We’re going to take this in two steps. We’ll begin with what Microsoft is up to with its enterprise resource planning (ERP) products and the cloud, and then we’ll have a chuckle at the enterprise customers that it is catering to. I bet they still use IE6.

ZDNet has a fascinating walk through of Microsoft’s plan to bring its ERP products to the cloud, which we recommend heartily. However, reading 650 words on enterprise migration might be a bit much for all, so we’re going to summarize it for you:

  • Microsoft is bringing all four of its Dynamics ERP products to Azure;
  • Microsoft wants to move its ERP customers to the cloud, as part of its larger cloud push;
  • Dynamics NAV 7, out later this year, will be released on both the cloud and traditionally at the same time;
  • Cloud versions of Microsoft’s ERP products will have exclusive tie-ins to other products;
  • Finally, Microsoft ERP releases will eventually come to the cloud first, and then to on-premises customers. 

Simple enough, right? We think so. If you are confused, read the bullets again. Here’s why we are bringing this to you, assuming that you are not in fact thinking about moving an enterprise to cloud based ERP solutions: it highlights how technologies such as cloud computing/SaaS/PaaS and so forth can permeate one sector of the technology world, and lag heavily in another.

Startups have taken to cloud solutions like bees to fresh flowers. In comparison, Microsoft has to essentially ease enterprise clients onto the cloud using an inclined plane so slight that they will never notice what is coming, until it is too late. This also says much about what Microsoft is doing in a larger sense: from its startup-focused BizSpark program, to moves such as this ERP migration plan, the company has to be all things to all companies. It’s no wonder that Microsoft divisions are famed for their ability to get along.

Enterprise news can be dull, but it often contains grains of larger truths that can be fantastically elucidatory. You know the phrase, read between lines.