Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

Microsoft Dynamics Partner Events, Information and Tips

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  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Updated Statement of Direction for Microsoft Dynamics SL

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    This week we released a new edition of the Statement of Direction (SOD) for Microsoft Dynamics SL. As you know, this is a key document containing important information about Microsoft’s investment plans and product development roadmap for the next three releases. Not only is the Statement of Direction a valuable tool for us and partners to help plan business activities and speak confidently with customers and prospects about the future of Microsoft Dynamics SL, it can help differentiate our offering from the competition. Industry analysts tell us time and time again that most of our competitors are reluctant to share long-term product strategy details with their customers. With the information in the Statement of Direction, Microsoft empowers partners and customers with knowledge to help them plan their business for tomorrow’s opportunities.

    One partner downloaded it already, and had this comment to share:

    "it is awesome. Clearly a huge amount of work went into it (by you and the whole team), and it surely will put to rest any questions about the future of SL to say nothing about informing all of us what's up....Thank you for all your continued hard work to keep SL plowing ahead!! We certainly appreciate it."

    The purpose of this document is to outline the broad strategy for Microsoft Dynamics SL, the specific product roadmap for the next major release Microsoft Dynamics SL "8," and the initiatives beyond that release with Microsoft Dynamics SL "9" and Microsoft Dynamics SL "10." This document is intended for companies considering purchasing Microsoft Dynamics SL, and for the value added reselling partners and certified consultants who sell, implement, and support the solution for our thousands of customers worldwide.

    Insight into our current and upcoming investments are intended to help make the most of your own business software investments, and to drive greater productivity as you plan, deploy, use, and maintain your business-management solution.

    You can use the document to prepare for your business as well to be able to speak with confidence to customers and prospect about the product future.

    The document must NOT be distributed broadly in any form or on your Web sites.

    Download the new SOD from PartnerSource.

    Also, don't forget to check out an interview with Jeff Suwyn discussing Microsoft Dynamics SL and Microsoft Project on YouTube!

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Virtual Partner Briefing Goes Live on April 22, 2010

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    Here are some additional details regarding our move from a live in-person event for the Convergence Partner Briefing to a virutal format this year. 

    In an effort to better assist you in your preparations for hosting your customers at Convergence we’re offering a new way to brief partners prior to the customer event. The traditional live briefing day will transformed into the Virtual Partner Briefing. Our goals for this experience are to:

    1. Help get partners ready for Convergence 2010.
    2. Recognize the great work partners have done this year.
    3. Take a look at our business together, today and in the coming year.
    4. Provide focus for partners on key business objectives and our strategic view of the business moving forward.

    The Virtual Partner Briefing will be available beginning Thursday, April 22, 2010 with links from this PartnerSource page, no advance sign-up is required. While it is recommended that content be viewed prior to Convergence, all content will be available for on-demand viewing for a period of four to five months post Convergence as well.

    Structure for the Virtual Briefing will include one keynote, five general sessions and up to 15 breakout sessions. Content for these sessions includes information and updates on Microsoft Dynamics MPN; announcements on products, programs and marketing, strategies for Microsoft Dynamics ERP and Microsoft Dynamics CRM; a competitive outlook; and an update on our industry focus.

    Set aside time in your calendar to view all of the great content available on Virtual Briefing beginning April 22, 2010.

    For additional Convergence information visit PartnerSource.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    You're Invited. WPC Registration is Now Open.

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    Get the scoop on the Microsoft vision and strategic roadmap at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), July 11-15, 2010, in Washington, D.C.

    As a Microsoft partner, your exclusive invitation to WPC July 11–15, 2010, gets you information on the latest product innovations and solutions. Hear the story straight from Microsoft executives and discover new ways to grow your business with Microsoft.

    With thousands of partners and Microsoft team members from around the world in attendance, WPC is your top opportunity for networking this year. The first 1,500 eligible people to register for an All Access or Day Pass will receive a free copy of Windows 7 Ultimate*, so be sure to register soon!

    Register for WPC 2010.

    U.S. Exclusives

    Get your VIP Pass!

    Register before May 1, 2010, and you could win one of five VIP Passes, which include these fabulous perks:**

    • VIP seats at U.S. keynote speech
    • Meet-and-greet with senior Microsoft executives
    • Guaranteed ticket to the U.S. party
    • Free copies of Windows 7 Ultimate and Microsoft Office 2010
    • A free HD Zune or Windows phone
    • $25 Starbucks® gift card

    Learn more

    *Offer good only in the 50 United States (includes Washington, D.C.) for the first 1500 employees of actively enrolled U.S. Microsoft Partner Network registrants who register for an All Access or One Day conference pass to the 2010 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference. Limit on gift per person. This offer is nontransferable and cannot be combined with any other offer. This offer ends on May 1 while supplies last, and is not redeemable for cash. Taxes, if any, are the sole responsibility of the recipient. Gifts will be available for redemption at the US Lounge at the Worldwide Partner Conference July 12-15, 2010. Gifts not redeemed in the US Lounge will not be mailed. Due to government gift and ethics laws, government employees (including military and employees of public education institutions) are not eligible to participate.

    **No Purchase Necessary. Open only to US based Microsoft Partners. Winner will be notified by e-mail with instructions on how to claim prize no later than four weeks prior to date of event. Game ends 5/1/2010. For Official Rules including free alternate method of entry, click here.

    Also, the U.S. party is back--Newseum style! Hosted by Robert Youngjohns, Microsoft Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing in North America, this U.S. celebration will be one for the record books. Join 3,500 Microsoft partners and executives for cocktails, networking, and celebration.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Distinction in Marketing Partner Award Submission Guidelines and Entry Form

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    The Golden Globes, Grammys, and Oscars have wrapped up. Now, award season in the Microsoft Dynamics channel is in full swing! Next month customers receive Convergence award recognition, and partners are up for awards in July at WPC. Today, I'm happy announce that we've opened the nominations up for the Distinction in Marketing Partner Awards.

    Microsoft will recognize up to five partner marketing campaigns that focus on Microsoft Dynamics business solutions as part of the 2010 Distinction in Marketing Partner Award. Partners awarded with this recognition will receive the following benefits in acknowledgment of their outstanding marketing results:

    • 1 Year Paid Access Hoovers Subscription for Up to 5 Users. Approximate Retail Value (ARV) $3,000 USD.
    • Convergence 2011 Pass for a prospect or customer. Approximate Retail Value (ARV) $1,295 USD.
    • Award Plaque: Winning partners will receive an award plaque to display at your organization that will commemorate your achievement.
    • Peer Recognition: Winning submissions will be featured in a dedicated Marketing Community Web Seminar.

    For more information on registering for the Marketing Professional Community visit PartnerSource and select Communities > Marketing.

    Questions regarding the Distinction in Marketing Award submissions can be directed by dynmpc@microsoft.com.

    For complete award eligibility and submission requirements, visit PartnerSource.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Become a Fan of the Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community on Facebook

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    With more than 400 million active users worldwide, Facebook is one of the most visible and visited social networking websites. On our Facebook page, you’ll get valuable resources to benefit your business including videos which will provide you with case studies, best practices, and sales techniques to improve your ability to develop and diversify your business.

    We hope you’ll take the opportunity to share some of your best practices with the community and network with other Microsoft Dynamics partners.

    Become a fan on Facebook today!

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Statement of Direction for Microsoft Dynamics Retail Store Solutions

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    More fantastic news coming this week for partners selling and implementing Microsoft Dynamics retail solutions. We've recently updated the Statement of Direction (SOD) for Microsoft Dynamics Retail Store Solutions.

    The Retail Industry represents a significant opportunity for Microsoft Dynamics as the second largest industry in terms of both entities and software applications spend. This is especially true in the Retail Mid-Market where the software application spend opportunity is greatest. More important, however, is the value Microsoft Dynamics can help deliver to retail organizations in a climate where consumers are empowered like never before with real-time information through mobility, social media, and online channels – driving retailers to choose technology that helps connect them with their customers. Retailers are looking to achieve this through the deployment of solutions that help reduce complexity; allow the organization to quickly adapt; and empowers the retailer’s most valuable asset – people – to be more productive.

    This statement of direction brings Microsoft Dynamics customers and partners up-to-date on the Microsoft Dynamics Retail roadmap with specific focus on the product development plan, support, and migration for Microsoft Dynamics Retail Store Management solutions – Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System (RMS) 2.0 and Microsoft Dynamics POS 2009 - through 2015. This document replaces all previous versions and provides relevant information about:

    • Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System (RMS) 2.0
    • Microsoft Dynamics POS 2009

    Although the focus of this document is on Store Management Solutions, the roadmap for all solutions in the Microsoft Dynamics retail portfolio will be detailed – starting with the soon to be released Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail. This is the next generation end-to-end retail solution from Microsoft Dynamics and will play a key role in the long term strategy and migration plan for current Microsoft Dynamics retail customers.

    Microsoft is committed to provide innovation and long term value to Microsoft Dynamics RMS 2.0 and Microsoft Dynamics POS 2009 customers. Our goal is to provide visibility to the overall Microsoft Dynamics retail roadmap as well as detailed information about our product strategy for our Store Management Solutions, so that you can plan your business activities effectively.

    Download the updated SOD on PartnerSource.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    You are invited to join the IAMCP

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    I would like to invite you to join of the key partner networking communities, the International Association of Microsoft Certified Partners (IAMCP).

    Discover the Power of Partner-to-Partner Networking

    The IAMCP – United States is the preeminent networking venue for Microsoft Partners in the world. The IAMCP-US fosters mutual growth and business development for its members through networking and relationship building with local Microsoft offices.

    As a member of the IAMCP – United States, you can:

    • Network with other Microsoft partners.
    • Expand your business opportunities.
    • Connect with your local community.
    • Enhance your ties to Microsoft.

    The IAMCP includes nearly 4,000 companies in 33 countries, and over 80 chapters worldwide, with over 30 chapters in the United States. The IAMCP provides Microsoft Partners a voice into Microsoft programs, to the IT community at large, as well as a vehicle to facilitate business development among partners.

    Want to find out more? Visit www.iamcp-us.org to find the nearest IAMCP chapter in your area and stop by an upcoming IAMCP chapter meeting.

    IAMCP National Meeting – May 19, 2010 8:00 am PST

    You are invited to join the IAMCP’s National Meeting with keynote speaker Cindy Bates, Vice President of U.S. Partner Strategy, Marketing, and Programs (PSM&P).

    Partners who join IAMCP – United States can to attend their first virtual National Meeting on May 19, 2010, featuring Cindy Bates, Vice President, US PSM&P. IAMCP chapter members will simultaneously gather in meeting spaces across the US as they join each other to network locally and meet nationally.

    Kerry Gerontianos, President IAMCP – US, will host a 90-minute IAMCP national meeting, including a keynote session with a Microsoft Partner Network update from Cindy Bates, Vice President, US PSM&P.

    This is a partner-only event with content delivered by Microsoft exclusively for IAMCP members. For more information or to join IAMCP please visit: www.iamcp-us.org. To register for this event please go to: www.iamcp-us.org/CommunityCalendar.

    Flex Funds

    As an exclusive benefit of becoming an IAMCP – United States member, you’ll be able to request $500 in flexible marketing dollars from Microsoft. Join IAMCP – United States today and find out more!

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    MSSP Sales Accelerator now available on PartnerSource

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    Cool news for Microsoft partners using Microsoft Dynamics CRM to manage your sales process as we have recently announced the availability of the Microsoft Solution Selling Process Accelerator...

    The Microsoft Dynamics Partner Readiness Team is pleased to announce the release of the Microsoft Solution Selling Process Accelerator on PartnerSource! This free tool is the first key milestone of the Partner Business Systems initiative and aligns with the Microsoft Dynamics Partner Readiness Strategy of providing partners with subsidized advanced training, guidance and systems to set a trajectory for profitable growth.

    The MSSP Sales Accelerator helps partners leverage Microsoft Dynamics CRM to drive revenue and grow their business by standardizing the sales team’s processes to drive opportunities through the pipeline more effectively and efficiently. To further enhance the sales experience, we are also pleased to announce a special Access Hoover’s offer to the MSSP Sales Accelerator early adopters.

    The MSSP Sales Accelerator is built on a proven sales methodology that helps partners:

    • Customize Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 to optimize the Microsoft Dynamics selling process.
    • Increase the sales team’s efficiency by providing exit criteria, tools and links at your fingertips, and guidance for each sales stage.
    • Ease of sales pipeline management by providing the sales force with a common terminology.
    • Realize seamless integration with the "Your Business Solution Roadmap" tool.

    Prerequisites:

    UPDATE AS OF AUGUST 1, 2012

    As you know, Partner Business Systems is owned, delivered and supported by QBT, a Microsoft Gold-Certified partner. For the last 24 months, Microsoft and QBT have worked to jointly develop and promote Partner Business Systems and to help deliver this solution to customers like you.

    What is changing?

    From August 1, 2012, QBT has assumed full ownership of development, promotion, implementation and support for Partner Business Systems. Additionally, Microsoft has retired PBS Basic and the MSSP Accelerator for Partner Business Systems which were previously available on PartnerSource. 

    Why are you changing?

    As the owner of Partner Business Systems, QBT is best placed to directly own the relationship with customers. By streamlining the promotional engines and ensuring all components of the solution are available via QBT, we will help to ensure high quality customer service.

    We are using PBS Basic. What should I do?

    PBS Basic will no longer be available from Microsoft. However, you can contact QBT via their website: http://www.qbtonline.com.au/

    How will I get Support?

    As an existing customer, you will continue to receive the same great service you have come to expect from Tony Banks and his team at QBT. You can contact the support team via the QBT website.

     

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Microsoft Dynamics RMS & POS Partner Conference

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    I've just returned from a nice, relaxing vacation, and have plenty of updates to share from the Microsoft Dynamics team this week! Roger Demers from my own Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community team passed me a note on a great addition to the Convergence Conference for partners focused on Microsoft Dynamics RMS & POS...

    Microsoft Dynamics RMS & POS Partner Conference
    April 27 & 28, 2010
    Hilton Garden Inn; Oceanic A meeting room
    275 Baker Street
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA 30313
    Tel: 1-404-577-2001 Fax: 1-404-577-2002

    Register today for the Microsoft Dynamics RMS & POS Partner Conference, April 27-28, 2010 in Atlanta, GA.

    Partner Reception – April 27th - 6:00-10:00 p.m.
    This evening partner reception will provide you with the opportunity to reconnect, with fellow partners and the Microsoft Dynamics Retail team, for an evening of fun and socializing.

    Partner Conference – April 28th - 8:30 a.m. -4:00 p.m.
    Significant investments have been made in the Microsoft Dynamics Retail Portfolio over the past year. The Microsoft Dynamics RMS & POS Partner Conference will detail the Microsoft Dynamics Retail Strategy – highlighting the strategic importance of both Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System (RMS) and Microsoft Dynamics POS 2009. Come to learn about new functionality being delivered for both solutions as well as specific details on the road map; migration; and partner opportunity. You will have the opportunity to meet and provide feedback to key Microsoft Dynamics leaders while also engaging with fellow partners. In addition, this conference will provide you with the information and offers necessary to build momentum and energize your Microsoft Dynamics Retail practice.

    Microsoft speakers & attendees at the conference will include:

    • Michael Griffiths - Director of Retail Product Management
    • Dilip Popat – WW Retail Industry Principal
    • Will Roche – IMDM North America
    • Ashvin Mathew – GM Dynamics Retail & Online Services
    • Balaji Balasubramanian – Group Program Manager Retail
    • Larry Negrich – U.S. Retail Industry Marketing Manager
    • Ricky Gangsted Rasmussen – Director Software + Services
    • Jay Oberlander, Toni McQuilan and Todd Berger – Microsoft Dynamics Technical Support

    Join us Tuesday evening, April 27th through Wednesday, April 28th in Atlanta, GA for the conference. This Microsoft Dynamics RMS& POS Partner Conference will follow the Microsoft Convergence 2010 Atlanta—the Premier Microsoft Dynamics Event from April 24 – 27, 2010.

    Register today for the Microsoft Dynamics RMS & POS Partner Conference! Register Here

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    New Significant Offer for Prospects to support Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 Launch

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    Microsoft Dynamics GP partners, we have built some great momentum going into the upcoming product launch in May, and I wanted pass along an important message and offer from one of my co-workers, Brent Combest...

    Over the course of the last 18 to 24 months, we’ve all seen customers pushing off buying decisions based on the effects of the economy. This time has been challenging for many of you and Microsoft as well. That said, the clouds appear to be breaking. Economists are beginning to become mildly bullish on the recovery and as a barometer, the DOW has shown improvement.

    We saw tremendous growth in December and continue to see strong activity in the early portions of calendar 2010. Based on the feedback from many of you, we recognize that there are a large number of opportunities that have stalled over the past 18 months. With these signs of economic improvement, coupled with the number of companies that have been waiting on the sidelines to make a purchasing decision, now is the time for us to do something significant.

    Let’s be aggressive and grow this business together!

    We now face a unique opportunity to accelerate out of what has been an extremely painful recession. It appears the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 launch couldn’t have come at a better time. With all of the great new enhancements to the product and the activity we’re generating around this significant launch, Microsoft and our partners are in a prime position to make tremendous gains on our competitors.

    We are also very well aware that in order to grow our business, you must first grow yours. And to do so requires profitability. We recognize that increasing billable hours is a key component to the profitability equation. One fast way to increase this metric is to drive a strong pipe of new customers into your services business, and we’ve crafted an offer with this in mind.

    We’re expecting over 750 companies to attend our launch events around the country – and even more through the engagement of you, our partners in your own events. We want to help you capitalize on this momentum and to do so, we’ve put together a compelling offer for prospects.

    A compelling offer for customers

    Microsoft is excited to announce "Three Users for a Buck" - a Microsoft Dynamics (U.S.) promotion targeting growing and medium-sized businesses that wish to take advantage of the rich functionality, low cost of ownership, and rapid deployability offered by Microsoft Dynamics GP. The promotion allows customers to purchase up to 3 Advanced Management (AM) or Business Essential (BE) user licenses for $1 (US).

    This offer applies to new customers making their first purchase of Microsoft Dynamics GP and is effective Monday, March 15, 2010 through the end of business Friday, July 1, 2010 June 25, 2010. Please refer to PartnerSource for full details (Click Here). We’ll be integrating the offer into all aspects of our launch activity and I’d advise you to leverage it in the same way.

    NOTE: When placing orders, be sure to use the three year MESA agreement and include Promo Code NA-H2-10-27 to the Notes field for tracking.

    Taking full advantage of the offer to drive New Customers and Services Revenue into your business

    Given this offer is only around through July 1, 2010 June 25, 2010, I recommend being as proactive as possible in order to maximize its potential impact on your business. This is a very lucrative offer and is for a limited time only. That said, we recommend doing the following:

    Conduct your own launch event or drive prospects to one of ours. We have a full host of resources to assist you in conducting your own event, including overview decks, demo scripts, and more. You can find these on the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 Sales and Marketing homepage.

    In addition to finding the content you need, you will see instructions on the PartnerSource page above for getting your event posted on the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 Launch Portal.

    Connect with stalled prospects. Proactively reach out to your list of prospects who have put off buying decisions. An offer this significant may be the compelling event that gets them over the edge.

    Tip: If the prospect is still reluctant, you can use this as a proof of concept offer where they implement financials only with a fixed scope implementation that limits their risk and gets them into determining if this is a good fit. For a $1 investment plus the cost of your basic services, this might be a good way to approach some of the more challenging or reluctant prospects.

    Tip: Also, for those of you who have existing QuickBooks and Peachtree users reluctant to move, this can be pitched as an insurance policy of sorts. There is no limit on the users they have to take. For a $1 and then as little as $1.10 per day with a 3 year enhancement plan commitment, they’ll have the solution they need when the time comes.

    Include the offer in your marketing activities. Be sure to integrate the offer into all of your communication mediums to help stir up excitement. Additionally, as you can imagine we (Microsoft) are putting a ton of weight behind this offer. You’ll see it in much of what we’re going to market with. It’s on our launch pages, it’s in our social media push, it’s in every point of connection for Microsoft Dynamics GP. The bottom line is we want to drive as many customer adds into your hands as possible. Our goal is to flood you with activity and services revenue!

    We’re extremely excited about the upcoming launch of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 and want to help you take full advantage of this opportunity to increase the profitability of your business while delivering value to your customers. This offer can be a tremendous lever in helping you do so.

    Best regards and here’s to blowing out Q4!

    --Kevin

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