I finally got the blog set up and ready for posting - probably have to spend a bit more time making it look better but it will have to wait for now. I'm pretty excited to start this blog - and curious about whether anyone will notice? However, I do feel that the interest about Dynamics Ax is growing these days and the community is building - so why not contribute.
For the ones who don't know me, I have been working with the Dynamics Ax product since the initial conception back in the 90's and prior to that also with the Concorde XAL product - which is sort of a pre-decessor. Most of my time have been spent within development working with adding new features and managing the project in general. I also spent a couple of years in the US working with partners on servicing and supporting the Axapta product as it was then called.
I feel strongly for the product and it's place in the market. I believe we have a truly unique product with it's capabilities around customization and flexibility. The tools provided with the product is the key strength and differentiator. We've created a lot of good features, but we need to do much more to help customers and partners to not make wrong choices. I'm currently thinking a lot about which tools and documentation we should to provide to partners to make each implementation a real success - both in terms of time spent (short) and money (little).
The reality is that there are so many choices. Which parts of an implementation should we focus on - where does it really hurt? What is partners spending time on, it is the analysis of customer requirements and the matching to the Ax processes? - or is it preparing pre-sales demos? What about the actual design of customizations - it may be that it's not complicated to figure out what to customize, but it's impossible to figure out how to do the customizations? Is this the most critical aspect - and if so how can we in Microsoft help with that?
All these questions and so many more are right now on my mind. Basically the issues is where to focus. It's not that we are not doing anything alreaady but we need to do more. One example of what we are doing is the "Rapid Configuration Tool" for Dynamics Ax 4.0, which we recently made available to partners on the Microsoft Partner Source web-site (http://www.microsoft.com/dynamics/partnersource.mspx - requires access). This tool helps partners and customers setting up the Ax application and managing the process. It addresses activities during a deployment phase, but what about all the activitites in other phases of an implementation such as analysis, design, development etc.
What I would like is feedback from partners on where they see the biggest issues and what could help most driving down the implementation time. To get this feedback we are right now preparing a survey we would like partners and other to respond to. As soon as the survey is ready I'll talk more about this in this blog. For now we are thinking about all the questions to ask.
In the meantime - if you read this blog - and you think the topic is interesting - let me know. Also make sure to join the discussion forrums on the Dynamics Ax communities (http://www.microsoft.com/dynamics/ax/community.mspx) as well as the partner forums on PartnerSource.
DisclaimerThis posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.