Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

Microsoft Dynamics Partner Events, Information and Tips

March, 2012

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  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2012 Awards Program – Nominations Now Open

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    One of the great things I really enjoy about the WPC Partner Awards is, to participate; partners must submit the nominations themselves. What better way than for you to express the awesomeness of your own organizations and/or solutions?!

    As explained on Digital WPC, award recognition sets you apart from the pack, generates buzz, and showcases best-in-class solutions. Learn about what Partner Awards mean for the companies who have submitted nominations. There are dozens of categories, including some new ones for 2012 suggested by partners. It’s an honor your customers will notice. Review the nomination process at Digital WPC and get a head start on writing your self-nominations. Submit now through April 15, 2012.

    Microsoft Dynamics related Award Categories

    Emerging Technologies and Innovation Awards

    • Microsoft Cloud Partner of the Year
    • Microsoft Dynamics Cloud Business Excellence Partner of the Year
    • Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace Solution Excellence Partner of the Year

    Microsoft Partner Network Competency Awards

    • Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner of the Year
    • Microsoft Dynamics ERP Partner of the Year

    Vertical, Industry, and Segment Awards

    • Microsoft Dynamics Distribution Partner of the Year
    • Microsoft Dynamics Financial Services Partner of the Year
    • Microsoft Dynamics Manufacturing Partner of the Year
    • Microsoft Dynamics Professional Services Partner of the Year
    • Microsoft Dynamics Public Sector Partner of the Year
    • Microsoft Dynamics Retail Partner of the Year

    And speaking of partner recognition, don’t forget to review the 2012 Microsoft Dynamics President’s Club and Inner Circle program guidelines to ensure your organization is on track this fiscal year.

    Register now for WPC 2012 through April 5, 2012 to take advantage of the $300 early-bird discount.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Check Out the Convergence 2012 Virtual Partner Keynote Session

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    Please take 10 minutes out of your day to review this important update as you prepare for Convergence 2012 in Houston, TX.

    Still looking for a compelling reason to attend Convergence? Well, here are twelve reasons for Microsoft Dynamics partners to attend Convergence 2012.

    The Virtual Partner Briefing is now available and can help partners make the most out of Convergence. Doug Kennedy, Vice President, Microsoft Dynamics Partners & Customer Service Programs, talks about key themes and major announcements that will highlight this year’s event in Houston. In addition, you’ll hear about the Microsoft Dynamics strategy, opportunities for partners, and the new tools Microsoft is providing to help partners be successful. This is a must-see session!

    Access the on demand video via PartnerSource.

    Remember, it’s not too late to register!

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Announcing the new Big Easy Offer 8!

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    Our United States Microsoft Dynamics CRM marketing team is very excited to pass along this fantastic news. Take a few minutes to bring yourself up to speed on all terms and conditions associated with the offer. Happy selling!

    Big Easy 8

    The Big Easy Offer 8 is back by popular demand!

    The Big Easy Offer 8 is back and the offer is valid from March 5, 2012 through June 30, 2012. 
    Remember, the offer includes online as well as on-premise SKUs!

    About The Big Easy Offer 8

    The Big Easy Offer 8 allows US customers who make a qualifying license purchase to earn a partner subsidy. Similar to previous Big Easy Offers, you can benefit from subsequent purchases of Microsoft software licenses and/or associated services by customers cashing in their subsidy checks.

    What’s new about The Big Easy Offer 8?

    1. Includes Online Services – earn payout percentages on Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Windows Intune and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online in a single subsidy offer
    2. 2x payout on Open annuity – helping our partners drive the annuity focus through Open Value and Open Value Subscription licensing programs
    3. Relatively higher payouts on growth and emerging solutions – enabling you to catalyze small and mid-sized business adoption of Virtualization and server management, and Security and Identity solutions

    Your call to action

    • Familiarize yourself with the Offer details. The Offer Bill of Materials will available for download from the Microsoft Partner Network portal.
    • You can direct your customers to the Big Easy Offer website where they can access the subsidy calculator, list of included products, redemption form, and the complete Offer Terms and Conditions.

    We are confident The Big Easy Offer 8 will help you close out the quarter strong!

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Running, Running, and Even More Running is Fun, Fun, Fun!

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    Periodically, I’ll post a non-work related blog leaning toward more personal observations. I hope you still enjoy the read.

    On your marks. Get set. Go!!

    This week I started my annual training for the Fargo Marathon, but I decided to kick up the routine a notch. To clarify, I’m not training for the full 26.2 marathon; I’m gearing up for the 10k race. After running a half marathon a few years back, I’ve realized my glorious flat feet aren’t quite designed nor intended for the rigors of 13.1 miles. Nowadays I try to keep myself limited to races of six miles or less.

    Being passionate about having a very active lifestyle, I regularly workout 6 days a week, so race training doesn’t mean I’m starting back to square one and working my way up. (BTW, I’m also very passionate about ice cream, cookies and other goodies, so working out helps offset the bad caloric intake from the sweets! I blame my British DNA for that vice.) Typically, I’ll run 3 times during the week. On non-running days I usually lift weights and add in the elliptical or some other non-running cardio exercise. This great variety definitely helps keep away the boredom of working out.

    Now, back to this year’s training program. Thanks to the great Hal Higdon, I’ll be stepping up my running workload to 5 days a week. Surprisingly, I don’t think I’ve run 5 days a week for some 15 to 20 years, but I’m excited to mix in interval and sprint work into the training. Plus, with a quick eight week program, it’s well worth giving it a shot.

    The Fargo Marathon is such a great event for the local community and my entire family participates through the variety of races for all ages.

    I have the right training plan, and I’m ready to crank up Flo Rida, Chris Brown and other hip hop music to hit the running trail. And I’m aiming for a personal record.

    Wish me luck on May 19, and enjoy your own race to the finish line in FY12!

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Connector for Microsoft Dynamics Workshops – April 10-11, 2012

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    Transform CRM

    3/28/2012 UPDATE - COURSE HAS BEEN CANCELLED

    As our partner readiness team explains, here is a great opportunity to boost your skills and knowledge of the Connector for Microsoft Dynamics. This is a one-day course, but we are giving you the option of two dates to attend in April at the Microsoft Technology Center in Minneapolis, MN.

    What is Connector?

    Connector for Microsoft Dynamics helps customers who are using Microsoft Dynamics CRM (either online or on-premise) integrate it with their Microsoft Dynamics ERP solution. Out of the box, we provide you with baseline integrations that will help you move customer information, inventory and pricing information and sales order between the two systems. Using a web service to web service integration on a scheduled basis, the data moves seamlessly between the two solutions, helping you keep the two systems in sync. Plus, it's easy to modify the baseline integrations to better match how you do business. You can easily synchronize additional fields, adjust the length of time between schedules, or do deeper modifications using the Connector SDK.

    What will be covered?

    Integrated Microsoft Dynamics sales messaging along with the opportunities that an integrated stack provides. We’ll answer questions on strategy and give real-world examples of how selling the integrated Microsoft Dynamics CRM and ERP stack can work for you. We will also be covering the roadmap for Connector as well as licensing.

    Take an in-depth look at Connector while being guided through a complete end-to-end analysis, installation, configuration, initial data-sync, and continuing maintenance experience in a hands-on lab environment. This section will give you the opportunity to interact with the product and get your questions answered in real-time.

    Who should attend?

    This session will be geared towards Sales, Pre-Sales, Business Analyst, and System Implementers.

    Register to attend this event on the Partner Learning Center.

    3/28/2012 UPDATE - COURSE HAS BEEN CANCELLED

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Competitive Selling Tactics and Info to Help You Meet Your Microsoft Dynamics ERP SMB Q4 Sales Goals

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    As we close out Microsoft FY12 Q3, and head toward Microsoft’s final fiscal quarter, the race is on to drive hard against customer add goals for the year.

    Individuals from the Microsoft Dynamics product management, partner, field, and marketing teams are excited to invite you to join us for a 60-minute session on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 11:00AM PT for partners who focus on ERP customers in the SMB market space.

    We will share new updates available in competitive sales resources, highlight sales tactics you can use to position your solution against competitors, share competitive selling best practices of partners who repeatedly win against competitive solutions and leave you with a list of resources available to aid in your sales efforts.

    Register for this upcoming web seminar on the Partner Learning Center.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    WPC 2012 Partner Awards – Microsoft Dynamics Categories at a Glance – MPN Competency

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    Within this category of 2012 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference Partner Awards, there are two specific awards focused on Microsoft Dynamics.

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner of the Year

    The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner of the Year Award recognizes a partner that has excelled in providing innovative and unique sales, services, solutions, and/or support based on Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Successful entrants for this award will demonstrate consistent, high-quality, predictable service to Microsoft Dynamics customers that helps to ensure significant business benefits for customers from their Microsoft Dynamics CRM investments. Successful entrants will also demonstrate business leadership and success with strong growth in new customer additions and revenue.

    Microsoft Dynamics ERP Partner of the Year

    The Microsoft Dynamics ERP Partner of the Year Award recognizes a partner that excels at providing innovative and unique sales, services, solutions, and/or support based on Microsoft Dynamics ERP, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, or Microsoft Dynamics SL. The successful entrant for this award will have demonstrated consistent, high-quality, predictable service to Microsoft Dynamics customers, helping to ensure significant business benefits from their Microsoft Dynamics ERP (AX, GP, NAV, or SL) investments. The successful nominee will also demonstrate business leadership and success, with strong growth in new customer additions and revenue.

    Visit Digital WPC for more information regarding the WPC 2012 Partner Awards, and to submit your nominations.

    All final nominations must be submitted by April 15, 2012 at 11:59PM PT.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Microsoft Dynamics Forbes Blog Series – Love Your Work

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    Special guest blogger, Kelly Rigotti – Social Media Marketing Manager, Microsoft Dynamics, shares information today on this exciting initiative.

    The overarching theme for this blog series centers around people – people who enjoy their work and feel like they're making a difference in their jobs. This theme is based on the belief that at the heart of every business are the people who make things happen. People garner insight from business applications to drive decisions that advance the organization. People use business applications to optimize resources and corporate effectiveness. People manage relationships internally and externally to drive relevant actions forward. The most successful businesses are powered by individuals who contribute fully, bringing all their unique skills and experience to their jobs, and go home at the end of the day feeling as though they’ve made a real difference. These people help build stronger customer, supplier, community and investor relationships and feel more committed to and more a part of the company’s success. Therefore, focusing on people and how they work is key to transforming a business and the right business applications have a fundamental role to play in impassioning individuals in the organization and inspiring them to bring greater innovation, commitment, energy and productivity to their jobs.

    The series is called “Love Your Work” and it can be found at http://blogs.forbes.com/microsoftdynamics/. The Microsoft Dynamics business group will post twice a week, and contributors include people like Craig Dewar, David Pennington and Marie Huwe (so far), with Michael Park, Kirill Tatarinov, Dennis Michalis, Fred Studer and more, to come.

    Be sure to follow @MSDYNCOMM on Twitter to view the various blog posts as they are served up each week, and retweet them to your digital communities!

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Microsoft Fargo Executive Briefing Center – Increase Sales and Shorten the Sales Cycle

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    Welcome to March! As we inch toward the close of Microsoft FY12 Q3, it is an ideal time to think about tapping into some of the key resources Microsoft has to offer to aid our partners during the sales cycle. And being a Microsoft Fargo campus based employee, I feel compelled to share information about one of our very own benefits to partners. The great team behind the Executive Briefing Center in Fargo shared this information with me.

    Use the EBC with your customers

    The Executive Briefing program is one of Microsoft’s most influential sales tools in helping land sales and foster strategic relationships with customers and partners. The program provides you with the facility, the team and the content needed to optimize your sales opportunity and grow the business. Hosting a customer at Fargo’s Executive Briefing Center, or any of Microsoft’s 11 Briefing Centers worldwide, puts them a high-tech boardroom environment specifically designed to spark discussions around how Microsoft can address their business problems and position Microsoft as an industry leader and a trusted advisor. Here, leaders and executives can build strong professional relations with Microsoft representatives and get hands-on information about how innovative technology can change the way they operate.

    Who is the target audience for EBC?

    Partners with prospective customers, partners with existing customers looking to upgrade, partners looking to refresh team knowledge, and prospective partners who are looking for one to one interaction with their partner and Microsoft together.

    What are the benefits to the partner?

    Sales cycles are shortened by an average of three months and new opportunities are discovered during each briefing. You will get your customer or prospect in front of Microsoft employees who are subject matter experts. The Fargo EBC scored 8.27 on a scale of 9 in customer satisfaction. The Fargo EBC has over 165 topics and typically customizes each EBC to fit your needs. All of this at no cost to you!

    The Fargo EBC can also provide Multipurpose rooms for you to host a user group or customer event for up to 200. Because of our expertise on campus in Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Office, SharePoint, SQL Support, Premier Field Engineering, Windows Mobile, Silverlight, Lync, IT and Connector, your event can be a great mix of partner and Microsoft knowledge to pass onto your customer to help them meet their business needs.

    We find that insight into each other’s realities is mutually beneficial. Therefore, part of the process involves us telling you who we are and why a strong relationship with us can change the way you do business. The result is a joint understanding of how Microsoft technology and services can help you communicate, share information and release potential.

    To book an EBC, email FargoEBC@Microsoft.com or visit the Executive Briefing Center website for more information. I’ll be happy to give you a big hello when you travel to Fargo!

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Kati Unplugged: The State of ERP Cloud Partners, Convergence 2012 Perspective

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    Countdown to the Cloud banner

    A Blog Series for Microsoft Dynamics Partners by Kati Hvidtfeldt, US Microsoft Dynamics ERP Cloud Lead.

    Kati color 2004This year’s Convergence experience made it clear that these are exciting times as Microsoft Dynamics products move further along the path to the cloud. Just as exciting is the increased movement of Microsoft Dynamics partners to the cloud model. Partners recognize that they are an essential piece of the solution, and are stepping up to the task of transitioning:

    • With 16 percent (31 percent in West Region!) of all US customer adds coming from ERP Subscription Provider License Agreements (SPLA), we are showing 150 percent ERP SPLA revenue growth year-over-year.
    • More than 120 people participated in this year’s high-energy Convergence ERP Cloud Structured Networking Event. That’s more than the event cut-off number but hey, we’ll take it!
    • The next morning, more than 120 people participated in the Volume Partner Breakfast, networking with program owners for the Microsoft Dynamics Volume business including Cloud, Master VAR and Road to Repeatability.
    • Of the eight partners who received awards at the breakfast event, two were cloud related: Rose Business Solutions was awarded Cloud Partner of the Year (most cloud customer adds YTD) and Data Resolution was awarded Hoster of the Year (most seat adds YTD)

    The Structured Networking Event was all about building community and enabling partners to connect with cloud service providers face-to-face. The room was buzzing with interaction and ideas. For those who weren’t able to join us, here are key takeaways:

    • Due to the subscription model and thinner margins, the cloud model puts pressure on partners to lower marketing and sales costs.
    • The time is now to start the transition to the cloud: If you wait until Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics NAV ship on Azure you will be late to the game.
    • Start thinking deeply on social, inbound marketing ‘to be found’ instead of the more intrusive, traditional marketing tactics.
    • When you move to social marketing, sales can have a leaner touch since marketing can be key in self- qualification and services delivery.
    • When customers are not willing to pay premium set up, they will focus on the value add piece, so it’s important to be a change agent and get your cloud practice started.
    • Partner Account Managers (PAMs) are there to reference their playbooks and work with you on the transitions.

    We understand our Microsoft Dynamics ERP partners need to be front and center, and we will move forward with our partner centric strategy. For those of you who have already started your cloud transition, thank you for joining us on this journey. For those who have not, to ensure profitability we recommend that you work with a cloud services provider rather than investing in your own data center, unless it is your core competency.

    Change is inevitable, change is sometimes scary, but with change comes opportunity. To learn more about how to incorporate cloud-based solutions into your business plans visit the Microsoft Dynamics Countdown to the Cloud page on PartnerSource. Go to www.microsoft.com/dynamics/growyourbusiness for resources that demonstrate to customers how Microsoft Dynamics ERP cloud, hybrid and on-premise solutions can benefit their businesses.

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