So yesterday was the first of many Dynamics Developer Briefings, in Sydney, and well, let's just say, we had what we call in the bizness, some ill communication!

Picture this.

We kick of the session. I fire up my VPC images, Visual Studio 2008 B2, welcome the audience, then introduce the session:

Dave - "So today we're going to look at how to develop solutions using Visual Studio 2008 and NAV 5.0"

So far so good, until a gentleman in the crowd shoots his hand up and asks:

Gentleman from Crowd - Um, are you going to be showing CRM?

Dave - "Um, no..."

At this point, I quickly survey the crowd, and everyone except me and Kat looks completely perplexed. It's that look you give the Jehovah's Witness folks who knock on your door pretending to be holiday consultants, when they slip you the Watchtower magazine hidden amongst Hayman Island brochures!

So I quickly check, who's come to see a NAV 5.0 developer session?

No one puts there hands up.

Who's come to see a CRM session?

Everyone puts their hands up.

Now, in defense of the audience, the abstract I had sent to the event folks, explicitly stated NAV, the blurb that made it's way to the rego site changed NAV to Dynamics.

So I ask the crowd, why did everyone think it was a CRM session?

And the simple answer was, because to them, Dynamics = CRM.

It's a fair call. To a lot of developers, the Dynamics brand is not well known. I've had customers and partners tell me that they thought Dynamics was a completely different company, not even a Microsoft product range!

So let me break it down for peeps, so they have a bit of a battle card when it comes to the question, "What is Dynamics?"

  • Dynamics used to be called MBS
  • It is a division within Microsoft that focuses on business solutions, and is owned and staffed by Microsoft'ees!
  • They have a bunch of products in their stable:
    • AX - ERP product and platform
    • CRM - Relationship Management product and platform
    • GP - Financial product and platform
    • NAV - ERP product and platform
    • Point of Sale - POS System
    • RMS - Retail Management System
    • SL - Professional Services solution
    • Snap - Framework for Information Workers to access Dynamics information through snap-ins
  • Almost all of the Dynamics products have a .NET interface
    • Some are richer than others
  • In Australia, as in the rest of the world, Dynamics products have a great install base
  • There is heaps of scope to build complimentary product offerings on top of Dynamics products

Anyhoo, I still think the session was worthwhile, mainly because afterwards I had some great chats with some of the attendees about solutions that they are building that could really benefit by leveraging the Dynamics platform. And I'm absolutely sure that everyone walked out with a new view of the Dynamics brand.

So next time someone mentions Dynamics in a conversation, drop some learnings! Trust me, you'll look 10 years younger and probably even get an immediate promotion! (Actual results may vary)