Peter A. Jensen
I have been with Microsoft since 2002, but I have been with Dynamics even longer, starting out with a Dynamics NAV partner in 1992. I currently lead the Partner Programs team in the US Dynamics organization and look forward to keeping in touch with the US Dynamics Partner Community on this blog.
A Blog Series for Microsoft Dynamics Partners by Kati Hvidtfeldt, US Microsoft Dynamics ERP Cloud Lead.
In business the customer is always right—right? Well, yes and no. It’s the partner’s role to help make sure customers are asking the right questions when evaluating ERP solutions, vendors, and cloud vs. on-premises deployment options. It’s not just about the sale, it’s about growing your business by helping customers meet their core business needs.
In this week’s post we feature ERP Senior Product Marketing Manager Pam Misialek’s perspective on the things businesses should think about when they are evaluating ERP solutions. Pam is a 17-year ERP veteran who has worked in ERP across the board from development, support, and training to consulting with partners on how to remedy failed implementations.
This is part of the content Pam presented in her recent webinar, “ERP Evaluation Guide: How to reduce the stress and risk of your ERP evaluation process,” from the new Microsoft Dynamics ERP series for SMBs.
Studies show that 60-70% of ERP implementations fail. In my career I’ve worked with a lot of customers to reduce their stress around ERP, and to help pull in the right resources to get escalated situations back on track.
Partners can play a critical role in ensuring their customers understand the key factors and best practices that make the other 30-40% successful.
· The #1 factor—Trust: Customers need to trust that the people on the team implementing the solution understand the business and have the ability to execute. It’s not about basing decisions on the reputation of the company or trust in the sales person. It’s about meeting the project manager and the individuals that will be doing the work. Partners need to take the time to earn the customer’s trust for a successful implementation.
· Data migration strategy: Customers always want their data migrated. It’s the partner’s job to help them determine at what level. Migrating data can introduce risk and higher costs. Does your customer really need 10 years of data, or is it better to migrate master records, bring in beginning balances, and leave historical data in the legacy system?
· Customization: Excessive customization is another cause of failed ERP implementations. It’s easy for customers to fall into the “Pimp My Ride” frame of mind, and you can help customers differentiate they customizations they want from what they need. Remind customers that maintenance and cost increase (and ROI decreases) with the level of customization. If a high level of customization is required, customize in smaller chunks through a phased approach.
· Complexity: Most companies restructure their charts of accounts when they change ERP systems. Work with customers to make sure they’re not making them too complex. Complex charts can add steps to the process, take more time, or require more people them make it work. Consult with customers on chart of accounts best practices and keep key performance metrics top of mind.
· Dig past the pretty charts: Today’s ERP systems have a lot to offer and demos are full of shiny objects. Help each customer cut to the chase and understand which features are most important to make the needed business change. By helping customers consider how deployment options and specific features can tangibly impact their specific business processes you guide them to the right decision for a successful implementation.
The failure rate of ERP implementations is much higher than it should be. By working closely with customers before they make decisions about ERP solutions and deployment options, you’ll be in a position to make every implementation smooth and successful.
To view Pam Misialek’s full on-demand webinar, “ERP Evaluation Guide: How to reduce the stress and risk of your ERP evaluation process,” 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.
The 2013 Partner Recognition Program for Microsoft Dynamics recognizes our top Microsoft Dynamics partners for their exceptional FY13 performance.
To achieve 2013 President’s Club for Microsoft Dynamics, partners must demonstrate a strong combination of revenue or customer adds, plus license growth.
A small number of strategic partners from across the globe will be invited to be part of the 2013 Inner Circle for Microsoft Dynamics based on their stellar sales performance in FY13. Partners will qualify to be considered for Inner Circle based on performance and those who have demonstrated consistent business leadership and strategic impact on the growth and success of the Dynamics business.
Visit PartnerSource to access qualification, benefits and program rules.
Passing along this update again as you may have missed some of the previous announcements through our various partner communications engines, or directly from your Microsoft representative. Our Microsoft Dynamics CRM team is excited to announce the availability of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM RFP Guide.
Per the guide’s “how to” section, this document is designed to assist partner resources in responding to prospective customers’ RFPs. The content in this document is arranged into several categories. Each category includes a list of representative RFP questions and standard answers to those questions. Some information may appear in multiple places with different levels of detail. Questions in an actual RFP will not exactly match the questions in this document. Look for the closest match or matches to the question you are trying to answer and customize your response as appropriate.
Download the guide today from PartnerSource.
Earlier this month Microsoft announced the availability of an updated Statement of Direction for Microsoft Dynamics CRM. I’m republishing a quick note as a simple reminder for partners to review the document and share it with their customers and prospects.
This Statement of Direction (SoD) outlines the future direction and planned areas of innovation for Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The intent of this paper is to help our customers and partners establish appropriate plans and guidelines for their investments today, while keeping an eye on the horizon of future innovations being delivered by the Microsoft Dynamics CRM team. It is meant to be directional in nature – and articulates scenarios and solutions that are planned to be delivered over the next 36 months versus any particular product release or service update.
Access the latest Statement of Direction.
Our United States Partner Readiness Team has collaborated with the Worldwide Product Management Team to deliver this exciting training opportunity for Microsoft Dynamics CRM partners. If you are in any of the following roles – sales, presales, marketing and technical – this is five hours of training content you definitely don’t want to miss!!
Join us on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 starting at 9:30AM PT for a live, internet broadcast training session on the upcoming launch of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM December 2012 service update. Find out about key investments made in the sales and service process, social integration, updated user experience and platform capabilities. You’ll learn more about our competitive position and changes to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM roadmap for the upcoming two releases. During the session, you will have DIRECT, LIVE access to Microsoft experts specifically to answer your questions and support your training experience.
Now is the perfect time to begin preparing for the next service update of Microsoft Dynamics CRM!
· Connor Marsden, Director, US Microsoft Dynamics CRM
· Reuben Krippner, Director Product Marketing, Microsoft Dynamics CRM
· Jamie Fiorda, Director Product Marketing, Microsoft Dynamics CRM
· Welcome - US Business Update
· Key Sales and Marketing Investments
· Technical Investment Strategy and Product Update
Highlights Include: o Cross-Browser o Updated User Experience o Yammer o Mobility o Update on DemoBuilder
o Updated User Experience
o Update on DemoBuilder
· Competitive Drilldown
Register for this event on the Partner Learning Center.
We are excited to announce a new offer for existing customers who licensed their new Microsoft Dynamics ERP solution in the first half of calendar year 2012 or earlier.
Microsoft Dynamics GP & Microsoft Dynamics NAV customers are eligible to receive up to 20% off of Microsoft’s standard list price when purchasing select a la carte modules or granules.
Customers can receive up to a 15% off discount when they purchase one module or granule and up to a 20% off discount when they purchase two or more modules or granules from the list of Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics NAV a la carte modules and granules.
This is a limited time offer: November 15, 2012 – December 31, 2012
The offer available only to Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics NAV customers who purchased their Microsoft Dynamics solution prior to July1, 2012 (120 days before starting offer November 15, 2012).
Visit PartnerSource for complete Terms and Conditions.
That’s right, eXtremeCRM 2013 Rome, 3-6 February, will be hosted in the heart of Italy at the Rome Marriott Park Hotel!
Early bird pricing ends 23 November. Register today to save €500!
eXtremeCRM 2013 Rome is the marquee, can’t-miss event for Microsoft Dynamics CRM partners in EMEA. As a corporate sponsor of this event, eXtremeCRM is our #1 platform for sharing the latest Microsoft Dynamics CRM strategies and investments with our partners. If you are growing a Microsoft Dynamics CRM practice, or are thinking of starting one, you should plan to attend this important event that is 100 percent focused on Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
The action-packed agenda includes keynote addresses from Microsoft Dynamics CRM senior executives that will address:
· Unique insight on where the Microsoft Dynamics CRM roadmap is headed, including an in-depth look at the 2012 Service Update and what’s coming in Orion
· Exclusive views from the Microsoft Dynamics CRM product team
· Important EMEA-focused business updates and partner strategy announcements
eXtremeCRM 2013 Rome will enable you to:
Get Specific! Choose from 50 concurrent sessions spanning deep technical to real world sales situations Get In the Know! Learn the latest and greatest directly from Microsoft. Get Connected! Network with partners, ISVs, industry experts, and Microsoft leaders and team members. Get Real! Learn from real-life experiences that solve real-world issues. Get eXtreme! Take your business to the next level with new learning and connections.
Get Specific! Choose from 50 concurrent sessions spanning deep technical to real world sales situations
Get In the Know! Learn the latest and greatest directly from Microsoft.
Get Connected! Network with partners, ISVs, industry experts, and Microsoft leaders and team members.
Get Real! Learn from real-life experiences that solve real-world issues.
Get eXtreme! Take your business to the next level with new learning and connections.
eXecutive Summit Business owners and executive leaders bring your business to the next level and increase your position as a leader in the Microsoft Dynamics channel by attending the eXtreme eXecutive Summit! This two-day executive forum is designed to deep dive on critical business, technology, and leadership issues facing Microsoft Dynamics CRM leaders today. This is a don’t-miss event for partners who want to substantially grow their Microsoft Dynamics CRM practice. eXecutive Summit registration includes access to the private eXecutive Summit meetings plus full access to eXtremeCRM 2013 Rome. Register today!
Proven Success eXtremeCRM is in its 3rd year and delivering its 6th conference and continues to build on its success, with the latest example being eXtremeCRM 2012 Las Vegas. The event grew more than 40 percent, welcoming more than 425 attendees representing 183 organizations from 16 different countries. Thank you to all who attended! We look forward to making eXtremeCRM 2013 Rome the best one yet!
Hear What Attendees are Saying About eXtremeCRM 2012 Las Vegas:
“Great conference! I gathered a ton of insights, learned an incredible amount about the ISVs and services partners, built relationships with Microsoft and generally had a great time! I will surely see you all next year and likely before then.” Brian Garback, Director of Cloud Strategy, New Signature “I really got a lot out of the eXecutive Summit. The best part for me was getting practical advice that I can act on immediately. This came in the form of Bonnie’s [Robertson] presentation, information presented by the panels and talking to the others one on one. I plan on sharing some of this information with my internal team. As a Dynamics CRM partner anticipating significant growth over the next year, this was the right information at the right time. Jeff Cross, Owner, 2B Solutions “eXtremeCRM Las Vegas 2012 was the first eXtremeCRM event I attended, and I must say, it was totally worth it. Sessions were informative, interaction with ISVs was very helpful, and the opportunity to meet with experts/partners was the highlight. I recommend that anyone working with Microsoft Dynamics CRM should attend eXtremeCRM Rome 2013.” Gaurav Kapoor, Senior Associate, Technology Consulting, McGladrey LLP
“Great conference! I gathered a ton of insights, learned an incredible amount about the ISVs and services partners, built relationships with Microsoft and generally had a great time! I will surely see you all next year and likely before then.”
Brian Garback, Director of Cloud Strategy, New Signature
“I really got a lot out of the eXecutive Summit. The best part for me was getting practical advice that I can act on immediately. This came in the form of Bonnie’s [Robertson] presentation, information presented by the panels and talking to the others one on one. I plan on sharing some of this information with my internal team.
As a Dynamics CRM partner anticipating significant growth over the next year, this was the right information at the right time.
Jeff Cross, Owner, 2B Solutions
“eXtremeCRM Las Vegas 2012 was the first eXtremeCRM event I attended, and I must say, it was totally worth it. Sessions were informative, interaction with ISVs was very helpful, and the opportunity to meet with experts/partners was the highlight. I recommend that anyone working with Microsoft Dynamics CRM should attend eXtremeCRM Rome 2013.”
Gaurav Kapoor, Senior Associate, Technology Consulting, McGladrey LLP
Seth Patton Senior Director Microsoft Dynamics CRM Product Marketing
We’ve recently built out a new page on PartnerSource in a table format allowing you to navigate to a variety of resources related to the Certified Software Advisor (CSA) program.
View the CSA Quick Reference Guide as a resource for partner incentives for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and Microsoft Dynamics AX.
Special guest post by Microsoft Dynamics partner: Dennis Bruce, Data Masons Software
Isn’t asking someone how many times they’ve been to Convergence like asking someone their age? Let’s agree and just say that I’ve been around the Convergence block a time or two. Enough to know that without Convergence, I might as well find a nice, sturdy cardboard box to call my office…
Right before leaving for Seattle to attend the Dynamic Communities User Group Events, I received my annual “Convergence 2013 New Orleans Sponsor and Exhibitor Opportunities” email from Marci Eversole. And I’m sure that as Marci hit “Send” on that email, she knew I would be one of the first registrants on behalf of Data Masons – Convergence is a business critical event for our company.
Marci and her team have Convergence running like a well-oiled machined. For sponsors and attendees alike, this means we can focus on our experience and not all the logistical details that could make or break our time away from the office. So from the beginning, the focus on the event is to foster top-notch educational and networking opportunities throughout the program, as demonstrated by the array of tracks, expo hall promotions, volunteer commitments and social activities. This focus alone sets Convergence apart from other industry events.
Personally, this event is my one consistent opportunity to reunite with old colleagues, meet new faces in the Microsoft Dynamics community and talk to them one-on-one about their latest goings-on in the world of Microsoft Dynamics. In a time where most of us are keyed into multiple social media outlets, these face-to-face meetings are even more valuable as they’ve become fewer and far between. And I tell you, it’s these relationships and the knowledge sharing conversations they ignite that help drive my success throughout the year.
For Data Masons, missing Convergence would be like developing software in that nice, sturdy cardboard box I mentioned. As an ISV provider, this event gives us access to 3 essential audiences that are critical in helping us maintain our competitive advantage:
1. Microsoft Dynamics End Users: We confirm the needs of end users and share our expertise with successfully implementing integrated EDI with companies of the same profile;
2. Microsoft Dynamics Partners: We hear directly from the implementation partners on new or evolving client- and industry-specific EDI requirements; and
3. Microsoft: We put on our biggest listening ears and pay close attention to Microsoft as they educate us on their strategy and product development. As an ISV, we believe it’s critical that our development and implementation strategies have the same focus as Microsoft’s, as our goal is to be an extension of what they are providing to the community.
Without Convergence and without talking directly with these 3 key audiences that are crucial to our success, like I said, we might as well develop our ISV solution in a box with no insight into the larger community. And believe me, I would much rather be networking with the best minds in the business than sitting in a very small box …
See you at Convergence!
Your prospects could win up to $45,000 in Microsoft Dynamics ERP Software License and Partner Services!
The Win to Grow contest is a prospect facing contest that partners are able to leverage to drive demand. The Dynamics Business Possible Challenge is prospect facing contest for Volume ERP that will reward three lucky winners each with a Business Transformation delivered by Microsoft and its partners. Prospects articulate via video their business challenges and ask Microsoft Dynamics and partners to help! Winners are determined through the evaluation and voting of prospect video submissions on the Dynamics Business Possible landing page.
And it couldn’t be easier for partners or prospects to participate:
1. Partners to leverage the Marketing Materials on Ready-To-Go (RTG) (to come later in November) to drive demand.
2. Prospects submit by creating a simple 90 second video stating why they need Microsoft Dynamics ERP.
3. Winners announced in Microsoft FY13 Q3 for who will receive $25K in licensing and $20K in partner services.
We’re already getting some entries. Vote for your own favorite entry and help us pick a winner. Help your own prospect entries – share those videos and get votes!
Here are a few things you should do today:
1. Familiarize yourself with the Microsoft Dynamics ERP SMB landing page.
2. Check out the Win to Grow – Dynamics Business Possible Challenge submission and voting site.
3. Leverage the RTG resources when published (update to come when live) or reach out to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) to get started today.
Ben Rohling Senior Product Marketing Manager Microsoft Dynamics ERP