Microsoft Dynamics, SQL Server: On-Premises, Cloud Reality Checks Coming
Microsoft channel partners and independent software vendors (ISVs) are gearing up for The Partner Event (Sept. 9-11, Fargo, N.D.) and SQL Server Live! (Dec. 10-14, Orlando). Those conferences could provide new clues about Microsoft's Dynamics product roadmap (both on-premises and in the cloud), plus a reality check on SQL Server 2012, Windows Azure and SQL Azure cloud deployments to date. Here's a preview.
First up: The Partner Event. Errol Schoenfish, director of product management at Microsoft, will be on hand to describe the Dynamics ERP product roadmap. Peter A. Jensen, director of US Partner Programs, will also describe how the software giant's channel engagement model and key areas for potential partner growth. The event will also emphasize the shift from reselling to Dynamics to promoting services wrapped around the ERP software platform.
Additional companies on hand will include 528 Solutions (invoice processing with SharePoint integration) Altec (enterprise document management), Ariett (pay and travel expense software), BizNet software (Excel and business intelligence enhancements), Blue Moon (Dynamics enhancements), GoIWX (Dynamics hosting), HighJump (EDI Solutions) KwikTag by ImageTag (document management, MetaViewer (paperless enhancements for Dynamics), MyAppsAnywhere (cloud services for channel partners) My FishNet Marketing (sales pipeline development), SalesFusion (Dynamics CRM enhancements) Vicinity Manufacturing (process manufacturing software)
In recent earnings calls, Microsoft has pointed to double-digit sales growth for Dynamics CRM and ERP. The big question: How much of that growth is on-premises — and how much is in the cloud? Perhaps The Partner Event will provide some answers.
SQL Server Live!
Longer term, some partners are beginning to plan for SQL Server Live in December 2012. The conference is aimed mainly at DBAs and IT professionals. But it's safe to expect channel partners in the crowd, as well as cloud consulting firms that are deploying customers on SQL Azure and Windows Azure. Among the key conference themes:
- Business Intelligence in the Cloud
- SQL Server Clustering
- How to Virtualize SQL Server
- Database Encryption
- And some potential Big Data and Windows Azure milestones
Microsoft has not said much about SQL Azure and Windows Azure revenues. And there are signs that Microsoft has been paying some ISVs to port their applications to Azure. What's the bottom line for channel partners that are still kicking the tires on SQL Server 2012, or evaluating Microsoft's on-premises vs. cloud database strategy? Perhaps the answers will emerge at SQL Server Live.