Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

Microsoft Dynamics Partner Events, Information and Tips

October, 2012

Posts
  • 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

  • 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

    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

    Kati Unplugged: Why Microsoft Dynamics in the Cloud Is MORE than ERP—And What That Means for Customers

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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 2004Most businesses think of an ERP solution as software to help balance the books, manage inventory, create a budget—all the things you would expect an ERP software package to do. And there are a lot of solutions out there that can help.

    But when you can offer your customers a connected experience that combines business intelligence, collaboration, and communication tools embedded across business processes—and accessible from mobile devices—it’s more than just ERP.

    This post gives you a taste of what Microsoft Dynamics ERP Director of Product Marketing Errol Schoenfish has to say in his on-demand webcast, part of the new Microsoft Dynamics ERP series for SMBs.

    ________________________________

    As a product marketer I work with developers to set product strategy in the business solutions group here at Microsoft. I’ve been in this business at Microsoft 25 years, and I’ve seen lots of change. The constant is that the value to the customer is always the top concern.

    Workforce changes are shaping how we see the role of software in the future. Organizations large and small are becoming more and more mobile, in part to drive down costs. By 2013, 1.2 billion workers will be mobile—that’s 1/3 of the overall workforce. And by 2014, 50% of devices used to access business solutions are expected to be smartphones.

    This situation presents some challenges. Today 84% of organizations have a remote workforce, but on average 85% of datacenter capacity is idle and 70% of IT budgets are spent maintaining datacenter operations. As a business person, I need more mobile information, I have a distributed workforce, my infrastructure is idle, and I spend a lot of money maintaining it. It’s the perfect storm: workers expecting to be mobile on devices that give them business data, constraints on IT budgets, and the hiring of the just-out-of college millennial generation who will expect mobility from day one when they come to work for me.

    Businesses need to think about how people can interact with their solutions. Microsoft has a deep set of products to help deliver on this that spans across business, business/consumer (like Microsoft Office, Skype, and Bing), and devices. We look at the cloud s an opportunity, not an obligation. Customers choose the deployment model, the data center scenario, and the licensing model.

    From inside the solution—from the user’s perspective—here are examples of how Microsoft Dynamics ERP delivers.

    · Customers struggle when they can’t collaborate with people who don’t have full access to the solution. With Microsoft Dynamics solutions, people outside the solution or outside the organization can be given web access to specific reports, charts, graphs, and KPIs via SharePoint or Office 365. And by refreshing the data, it becomes real-time.

    · You can use multiple devices with a common experience. On a Windows Phone you have full access to all of those same reports, charts, graphs, and KPIs. And the Windows RT tablet is just around the corner. This is perfect when you’re getting ready to go on a sales call or meet a supplier.

    · If you’re on a laptop or desktop-in a coffee shop, you have web access to financial, HR, and manufacturing information because it’s been automatically deployed to Office 365. And you can have access from anywhere in the world.

    · Kinect has a software development kit that enables voice and motion to interact with your application. One of our partners built a front-end pick-pack-ship window to GP that allowed them to do pick-pack-ship simply, using motion and voice.

    · Microsoft Dynamics offers a full-featured, cloud-based solution. Some web-based solutions are “flat:” If you’re in a form, you need to exit if you want to do something else because of the browser UI.  With the Microsoft Dynamics ERP solution, you can view and interact with multiple forms open all at the same time within one browser instance.

    For SMB customers the cloud offers simplicity, agility, and lower overall IT infrastructure costs—and the benefit of a large and active Microsoft Dynamics community.

    To view Errol’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

    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

    8 Ways to Get Your Customers Motivated for Convergence 2013

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    Convergence is the #1 business-building event of the year for many partners, but nothing else happens until you can get your customers signed up and ready to go!

    Here are 8 ideas for getting your team, and your customers, motivated for Convergence:

    1. Rally the Troops – Create an event for your sales, marketing, and customer care teams to get them fired up and fully equipped to engage your customers.

    • Develop an all-out push plan to build excitement and motivate your best customers to attend Convergence.
    • Create incentives to ensure your best customers attend Convergence again, and new customers are added each year.
    • Share success stories from past conferences and strategize to make this year’s Convergence the most successful customer engagement your company has ever attended.
    • Send your team to the Convergence page on PartnerSource to get marketing materials and other information they need to succeed at Convergence.

    2. Get the Word Out – Send an email blast to all your customers, and follow up with personal invitations for the customers you want to make sure attend.

    • Use the email template and make it personal with your own stories of Convergence success.
    • Include quotes from customers who have attended Convergence.
    • Create a communications calendar to regularly remind customers about Convergence. Send reminders two weeks before registration opens, the day registration opens, the week before Early Bird registration ends, and four weeks before Convergence starts.
    • Personalize the Convergence email signature block found on the Convergence page on PartnerSource and include it in your emails.
    • Use Twitter and LinkedIn to post messages. Have your updates auto-post to social media channels. Use hashtag: #CONV13

    3. Host a Webcast – Host a “Why Attend Convergence” webcast the week before registration opens, and personally invite the customers you want to attend Convergence. Record the webcast and share it in future customer communications.

    4. Let Your Customers Do the Talking – Record your customers’ best Convergence stories and share them on your Convergence webpage. Nothing is as effective in communicating the value of attending Convergence as hearing from another customer.

    5. Include Convergence as a Regular Account Review Topic – Make sure Convergence is included as a topic in account reviews year-round, so customers can budget for the conference before the event.

    6. Invite Your Customers to a Convergence Customer Appreciation Dinner – Plan ahead to book a private dinner with all your customers and your team attending Convergence. Plan your dinner well in advance so you can share the date and place with customers attending. This is always a great way to build relationships with your customers, and between customers. And don’t go on the cheap!

    7. Set Up an Easy Way to Communicate with Your Customers While at Convergence – Set up a Twitter feed for your group, and get each attendee’s cell phone number for texting group announcements and updates.

    8. Point Your Customers to Additional Resources – Here are some of the resources you can share with your customers to ensure they have all the information they need to attend Convergence: www.microsoft.com/convergence

    And One More…

    9. Make it Your Own – Instead of thinking of Convergence as a Microsoft event, think of it as a platform for staging your own customer conference, supported by Microsoft. Schedule meetings, invite customers to attend specific events, make plans to socialize together, and encourage every team member to view Convergence not only as a customer marketing event, but as an opportunity to improve your team’s skills and connections, as well.

    New this year! Sign up for the Partner Only Email Alerts to receive details that are just for you, our partners, around Convergence 2013.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    New Licensing Model and Transition Policy for Microsoft Dynamics Existing Customers

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    Microsoft is launching Perpetual Licensing, the licensing model for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 and Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013. Help small and midsize customers jumpstart into financial insights and distribution management and then easily extend into all functional areas. Please review the Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 and Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Pricing and Licensing Training Material below to learn about this new model.

    Access the recorded webcast session on the Partner Learning Center to learn more, and review the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 and Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 Transition Upgrade Policy on PartnerSource.

    --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

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Fast Tracks Enterprise Academy Registration Now Open

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    This two-week intensive training based on the core fundamental of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 offers two tracks: Functional and Developer. These classes are targeted at net new professionals within Microsoft Dynamics partner organizations.

    Focusing on certification preparation, real world insights, and hands on experience this course will help build the initial muscle for a successful Consultant or Developer on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution. This, coupled with mentorship within your organization, will set our consultants on the road to being successful and contributing to your organizations bottom line.

    Training Schedule

    Functional Track

    • November 5-16, 2012 – Atlanta, GA
    • January 14-25, 2013 – Chicago, IL
    • March 11-22, 2013 – Irvine, CA

     Developer Track

    • November 26 – December 7, 2012 – Atlanta, GA
    • January 28 – February 8, 2013 – Chicago, IL
    • April 1-12 – Irvine, CA

     Visit PartnerSource for complete details including course syllabi and registration information.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Partner Grows Year-Over-Year Customer Adds by 200 Percent, Shortens Sales Cycle by Half

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    Facing downward pressure on IT spending among customers and prospects for Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Leaf Software Solutions reasoned that the only way to increase profitability was to drive more volume—adding new customers quickly by focusing on smaller deployments and smaller deal sizes. The volume approach required the company to transform many aspects of its Microsoft Dynamics business, changing its approach to marketing and sales. The strategy has paid off, delivering short-term gains—Leaf has added twelve new ERP customers in the past twelve months—while laying a solid foundation for recurring revenue from managed services and cross-sell opportunities for years to come.

    “We’re willing to grow with our clients,” says Dave Reed, Director of Business Development. “We’ve never had an issue talking to high-growth companies about small deployments…. We’ve had some very small, local deals that grew into very large, long-term accounts.”

    Read the full story at http://bit.ly/PB8xUG

    --Kevin

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