Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

Microsoft Dynamics Partner Events, Information and Tips

December, 2011

Posts
  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Connecting with Microsoft Dynamics Resources to Provide Partner Assistance

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    We’ve recently refreshed the “Contact Us” area of PartnerSource, so I thought it would be great to mimic the page here for your benefit.

    How may we help you? Please choose from the following options to resolve your issue.

    operationsOperations Support

    Chat online, submit, or call the Microsoft Dynamics Operations team for assistance regarding product orders, ordering policies, licensing, registration keys, etc. The Operations team will be able to answer your non-technical support questions.

    technicalTechnical Product Support

    Find assistance for technical questions on our products, including installation, configuration, advisory, and break/fix incidents. Search self-help content, engage in communities of your peers, MVPs and Microsoft engineers or contact a Microsoft support engineer to assist you in finding answers.

    websiteWebsite Support

    For technical questions on our website including login and access issues for CustomerSource, PartnerSource, VOICE, Order Central, Search and Knowledgebase issues, file download problems, and File Exchange.

    These links will direct you to another layer of options for each specific area of assistance.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Three Quick Partner Communications Tips Heading into 2012

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    Just a simple reminder to ensure you are properly connected to and receiving the most relevant information as a Microsoft Dynamics partner based in the United States.

    1. Update your PartnerSource profile to PartnerSource North America
    2. Subscribe to Insights newsletters
    3. Follow this blog (Okay, I think you are doing that already)

    Any questions? Provide a comment below.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Microsoft Dynamics Partner Monthly US Regional Calls – January/February 2012

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    Connect with the Microsoft Dynamics United States Regional teams during these regularly occurring monthly web seminars. Save these upcoming dates on your calendar!

    East Region – registration details

    The goal of the East Region Monthly Microsoft Dynamics Partner Calls is to provide a forum where you can get the information you need to leverage the programs, resources and best practices that we develop and discover to accelerate your business and enrich your partnership with Microsoft. Each call features East Region representatives and includes focused segments allowing deeper conversations and questions.

    • January 17, 6:00AM PT
    • February 21, 6:00AM PT

    Central Region – registration details

    The Central Region Monthly Microsoft Dynamics Partner Calls are intended to help keep partners up to date on new programs, new offerings, and the latest sales-readiness information. Each month, various individuals from the Central Region and Microsoft corporate teams will regularly cover both sales and light technical-readiness topics.

    • January 20, 9:30AM PT
    • February 17, 9:30AM PT

    West Region – registration details

    The West Region Monthly Dynamics Partner Community Calls are intended to help our partners stay informed with new programs, new offerings, and address key marketing business topics that our Partners have requested more guidance/insight into to help drive better marketing results.

    • January 12, 9:00AM PT (NEW DATE - January 19)
    • February 9, 9:00AM PT

    If you are unable to attend the live events, all event materials will be posted to PartnerSource.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    How Will You Kick-start the 2012 New Year?

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    Jeremy Thies headshot 10172011It’s been an exciting few months as I’ve jumped into my new role leading the United States Microsoft Dynamics partner business. I’ve seen fantastic commitment among our partners to our business and to our customers—thank you! As the calendar year comes to close, it’s a natural time for reflection, introspection and goal setting for the new year. I hope you find some quiet time to look back on the past year to assess progress against goals, to identify changes as necessary, and to celebrate successes and hard work. We all know once the turn of the calendar occurs, its back to full speed ahead!

    Now is a great time to identity steps for your future and to begin to outline the strategies and plans for the new year. To get you off on a solid start, we’ve been hard at work—with input from partners and your field representatives—building an agenda for the 2012 Business Leader Roadshow that provides a great platform to nurture and fine-tune your plans for growing your business over the next several years. We’re bringing in two well-respected consultants with deep knowledge of our business, the business solutions market and partner business models as featured speakers at the event:

     

    cmccollumexec1“As I prepare to come speak at the January US Microsoft Dynamics Business Leader Roadshow, I am very excited to see the desire by both ERP and CRM partners to participate in the Decision Making Framework process and that partners are embracing the need to transform their businesses! The event will be an engaging, thought provoking workshop and I hope that everyone that chooses to attend walks away with a clear sense of actions that they need to take to drive their business into the future. I look forward to seeing partners in person at one of the three events in January!”—Craig McCollum, President, True North Strategists.

     

    Reed Overfelt - Business Casual“I am thrilled to be a part of the 2012 Business Leadership Roadshow. Marketing, as we know it, has been tipped on its head. Internet has taken the place of trade shows, print advertising and other traditional methods. For many Microsoft partners, this is an uncomfortable reality. At the Roadshow, we’ll walk you through what it takes to transform your marketing and reach your buyers in this dynamic environment.”– Reed Overfelt, Chief Executive Officer, Full Quota LLC

     

    If you haven’t had a chance to take a look at the detailed agenda, be sure you check it out on PartnerSource. It’s an event you won’t want to miss as you kick-start your plans for 2012.

    Best Wishes,

    Jeremy Thies
    Sr. Director, US Microsoft Dynamics Partners

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Stay Connected to Partner News via the Microsoft Partner Info Mobile App

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    If you were lucky enough to receive a new mobile device over the weekend, perhaps you are seeking an app to stay connected to the latest Microsoft news for partners. If so, look no further than the Microsoft Partner Info mobile app.

    Learn all about the app by reading Eric Ligman’s post on the Microsoft SMS&P Partner Community Blog.

    Happy downloading! :-)

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Looking Back at 2011 and Forward to 2012

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    As we head into the tail end of 2011, I want to personally thank the numerous Microsoft Dynamics partners across the United States (and globe) for their impressive efforts throughout the year. Your success as a partner is impactful in every single area of sales, marketing, leadership, training and development. And this success is greatly appreciated by Microsoft and the entire US Microsoft Dynamics team!

    Similar to last year, here are a few highlights from the past year for me as well as variety of activities to look forward to in 2012.

    2011

    2012

    As always, thank you for staying on top of the latest Microsoft Dynamics news and events by following me. Enjoy your holiday season, and congratulations on a fabulous 2011!

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Microsoft Dynamics AX Fast TrAX Training – January-April 2012 Schedule

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    I know many of you are highly anticipating the early 2012 Microsoft Dynamics AX Fast TrAX training schedule, so we wanted to proactively share this announcement to ensure you can register and plan your travel accordingly.

    Focusing on certification preparation in addition to hands on experience these courses will help build the initial muscle for a successful consultant on the Microsoft Dynamics AX solution. This coupled with mentorship within your organization will set consultants and developers on the road to being successful and contributing to your organization’s bottom line.

    The target audience for these trainings is NEW Microsoft Dynamics AX Consultants and Developers with no previous Microsoft Dynamics AX experience.

    Register for one of the following tracks – Consultant or Developer. All classes are held on the Microsoft Fargo Campus.

    Act now as these courses fill quickly!

    --Kevin

  • 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

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    US Launch Portal for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 for Retail Release

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    In anticipation of the upcoming launch we’ve recently create a new page within PartnerSource to help prepare United States based Microsoft Dynamics partners for the US Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 for Retail release.

    Use the tools, training, and content posted here to help with your own successful launch. The following content will be updated periodically, so be sure to check this site often for new materials.

    • Key Announcements
    • Product Strategy
    • Global Launch Portal
    • Demo Tools and Materials
    • Readiness and Training
    • Pricing and Licensing
    • News
    • Sales and Marketing Materials
    • Industry Webcast
    • US Launch Activities
    • Timeline

    You can also find the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 global partner launch portal on PartnerSource – including the latest news, marketing materials, demo tools, and readiness activities.

    --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.

    clip_image002

    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

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