Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

Microsoft Dynamics Partner Events, Information and Tips

December, 2010

Posts
  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Looking Back at 2010 and Forward to 2011

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    It’s been another whirlwind year for the Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community. Today will be my last blog posting for 2010, and like last year I want to call out ten key initiatives, announcements, programs, etc. Again, five are from the past 12 months, while the others touch on hot topics for 2011.

    2010

    • Near the start of the year, we announced the launch of the Microsoft Dynamics Partner Academy. Within the academy, Microsoft offers a diverse range of role-based learning products designed to help you and your teams excel in key business disciplines.
    • Whilst not necessarily new to 2010, PartnerSource North America website was created in late 2009 to provide more country specific content to United States and Canadian partners. Make the switch from PartnerSource Global English today!
    • In the spring, Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 made its debut. To coincide with the new release, Microsoft introduced the 3 users for $1 promotion. Through this promotion many partners were able to spark the interest of many prospects that weren’t progressing through the sales cycle.
    • With the launch of Community 2.0 came a host of additions and upgrades, but for partners one of the most prized is the creation of the 'private partner ' community. The private partner community allows partners to consume sensitive content in the form of blogs, video and partner-to-partner interactions behind the wall.
    • On October 27, 2010, we announced enhancements to the Microsoft Dynamics Partner Strategy as part of the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN). As you may know many of these changes happen over the next several months. Please take some time to thoroughly review the content.

    2011

    • The much anticipated Business Leader Roadshow continues to build on the tradition of the ‘not-to-be-missed’ series by taking partner business owners to the heart of what the Cloud means to their Microsoft Dynamics practices. The workshops happen in January, so register today!
    • Join us online for the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 global launch event on Thursday, January 20, 2011. We will also have several Microsoft and partner-sponsored events across the United States.
    • Save the date and join us for Convergence 2011 April 10-13. Registration is now open.
    • Microsoft Dynamics SL 2011 is slated for release in the second quarter of 2011. Visit the launch portal on PartnerSource for key resources.
    • Microsoft Dynamics AX ‘6’ is planned for release in 2011. Review the current Statement of Direction for more information.

    As always, it’s been a pleasure serving you the latest and greatest Microsoft Dynamics news and insights through this blog, and I look forward to more in 2011!!!

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Where Were You 10 Years Ago Today? - "Microsoft to Acquire Great Plains Software Inc."

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    Wow! Time really flies by. I began my employment at Great Plains Software in April of 1998; therefore, I was still pretty much a newcomer at Great Plains in late 2000 when this announcement hit the newswires. If you want to take a nostalgic trip down memory lane you can find the official press release on the Microsoft News Center.

    Obviously, a lot has changed in the ERP and CRM industry since the announcement of the acquisition (it was officially completed in April 2001). And we’ve seen the mergers of numerous software vendors over the last decade, including Microsoft’s purchase of Navision in 2002.

    As a Microsoft Dynamics partner, if you have any stories you’d like to share related to the acquisitions, feel free to add a comment or two.

    Also, take an additional light-hearted trip down the "GP logo memory lane" by visiting David Musgrave’s blog posting on the Developing for Dynamics GP blog.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Microsoft Dynamics December 2010 News & Highlights

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    Wondering what the hot topics are for the month of December? Worried you have to sift through volumes of articles on various websites? Don’t worry. We have answers. Take a time out and watch our Microsoft Dynamics December 2010 PartnerSource North America Highlights video. You’ll receive a quick update in less than 3 minutes!

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    "Jump Start" Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step for Small Business Partners

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    This new "Jump Start" user guide provides Microsoft Dynamics small business partners with a simple and easily accessible guide to the Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step methodology.

    If you are not familar with Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step, this document does a great job of explaining the methodology at a high level, especially for small and mid-sized partners.

    The user guide should be regarded as a supplement to the existing materials and it contains a number of document templates for use in Microsoft Dynamics projects. The templates in some cases are adapted to requirements of "Small Business" customers.

    Visit PartnerSource to download the user guide.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Join Us: 2011 Business Leader Roadshow

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    Our fabulous partner readiness and training team passes along this information regarding some great training taking place next month. This workshop enters its third year, and always receives favorable feedback from partners!

    You’ve heard the buzz about ’the Cloud’… but what does that really mean to you as a Microsoft Dynamics partner? Where do ERP and CRM fit and how quickly will customers adopt these solutions in a cloud environment? This year’s much anticipated Business Leader Roadshow continues to build on the tradition of the ‘not-to-be-missed’ series by taking partner business owners to the heart of what the Cloud means to their Microsoft Dynamics practices. Led jointly by Microsoft and Salesworks the one-and-a-half day session will to help you chart a plan for a Cloud-based practice that makes the most of market opportunities today and in the future.

    You will Learn:

    • Where the Microsoft Dynamics solutions fit in Microsoft’s Cloud Strategy
    • How the Cloud will affect a fundamental paradigm shift in customer buying behavior and how you do business
    • What a business transition to the Cloud looks like
    • How to assess where you stand today and how you can prepare for where you want to be tomorrow
    • How to optimize to reduce costs and achieve maximum efficiencies

    Target Audience

    Microsoft Dynamics Partners who are engaged in senior leadership roles, owners and board of director members.

    Price $250 USD NOTE: Space is Limited!

    Preliminary Agenda

    Day 1: 1:00pm– 6:00pm & 6:30-9:00 Evening Reception

    • Microsoft Dynamics and the Cloud
    • Key Trend Lines and Observations
    • Competitive Landscape
    • Market Opportunity
    • Assessing Where you Fit Today and Where You Need to Go

    Day 2: 8:30am – 4:00pm

    • Microsoft Support for Transitioning to the Cloud
    • Operational and Financial Models in a Cloud Environment
    • Key Performance Indicators and the P&L Transition Over Five Years
    • Optimizing the Sales & Marketing Functions
    • Compensation and Incentive Structures
    • Service Impacts in the Cloud
    • Outsourced Functions
    • Putting it all Together

    *Agenda subject to some change.

    Visit the Partner Learning Center to register or learn more.

    Locations and Dates

    Microsoft Office
    Irvine, California
    January 12 – 13, 2011

    Microsoft Office
    Chicago, Illinois
    January 19 – 20, 2011

    Microsoft Office
    Tampa, Florida
    January 26 – 27, 2011

    Hurry! Space is limited so register today.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Registration Now Open for Convergence 2011 - Download Partner Marketing Resources

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    Register now for Convergence 2011 and encourage your customers to do the same! Research shows that customers who attend Convergence with their partners invest more money and have a higher level of satisfaction with the software and services they purchase. This year Convergence, the premier Microsoft Dynamics event, will be held April 10–13, 2011, at the Georgia World Congress Center. Bring your customers and take advantage of this huge opportunity to boost your revenue and strengthen customer relationships.

    The Convergence 2011 theme is Connect | Discover | Exceed—three words that tell the story of what attendees will experience at this annual event. Partners, customers, and Microsoft team members CONNECT with one another to reinforce and extend their Microsoft Dynamics communities. Attendees DISCOVER new information, best practices, and skills. As a result, Convergence becomes a springboard for greater success, helping attendees EXCEED their goals and expectations for what they can accomplish with the power of their Microsoft Dynamics solution and the full range of Microsoft products.

    Start by generating excitement with your customers and encouraging them to attend. Download a "Save the Date" customer email invitation and other marketing templates.

    Learn more at the Convergence website.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Realizing the Benefits of the Lead Referral Program as an Existing Microsoft Dynamics Partner

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    On August 2010, we launched a new marketing initiative labeled the Microsoft Dynamics Lead Referral Program to increase our lead flow by creating a financial incentive for partners who currently do not focus on Microsoft Dynamics, to forward such opportunities to Microsoft. The Microsoft Dynamics Lead Referral program offers partners who meet the program requirements up to $20,000 in compensation when they submit new leads that result in sales transactions within 12 months. The Referral fee is calculated as 5% of Microsoft’s billed revenue up to a maximum of $20,000.

    Learn more about the Lead Referral Program by watching the video found on the Microsoft Dynamics Partner Strategy page on PartnerSource.

    "The Microsoft Dynamics Lead Referral Program has given us a much better way to refer leads to other Microsoft Dynamics partners. Previously, we had to seek out other VAR’s on our own, negotiate case by case terms, and then manage each of these relationships. The program is much easier with a lot less administrative overhead on our part."

    "We occasionally get leads that are outside our region or skill set. We are glad to have an easy channel where we can refer a lead to a partner better equipped to meet their needs. We realize that the more quality implementations of Microsoft Dynamics that take place, the better it is for all Microsoft Dynamics partners."

    Valerie Huffman, Vice President
    KeyQuestConsulting, LLC

    The program covers the current Microsoft Dynamics solutions, regardless of whether the transaction happens in Volume Licensing, goes through the Microsoft Dynamics price list, or if it is sold as an on-premise or online offering. Solutions sold through the Service Provider License Agreement are not eligible for Referral fees though, as the SPLA partner is viewed as the licensee. Referrals pertaining to customers in the public sector are also excluded from this program for legal compliance reasons.

    Getting started as a referral partner is easy, and only requires that partners have an active status in the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN). Partners can be at any level in MPN, and are not required to have a competency of any kind. Organizations that do not have an active status in MPN, can easily sign up via the MPN site in minutes.

    As an existing Microsoft Dynamics partner there are multiple ways for you to actively participate in the program through the submission of leads.

    1. Build your vertical specialization and grow your trusted advisor status by helping your customers get access to other Microsoft Dynamics partners who specialize in selling and implementing CRM or ERP solutions in specific industries or verticals outside of your business’ core competency. For example, if you are a manufacturing focused partner, and you uncover a banking industry opportunity, it may be advantageous for you to use the referral system to assign this lead to a partner focused on the banking/finance industry. Also, by building vertical expertise in your organization, it may increase the likelihood that you will receive a qualified lead from Microsoft submitted by a referral partner.
    2. Extend your customers’ entire Microsoft Dynamics solution. As a partner focused specifically on Microsoft Dynamics ERP, you can use the program to connect with CRM partners if your customers indicate a need for a CRM solution. The same scenario would apply for CRM customers seeking ERP functionality.
    3. The program is global. As a partner based in the United States, you can submit leads for international companies. This is especially beneficial if your company does not have a global presence or the ability to handle an implementation overseas.
    4. Help determine the best fit ERP solution. Each of the Microsoft Dynamic ERP products has strengths that lend themselves to specific customer needs. The Lead Referral Program offers partners an opportunity to refer prospective customers that are in need of a Microsoft Dynamics product they are not authorized to sell and service to a partner that is certified to deliver the required solution to meet the customer’s requirements.

    Additionally, for Microsoft Dynamics partners that have great direct individual partner-to-partner (P2P) models in place, the referral model may not be the best option at this point. Either way, we encourage Microsoft partners to pass ERP/CRM leads directly to other qualified partners or through the Lead Referral Program.

    Finally, take some time to study an overview of the new Microsoft Partner Network, and specifically the Microsoft Dynamics ERP and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Competencies. This PartnerSource page includes a Presentation Deck and a Guidebook with details around the program and an FAQ that answers many of the questions you may have related to training and sales requirements to continue your current status with Microsoft.

    You can sign up for the Lead Referral Program through PartnerSource or on the MPN portal.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Microsoft Partner Development Centers Help Grow Your Organization

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    Here is what Microsoft partners have to say about the success and growth they have found utilizing the training and coaching services offered by the Microsoft Partner Development Centers (PDC).


    You can find additional PDC success stories on PartnerSource.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Early Adopter Program for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

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    Developing solutions for Microsoft Dynamics CRM just became even more enticing!

    The first 100 partners who complete self-testing on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 beta and profile their solutions on the Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace will receive a $400 voucher to be used toward the Certified for Microsoft Dynamics (CfMD) CRM 2011 accreditation.

    Visit PartnerSource to review Terms & Conditions as well as additional information.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Certified for Microsoft Dynamics Taken to the Next Level

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    Doug Kennedy, Vice President, Microsoft Dynamics Partners, has provided a very insightful update regarding the Certified for Microsoft Dynamics (CfMD) program. Please take the opportunity to educate yourself on the announcement by visiting PartnerSource.

    --Kevin

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