Dynamics 365 for Operations Cloud Vs OnPremise November 2017 Comparison

Dynamics 365 for Operations Cloud Vs OnPremise November 2017 Comparison

“The new November version of Dynamics Operations On-Prem was a big improvement.  While I still don’t consider it production ready, I believe that we are getting very close.  The purpose of this article is to provide an objective rating comparison, so as to help people make an informed decision.  Please note that these are my opinions only.” — Current as of November 2017

Dynamics 365 For Operations vs OnPremise November 2017 Rating

D365 For OnPrem Vs Cloud Comparison November 2017

The harshest opinions of all are from the people who work on the systems.  But I wanted to give everyone an independent, non-sales fluff review from someone who’s livelihood actually depends on this stuff successfully working.

Dynamics 365 Operations OnPremises Overview

Dynamics 365 for Operations On-Premise is a newcomer in the market, which was launched after a near customer revolt at Microsoft.  It allows for implementations to have more control over their day to day operations and Dynamics 365 for Operations Key Benefits

  • As of November 2017, it has almost caught up with the cloud version in features
  • Far more control over Real-Time Production Level Stability
  • More Options for external Software and ISV’s
  • Far more control over special security requirements
  • It is cheaper than the cloud version (though still a price hike from AX 2012)
  • Hidden Premier Support Agreement not there

Dynamics 365 for Operations On Premise Reservations

  • Lack of Microsoft Buy In.  Run into a serious issue and watch Microsoft put Used Car Salesmen to shame with high pressure sales techniques encouraging you that the ultimate fix is to go cloud.
  • It isn’t ready for Go-Live yet.  Big improvements were made in the November  release, but I feel like we need a little more before being production ready.
  • With the benefits of customization, there are also the disadvantages.  Your hardware should at least perform as well as Azure before you implement this.
  • Longer Setup times for an initial implementation.  For example, an update broke the last version of the install and it took 3 months to fix.
  • To get an onpremise development scenario to fully work, you have to do bunches of workarounds that Microsoft is completely unaware of.  I spent over 100 hours getting through bunches of workarounds so that I could get a team to develop and fully move code in the On-Premise situation with integrations.

Some Helpful Links for Dynamics 365 On-Premise

Dynamics Operations OnPremise Opinion

Having personally spent a lot of time working with Dynamics Operations On-Premise, I would not deploy it’s current version to production, but I can see the “light at the end of the tunnel.”  Microsoft made major progress between the July and November release.

For those implementations who have invested a lot of money in staff, hardware, and infrastructure, this is a very welcomed addition.

Many customers have valid reasons for being onpremise, but lack of support for a product that they purchased, shouldn’t even be an issue.  However, sadly, right now, it’s a big issue for Dynamics Operations On Premise Customers.

It’s a good product, but my biggest worry is about Microsoft’s overall commitment to supporting it.  Time will prove this out Dynamics 365 Operations Cloud Overview Dynamics 365 for Operations cloud has been around for nearly 2 years.  After initial poor sales, it has really gained momentum during the last few months.It removes many of the hassles with having to maintain infrastructure and offers a low cost of entry with standing up an implementation.

Dynamics 365 for Operations Cloud Key Benefits

  • As of November 2017, it has more features than the On Premise Version
  • Small and Financials Only Implementations love it
  • Strong Commitment and buy in by Microsoft
  • Quicker to scale than Dynamics Operations On-Premise Version
  • Far less workaround than the Dynamics Operations On-Premise version

Dynamics 365 for Operations Cloud Reservations

  • No Independent Cloud Methodology Readiness Assessment before switching.  It’s so bad to skip these.  It’s like gambling the success of a million dollar system to save a few thousand dollars.
  • Hardware Costs do not equivocate.  Many implementations make the mistake of comparing the two infrastructures like for like.   Many times the features in the cloud don’t compare to the existing setups.   If you have to keep your existing infrastructure, than the cloud won’t save money.  It will add a lot of spending.
  • With the benefits of standardization, there are also disadvantages.  Standardizing means that you will have many incompatibilities with various applications running.  Sometimes, these are mission critical applications that aren’t easily replaced.  This is a common reason for implementation costs spiraling.
  • Uptime with plants in slow internet connectivity areas.  This is a tough one.

Some Helpful Links for Dynamics 365 Cloud

Dynamics Operations Cloud Opinion

Having personally spent a lot of time also working with Dynamics Operations Cloud, I would proceed to go live with the current version.  However, I have a strong caveat.  Any organization switching to the cloud needs to not listen to sales people and instead follow cloud best practice methodology.

Every failure implementation that I’ve heard of for D365 cloud did not do an initial best practice assessment for cloud readiness before implementing.

Plenty of good organizations offer these.   I’d highly suggest retaining an independent one.

It’s a good product, but my biggest fear is that the sales process has masked some of the realities that are needed to prepare for a successful Dynamics 365 for Operations Cloud deployment.  If certain conditions are not met beforehand, an ERP implementation won’t be successful no matter who is working on it.


4 thoughts on “Dynamics 365 for Operations Cloud Vs OnPremise November 2017 Comparison

  1. Kris Weiskittel says:


    Thanks for this comparison. I’m curious how you would explain the “Microsoft Help” and “Real time issue resolution” categories… I find it interesting the Cloud option wins the MS Help category, yet OnPrem wins the Real-time issue category. I tend to view the two categories as one if you will.


    • Brandon Ahmad CEO Instructor Brandon
      Brandon Ahmad says:

      Beautiful Question. That was a tough one. As of now, the Microsoft help for On-Prem is bad. Microsoft has made it quite clear to a number of companies that they are cloud first, and that On-Prem support is the second priority, like frequently telling paying customers that their problems are because they want to go on premise. So, Microsoft help is very shaky as of now which is why I rated it so bad for On-Prem.

      But an On-Prem does offer one key advantage over the microsoft cloud. In the Azure cloud model, a customer is sharing the support staff or paying a very high amount of money for a dedicated resource. In On-Prem, someone internal or external, has the ability to fix many of the real day to day issues and learn about the implementation (possibly through years with a company) intimately, which helps resolution speed. Plus, many of the lockdowns, such as SQL troubleshooting tools, in the cloud version are not there, which gives an implementation a tremendous advantage in choosing quality of service providers.

      This isn’t just a challenge with Dynamics 365, however. It’s well known that companies who’ve invested in specialized long-term service often have losses of quality when going to a shared model of service delivery.

      Hopefully, this explains the basis for my rating. I took into account that most onprem companies have dedicated staff or small providers that handle production.

      • Kris Weiskittel says:

        Thanks Brandon.

        I think one of my biggest concerns with the Cloud/Azure model is the lack of back-end access, which I personally use quite often for troubleshooting (I’m sure you can relate). I would also miss the ability to use more traditional tools, such as T-SQL, to directly query the DAX database for things like Data Warehousing and Integrations. Clearly there are other tools, newer ones, that can replace T-SQL etc; but so many DAX experts have decades of experience with the traditional tool set. I like how the traditional tools seem to use less overhead and provide for more of a “not Dynamics oriented” solution set. For some reason I like having solutions that don’t rely on MSFT directly or something in Dynamics (other than the data itself).

        My #1 concern with the Cloud/Azure option is having to rely on MSFT for support, troubleshooting and timely resolution for various issues that come up each day. I’m truly worried about the customer/user experience in that regard.

        • Brandon Ahmad CEO Instructor Brandon
          Brandon Ahmad says:

          You aren’t alone Kris. That’s been the main concern of every organization that I’ve talked with who has made an extensive investment in the skillsets of the staff or infrastructure to maintain certain levels of service, and Microsoft has had a lot of trouble with convincing them that the cloud experience would equivocate.

          Oddly enough, Microsoft sponsored a very famous paper saying that security, not loss of skill, uptime, or costs/roi was the top concern in going to the cloud. My experience seems to be different. Check out Figure 19 of the paper.

          The Economics of the Cloud Microsoft White Paper

          Very interesting..

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