Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

Microsoft Dynamics Partner Events, Information and Tips

May, 2013

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  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Beyond Fixing Pain Points: Help Customers Broaden their View of a Business Solution

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    Guest post by Pam Misialek, Senior Product Manager, Microsoft Dynamics ERP

    Kati Hvidtfeldt has moved on to lead application program management for Microsoft Dynamics NAV. With the discontinuation of Kati Unplugged, we will continue to give partners perspectives on the benefits and challenges of offering cloud-based solutions to their customers.

    Pam Misialek has worked across Microsoft Dynamics GP product roles—from sales to support, and consulting to product marketing—for 17 years. This week, Pam shares her insights into the factors you should have your customers consider when evaluating a new business management solution.

    _____________________________________

    8117_Pam-Headshot_28D3B31EWhen Microsoft partners talk to prospective customers about what they’re looking for in a business management solution, they hear a lot about the pain points around the current system: poor performance, terrible reporting, accounting limitations. I’m sure you’ve heard them all.

    The partner’s role is to help customers see how they can get more out of a new solution than simply fixing the pain points. By framing the discussion the right way, partners can help customers broaden their view of what a solution can do to drive the business in a more interesting way.

    Here are three factors to help guide the discussion.

    Simplicity

    The biggest challenge in ERP is user adoption. In today’s business, workers demand immediacy and the ease of use they’re used to with their personal devices. It’s important for businesses to consider how the features of a business solution work, how easy it will be for new users, and how quickly the organization can get up and running.

    It’s what’s behind and inside Microsoft Dynamics solutions that really make them easy to use. We are a culture that demands technology to be simple and intuitive. It’s not just a generational understanding, but even older people are now able to ramp quickly on new technologies like smartphones. These expectations drive where software is going, and how we design our products.

    Role-based home pages came out of research on more than 2200 customers to discover how they navigate and use software. Users can select exactly what they want to see on their home pages, so even casual users can get more out of the solution without having to go to power users to get what they need. And because Microsoft Dynamics ERP products leverage the familiar Microsoft Office user experience, users are up and running quickly.

    Risk Mitigation

    In my experience over the last 17 years, one of the biggest fears people have when they look at other software is fear of deployment. They’re excited at first, but when it comes to getting it up and running, is can be really scary. There is risk.

    The question the Microsoft Dynamics GP team asked ourselves is, “How do we make deployment as simple as possible? How do we provide out-of-the-box tools and other resources to reduce the risk?”

    To address this issue we put a lot of time into developing the RapidStart migration tool. RapidStart can modify data before pouring it in so it’s in a better state after the migration, and it takes customers (or partners) through a series of questions during setup and configuration so the solution will work how your customer’s business works. This risk reduction goes right to the bottom line, and ROI is quicker.

    An important consideration around risk mitigation is Microsoft Dynamics’s strong roadmap. It used to be that companies changed accounting solutions every seven years. Because of changes in the economy, people are now holding on to these solutions for about 12 years. With Microsoft Dynamics, your customer’s solution isn’t going to be retired. It’s going to continue to add new functionality and features. We do research at Microsoft all the time into what customers are going to need three-to-four years down the road, so when they’re ready to take advantage of new technologies, they’re already there—proven and tested. When customers are looking at other products be sure to advise them to look into the roadmap and strategy.

    Cloud—On the Customer’s Terms

    Positioning a business for competition and growth is not just about replacing an accounting system. It’s about giving people a new way to work and be more productive. People are demanding to work in a different way. They want to work on mobile devices, and be “at work,” even if they’re at home. For businesses, offering this kind of flexibility makes people more productive.

    And of course cloud implementations enable customers to scale back on infrastructure and house IT.

    But not all businesses should move everything to the cloud. For example, a lot of customers want their sensitive financial data on premises, where they can keep control of it. But they want to have other software in the cloud so they don’t have to support the on-site infrastructure. They want to be able to say “yes” to employees when they want to work at home, or work in a different way to make them more productive and empower the business.

    Microsoft gives customers the flexibility and power of choice: Do you want to pay per month or own the software? Do you want employees to be able to use different devices? Do you want to host the data in house, or are you comfortable with having it hosted in the cloud? Microsoft Dynamics gives businesses the flexibility to work the way they want to work.

    With so many business management choices available, it’s important to help your prospective customers look beyond fixing the pain points to recognize the strategic value of Microsoft Dynamics ERP. It really is a total business solution from Microsoft.

    _____________________________________

    For a deeper, customer-facing perspective on this topic, including supporting demos, see the on-demand webinar Pam recently presented with Microsoft Dynamics Partner Technical Advisor Craig Crescas, “How to Get the Most out of Your Business Management Solution,” from the Microsoft Dynamics ERP series for SMBs.

    To learn more about how to incorporate cloud-based solutions into your business plans visit the Microsoft Dynamics ERP 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

    Back by Popular Demand: WPC 2013 Refer-A-Colleague for a $100 Refund!

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    Kati Quigley, WPC Ambassador, shares this insightful Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2013 registration update.

    You’ve been asking for it – so now, we’re bringing it back: beginning next Monday, the first Refer-A-Colleague promotion is returning—this time for one whole week! We want to reward you for reaching out to network and spreading the word about the tremendous value that WPC provides to partners. For all of next week, we’re re-offering the Refer-A-Colleague discount where you could earn up to a US$1,000 refund when your friends or colleagues register for WPC.

    WE WANT TO GIVE YOU A $100 REFUND and your friend or colleague a $100 discount.

    Please review Kati’s complete blog post on Digital WPC to learn how to participate.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Dynamic Businesses Unite at Microsoft WPC 2013

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    All business and organizations face an increasingly complex set of risks. Seismic changes can take place in an instant with one click, and dramatic shifts in behavior and approach are transforming the way we adopt and use technology. Business and IT leaders alike are faced with a very clear choice:  lead the change or be a victim of change. Organizations that successfully bring together the different aspects of their business – including people, processes, technology—are the ones that will successfully engage with their customers and grow their business. It’s time to bring it all together. To unite.

    Join the Microsoft Dynamics track to learn how business solutions are leading the way in transforming organizations and how you can help your customers innovate, grow and prosper by enabling them to unite their people, processes and technologies.

    Content

    · Vision Keynote (Kirill Tatarinov, Monday, July 8)
    · Value Keynote (Neil Holloway, Monday, July 8)
    · 26 breakout sessions; 10 interactive sessions; 2 Expo Theater sessions

    Community

    · The booth & lounge will have experts from the Microsoft Dynamics product teams to learn more about Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics SL & Microsoft Dynamics NAV products. Microsoft Dynamics partner and services teams will be available to speak to partners about growing their Microsoft Dynamics practice or augment their platform practice.

    · WPC Awards Program (4 Microsoft Dynamics categories)

    o Categories: CRM Global Partner of the Year; ERP Global Partner of the Year; Microsoft Dynamics Industry Partner of the Year Award; Microsoft Dynamics Cloud Partner of the Year Award
    o The awards luncheon is scheduled for Monday, July 8 from 12:00-1:30pm at the Hilton Americas

    · Microsoft Dynamics Global Recognition and President's Club Event (Monday, July 8) – invitation only

    Microsoft Dynamics partners can also visit our WPC 2013 PartnerSource page for additional details. Our session titles, abstracts and speakers are available in the WPC session catalog.

    Register today – We hope to see you in Houston!

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Airlift 2013 – Support Pre-Conference Training

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    On September 17 prior to the Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Airlift official kick off Microsoft will be holding a full day of pre-conference training with tracks focused on Web Client, HR/Payroll, and Reporting/BI.

    Registration for these classes is available through the Technical Airlift registration process.

    · Session 1 – Troubleshooting the Web Client for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013
    · Session 2 – Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 – The In’s and Out’s of Human Resource and Payroll with All Add On’s
    · Session 3 – Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Reporting – SQL Server Reporting Services

    For more information and to register please visit the Technical Airlift website.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Digital Marketing Playbook: Guide to Inbound Marketing for Microsoft Dynamics Partners

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    The Microsoft Dynamics ERP volume team has created new guidance to aid with your efforts to transform your current marketing into an always on digital marketing machine.

    The nature of marketing has changed. Buyers are searching online for solutions and going further through the sales process on their own. Build a repeatable marketing engine to increase your discoverability, improve lead conversion, and shorten your sales cycle. Find out how you can build a lean, mean marketing machine.

    The Digital Marketing Playbook: Guide to Inbound Marketing for Microsoft Dynamics Partners is your one-stop guide – including links to supporting resources and training–to build an inbound marketing program that supports your volume business transformation. Use this guide to:

    • Define and target your market
    • Build a content engine
    • Attract visitors to your website
    • Convert visitors into prospects
    • Nurture prospects as they move through the stages of the buying cycle


    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Where are all of the official Microsoft Dynamics Blogs?

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    Thank you to all of the loyal followers of the Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community blog! As I get ready to enjoy the extended weekend over Memorial Day in the United States, here’s a quick reminder of the various other Microsoft Dynamics product focused blogs managed by Microsoft employees worth reading. Keep in mind there are plenty of other fabulous blogs out there – especially those published by partners!

    · Microsoft Dynamics CRM Connection

    · Microsoft Dynamics ERP “The Edge” Blog

    · Microsoft Dynamics CRM Team Blog

    · Inside Microsoft Dynamics AX

    · Inside Microsoft Dynamics GP

    · Microsoft Dynamics NAV Team Blog

    · Microsoft Dynamics SL Community Team Blog

    All of these blogs are publically available and receive thousands of views per day. Catch up with the ones of most interest to you and your organization!

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Discontinuing Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online on the MBS platform

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    In an ongoing effort to enhance our Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online offering, we are transitioning all subscriptions of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online to the Microsoft online services environment. The Microsoft online services environment uses the same billing and administration platform as Office 365 and will provide a unified experience, simplified account management, and enhanced privacy and data security.

    The implication of this change is that in Q1 Calendar Year 2014, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online will cease to utilize the old billing and administration platform, and discontinue support to customers and partners on it.

    We have carefully designed a transition process that will allow customers to move their Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online subscription to the new environment without disruption to their business. Partner Internal Use Rights accounts are similarly impacted in the transition process.

    Please visit PartnerSource to understand how this change impacts your organization and existing customers. There is also an opportunity to learn more by watching an on demand web seminar available on the Partner Learning Center.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Retail Performance White Paper and Benchmark Results for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2

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    Two new capability resources from the Microsoft Dynamics AX product management team have recently been made available.

    Retail Performance White Paper for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

    This white paper provides an overview of a series of performance tests run by Microsoft to enable customers and partners to better size capacity for the infrastructure that they require for an implementation of the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Retail module.

    As a part of the release process for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2, Microsoft conducted a series of performance tests to enable customers and partners to better size the capacity for the infrastructure that is required for their implementation. The performance tests showcase the ability of the solution to scale based on critical business scenarios that pertain to the Retail industry. The performance tests include many functional scenarios across different client and integration technologies providing a view of the core retail scenarios.

    Visit PartnerSource to view or download the document.


    Retail Benchmark Results for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2

    These documents provide a set of detailed results from benchmark testing of multiple retail workloads on Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2.

    The benchmark showcases the ability of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 to handle various specialized loads concurrently, without compromising performance and scalability on critical business processes. The benchmark includes many functional scenarios across different client and integration technologies, thereby providing a view of retail back-end scenarios.

    Visit PartnerSource to view or download the documents.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    The Cloud Easy Offer & The Big Easy Offer 10 End May 31

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    A quick and simple reminder regarding the expiration of these offers at the end of this month. Please review complete terms and conditions.

    Cloud Easy Offer —Talk to Your Customers About the Cloud Today
    The Cloud Easy offer lets your customers earn partner subsidy dollars on their Microsoft Online Services subscription purchases—dollars they can apply to additional software licenses, subscriptions, or services. Offer ends May 31. Terms and conditions.

    Big Easy Offer 10 —Help Your Customers Update Their IT
    It's the right time to talk to your customers about upgrading their IT to use new features and functionality in Microsoft products that help increase operational efficiency, data management, productivity, and collaboration. The Big Easy Offer 10 covers a wide variety of popular Microsoft on-premises software. Offer ends May 31. Offer terms and conditions.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Announcing the 2013 Microsoft Dynamics WPC Partner Awards

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    Very big congratulations today to all of our exceptional Microsoft Dynamics WPC 2013 award winners and finalists! Your commitment and dedication to Microsoft and the Microsoft Dynamics technologies is unmatched, and we appreciate your strong efforts throughout FY13.

    For a complete list of all Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference Awards 2013 winners and more information on our winning partners go to Digital WPC and the Microsoft News Center.

    WPC_Banners_Register-Today_728x90

    Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

    Winner: PowerObjects
    Finalist: CRM Partners
    Finalist: Customer Effective
    Finalist: Navantis

    Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

    Winner: eBECS
    Finalist: GMCS
    Finalist: Hitachi Solutions America Ltd.
    Finalist: Tribridge

    Microsoft Dynamics Cloud

    Winner: eSavvy
    Finalist: SMB Suite
    Finalist: Tribridge

    Microsoft Dynamics Industry

    Winner: mcaConnect
    Finalist: V.R.P. Veri Raporlama Programlama Bilisim Yazilim ve Danismanlik Hizmetleri Ticaret A.S.
    Finalist: INFOMA Software Consulting GmbH
    Finalist: HSO International

    Once again congrats to all and enjoy your WPC 2013 experience in Houston, TX next month!

    --Kevin

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