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Microsoft-hosted ERP: Still a mystery

Microsoft has been all over the map about whether it will offer self-hosted ERP.

Company CEO Steve Ballmer some years ago told solution provider partners that the vendor would offer self hosted ERP and CRM applications as needed. It was all about customer choice, he said.

Others at the company immediately downplayed that notion–at least vis-a-vis hosted ERP– saying  the model wasn’t cooked etc. etc.. It was not lost on those insiders how controversial that effort would be to existing partners who already hosted Microsoft Dynamics ERP.

At PDC 2008 last month, corporate vice president for Microsoft Online, Dave Thompson opened the door on the discussion again.

“So what is Microsoft Online? Very simply, it’s enterprise class software delivered via subscription services, hosted by Microsoft, and sold with partners. And today, we offer Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, CRM Online, OCS Online. We offer Exchange-Hosted Services, Office Live Meeting. But that’s really just the beginning. In the future, all our enterprise software will be delivered as an option as an online service. And the key value prop of Microsoft Online Services is that it provides the best experience. These are the richest collaboration tools, the market-leading collaboration tools, but they’re available in a much easier-to-use form, and easier to administer, and easier to buy. And they provide a faster way to get to that value. It’s easier to stay up to date because we do it for them, and they can deploy as an online service in minutes instead of months.” (italics mine.)

So here’s hoping that Steven Elop will address this issue Monday when he announces availability of Exchange Online and SharePoint Online.

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