Another Step for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central – On-Prem, In The Cloud, and Hybrid Deployment

Microsoft took another step forward in their customer journey to the cloud – and beyond (said in my best Buzz Lightyear voice) with their announcement in July of the full suite of options for deployment of Dynamics products moving forward.  (Article from Microsoft here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/business-applications-release-notes/October18/dynamics365-business-central/ ).

Customers no longer have to follow the path of technology at technologies pace, but can now decide where THEY want to place their deployment: in the true cloud (SaaS), in a hybrid model, or fully on-premise.  In the recent past, some products have tried to force customers to one side or the other, based on the technology of the solution being offered.  NO MORE!  The customer grabs control back from the technology momentum wheel, and can “have it their way” (sing it like a Burger King jingle) when it comes to their next iteration of Dynamics.

For the early adopters, the SaaS version of Dynamics 365 Business Central is a natural fit, and rests heavily on the Microsoft 365 technology stack, leveraging Microsoft tools that most people use every day; Office, Excel, Skype, Teams, Yammer, …you get the idea.  It’s a connected Microsoft world.

For the folks who just want to dip their foot in the cloud experience, a hybrid model allows them to push some functionality “cloudward”, while keeping some on-prem.  The functionality that goes to the cloud is fully protected under the Microsoft Azure security model and complies with the alphabet of security requirements across the globe (GDFR, SOC1, SOC2, and more.  Many, many more…).  That alone may be enough of a driver for some businesses to think “cloud first”.  If not, then the same rules still apply to the on-prem deployment, it’s just up to the IT staff in the organization to manage compliance of the on-prem deployment. The fully connected Microsoft world still applies here too.

For the completely “cloud-averse”, the option to stay on-prem is still an option!  Those customers can still benefit from the enhancements and upgrades in the ever-evolving world of Dynamics products but can stay happily terra firma and revel in their late adoption.  Heck, Microsoft might even enable texting for their flip phones if they have time.  Or in a slightly more realistic scenario, an ISV Partner could provide an Extension to do even more with the flippers.  The world is always changing.  The fully connected Microsoft world applies here too, with some version reference consideration.

As with anything in life, we get the privilege of dealing with the consequences of our choices, but the cool part remains – we STILL have choices!  Partners and customers alike can now get back to the business of business, and ignore the clucking of the cloud “Chicken Little’s”.  The sky is NOT falling, you don’t HAVE to move to the cloud right now, and yes, you CAN explore your options and STILL get the latest and greatest from Dynamics at whatever pace fits you and your organization best.

A game changer in the deployment discussion!


Original Post from Microsoft:

Business Central everywhere – cloud, hybrid, and on-premises availability

Business Central gets an on-premises deployment option that serves as a successor to Dynamics NAV. In other words, rather than a new version number for Dynamics NAV, customers can get Business Central on-premises. The experience for partners and customers on-premises is no different from the familiar Dynamics NAV upgrades, except for the change in name. This is a convergence point for Dynamics SMB products—going forward, they are all considered customers of Business Central, in the cloud or on-premises, even if they are running differently branded products such as Dynamics SL, Dynamics GP, and older versions of Dynamics NAV.