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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Navigate to PartnerSource to discover a recently launched page dedicated to the Connector for Microsoft Dynamics. Integration between Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Dynamics ERP products has arrived with the release of Connector for Microsoft Dynamics. Access the latest resources and tools from one location.
And as announced on the Connector blog, the Connector for Microsoft Dynamics V2 RU2 has been released. This release includes enhanced maps, and also resolves some of the key issues that you might be facing with your RU 1 deployments. Access the blog post to understand additional features and updates delivered in the new solution.
Another great vision video from our marketing team. I had to share if you haven’t seen it already.
And for those of you based in the United States like myself, have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!!
Special guest post by Microsoft Dynamics partner: Jeffrey Beelman, Hitachi Solutions
As a customer, Convergence board member, and now a member of the Hitachi Solutions partner team, I have definitely seen the distinct value and advantages of attending this conference.
Convergence is the only place where Microsoft, partners, and customers all join together in one venue to network and discuss challenges and opportunities regarding Microsoft Dynamics products.
From the partner perspective I believe these are the key benefits of Convergence:
· The ability to meet with your current customers and personally address their issues or inquiries with Microsoft Dynamics experts or other users that share common business practices.
· Learn about best practices and industry trends so you are able to tailor your solutions
· Learn about product roadmaps and future direction of the product and vertical industries
· Guiding your customers to appropriate sessions and hands on labs
· Be a part of one of the largest events with an incredible prospect base
Overall, Convergence is the most planned, strategic, and best organized event I have ever been a part of and that is truly evident by the overwhelming attendance and returning attendees each year.
Enter the Convergence Share Your Story contest and you could win a $250 gift card - and a FREE PASS to Convergence 2014. Check out the full contest details.
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.
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
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