Over the last few years we have been on a journey to reimagine how people benefit from business applications to be faster, more agile and productive and ultimately drive more growth within their organizations. Today, we are hitting one of the most significant milestones in that journey as we release the new Microsoft Dynamics AX to the world. In the past, these enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications were slow, complex, had long deployment cycles and, once deployed, hard to change and adapt to a company’s need for business innovation. ERP was essentially a system that people were forced to use – these systems didn’t help users perform better in their jobs. The new Dynamics AX breaks the paradigm of legacy ERP business applications. This is a cloud ERP service, that is built on and for the Azure cloud. It delivers a beautiful, intelligent UI that people love to use. It has contextual analytics that comes with the solution helping people make better and faster decisions. It offers scalability and the global availability of the cloud and it comes with one of the strongest partner ecosystems in the market today, so you can find the right solution for your specific need. In fact, today as we release the product, we have almost 50 curated solutions on the Azure marketplace that our customers can try out today. In essence, this is a game changing ERP service that people love to use, it is fast, flexible and is designed to grow as the business grows. As we designed the new Dynamics AX, our early adopter customers played a critical role in helping us develop this new release. We received feedback from cutting edge companies around the world that choose to run their operations on the new Dynamics AX, because they saw the positive impact it could have on their business. With today’s release of the product, we have companies from mid-sized to enterprise in every region of the world and across industries, from manufacturing to retail to professional services already running their business on the new Dynamics AX. The business processes these organizations support with the cloud service range from a single domain such as human resources to the complete end-to-end business operations. One of the very first companies running the new Dynamics AX in the cloud is the Italy based, UmbraG roup, a manufacturer that produces mechanical parts for the aeronautics, industrial and energy sectors. They have a central research center and four production facilities, including one in the United States and two in Germany. UmbraGroup adopted the new Dynamics AX to utilize the cloud, so they could have a trusted, single source of truth that provides all people in the organization with access to the right data, while simplifying IT infrastructure and reducing IT costs. Giacomo Bonora, application specialist at UmbraGroup, had this to say about Dynamics AX that really stood out for me. “It was time to rethink our internal processes – to reduce the IT complexity level in order to increase our flexibility and to distribute crucial information to any point in the company where it is needed. That we start this process with our ERP system is anything but a coincidence. Because the ERP is like a mirror – it precisely reflects your processing. So the rethinking has to start way before.” See a short video of UmbraGroup's use of Dynamics AX here Over the years, we’ve had a deep partnership with the Renault Sport Formula One Team. Based in Enstone, UK, they were one of the first customers to test out the new Dynamics AX cloud service and they proved to be a great fit and test case for us. Dynamics AX has enabled the Renault Sport Formula One Team to increase the speed of doing business. They were not only able to divert valuable resources from IT to work that would make their cars faster, but the new product has also helped Renault Sport Formula One team’s people be more productive by supplying intuitive analytics in a user-friendly interface that is available nearly anywhere and on any device, around the world – so they can be connected and have a pulse on their business while winning races. See a recent blog I wrote about my conversation with Thomas Mayer, COO of Renault Sport Formula One Team, here. Another customer I have had the pleasure of seeing benefit from the new Dynamics AX is Hagler Systems, an engineering and manufacturing company specializing in dredging and mining equipment. Hagler Systems is a fast growing company that works with large enterprise businesses all over the world, so they needed a system that could keep pace with them. Dynamics AX was the right fit. The new Dynamics AX gives Hagler an end-to-end solution from scouting opportunities with new customers to tracking the opportunities as they move into projects, monitoring the projects as they move through engineering, logging the bill of materials and overseeing the source suppliers and cost index. Dynamics AX helps them keep pace with their business. New people that are brought onboard, ramp up quickly on the organization’s processes. And above that, people just love the system. I was with Ben Hagler, Vice President of Hagler Engineering and Operations, a few days ago and speaking about one of the key benefits of the new Dynamics AX, he said, “As we move Dynamics AX into the cloud, my people can focus on the business and our customers instead of managing our infrastructure. Recently we had a power outage at the plant – our Microsoft Surface equipped engineers and planners simply set up their mobile phones as Wi-Fi hotspots, connected to Dynamics AX in the cloud and continued working” Read more on why Hagler systems choose Dynamics AX and some early benefits they are experiencing. The new Dynamics AX is just the beginning of what we will bring to market in the next year. We are developing this product now at cloud speed and delivering that to customers in a seamless way, so stay tuned for a lot more through the year. Try out the new Dynamics AX for yourself today and learn what it can do for your business. You can see our global virtual launch here http://aka.ms/axbreakouts and learn more about Dynamics AX at www.microsoft.com/dynamics/ax.