Steve Sanderson
, April 22, 2022
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It seems like everyone has been preaching the benefits of the cloud for years. Tech marketers remind us that “everyone is in the cloud” and that it’s the only way to stay competitive: “if you’re not in the cloud, you might as well close up shop.” 

There is truth to what they tell us, and their message is going to keep getting louder until everyone’s on cloud 9. Don’t get me wrong, no one can predict the future, but we’ve seen first-hand how organizations are benefitting from moving to the Azure cloud. We’re also realistic and know that every company has a unique situation with specific needs and their reasons for staying on-prem are valid. 

We’re currently working with a food manufacturer that’s operated its ERP on Microsoft Dynamics AX2012 on premises for years. For various reasons it does not yet make sense for them to acquire and implement a new cloud-native ERP system. The question became – is there an intermediate step they can take to protect, maximize, and enhance their investment in the interim or for the foreseeable future? 

This is a situation that is more and more common given the proliferation of new technology available in cloud environments such as Microsoft Azure – a trend that will continue as computing becomes more cloud-centric. In addition, most companies find that in-house system support and risk management are bigger and bigger issues as time goes on. 

Food Manufacturer's Technology Obstacles 

Our food manufacturer’s primary challenges are uptime and system reliability. For example, they experience outages frequently due, in large part, to their geographic location. There are several other drivers as well, including: 

  • difficulty keeping up with operating system updates 
  • uncomfortable with disaster recovery capabilities 
  • need for proper maintenance and up-to-date security environment 
  • increased issues maintaining skillsets internally 
  • desire to focus people on more value-add tasks by offloading system management functions 

Manage-free System 

This customer chose to “lift and shift” their AX2012 system to the Azure cloud along with various other applications. Immediately, Azure provided them with an updated and constantly maintained operating system, disaster recovery, and improved their security situation. 

As a reputable Microsoft partner, they engaged our Alithya team to manage the system for them – which freed up their internal resources and ensured they had the required up-to-date skillsets needed to run smoothly and successfully. 

While cost was not a primary driver for this company, it became more transparent and consistent. The leadership and finance teams are excited to see this unexpected benefit from a hybrid cloud strategy. We get it, what business wants unpredictable costs? 

Although not at the top of this company’s drivers, we frequently see other objectives such as the ability to scale computing power up and down rapidly with great elasticity – almost zero lead time, improving mobility and collaboration - which is a huge new paradigm with so many people working remotely. Facilitate innovation to a much greater extent via toolsets and applications available with Azure such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, IoT and low code development environments that enable new applications to be rolled out for specific use cases much faster. 

This customer has a bright future ahead and we’re glad to help them modernize their ERP while extending the life and value of their Dynamics investment. 

Learn how we can help you make the move to the cloud by contacting us at for more information. 

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