Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations – Have it your Way!

With Microsoft Dynamics 365 you now have options to deploy the applications for your business. Based on your needs you can now deploy D365 for Operations via the cloud, a hybrid instance (cloud and edge) or on-premise (local business data).

In this blog, we will take a closer look at each of these options enabling you to decide which deployment option is right for your organization:

Cloud

D365 for Operations has been available for nearly a year as a full Cloud offering and Microsoft is seeing an unprecedented global adoption of cloud business. There is no doubt that the future of business processes lies in the cloud and that Microsoft can provide customers with the best value with our cloud services.

 

Cloud and Edge

Businesses require uninterrupted execution of some of their mission critical business processes i.e. a manufacturing facility where workers need to keep the production line humming and avoid production delays, especially in lean manufacturing scenarios. Also, some geographies require that transactions and personal information be captured and stored locally.

Microsoft recently announced the plans for a hybrid cloud deployment meant to accommodate these specific scenarios, so that organizations can combine the best of both worlds – cloud and local. Dynamics 365 for Operations plans to enable organizations to run their business processes from application servers at the edges, meaning that transactions are supported by local application services and business data is stored locally.

The Microsoft cloud connection ensures data aggregation, financial reporting, intelligence, and more. The cloud instance also provides the local installation with data failover in the Microsoft cloud, automated deployment and continuous updates, and elastic compute capacity to infuse “intelligence” into the business process when needed.

This deployment option, “cloud and edge”, is a true differentiated option that combines the power of cloud and on-premises in a unique way to offer scale, continuity, and intelligence.

Local business Data

Meanwhile, some organizations simply are not ready to store their company’s mission critical data in the cloud. This requirement, in many cases, is due to industry regulations, country or geographic cloud adoption, recent data center investments, or an organization’s enterprise standards. For these customers, Microsoft has announced a new deployment option that will not require their business data to be stored in the cloud. This deployment option, “local business data,” will support running your business processes on-premises, supporting local transactions and storage of local business data, without replication of your business data to the Microsoft cloud. In these cases, the typical replication of business data in the Microsoft cloud (referenced in the cloud and edge scenario) is simply switched off. With this option, customers now have choice – an option to turn ON or turn OFF cloud synchronization of their business data. If customers turn OFF cloud synchronization, no business data leaves their trustee’s boundaries. Also, functions like, embedded Power BI, Aggregated Views and Azure Machine Learning services based efficiencies are not available when Cloud Data synchronization is turned OFF. Customers can choose to take advantage of the embedded intelligence functions by simply turning ON data synchronization to the cloud.

For the “local business data” deployment scenario, the application servers and SQL database will run in a customer’s (or its partner’s) data center.

Choosing the right deployment option

You should select the deployment scenario that makes sense now but also have the flexibility to change later. You can move in either direction depending on your business needs. For example, you might start with a local data center and move to the cloud when it’s time for your hardware refresh.

From both a technology and licensing perspective, Microsoft strives to provide choice and flexibility:

  • New and existing customers will have paths forward to license both local business data and cloud and edge deployments. Existing investments will continue to be accounted for in our licensing.
  • Customers can license local business data deployments via a Dynamics 365 for Operations license with Software Assurance/Enhancement Plan or a subscription model.
  • Customers with active Microsoft Dynamics Enhancement Plans or Software Assurance, may upgrade to local business data as they remain entitled to access new versions and updates.
  • Transitions to Dynamics 365 cloud subscriptions are available to customers with active Microsoft Dynamics Enhancement Plans or Software Assurance.
  • Cloud and edge software and services will be licensed under the existing Dynamics 365 cloud subscription licensing model.

The following table shows a side-by-side comparison of the planned scenarios, including use cases, components, and strengths:

The scenarios “cloud and edge” and “local business data” are planned for release in the summer of 2017.

To learn more about how Tridea can help you get the most out of your Microsoft Dynamics 365 solution, contact us at info@trideapartners.com .

 

 

Microsoft Cloud Backup

Organizations and companies are increasingly using Microsoft Azure Backup to protect physical or virtual machines and data including SQL, Exchange and SharePoint. Traditional tape backups are costly and unreliable, while disk backup solutions have become more affordable and reliable.

You can choose to store backups on a local redundant storage or Geo-redundant storage. Local redundant stores –  3 copies of the backup data within a single facility. Geo-Redundant stores –  6 copies of backups, 3 local and 3 backups in a secondary region. A well planned backup strategy requires careful design, planning, execution and testing to reduce data lost and downtime. Two important elements of a continuity plan are the RPO (Recovery Point Objective – Time between each backup) and RTO (Recovery Time Objective – How long will it take to recover the data).

No additional cost for restore operations or network bandwidth. Data backups are compressed and encrypted to improve faster restore times. Backups are deployed and managed from the Microsoft Azure Portal with several capabilities including monitoring and scheduling.

Other backup solution including Backup Exec, Acronis, Veeam, Dura, EMC, Netback and Yosemite to name a few are available with a variety of options and features.

This article was written by Osei Owusu, Technical Consultant for  Tridea Partners. Tridea is a leading Microsoft Dynamics provider. www.trideapartners.com

Microsoft Azure Cloud – Can it be trusted

Considering moving your Dynamics GP or Dynamics AX application to the Microsoft Azure Cloud platform but wondering if your data will be safe and meet your industry’s compliance requirements?

A great source of information on these topics is available at the Microsoft Azure Trust Center website (https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/support/trust-center/). This site is loaded with material on all aspects of security and privacy with regards to using the Azure Cloud product offering.  The website is broken into five major sections:

  1. Azure’s embedded security and privacy model: It all starts here. Building security into the product from the start as opposed to a bolt-on after the fact. Learn about Microsoft’s Security Development Lifecycle (SDL), Operational Security Assurance (OSA) process, and Privacy by Design in this section of the site.
  2. Security: Keeping your data safe: Security is not just simply encryption. It is also about processes and procedures such as threat management, mitigation, and penetration testing. What value is encrypted data if you can’t access it? Read about Microsoft’s approach in this section.
  3. Privacy: Own and control your data: Microsoft vigorously defends your right to privacy protection demonstrated by their recent win of a major case in the United States Court of Appeals. The ruling prevented the U.S. government from requiring Microsoft to give them access to emails held in a foreign country. Read about Microsoft’s approach and over 20 years of commitment to privacy in this comprehensive section on the subject.
  4. Transparency: Know how your data is stored, accessed and secured: Critics say that CLOUD stands for Cannot Locate Our Users Data.  Microsoft has done their homework with this platform and is ready to earn your trust in this regard.  This section of the site describes Microsoft’s policies and procedures with regards to where your data is stored and how it is secured.  Are you a Canadian company that requires all data to be stored within the country? Learn how to specify that your data remain in the new Toronto or Québec City data center.
  5. Compliance: Conforming to global standards: It is one thing for Microsoft to assert your data is safe and secure but your motto should always be “trust but verify”. This section of the site details the international and industry standards met by Azure and the third-party audits required to verify those standards. It has a very easy navigation tool to enable you to focus on compliance that is relevant to your industry. In the Healthcare industry? Select Healthcare in the drop down box and learn how Azure can meet HIPAA/HITECH requirements.

Still have questions or concerns about leveraging Azure for your Dynamics GP or AX environment?  Consultants with Tridea’s Cloud Business Services practice are available to help you find the right solution to meet your needs.

Tridea Partners Awarded 2016 Microsoft President’s Club

Toronto, Ontario | July 11, 2016 – Tridea Partners, LLC is pleased to announce that we have been named to the 2016 Microsoft President’s Club, an esteemed group representing the top 5% of Microsoft Partners worldwide. This award was presented to Tridea Partners at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2016 in Toronto, Ontario. Although the bar has been continually raised year over year, Tridea Partners has been able to yet again achieve this highly sought after recognition for its support of Microsoft Dynamics. Tridea Partners has been serving the Microsoft Dynamics AX, GP and CRM communities for over 12 years throughout the United States in our offices in San Diego, Irvine and Boston.

“We are honored to be presented with this President’s Club Award for 2016.  Tridea continues to see a lot of new ERP projects for both Dynamics AX and Dynamics GP throughout the country, including many new deployments in our vertical markets of food and beverage, life sciences and healthcare.  We have also seen a new market of customers that are looking for hosted business applications, with a monthly rental option, something that we have recently brought on with our hosting services through Microsoft Azure”

Andy Collins, Partner at Tridea Partners

Microsoft President's Club

Tridea Partners provides Microsoft Dynamics consulting services to clients across the US. Having been named to the President’s Club for the 4th time in the past decade, this 2016 award is a further testament of Tridea Partners’ continued focus on helping its clients make their business’s better.

About Tridea Partners 

Tridea Partners is a Microsoft Dynamics Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) consulting partner specializing in implementation, customization, and integration of Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics GP, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Tridea Partners helps companies unlock the value of their business applications. By engaging Tridea, you gain a partner that is committed to your business success. www.trideapartners.com

The New World of Hosting Dynamics GP on Microsoft Azure

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.