Just want to share some of the key thoughts that stuck with me after the keynote on the Ax technical conference.
While Ax7, the next big one, will be more of a technical release that moves Ax further to the cloud.
The R3 release is now officially labeled a 'functional release'. And to give you an idea about how functional it is, the addition in functionally in R3 compared to R2 is 'the size of Ax2009'. Pretty impressive weight MS gives to the R3 release, you've got to give em that. Undeserved? As always a grain of salt may be required, demo's only show what they want you to see. Nevertheless there were some quite impressive improvements in warehouse management and retail.
Not to mention the Azure service bus, Master data management, life cycle management services, … So, yes, there certainly will be some functional knowledge upgrading required.
Secondly - and not completely out of the blue - we're going 'cloud'.
Azure ('ezjur' as I now learned to pronounce it, yes I dare to confess) is the way to go.
Are you spending lots of time and money setting up demo environments over and over again.
Wel Azure can help you out: basically you're provided with a full blown Ax environment (think AOS, SQL, SharePoint, Exchange, Lync, Office, ...) that can be customized, is accessible from anywhere and has the latest patches and updates. You even get a load of demo scenarios on top.
Actually, it's not limited to demo purposes. You can use is for virtually (get it ;-)) any purpose.
You can even think out loud about whole production Ax environments on Azure. Of go all fancy and make Azure your standby/failover for your on premise installation. Costly? Don't know, not according to MS: use the Azure capacity when you need it. If you don't need it, just shut it down and it won't cost you anything at that time.
Hope to report some more from the conference soon.