As usual this year, hidden in the deluge of press releases and publicity material produced by Microsoft over the course of Convergence, there were a few gems that it took a while to uncover. One such gem was the keynote from Kirill Tatarinov, president, Microsoft Business Solutions, who had a lot to say about Dynamics, and the cloud.

Dynamics Roadmap

We’re always interested in both areas, but put them together and you get something really interesting. In fact, what Tatarinov’s speech amounted to was a walk down the roadmap for delivering Dynamics in the cloud.

Needless to say, the roadmap does not come with precise dates or functionality lists, but it is instructive and does show where Microsoft is going to take this over the next year.

According to Tatarinov, the first wave of changes that will lead to the cloud will target the SMB market, while the second will expand those offerings to enterprises. The idea, he said, is to provide businesses with dynamic software for agile business.

Dynamic Business Updates

The first thing he said about the coming year is that, by the end of the calendar year 2012, Dynamics AX 2012, which was introduced in the fall, along with AX 2012 for Retail launched last year, will all be updated.

Dynamics AX 2012 R2 will be available worldwide in Q4 calendar year 2012 and according to Tatarinov will come with multichannel retail capabilities with Web-based storefronts as well as role-tailored in-context business intelligence using SQL Servers .

Microsoft also announced that both Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 and Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 will be cloud-ready for Azure and optimized for SMBs by Q4 of this year.

Additional releases include Dynamics NAV 2013, which is expected to launch in May coming while Dynamics AX will evolve as an enterprise cloud service offering from Microsoft, although when exactly this will happen was not mentioned.

In keeping with Microsoft’s commitment to release updates to its cloud services twice every year, Tatarinov also said that the next release of the CRM service update will be available by Q4 and that it will deliver capabilities in social customer care and cloud-based data enrichment services.

Independent Software Vendors

But it’s not just the products that will be upgraded, Microsoft’s independent software vendor ecosystem will also get some attention between now and end of the year.

He said the ecosystem for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 will offer multiple vertical services hosted on Windows Azure to provide users with specialized services to cater for those verticals.

Tatarinov also announced a social intelligence alliance with InsideView that will allow customers to use the InsideView platform within Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

This will enable users to analyze social media and user-contributed, traditional and proprietary editorial information to provide insights about their customers within Microsoft

Dynamics CRM

And yes, there was a bit of bragging too. Tatarinov also told the audience that Dynamics CRM adoption has now hit 33,000 customers with 2.25 million users. Even the Lotus F1 Team has invested in Dynamics

Dynamics is one of the favorite Microsoft product collections and news of the upcoming additions is always interesting. We’ll be following up on this as product upgrades happen so watch this space.