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Special guest post by Microsoft Dynamics partner: John Konczal, Avanade

What is the future of retail? And how can Microsoft Dynamics play a role in this new world of commerce? Those questions are surely to be debated during Microsoft Convergence 2013, which happens on March 18-21 in New Orleans, LA. Microsoft Convergence is the premier event for the Microsoft Dynamics community, where you can make key business connections in the community and discover the full potential of Microsoft Dynamics solutions, like those available from my company, Avanade. And this year at Convergence, especially those associated with enterprise resource planning (ERP), there will be a wealth of information on how Microsoft technologies will usher in a new era of retail.

Customer loyalty is gained or lost at every customer interaction – not just the monetary transaction. Hence, the retail store experience of the future will be one where a store associate can expertly handle a multitude of customer interactions – not just the sales transaction. For example, checking on the status of an online order or checking on what promotions are available based on a customer’s rewards status. Retailers need to equip their employees with the tools that enable them to handle each interaction – pre-sale, sale, and post-sale - with the personalization, responsiveness and convenience that builds greater customer loyalty. This is essential to surviving the future of retail.

Microsoft Dynamics AX, along with associated Microsoft capabilities and those from Microsoft Dynamics solutions providers like Avanade, can give retailers the tools needed to compete. For example, Avanade will showcase retail sales and service tools that extend Microsoft Dynamics capabilities to mobile devices that enable retail employees to deliver enhanced in-store services to their customers. These solutions enable retail store associates to deliver the exceptional experience today’s customers demand. At the event, conference attendees will be able to learn more about mobile-based assisted selling solutions that help customers find the right product based on the customer’s unique requirements and demands. 

I look forward to Convergence and seeing what the 2013 product releases for the Microsoft Dynamics product line hold and how these capabilities can continue to help businesses, like retailers, move their operation ahead in an ultra-competitive world where the customer is king.

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