Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

Microsoft Dynamics Partner Events, Information and Tips

June, 2012

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  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    An Inside Look at Microsoft Dynamics GP Video Series

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    In case you missed it, since early April, the Microsoft Dynamics GP Product Management Team has been producing a series of videos offering you an inside look into the inner workings of Microsoft Dynamics GP. Many of the videos address features and enhancements associated with the upcoming release – Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013.

    Some of the topics include:

    • Web Client
    • Financials
    • Payroll
    • Business Intelligence
    • Fixed Assets
    • Office 365 Integration

    Check out the collection of videos today on the Inside Microsoft Dynamics GP blog.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    ISV Takes Advantage of User Reviews to Build Authenticity on the Web and Drive Sales of CRM Add-On

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    A Blog Series for Microsoft Dynamics Partners by Christian Lindberg, Solution Sales & Marketing, Microsoft Dynamics Partner Team.

    CRM Innovation, an independent software vendor and Microsoft Dynamics CRM consultancy, takes full advantage of the Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace to market its services and solutions, such as Web2CRM, an Internet lead-capturing tool for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. In addition to providing a venue to showcase its solutions online, CRM Innovation has found that the Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace also is a source of authentic customer reviews that have served as references to close deals.

    “In addition to being a great reference for us, the Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace is a significant part of our overall marketing strategy and a major source of our lead generation,” says Jerry Weinstock, Microsoft Dynamics CRM MVP and Business Development Manager for CRM Innovation.

    Read the full story: http://bit.ly/LNsW7Y

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Kati Unplugged: enVista’s Industry Expertise and Vision Serve Up the Right Solution for Retailer One King’s Lane

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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 2004For many thriving companies, deep industry expertise is the core of their success and technology serves as the enabler. Jim Barnes, Co-founder, President and CEO of Microsoft Dynamics partner enVista, has spent 20 years consulting Fortune 500 retail, wholesale distribution and e-commerce companies in all areas of extended supply chain management—from source to consumption, at home and abroad.

    In this week’s blog Jim tells the story of how Microsoft Dynamics AX and the company’s decision to manage critical applications in the cloud helped enVista grow from 3 employees to more than 40 in four years—and helped $100mill+ e-retailer One King’s Lane respond to explosive online sales, growing revenues several-fold.

    _______________________________________________

    enVista started 10 years ago as a supply chain consulting firm focused on planning and execution for retail—demand planning, transportation, and warehouse management systems. In 2008, we became a Microsoft Dynamics partner, combining our ability to talk deeply around retail with Microsoft Dynamics AX to enable those processes.

    Then, in 2010 we decided to provide Microsoft Dynamics AX to our customers through a private cloud model. We had acquired the company Appnuity to host other supply chain execution systems. We had the IT services acumen. We had the infrastructure in place: data center, staffing, monitoring, disaster recovery. And we had developed IP around data collection and order management. By August 2010 we had a relationship with senior executives at One King’s Lane.

    The Answer for One King’s Lane: Integrated Business Management in the Cloud

    One King’s Lane had been using a third party fulfillment provider to support their thriving business. The e-retailer needed a true enterprise and integrated ERP platform that could support their increasing sales and ever evolving brand and marketing strategy. Through our deep retail supply chain expertise and our ability to manage critical applications in the cloud, we offered One King’s Lane an integrated business management solution that serves as the back-office hub of the e-retailer’s entire operation, managing the entire supply chain from order to cash, and procure to pay.

    Our ability to deliver a cloud computing solution was important in the retailer’s decision for several important reasons, including:

    1. Flexible licensing: When we started working with One King’s Lane the company’s revenues were less than half of what they are today, and they didn’t want to pay high licensing fees up front. We negotiated the licensing fees so they wouldn’t have to pay until they went live and started receiving the full benefits.

    2. Rapid start: We were able to create a temporary development environment within days of the solution selection to quickly make progress on coding, development and training

    3. Agile implementation: It took only five months to implement One King’s Lane’s entire customized solution, including 34 virtual servers.

    4. Rapid scaling: One King’s Lane started with 12 concurrent users. The solution’s ability to rapidly scale to changing business requirements has enabled the company to grow to 75 concurrent users in one year, without missing a sale.

    5. Decreased IT infrastructure: By virtualizing the environment One King’s Lane didn’t have to procure (estimated) $ 200K – 250K of equipment and software.

    6. Decreased IT internal staffing: By outsourcing IT Management to enVista, One King’s Lane was able to reduce IT costs and administrative requirements.

    7. Faster return on investment: As One King’s Lane’s revenue has increased, the cost of their Microsoft Dynamics AX solution has reduced as a percentage of sales; current Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is less than .1% of its total sales.

    8. Improved system uptime: enVista manages the system 24/7, ensuring an uptime rate of 99.9%and disaster recovery that accommodates transitioning the e-retailer’s system (fail over) to another location if necessary.

    The home goods e-retailer is deriving significant benefits and convenience from using one partner to manage all of its IT requirements. By having a strong vision, One King’s Lane is able to run its entire business with a customized e-commerce website, shopping cart and Microsoft Dynamics AX. And enVista has an even stronger position in the retail and distribution supply chain management space.

    A Microsoft Gold Certified partner, enVista enables manufacturing, distribution, retail, and eCommerce companies to reduce operating costs, improve customer service and enhance profitability through innovative implementation of ERP, transportation, and supply chain solutions.

    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.

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    School’s Out for Summer!

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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.

    Summer vacation is here. Yeah!! Well, at least for my kids!

    I received a copy of my eldest daughter’s summer daycare schedule today and I’m super envious! I want to factor many of these activities into my daily routine throughout the summer at the office. Hmm… Let’s see how these activities would play out on the Microsoft Fargo campus…

    X Crazy Hat Day – It’s pretty normal to see many Fargo Microsofties sporting their favorite teams’ baseball caps. We tend to have a large Minnesota Twins following in this neck of the woods.

    X T-Ball – In the fall we’ve held alumni flag football and soccer games on Burgum Field. Perhaps baseball could be next!

    Pool – I don’t think anyone has worn a swimsuit to work. Flip flops – yes.

    X Movie Day – Over the years several individuals have created videos for our annual Holiday Wine & Cheese celebration. Many of those are exceptionally produced, and should count toward the Academy Awards short film category.

    X Jersey Daysee Crazy Hat Day above

    X Bowling – Like T-Ball (aka football & soccer), in fall, we’ve held (frozen) turkey bowling tournaments. Plus, I suppose you can virtually bowl by playing Microsoft Kinect Sports in one of our game rooms.

    As you can see by the X-marks above, the Microsoft Fargo campus tends to lead an active “summer” lifestyle throughout the entire year. I guess we need to install the pool someday soon – perhaps when waterproof laptops are more common.

    Finally, don’t forget, according to a favorite TV show of my kids – Disney’s Phineas and Ferb’s theme song …

    There's 104 days of summer vacation
    And school comes along just to end it
    So the annual problem for our generation
    Is finding a good way to spend it

    Let’s all find a good way to spent it and enjoy your summer!

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Technology Adoption Program (TAP) for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 - Nominate Your Customers!!

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    As mentioned yesterday on both the Inside Microsoft Dynamics GP and Developing for Dynamics GP blogs, it is now time to start nominating your customers for the Technology Adoption Program for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013.

    As highlighted on the PartnerSource page:

    The Microsoft Dynamics GP Rapid Deployment Team is seeking good candidates for the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Technology Adoption Program. We are providing this information as general guidance regarding the type of participant we are seeking. The top priority is, as always, enthusiastic participants with the resources and support which will allow them to successfully test, deploy, and provide feedback throughout the estimated 4-6 month cycle.

    Refer to the guidelines on PartnerSource and nominate your customers today.

    Also, for all things Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013, be sure to register for the Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Airlift 2012 being held September 12-14 on the Microsoft Fargo Campus.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Directions 2012 Now Open for Super Early Bird Registration

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    Microsoft is proud to announce our Platinum Sponsorship of Directions 2012.

    The website for the Directions 2012 conference has officially launched. The conference takes place October 27-30, 2012 at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix, AZ.

    Registration is now open and Sponsorships are going on a first-come-first-serve basis. The Directions 2012 Conference is kicking off with the Super Early Bird Special! For a very limited time, get your Directions registration at the low price of only $795 through June 15, 2012!

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Get Ready! – Microsoft Dynamics SL 2011 FP1 Partner Launch Portal

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    The Microsoft Dynamics product management team is excited to share this new portal as the place for you to come to find the latest news and information about the Microsoft Dynamics SL 2011 FP1 release. It’s also the best place to access the most relevant collateral, technical resources, tools and training materials as they are made available.

    Bookmark this PartnerSource page and come back often to get ready for the release of Microsoft Dynamics SL 2011 FP1.

    Also, stay connected to a variety of Microsoft Dynamics SL news, information and dialogues by visiting the Microsoft Dynamics Community.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Retail Software Associates Found Their Ideal Project Management Solution in the Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace

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    A Blog Series for Microsoft Dynamics Partners by Christian Lindberg, Solution Sales & Marketing, Microsoft Dynamics Partner Team.

    To help maintain excellent service levels and support customers with great efficiency, Retail Software Associates searched for a project management tool that would fit with its ways of working and other software systems. Nothing quite worked out until Bo Lundqvist, President and CEO at RSA, clicked on the Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace tab in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, which the company uses to manage its sales and marketing efforts. “Through the Marketplace tab in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, it was very easy to search for a project management solution and to see what the Microsoft partners offer,” says Lundqvist.

    RSA settled on CRM-Project, a solution from Microsoft partner xRM1. “I’m extremely happy with the Microsoft Dynamics Marketplace and with what I see from CRM-Project so far,” says Lundqvist. “With a few clicks, I was able to connect with a solution and a vendor that addressed our needs for all aspects of our complex project management. What’s more, it only took a few days to get the new tool up and running in our business.”

    Read the full story:  http://bit.ly/MRN4sl

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner Launch Portal – May 2012 Update

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    Within the last couple of weeks the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner Launch Portal on PartnerSource was refreshed with valuable resources to prepare your organization for the next release. Navigate to the portal to find:

    • Readiness and Training
    • Product Content & Demos
    • Certification, Pricing & Licensing
    • Product News & Events
    • Sales & Marketing Updates
    • Operational Readiness

    Also, there are important steps to prepare customers to upgrade to the next release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Please take the time to review the guidance on PartnerSource.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Jump Start Training for Microsoft Dynamics GP Partners – September 11, 2012

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    As mentioned on the Inside Microsoft Dynamics GP blog last week, you can now register for an upcoming Jump Start Training class dedicated to the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Web Client. According to the course overview:

    This 1-day training course will provide you the initial exposure to what you will need to drive successful Microsoft Dynamics GP Web Client implementations. There will be a significant amount of technology behind this release and it will be imperative that you and your organization takes the time needed to learn, understand and apply these required dependencies – including IIS/SSL certificates, Load Balancing Technologies, Firewalls, Ports, URL Reservations, and the different deployment strategies to be considered. If you are looking at getting a jump start on the Microsoft Dynamics GP Web Client, this initial training is something you don’t want to miss.

    As an added bonus, the course is offered at no extra charge for Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Airlift 2012 (Microsoft Fargo – September 12-14) attendees! You are required to register for this course to reserve a seat.

    --Kevin

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