Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

Microsoft Dynamics Partner Events, Information and Tips

December, 2011

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  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM in the Microsoft Experience Center – How to Engage – Partner Web Seminar

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    Our Microsoft Dynamics CRM team provides this information regarding an upcoming web seminar being held Thursday, December 15 at 9:00AM Pacific.

    The Microsoft Experience Center is coming to a Microsoft office near you. Also known as "MEC", this is the primary engine for envisioning the "One Microsoft" story to our Enterprise and Corporate Accounts. Microsoft Dynamics CRM is presented in MEC, which provides a great opportunity to expand our reach and find new opportunities. This session will review how Microsoft Dynamics CRM is incorporated in MEC, how MEC is being leveraged across the US, and how our partners can engage.

    Register for this event through the Partner Learning Center.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Convergence 2012 Partner Only Event, March 17 – Save the Date!

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    Last week, in the latest edition of the Partner Connection newsletter, the Microsoft Dynamics worldwide partner team shared this important information regarding a partner only event occurring prior to the official kick off of Convergence 2012 in Houston, TX.

    Convergence is the premier Microsoft Dynamics customer event, and you play a vital part in hosting our customers at the event. While the focus is on customers for our week in Houston, we wanted to set aside time to greet all of the Microsoft Dynamics partners before the festivities kick in.

    You are invited to the Convergence Partner Only Event, to be held on Saturday, March 17, 2012 at the Hilton Americas. We will be hosting an Executive Q&A followed by a Partner Reception from 5:00pm to 8:00pm hosted with appetizers and beverages so you make the most of this networking opportunity.

    The live Q&A session is your opportunity to get your strategic questions answered and validated. To have your questions included in the session please send your questions to us no later than Feb 15 at MBS Events Inbox. The Q & A session will only be as useful and impactful the questions you submit, so please take a few moments to think of how the Microsoft Dynamics Partner team can support your most critical and strategic business questions.

    This event will be open to Microsoft Dynamics partners and Microsoft team members only. Use this time to check in with Microsoft team members, including the Microsoft Dynamics senior leadership team as well as to establish connections with your fellow partners.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Kati Unplugged: SBS Group Delivers a Fully Integrated Cloud ERP Solution to a Remote Start-Up Company

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    Countdown to the Cloud banner

    A Blog Series for Microsoft Dynamics Partners by Kati Hvidtfeldt, US Microsoft Dynamics ERP Cloud Lead.

    Kati color 2004As customers diligently evaluate ERP solutions, they almost always consider the fixed and variable costs incurred in implementation and ongoing maintenance. Last week’s “ERP On Your Terms” blog takes a closer look at how customers can also evaluate the predictability of on-premises, partner-hosted, public cloud and hybrid ERP solutions. In today’s blog, Microsoft Dynamics Master VAR, SBS Group tells how the predictable cost model influenced a start-up remote management consulting firm in its decision to move to a cloud-based Microsoft Dynamics SL solution.

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    In our sales experiences with cloud-based solutions, we find the financial predictability of the solutions delivered via the cloud deployment model to be a compelling benefit, especially for start-up companies. Although not the primary mover of the deal, the predictability factor certainly came into play for Integrated Global Performance Solutions (IGPS).

    Launching a completely remote management consulting firm, IPGS realized the need for a scalable solution that would grow with the company while providing core financial and project management capabilities. IGPS engaged with SBS Group to explore their business needs and solution offerings. SBS realized Microsoft Dynamics SL would provide the comprehensive financial management system with project accounting functionality suited for a professional services organization.

    During the evaluation, IGPS realized the predictable cost model and low upfront investment of a cloud-based ERP solution option provided the flexibility the start-up company needed. SBS Group deployed a cloud-based Microsoft Dynamics SL solution in a private cloud environment utilizing one of five certified SAS 70 data centers.

    Utilizing the new cloud ERP solution, IGPS has the ability to:

    • Automate time and expense reporting
    • Recognize revenue separate from invoicing
    • Support multiple companies, currencies and reporting structures
      • Define flexible rate structures
    • Assign resources to projects
    • Perform sophisticated cost allocations

    All of IGPS employees across the United States are now able to access the same Microsoft Dynamics SL system from their remote offices.

    SBS Group provides business management solutions including Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM in both a private cloud environment and on-premise software. Learn more about Stratos Cloud Solutions, our private cloud solution offering 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.

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Announcing the FY12 Q1 Microsoft Dynamics Sales Professional Community Sales Leaderboards

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    If you aren’t currently signed up to participate in the Microsoft Dynamics Sales Professional Community, here’s another great reason get involved!

    Please join us in congratulating the community members who performed well in Quarter 1 Fiscal Year 2012 and should be recognized for their outstanding sales results. Sales Leaderboards recognize top Sales Professional Community (SPC) members for quarterly sales results in the following categories: customer adds (SAEs), new sales revenue (SAEs), existing customer sales revenue (CSMs), across the Microsoft Dynamics ERP SMB, Microsoft Dynamics AX, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM space and are based on final sales results as reported in VOICE within the SPC Executive Summary pages for customer orders placed during Quarter 1 Fiscal Year 2012. The Sales Leader will be provided with a plaque commemorating their accomplishment.

    Due to partner confidentiality, please access PartnerSource to view the leaderboards.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Microsoft Dynamics Global Partner Operational Guidelines November 2011 Update

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    If you regularly manage your partner organization’s orders, pricing, agreements and existing customer renewals you’ll definitely find these guidelines very valuable. The Operations team shares this update from PartnerSource.

    The Microsoft Dynamics Global Partner Operational Guidelines have recently been updated and are now available here on PartnerSource for your convenience.

    The Global Partner Operational Guidelines are a handy downloaded resource to provide Partners with quick reference information along with a comprehensive overview of the policies, procedures and guidelines related to the Operations Support and Services provided by Microsoft.

    In this latest version, you will find new and revised content as well as improvements to the handbook layout based directly from partner feedback including:

    • New look and feel to better organize information and provide a more streamlined layout
    • Complete FY12 Fiscal Monthly Close Calendar included
    • Regional-specific contact details integrated throughout the document
    • New – Partner Incentive section
    • New – Microsoft Dynamics Quick Reference Guide
    • New – Global Volume Agreement (GVA) section
    • New – CRM Online section

    For questions or help with topics not covered in the guidelines, please contact your Regional Operations Center.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Fundamentals of Inbound Marketing Web Seminar Series for Microsoft Dynamics Partners

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    Our Microsoft Dynamics partner readiness and marketing teams are set to launch today this new series of web seminars targeted at marketing professionals within your organization. They’ve graciously put together this update to explain the value of attending the events.

    The definition of Inbound Marketing is: A marketing strategy where businesses implement tactics to "get found" by customers.

    Inbound marketing includes social media, SEO, your website and more. With such a diverse set of tactics and strategies where do you start?

    There’s certainly no lack of information:

    • A Bing search on "the basics of b2b social media" brings up 49 million hits!
    • There are over 14 million hits for in-bound marketing
    • There are 128,000 presentations on b2b social media alone on SlideShare.Net
    • Amazon sells over 15,000 books on the topics of social media and in-bound marketing

    With so much information and so many approaches, how do you know where to start and how do you know you’re doing the right things for your business? The Marketing Fundamentals series will guide you through the basics of the components of any good inbound plan including your website, blogs, SEO/SEM and social media.

    We’ll cover the key considerations you’ll need to determine which strategies you should implement including the REAL costs of these strategies. Each training will leave you with some key actions you can implement today.

    Already have an inbound plan? Join us to see how your budgets, plans and resources line up and to pick up some extra tips and tricks you can apply.

    Upcoming Sessions:

    • December 5 at 10:00AM Pacific: An Overview of Inbound Marketing
    • December 6 at 10:00AM Pacific: Building a Social Plan and Community
    • December 13 at 10:00AM Pacific: Search Engine Optimization and Marketing
    • December 20 at 10:00AM Pacific: Websites and Landing Pages for an Inbound World

    Register for all of the web seminars on the Partner Learning Center.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Kati Unplugged: HBR Insights on How Business and Tech Leaders View the Cloud

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    Countdown to the Cloud banner

    A Blog Series for Microsoft Dynamics Partners by Kati Hvidtfeldt, US Microsoft Dynamics ERP Cloud Lead.

    Kati color 2004It is common knowledge that companies large and small are increasingly adopting cloud technologies. To tap into this demand, partners need to understand what motivates companies in their decisions to move to the cloud. Today we look at results from a Harvard Business Review Analytic Services global study of 1,500 business and technology leaders to gain insights into the reasons why companies who are using the cloud see it as a way to achieve competitive advantage. In subsequent blogs we will take a closer look at other findings.

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    The recent Harvard Business Review Analytic Services global study* uncovered “wide consensus” among business and technology leaders indicating that the cloud offers the means to solve important business problems, while incurring lower costs to implement and run.

    The overwhelming majority of respondents—85%—indicated plans to use cloud tools “moderately to extensively” over the next three years, by 2014. More than half—57%—view the cloud as a source of competitive advantage for early adopters.

    Those whose companies are already using the cloud report that they are already reaping the benefits. Business agility, lower costs and the ability to acquire and integrate new operations more quickly and easily are all important advantages that cloud adopters are finding.

    Kati Cloud HBR Graphic 1

    Increased business agility was rated the most valued benefit, with 44% scoring it five out of five and an additional 34% scoring it 4 out of 5. Respondent comments associate agility (=speed) and flexible capacity with competitive advantage, enabling companies to capture or launch new business quickly. Without the advantage of cloud options, new business relationships that involve the management or acquisition of existing on-premise systems can require months requisitioning and deploying servers, with exorbitant infrastructure purchase and training costs. Being able to adapt applications for the cloud can enable companies to roll out quickly, with lower costs and the advantage of automatic system updates.

    Kati Cloud HBR Graphic 2

    A key advantage cited by 64% of the adopters is the ability to test an idea more easily and at a lower cost, and then scale up or down based on how its viability proves out. And 61% agreed that the cloud platform enables efficient information sharing and collaboration—both internally and with customers and suppliers. By solving the technical problems, cloud lets organizations focus on the higher-level issues.

    Cloud computing can transform how your customers and their organizations work, and can be a tool to achieve competitive advantage. Business leaders in companies who are cloud adopters agree that the cloud enables:

    • Rapid adoption of the latest technologies
    • Quick and smooth absorption of new business through scalability
    • The testing of new ideas with lower risk
    • Reduction of IT infrastructure and support costs

    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.

    * This blog is based on findings reported in, “How the Cloud Looks From the Top: Achieving Competitive Advantage in the Age of Cloud Computing, a report by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services based on a survey of nearly 1,500 business and technology leaders.” Download the full report.

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Convergence 2012 Customer Excellence Award Nominations Now Open

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    The Convergence planning team shares this great information. Get clicking and start submitting! :-)

    Nominate your best customers. The Customer Excellence Awards recognize, honor, and celebrate customer organizations that are achieving outstanding success with their Microsoft Dynamics solutions.

    There are nine categories this year, including the Dynamic Business Award which will recognize the organization that best exemplifies a true dynamic business with their use of Microsoft Dynamics ERP, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and other Microsoft technologies.

    Nominations for the 2012 awards will be accepted on through the Convergence 2012 website from December 5, 2011 to January 9, 2012 at 11:59pm PT.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Kati Unplugged: Cloud Total Cost of Ownership Means “Do More with Less”

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    Countdown to the Cloud banner

    A Blog Series for Microsoft Dynamics Partners by Kati Hvidtfeldt, US Microsoft Dynamics ERP Cloud Lead.

    Kati color 2004It is no secret that cost is one of the key considerations that moves customers to the cloud. The concept of Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) involves not only up-front investment and ongoing maintenance costs, but brings time-to-value into the equation. This week Bob Pederson, Microsoft Dynamics Partner Technology Adviser, takes a comparative look at the costs of on-premise and cloud-based deployment models, and offers an example of a how new offering from Microsoft Dynamics partner Merit Solutions delivers a compelling TCO story to prospective customers.

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    Why are customers buying cloud solutions? The word on the street is the main driver is cost: the lower price point to get started and lower price point ongoing. Cost is the first thing customers notice, and why wouldn’t they? You can rent Microsoft Dynamics at around $200USD monthly per user. Stack that up against the costs of an on-premise solution, including funding an IT staff and buying the ERP, network and database software plus the hardware and communications infrastructure. Then add in the cost of ongoing software support and you have a built a compelling case in support of the lower-cost cloud model.

    If you do the math (okay I will) the tab for an on premise solution based on 20 Enterprise users comes to just under $170K the first year. At that rate the investment in an on-premise ERP solution will equal the cumulative annual cost of the cloud solution in a little over four years. If you consider that the cloud solution can also allow customers to reduce IT FTE staff (two half-time FTEs at a salary of $40,000 each), the on-premise investment eclipses the cloud number in less than three years. I would argue that leveraging the advantage of reducing IT staff with a cloud solution has to be part of the equation. Email me at rpederso@microsoft.com if you think I’m wildly off any of these numbers.

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    One example of a solution that offers competitive cloud-based TCO is MAXCloud, an exciting new offering for Microsoft Dynamics AX from Microsoft Dynamics partner Merit Solutions. According to Josh Richards, Merit’s marketing program manager, “We priced our solution at $225USD per user for vanilla Microsoft Dynamics AX but customers can really leverage a solution when they add one of our industry applications. Merit took all their years in the pharmaceutical and food space, developed IP for these, and now offers them on top of MAXCloud.”

    Quick time-to-value is a good barometer of the effectiveness of a SaaS solution, and Merit delivers here as well. Time-to-value has 2 dimensions: how fast Merit can get the system implemented and how quickly users can be fully productive. Merit offers a 30-day fixed bid for implementation called “Rapid On Fixed Priced Package Services.” Say THAT 10 times quickly. If I am a CIO, Merit just made my job easier when I pitch this to the board of directors.

    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 Partner Community Blog

    PreGAME 2012 for Microsoft Dynamics GP Partners

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    Kim Peterson, GPUG Director, passes along this information as a great reminder for Microsoft Dynamics GP partners to please save the date and register to attend PreGAME 2012, an ancillary partner event at Convergence 2012.

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    All Microsoft Dynamics GP partners are invited to attend PreGAME 2012 in Houston on Saturday, March 17. Happening just prior to Convergence, PreGAME gives Microsoft Dynamics GP partners an opportunity to focus on networking, education, preparation and strategy-building for Microsoft Dynamics GP “12” before customers start arriving in Houston. 

    PreGAME features sessions for Microsoft Dynamics GP partners in sales & marketing, consultant and developer roles. Sessions will be led by Microsoft Dynamics GP executives and will give partners an opportunity to learn about new features in Microsoft Dynamics GP “12” and what should be done now to prepare for this significant upcoming release. 

    At the end of PreGAME, Microsoft will be hosting a Town Hall Meeting with reception, which will give partners an exclusive opportunity to ask questions and gain insight about the future of Microsoft Dynamics GP directly from key Microsoft Dynamics GP leaders and executives. 

    Event: PreGAME 2012
    Date: Saturday, March 17
    Time: 1:00-4:30pm
    Location: Houston, TX
    Cost: Free

    Preliminary Agenda (subject to change)

    1:00-1:30pm       General Session
    1:45-2:45pm       Breakout Sessions for Sales/Marketing, Consultants, and Developers
    3:00-4:30pm       Deep Dive Sessions for Sales/Marketing, Consultants, and Developers

    PreGAME is hosted by Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner Connections (GPPC), a peer-to-peer partner networking group dedicated to increasing the knowledge and competency of those who work with Microsoft Dynamics GP.

    Specific session, location and registration details will be available shortly.  Please watch PartnerSource and the GPPC website for updates.  All Microsoft Dynamics GP partners are welcome to attend, whether or not you’re attending Convergence 2012.  Save the date and plan to join us in Houston on Saturday, March 17!

    --Kevin

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