Business Edition.

The program was founded by Microsoft to be a buffer for getting the ISV partner channel’s IP into the cloud. There is only a small number of companies worldwide in the Dynamics 365 area that really focus on building products for the cloud. Cloud Ready Software had been helping partners develop their products for the cloud for years, and we have held countless workshops to teach the partner channel about the latest technologies. It seemed like a great fit for us to apply for the program, and we are very excited about the prospect of making this our niche.

Essentially, our job is to help ISV partners in any way we can to get their IP into the cloud. We can do workshops and training for their staff, but we can also participate in projects directly. We can be a way to extend bandwidth in analysis, design, or development efforts, and we can also help with project management and/or guidance in any capacity necessary.

As an ISV Development Center, we have access to the latest technologies, and we are actively involved in developing and promoting those technologies into the partner channel. We can even help be part of a proof of concept to prove the viability of new technologies in cutting edge projects.

It is important to note that we are the partner’s partner. We are not after end users, in fact one of the stipulations of being in the IAV Development Center program is that we are not allowed to work directly with the end user without prior authorization by the partner. Should an end user company contact us, we are obligated to get in touch with their partner of record, to make sure that there is no conflict of interest.

 

The Microsoft Cloud

When I hear people talk about ‘the cloud’, I sometimes wonder if they really know what they’re talking about. For sure when I hear the sales pitch of “NAV in the cloud”, the hairs at the back of my neck stand up, because I know a bunch of different ways that you could interpret that. Are you implementing NAV in a virtual machine that is hosted online? Are you providing a managed service? Soon it might mean a Dynamics 365 implementation. Not to mention how many companies almost seem to gleefully try to confuse you even further when they talk about the cloud.

A few years back I was attending a Microsoft presentation, and they were showing us their plans to build some brand new data centers all over the globe. As they were talking about those data centers, it dawned on me…. The cloud is nothing more than buying processing power from some provider or other. Microsoft has their Azure platform, Google and Amazon have theirs, but all that “the cloud” means is that those providers charge you for the computing power to provide those services.

I was reminded of that presentation when I saw this video in my Twitter feed. Have a look and see if you find it as fascinating as I do.