As part of its TECHED 2013 event in New Orleans, Microsoft has announced offerings to address the new needs of enterprise IT. On its path towards being cloud-first, Microsoft is releasing new offerings to enhance its cloud, data management, and application development services, as well as launching a new release of its flagship Windows product.
Microsoft Cloud, hybrid and versatile
With regard to server and cloud offerings, Microsoft has introduced key IT solutions: Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center R2, and SQL Server 2014. These products will be available by late June and are set to reinforce the integration between an organization’s in-house and third-party datacenters and Microsoft Azure, enabling users to work seamlessly with a cloud or hybrid solution as required. Read the rest of this entry »
Microsoft recently held its annual Dynamics Fall Analyst Event (FAE) in Redmond, Washington, where news about the company’s Windows 8 platform (see Part One of this blog series) and Microsoft Dynamics products (see Part Two of this blog series) was released. Among the demos and tours was info on some of the lesser-known data platforms and business intelligence (BI) capabilities for Microsoft Dynamics.
I recently attended the Microsoft Dynamics Fall Analyst Event (FAE) 2012 in Washington state, which started with a tour of a local Microsoft Store (see Part 1 of this blog series, Microsoft Analyst Event Part One: What’s New for Fall 2012). At the company’s Redmond, WA Microsoft headquarters, Kirill Tatarinov, President of the Microsoft Business Solutions Division (MBS), gave us the 2012 year-end review. One major point that he made was that he and the entire MBS department have been promoted into a full-fledged Microsoft division (no longer folded together with SharePoint and Office), and that the division has been recruiting new executives and rank-and-file employees. I take this as a sign of the company’s serious investment in Microsoft Dynamics.
Part 1 of this blog series analyzed Epicor and SYSPRO, the two renowned enterprise resource planning (ERP) mid-market incumbents that heavily harness Microsoft’s platform tools. To that end, the business productivity tools that were illustrated in my recent blog post on what 2010 might have meant to Microsoft’s business solutions (which reflected on the highly publicized mid-2010 launch of Microsoft Office 2010, SharePoint Server 2010, and Visio 2010) were illustrated in context of Epicor and SYSPRO’s technology environments.
Part 2 will analyze how Epicor and SYSPRO are addressing other enterprise applications capabilities and market trends. What role might Microsoft’s tools play (or not play) in these regards?
My recent blog post on what 2010 might have meant to Microsoft’s business solutions reflected on the highly publicized mid-2010 launch of Microsoft Office 2010, SharePoint Server 2010, and Visio 2010. For the hundreds of thousands of people around the world who use some combination of one or more of Microsoft Dynamics ERP products, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft Office, and Microsoft SharePoint Server to run their businesses, that announcement has provided opportunities for increased business productivity.
The article then analyzed the current state of affairs at Microsoft Dynamics, which also included some recent wins over mature SAP, Oracle, and Sage product instances. But what about Epicor and SYSPRO, the two prominent enterprise resource planning (ERP) mid-market incumbents that also heavily harness Microsoft’s technologies? Well, while Microsoft Dynamics doesn’t particularly enjoy losing deals to these vendors, the Microsoft parent still ultimately wins, given that these independent software vendors (ISVs) are two of the most loyal Microsoft technology promoters.
In 2008, I wrote a four-part series that explained in great detail Microsoft’s platform technology pieces, commonly used in Microsoft Dynamics and many other enterprise applications. Primarily, these “plumbing” tools were Microsoft SQL Server, SharePoint, and Office within enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) applications, while Visio and SharePoint have also been embedded in a plethora of business process management (BPM) solutions.
Mid-2010 marked the business launch of Microsoft Office 2010, SharePoint Server 2010, and Visio 2010. For the hundreds of thousands of people around the world who use some combination of Microsoft Dynamics ERP, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft Office, and Microsoft SharePoint Server to run their businesses, that announcement signaled new opportunities to increase productivity.
Part 1 of this blog series started with the assertion that cloud computing is reaching mainstream adoption in the enterprise applications space. Indeed, virtually all renowned independent software vendors (ISVs) already offer or plan to offer some or all of their products as a service (on-demand software).
My blog post then expanded onto some cloud computing definitions and nuances, to establish that enterprise resource planning (ERP) ISVs have a few different ways to take the cloud plunge. Possibly the most viable approach is to partner with an established platform as a service (PaaS) provider.
Finally, my post concluded with the recent symbiotic relationship (and mutual endorsements) between Microsoft and Infor. During its annual Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) 2010, Microsoft (as expected) continued to emphasize that it was embracing the cloud at the core of its current and future product strategy. For its part, Infor announced the launch of Infor24, its blueprint for delivering cloud versions of its enterprise applications. Infor is also working closely with Microsoft to enable its key applications on the Windows Azure Platform.
Anyone that is still vociferously doubting and denying the future of cloud computing and its near-mainstream nature will sound as strange and nutty as some US Senate hopefuls that still proudly deny evolution and climate change (while admitting to “dabbling with witchcraft” in the not-too-distant past). In fact, can anyone name a renowned enterprise resource planning (ERP) vendor that has not yet at least announced its cloud computing plans and strategy (if not already delivered actual cloud products)?
During the Grape Escape 2010 event this past summer, the common theme in all four featured vendors’ announcements was getting the “cloud religion.” I am still amazed to see how some of these vendors’ mantras have transformed from “Our customers do not ask for it!” to “We are in the cloud too!” in just a couple of years.
Part 1 of this blog series started by analyzing a certain change of the guard and a related product strategy shift at Infor. Two late June 2010 news announcements, which were entitled “Infor Simplifies Connectivity and Data Sharing with Infor ION(tm)” and “Infor Selects Microsoft as Preferred Technology and Tools Provider for Infor Software,” were then demystified in an interactive and constructive dialogue with Soma Somasundaram, SVP of global product development (a recent internal promotion) and Massimo Capoccia, director of product management technology.
The article ended with stipulating the four major components of the newly minted Infor ION interoperability and business process management (BPM) framework.
2010 has certainly been an interesting (if not a crossroads) year for Infor. Namely, after a number of new high-profile hires at the beginning of the year, which signalled Infor’s intention to be taken seriously, the vendor then entered an eerily quieter period of several months. Except for the ongoing vocal marketing campaign entitled “Down with Big ERP” with witty cartoonish billboards and banners adorning major airports, magazines, web sites, and so on (and which has been acknowledged as successful to me even by Infor’s competitors, albeit privately and begrudgingly).
During this period, many market observers were aware of a quiet exodus of executives who were once considered crucial within Infor (at least we all remember their keynotes from past Inforum conferences). As Frank Scavo pointed out in his recent blog post, Infor has lost several key executives recently. These individuals were the key architects of Infor’s all-encompassing Open SOA strategy that was once touted as the only way to satisfy all diverse Infor customers.
So, what was all this change of guard about? Is Infor now backing out of its previous (too ambitious and perhaps non-feasible) product roadmap to start a brand new one? Perhaps these were just some modifications to the strategy, or something else under pressure from impatient investors awaiting their payday?
What you should not do is ignore whatever you see on the screen. If you don’t trust computers, remember that they were created and programmed by humans like you. And if something pops up while you’re working, it’s either because you are about to do something important that needs validation, or because the system encountered an error.
There are two major types of messages that you can get: warning messages and error messages. Let’s take a closer look at what they represent and what you should do when you see them. Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this blog series presented Microsoft’s official position on its recent notable change in business intelligence (BI) product strategy, whereby the company is breaking apart the business performance management (BPM) family of products. To that end, Microsoft will include the monitoring and analytic functionality within Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007, while seriously backpedaling on (if not completely unplugging) the development of its nascent financial planning & consolidation application. Read the rest of this entry »
Tough times demand tough decisions and sacrifices even from seemingly untouchable corporations. Most of us were likely discouraged (if not necessarily disappointed or surprised) by Microsoft’s mid-January 2009 layoffs announcement, the first ever in the company’s illustrious (at least when it comes to financial performance) history.
Whether related to these layoffs or not (some will argue the former) one day after that shock came the news about Microsoft’s fundamental shift in its business intelligence (BI) product strategy. The giant has apparently carefully evaluated and then rethought its BI portfolio, breaking apart the business performance management (BPM) family of products. To that end, Microsoft will include the monitoring and analytic functionality within Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007, while seriously backpedaling (if not completely unplugging) the development of its nascent financial planning & consolidation application.
My analyst relationship contacts within Microsoft sent me an elaborate email message at the time. They wanted to make me aware of a significant change in Microsoft’s strategy for delivering BI capabilities that the giant hopes will enhance its customers’ ability to experience truly Pervasive BI (PBI) within their existing investments. Read the rest of this entry »
Part 2 of this blog series analyzed Microsoft platform parts that are slated for shared use within the Microsoft Dynamics family of products. Particular attention was given to Microsoft SQL Server, SharePoint, and parts of Microsoft .NET Framework.
What About Visualization and User Interface (UI) Technologies?
However, what has somewhat intrigued me is Microsoft’s not-so-vocal touting and promoting of Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), although it is an intrinsic part of the .NET Framework. In fact, to the best of my knowledge, the tool has not yet been used within the Dynamics set in earnest, although Lawson Software and Verticent would be the two independent software vendors (ISV) that I am aware of deploying it. Read the rest of this entry »
Part 1 of this blog series concluded that Microsoft would not converge all of its diverse Microsoft Dynamics product lines into a single enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution. Rather, the vendor has been attempting to leverage the best practices and technologies across all of the products, where possible.
The idea is to deliver applications that have the following characteristics: are familiar to users within their organizations, fit with existing corporate systems, fuel business productivity, and enable confident and informed decision making processes. Read the rest of this entry »