Businesses are moving to the cloud at an increasingly rapid pace.  We’ve seen it first-hand with the popularity and market momentum of Dynamics CRM Online. Last quarter we reported that CRM Online revenue nearly doubled.  Even with this growing cloud momentum, we understand that each organization will take their own unique journey to the cloud in a way that makes the most sense for their business, their employees and their customers.   One of our strengths at Microsoft has been our ability to support organizations in their journey to the cloud, giving them choice and options on cloud deployment -- whether it be public cloud, partner hosted, or a self-hosted option.

Today, at our Worldwide Partner Conference in Orlando, we shared with our partners that we are adding a self-hosted option for customers by delivering certification for Dynamics CRM On-Premises running in a Microsoft Azure environment. This means customers will be able to run Dynamics CRM on Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Services (IaaS) with Azure Premium Storage for production workloads.

For customers who have requirements to maintain a deep level of IT management over their CRM deployment but want to take advantage of cloud speed, scale and economics, running Dynamics CRM on Azure is the perfect fit.  Customers will also benefit from the 99.9% SLA associated with Azure IaaS when running CRM as a production workload.

Not only do we offer choice with this self-hosted option and certification to run on Azure, but we also make it easy -- customers are a single click away from being deployed in the cloud.  And that goes for licensing as well -- customers who already have CRM licenses and are running CRM on premises in their own datacenter can now use those licenses to run their CRM instance on Azure. This is a tremendous advantage for customers who want to move to cloud computing but are unable to deploy a complete SaaS based solution like CRM Online.  Customers will also be able to continue to use their MSDN credits for running test workloads.  With this approach, Microsoft provides customers the ultimate flexibility when choosing a CRM deployment approach.

In my conversations with customers, I am hearing very positive feedback for this self-hosted option as they have shared that it’s a ‘great fit with our strategy’. Customers that need to remain on premises like the flexibility that they can start to take some advantage of the cloud by putting a test environment on Azure.

To simplify the deployment of Dynamics CRM on Azure IaaS we will offer streamlined deployment through Dynamics Lifecycle Services (LCS), which is our cloud based Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) utility for Dynamics customers.  Using LCS, customers will be able to deploy CRM on IaaS directly into their Azure subscription. Using LCS will markedly reduce manual deployment efforts, expended time and costs.

Dynamics CRM deployed on Azure IaaS qualifies for production support utilizing the Microsoft Dynamics Partner or Customer support offerings, including Microsoft Software Assurance.

With Dynamics CRM Online we offer our customers complete SaaS Service that is fully managed by Microsoft.  Bringing certification for Dynamics CRM to run on Azure IaaS offers diversity for customers that are taking their first steps to the cloud.  This is only the latest example of Microsoft working with our partners and customers to bring cloud-based business applications to organizations around the world – on their terms in a way that’s right for them.