Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

Microsoft Dynamics Partner Events, Information and Tips

October, 2012

Posts
  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Access the Enhanced Microsoft Dynamics Existing Customer Marketing Homepage

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    In an effort to provide our partners with easier access to resource management, we have redesigned the United States Existing Customer marketing homepage on PartnerSource. Bookmark this page and check back often.

    The Existing Customer page provides you with quick and easy access to webcasts scheduled, partner program resources, offers for Microsoft Dynamics ERP and Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and communications to customers.

    You’ll also find quarterly action items as well as the latest existing customer licensing policies.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Top 5 Business Reasons to Go to Convergence 2013

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    Print

    Convergence 2013 is coming to New Orleans, LA—THE birthplace of jazz—March 18-21, 2013. Location alone is a pretty good reason to attend. The architecture, the music, the French Quarter. A cool Sazerac and some hot gumbo.

    We know you’re looking for solid value out of every dollar spent, though. (The fun is just the sugar on the beignet.) Here are the five top business reasons you should plan to attend.

    1. Create new revenue opportunities.
    This is really what’s it’s all about. At Convergence, you can drive and close business, grow customer relationships, demonstrate customer appreciation, and build credibility. This conference is a proven revenue generator for partners.

    2. Bond with your customers.
    Sharing the experience of Convergence with your customers builds strong relationships—the kind that can take years to grow back home. Here, you have a chance to discuss strategy and big-picture issues and make those personal connections. And that creates more customer loyalty and more long-term business success.

    3. Connect with other partners.
    Thousands of partners who live and breathe Microsoft Dynamics will be there. Swapping business cards, talking shop—connecting with other partners whose service offerings compliment their own. It’s a world of opportunity, just waiting for partners to find each other and find ways to work together—like vertical and cloud-based solutions.

    4. Share ideas with key Microsoft people.
    We’re talking about real face-time here, with Microsoft’s best and brightest including technical specialists, product managers, program managers, support team leaders, and senior development, marketing, and sales executives. These are people who are passionate about your business success and truly want to hear your feedback, as well as provide “deep dive” technical information.

    5. Learn about Microsoft strategy and future plans for Microsoft Dynamics.
    With major 2013 product releases across the Microsoft Dynamics line, the launch of Windows 8, and new technology announcements like Microsoft Surface, Convergence 2012 is not to be missed. Your business success depends on a clear vision of where Microsoft Dynamics is heading, so you can help your customers choose the right path.

    Now that you are sufficiently jazzed, it’s time to start getting ready.

    We’ve got the tools you need to start making the most of Convergence 2013, right now. The new Convergence 2012 Partner Guide is filled with partner tools, tips, and checklists. Just go to PartnerSource to download the guide, plus a customer-ready messaging framework, email signature, customizable email templates, and more.

    Then you can start getting your customers jazzed about Convergence 2013, too!

    --Kevin

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    To stay up-to-date on Convergence developments, visit our blog, and sign up for partner email alerts.

    Enter the Convergence Share Your Story contest and You could win a $250 gift card - and a FREE PASS to Convergence 2014. Click here for details.

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 Coming December 1, 2012

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    Very exciting news announced this morning at the Microsoft Dynamics AX Tech Conference. An excerpt from Christian Pedersen, General Manager, Microsoft Dynamics Product Marketing Group…

    Today at our Microsoft Dynamics AX Tech Conference we announced general availability of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 to be December 1, 2012. I’m excited to share this milestone and the significant innovation we will deliver in December. Customers in 36 countries around the world will find powerful new and enhanced capabilities for organizations across industries. This release builds on our Dynamic Business vision for how organizations can use technology to be more agile and innovative through people who drive impact with the information, connections, and tools they need to make a difference every day.

    Please read the complete post found on The Edge blog.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Updated SPLA Resources for Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics NAV

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    We’ve recently published new resources and guidance related to the Services Provider License Agreement (SPLA) on PartnerSource. Access them through the following:

    · SPLA Notifications for Microsoft Dynamics GP

    · SPLA Notifications for Microsoft Dynamics NAV

    · Microsoft Dynamics SMB SPLA Licensing Guide

    Use the licensing guide to improve your understanding of how to license Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 and Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 for the SPLA.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Microsoft Windows 8 is here! Access News and Partner Resources

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    With great anticipation Windows 8 has finally arrived! I wanted to quickly share a couple of great locations to access robust information for you as a Microsoft partner.

    Earlier this month, our US Partner Group posted a blog – How to Prepare for Windows 8.

    Yesterday, Microsoft held our launch event. Find a variety of materials on the Microsoft News Center.

    And last night, Times Square became Tiles Square. Check out the fabulous photos here!

    Of course there are plenty of other resources to read and review. Microsoft has placed several different blogs on one page for easy consumption.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Download the Partner Guide and Prepare for Your Best Convergence Ever!

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    The Complete Guide to Convergence for Partners is now available for download.

    Need more motivation to make this the most successful Convergence ever for your team? Consider these two facts:

    - Customers who attend Convergence generate 3.3 times more license revenue than non-attendees.

    - 98 percent of customers who attend Convergence return the next year.

    Download the partner guide to access everything you need to know to make Convergence the most important marketing and sales activity you participate in this year, and every year.

    Tips and techniques to increase success include:

    - Identifying which customers to invite and how to convince them.

    - Helping your customers prepare for Convergence.

    - On-site management tips for successful event coordination and hosting.

    - Checklists for planning, marketing, hosting, and post-event follow-up activities.

    Get ready to take New Orleans by storm!

    The Complete Guide to Convergence for Partners will help you make the most of your Convergence conference opportunity. Just go to PartnerSource to download the guide, plus a customer-ready messaging framework, email signature, customizable email templates, and more.

    --Kevin

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    New this year! Sign up for the partner-only email alerts to receive details that are just for you, our partners, around Convergence 2013.

    Enter the Convergence Share Your Story contest and you could win a $250 gift card—and a FREE PASS to Convergence 2014. Click here for details.

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Master VAR Program Offers Opportunity for Partner to Stay Small, Think Big

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    Over the course of Microsoft FY13, we’ll share a variety of partner evidence highlighting the benefits of the Microsoft Dynamics Master VAR program. Since its inception last year, more than 40 organizations have affiliated with the three US Master VARs: SBS Group, Socius, and Tribridge. As the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) has evolved, Master VAR introduced an option for partners to collaborate to drive growth.

    Cardamel Consulting wanted to retain the benefits of running a small consulting practice, but knew they needed to change to remain competitive and profitable.

    “We were looking at our options,” said Carolyn Chasteen, Cardamel’s founder. “We knew the certification requirements were changing, but we wanted to remain a very small organization. We knew if we wanted to keep our margins up, we were going to have to increase revenue.”

    Chasteen reached out to SBS Group, which at that time was building a network of service providers. In 2010, Cardamel Consulting officially became part of the SBS Group, and rebranded as SBS Group Denver. They are the national partner for SBS Group’s homebuilding practice.

    Being part of a nationwide organization with competencies across the broad range of Microsoft technologies and services has given SBS Group Denver a tremendous advantage over their previous situation.

    “We now have the ability to sell all Microsoft, the entire stack, so whether the customer solution requires Microsoft SharePoint, custom programming, infrastructure, cloud services, we can represent those services to the customer and know that SBS can back us up. We don’t have to hire and maintain all those capabilities on our staff.”

    Access the complete partner case study on the Microsoft Case Studies website to learn more.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Kati Unplugged: Cloud, On Premises—or Both? Focus on Each Customer’s Needs

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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.

    In the Kati Unplugged blog series we talk a lot about the advantages of ERP in the cloud. But there are advantages to on premises deployments, too. The flexibility of Microsoft Dynamics gives customers options that can give them the best of both worlds.

    The cloud doesn’t have to be an either/or choice. Customers depend on partners to help them navigate through the myriad of choices and land on the right Microsoft Dynamics ERP solution.

    In this post, ERP Senior Product Marketing Manager, Jay Manley points out the advantages of different deployment options, and the business situations in which they make the most sense. This is part of the content Jay presented the recent webcast, “Don’t just react to change, shape and drive it with a cloud or on premises solution from Microsoft Dynamics ERP,” from the new Microsoft Dynamics ERP series for SMBs.

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    Today more than one billion people are mobile. Working from their homes, through cell phones and other mobile devices they connect to corporate resources, saving on commuting time and energy. These are not just employees of big enterprises. They’re also small business owners and employees who are no longer working in the normal business environment on a day-to-day basis.

    The cloud can give employees access to everything they need online, from a variety of devices. But there are also times when on-premises deployment makes sense. For example, a customer may have a unique intellectual property and want to keep it behind its own firewall. The point is, customers shouldn’t feel they have to use the cloud just because it’s there. It’s the partner’s job to help customers focus on exactly what they need.

    There are three key questions to explore with your customers:

    1. Where does the customer want the data deployed? On location, at a hosting partner’s location, or at one of Microsoft Azure’s seven data centers?

    2. How do employees want to access the system? Through a desktop client or a web client?

    3. How do they want to buy it? Do they want a perpetual license or a pay-as-you-go license?

    On-premises solutions can have advantages when:

    · Losing control and privacy are a big concern, and the customer is convinced that day-to-day control over hardware, maintenance, and infrastructure is the best assurance,

    · Very little downtime can be tolerated, for example, a hospital needs immediate access to medical records,

    · The business has more than 50 users with capital and IT resources to invest in a data center, and

    · Heavy customizations are needed.

    Cloud-based solutions have advantages when:

    · There’s a need for access to systems via mobile devices,

    · Employees need to be able to get into data from a lot of different locations,

    · A business has cyclical or seasonal variations in server demands,

    · The business doesn’t have enough internal IT resources to handle maintenance and updates, backups, and disaster recovery, and

    · The business has fewer than 50 users, is in growth mode, and can’t support a big capital outlay.

    Hybrid applications can offer the best of both worlds, not just for the business situation, but for each individual employee.

    For small and medium-sized businesses, flexibility in solution deployment can allow them to grow while managing costs and their unique business needs. Partners can be the key in helping them select the right solution to face their changing challenges and opportunities.

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    To view Jay Manley’s full on-demand webinar, “Don’t just react to change, shape and drive it with a cloud or on premises solution from Microsoft Dynamics ERP,” register here.

    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

    Kati Unplugged: What to Look for in an ERP Solution—The CIO 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 2004Business decision makers in SMBs have a lot of choices when they’re looking for ERP software. With BDMs often focused on cost and financial management, it’s the partner’s role to help buyers understand the broader and more lasting benefits of ERP in the cloud.

    In last week’s post, we explored why Microsoft Dynamics solutions are really more than ERP, from Director of Product Marketing Errol Schoenfish. (For more on this, view Eric’s on-demand webcast, “Business Solutions from Microsoft: It’s more than just Enterprise Resource Planning.”)

    Today, we get insights into why this is important from a CIO perspective from Nancy Lee, Director of Technology, Microsoft Dynamics East region and former 13-year CIO for a midsize customer.

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    When it comes to enterprise resource planning, one of the biggest challenges for a CIO of a small or mid-size business is, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” Buyers evaluate different financial management solutions, but they don’t really know what a solution is capable of until after the fact: until they grow into needing its deeper features.

    Businesses that understand the cloud can identify with benefits like lower capital outlay, maintenance efficiencies, and a fixed monthly cost. But there’s one benefit that’s always missing: Having a solution in the cloud really allows the people in the business to focus on the business—and not on maintaining and fixing computer systems.

    CIOs researching financial management solutions should be looking for more than just financial management. To make the most cost-effective decisions, they should:

    · Choose a solution that works with other software packages. Seamless integration into extended products like email or document management and collaboration go a long way in boosting productivity.

    · Consider the cost involved in maintaining the system. The time, cost and level of effort required with traditional ERP packages limit the value of the stand-alone system by making it costly to maintain the entire interface.

    · Reduce the cost of personnel resources (e.g., support) by using the skill sets your business already has. Then it’ll be much easier and less costly to maintain your system.

    · Choose a product that has a long-term vision. It’s not prudent to select a package from a company that might be purchased tomorrow, or a product whose functionality might not improve for a long time.

    · Keep in mind the power of choice when you make a selection. If your company is small and growing, you might not know where you’ll be in five years. The ability to be fluid in moving between on premise, public cloud, private cloud and hybrid is especially important for SMBs.

    Microsoft Dynamics is unique in its ability to deliver on all of these considerations. Forward-looking CIOs want a solution that can help the business today—and can then continue to grow as the company grows.

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    To view Errol Schoenfish’s full on-demand webinar, “Business Solutions from Microsoft: It’s more than just Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP),” register here.

    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

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM Roadmap Overview

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    With plenty of buzz coming out of the eXtremeCRM 2012 Las Vegas earlier this month, and CRMUG Summit 2012 last week, we thought many Microsoft Dynamics partners would be interested in attending the upcoming Microsoft Dynamics CRM Roadmap Overview web seminar.

    Join us on Tuesday, November 6 at 9:00AM PT for a 90-minute overview focused on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Roadmap aimed at providing the short to long term vision of Microsoft investment strategy. This session will provide some specifics and guidance on the next two releases of Microsoft Dynamics CRM including Polaris key features, the direction for Orion, as well as new and existing tools and resources.

    Visit the Partner Learning Center to register.

    Additionally, please save the date for the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner Blitz Day. This event will be held on Tuesday, December 11 starting at 8:30AM PT. Email crmchats@microsoft.com if you would like to opt in to receive a notice when the registration is live. You will be the first to know.

    Stay up to speed on all Microsoft Dynamics CRM readiness opportunities on PartnerSource.

    --Kevin

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