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Bob Scott reporting in his weekly Insights column.

The hottest topic in the mid-market right now is Dynamics AX with Microsoft officially announcing this week the product will be available in the cloud in the first quarter. Since resellers are already live with early customers, this hardly seems like a surprise for much of the channel and the ongoing consolidation of the AX VAR market suggests players have been readying themselves. “We have invested in early access programs that have the service in the hands of hundreds of partners and have a record number of ISV solutions ready to go with the new Dynamics AX at launch,” wrote Mike Ehrenberg, chief technology officer for Microsoft Business Solutions. A blog post by Ehrenberg says the latest edition of AX will be available on the company’s new Edge browser and “all modern browsers” with and HTML5 client and will work with the major mobile platforms via an app called Continuum and has Office 365 and Skype integration. Ehrenberg also talked about the BI capabilities. “Dynamics AX, together with Azure SQL and Power BI, delivers near real-time analytics, embedded pervasively across the application,” he says. Subscription pricing is expected to be announced next month. I.B.I.S. founder Andy Vabulas, who recently sold his reselling business to India-based Sonata Software, says Dynamics AX 7 (the company dropped the number naming convention) changes the game. “With AX 7, it’s a managed services game,” Vabulas says. “They (Sonata) bring a world-class, managed services game to the market.”