We have seen a tremendous change in the Dynamics GP hosting environment since the maturation of Microsoft Azure and other cloud technologies. It wasn’t long ago (2 years at the most), that Microsoft Dynamics VARs (Value Added Resellers), like Tridea Partners, had to rely on dedicated Dynamics hosting providers to provide its clients with a remotely, hosted solution to run their Dynamics GP ERP system. These hosting providers then would need to look to a partner data center company that had made the investment in their own internet bandwidth, hardware, backup services, monitoring tools and data center, to support them. These data centers required a large, stable investment to do it right, and they added another layer to the support of the end Dynamics GP customer.
The hosting options have changed now with the mature Microsoft Azure platform allowing VARs like us to provide our own hosting of Dynamics GP and other applications. While it does require a unique skillset that not all VARs have like infrastructure and networking resources, it certainly can eliminate much of the “middlemen” and “headaches” that are associated with having 3 parties supporting the infrastructure for Dynamics GP. The Azure platform also allows for other services like recovery services or test environments that can be added to your environment within hours, not days or weeks. With these test environments, there is flexibility to turn them on/off instantly reducing the costs of your hosted platforms.
In addition to the growth of the Microsoft Azure environment, Microsoft Dynamics has also evolved their pricing options to allow VARs to provide the Dynamics GP software through a rental or subscription model, lower the cost of entry. The traditional Microsoft platform software (Office, Windows, SQL Server, etc) can also be renting, reducing a large amount of capital investment. A company can now choose to pay for the hosting services (and related hardware environment) and licensing on a month to month basis, rather than investing it all upfront.
There are still certain environments and scenarios where a dedicated hosting provider makes sense as our team at Tridea Partners still utilizes these Dynamics hosting companies under certain circumstances. However, there is now questions that Microsoft Azure has opened the door to a new, cost effective and efficient environment for Microsoft Dynamics GP.
This article was written by Andy Collins, Partners at Tridea Partners, a Gold Certified Microsoft Dynamics Partner.