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    August 17, 2023

    All Paths Lead to the Cloud: Empowering Efficiency, Profitability and Security with Microsoft Azure Hosting

    This is the last article in our series about the many benefits and potential risks of moving your existing on-premises ERP system like Dynamics GP, NAV, SL or AX to Enavate’s fully managed Cloud Hosted in Microsoft Azure, the world’s leading Cloud solution for business. Topics included: 

    Cloud-based ERP isn’t just a passing fad—it’s the superior option for any company looking to boost worker efficiency, increase profits, and keep their data safe. In this blog, we’ll explore how hosting your ERP solution on Microsoft Azure can help with all three.  

    Disruption is the New Normal 

    A global pandemic, increasingly frequent climate catastrophes, war in Eastern Europe, a fluctuating global economy: all of these things have created significant challenges for businesses in recent years. And if you’ve been using a traditional on-premises ERP solution, Microsoft announcing the end of mainstream support for many of those solutions is yet another disruption.  

    To deal with this disruption, you have three options: 

    1. Maintain as-is 
    2. Upgrade to a Dynamics 365 solution 
    3. Migrate to a managed Cloud environment 

    Staying the course means that for those of you using SL and NAV, you won’t have mainstream support from Microsoft should any issues arise, and there won’t be any more updates to improve performance. You can make it work for the time being, but it’s essentially punting your ERP decision for another day.  For those of you using GP, that application is part of the Microsoft Modern Lifecycle and will be supported for at least another five years. 

    The other two options would both get you onto the Cloud. You can make the full leap to a Dynamics 365 solution, or if you like what you have and want to increase security, eliminate the need to manage your IT environment and protect your investment, you can migrate it to Enavate’s fully managed Cloud environment in Azure. 

    Preventing Downtime 

    Moving to the Cloud can help you avoid the typical nightmares that can plague any business, such as service interruptions and downtime. If your systems aren’t up and running, you can’t service your customers, and you end up losing revenue. If you experience downtime too often, or at a particularly high-volume time, you can earn a bad reputation that may be hard to shake. And when your employees have to spend time rebuilding systems or explaining to their customers that they can't properly service them, they get stressed, discouraged, and burnt out, leading to expensive staff churn.  


    According to a recent study by Atlassian, the average cost of downtime for small businesses can be as much as $427 per minute. For large businesses, it reaches as high as $9,000 per minute. Suffice it to say, you want to avoid downtime as much as possible. Enavate’s fully managed Cloud solution can help. 

    First of all, Enavate monitors and manages all components 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Our teams stay on top of any issues that arise and typically resolve the problem before users even notice something’s wrong. We also fully test the configurations and interoperability of your environment before we put it into production.  

    We use Microsoft Azure’s data centers, which are the most secure in the world and not prone to impact from outside factors, such as cyber-attacks. And since we’ve been hosting Microsoft Dynamics applications for more than a decade, we’ve developed and refined best practices that let you focus on your business instead of IT. 

    Successful Backups and Restores 

    Another huge nightmare is when a data backup fails or when data can’t be restored. This can happen for a number of reasons, such as media failure, human error (e.g., forgetting to run backups or test restores), and patch-related misconfigurations that can cause malfunctions. And even if everything goes right with a data restore, recovery can take much longer when you’re working with a traditional on-premises solution than would be in the Cloud. 

    With Enavate’s Cloud solution, you can use Cloud-native backup services that provide the most reliable way to continuously back up your data. These backups are always tested and confirmed so that they work when you need them, and we can help you with customized backup strategies to fit your specific data needs.  

    Protecting Against Ransomware 

    It’s a common misconception that only “the big companies” are targeted by cyber-criminals. In reality, the 2021 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report found that 1 in 5 breach victims were SMBs, with an average loss of $21,659. And according to recent research, 82% of all ransomware attacks target small businesses. Why? Because the perpetrators don’t want to call too much attention to themselves by hitting a big jackpot. According to one ransomware gang member, “It is better to quietly receive stable small sums from mid-sized companies.” 

    Enavate’s API-driven Cloud services significantly reduce your burden on keeping your infrastructure and software secure in the Cloud. We patch your servers regularly, provide multifactor authentication to prevent bad actors from accessing your environment and use advanced threat detection to identify anomalies and zero-day attacks. Plus, Azure meets the requirements for over 200 regulatory compliance challenges, and it comprises over 250 products supported by over 4,000 security engineers. 

    Azure Managed Services 

    According to Statista, almost 70% of organizations worldwide use Microsoft Azure for their Cloud services. That includes 90% of the Fortune 100 and 95% of the Fortune 500. And it’s no wonder so many companies trust Microsoft, considering they invest $1 billion in Azure security every year. 

    The Enavate Cloud is the only Cloud platform built by a security vendor. The Azure managed services we offer include: 

    • 24/7/365 monitoring and management, which includes the servers, the operating system, and your SQL environment. We also deploy tools such as file and memory scans, code emulation, anomaly detection, and heuristics and signatures, all of which can help resolve issues before your business is affected. 
    • A client portal where you can initiate and check on the status of your support tickets  
    • Cost prediction and optimization tools that can help manage your monthly usage to generate the maximum return on your investment.   
    • Business continuity and disaster recovery tools that will keep your system available to users whenever and wherever they need access. 
    • Quarterly environment reviews and workshops with a dedicated service delivery manager who will serve as your primary point of contact for all things Cloud. 

    For system backups, we offer: 

    • A daily system snapshot that’s retained for six days 
    • A weekly snapshot every Sunday that’s retained for five weeks 
    • Daily review of backup monitors to verify successful completion of all backup jobs 

    For SQL database backups, we offer: 

    • Hourly transaction log backups that are retained for seven days 
    • Daily differential backups that are retained for seven days 
    • Weekly full database backups that are retained for five weeks 
    • Automatically generated failure notifications that are immediately reviewed by our operations team 

    There are six core benefits of hosting your Dynamics application with us: 

    1. You no longer have to spend time and money maintaining your in-house servers and software, which allows you to focus on your business. 
    2. Guaranteed 99.95% uptime – that’s less than 23 minutes of downtime per month. And most of our clients don’t experience downtime at all. 
    3. All data backups are fully tested, ensuring that you can recover your data quickly. 
    4. Tight integration with other Cloud products and solutions. 
    5. Scalability that will allow you to grow your business without worrying about your IT infrastructure. 
    6. We are experts in both ERP software and IT and we know your applications and infrastructure. 

    Ready to Migrate? 

    The migration process with Enavate is comprised of three steps: 

    1. Assess and plan 
    2. Test and migrate 
    3. Optimize and manage 


    Assess and plan 

    The Enavate team uses a combination of software tools and consultancy best practices to discover what applications can be migrated, their current configurations, the people that will be impacted and the dependencies of the application(s). The result is a comprehensive plan for what to do with the application and the expectations on availability and functionality. 

    Test and migrate 

    First, we set up Azure subscriptions using best practices for security, connectivity, policies and general governance prior to migration to ensure that customers are using Azure correctly from the start. Then we perform the migration using the prescribed method identified in the assessment plan: rehost, retire, replace, rearchitect or retain. Finally, we evaluate and test to ensure the migrated application meets the criteria outlined in the assessment. 

    Optimize and manage 

    Once you’ve migrated to the Cloud, we regularly review your usage and adjust computing resources as necessary to help you minimize the total cost of ownership (TCO).  

    Selecting Your Cloud Partner 


    State of Affairs – Is Tech Meeting the Changing Needs of Business? 

    When selecting your Cloud partner, you should look for a vendor with Azure experience, including Dynamics ERP in Azure. They should also be skilled at identifying and procuring the right amount and mix of Azure solutions for your organization. They should have the right tools to properly manage your Azure environment, and they should also provide managed services.  

    To hear the full discussion about managing your Azure environment, download the webinar on-demand. 

    If you’re ready to migrate, with one of our experts, reach out today!

    Tag(s): cloud

    Bill Moore

    Bill Moore has spent his entire career helping clients utilize technology to reduce cost, improve productivity and profitability, and enhance security. For the past 10 years, he has helped clients achieve this by migrating applications and data to the Cloud.

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