Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) today announced plans to offer ERP in the cloud, and the software giant also had a number of product announcements across its Dynamics ERP and CRM product line (see Microsoft Updates Dynamics SL and AX ERP Offerings).
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced the company's plans in front of 9,000 attendees at Convergence 2011 in Atlanta. "We believe that ERP and CRM should be for everyone," Ballmer told conference attendees.
The software giant said the next major releases of its four Dynamics ERP solutions will run on the Windows Azure cloud platform, and Microsoft is also offering a profitability guide to help partners capitalize on the cloud, including in the Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace.
Microsoft also previewed its forthcoming Dynamics AX 2012 release, which the company said offers a unified business process repository, a model-driven architecture, and "simplicity that comes from a familiar user experience and built-in collaboration tools."
Dynamics AX 2012 will include prebuilt industry capabilities and comprehensive core ERP functionality for financial, human resources and operations management, Microsoft said. Unified Natural Models will offer a library of business processes, and Microsoft also promises an intuitive RoleTailored experience, a familiar Microsoft Office user interface and integrated business intelligence.
The Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 betais available now, and general availability is expected in August.
Also at the conference, Microsoft discussed a number of other product announcements across its Dynamics product line, including the general availability of Dynamics SL 2011, which includes integration with Microsoft Project 2010; the on-premises version of Dynamics CRM 2011; Dynamics NAV 2009 R2, which offers built-in integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM and enhanced data visualization capabilities; and Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 R2, which will offer business intelligence improvements and be generally available on May 1.
For more on Microsoft ERP, see our Enterprise ERP Buyer's Guide: SAP, Oracle and Microsoft and 7 Significant ERP Trends.