Peter A. Jensen
I have been with Microsoft since 2002, but I have been with Dynamics even longer, starting out with a Dynamics NAV partner in 1992. I currently lead the Partner Programs team in the US Dynamics organization and look forward to keeping in touch with the US Dynamics Partner Community on this blog.
Earlier this month, we launched a new update to the Microsoft Dynamics Community. It's now easier to signup, navigate and search in the community, and stay up-to-date on information you're interested in.
New Features and Enhancements
· Quick signup
· Join product groups
· Updated navigation
· Improved search
· Stay up-to-date with subscriptions
· Follow experts
· Updated profiles
· Suggested answer reminders
· Post questions to the forums quicker
· Attend community events
For more information regarding the new improvements please read the blog post by Eric Parsons, Microsoft Dynamics Community Manager.
We are excited to announce the availability of the newly developed Microsoft Dynamics CRM Enterprise Academy! This 5-day instructor-led training provides a 200 level Functional CRM foundation and 300 level Advanced Development and Advanced Infrastructure content for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 to help address the unique needs of your enterprise customers.
This course was designed in collaboration with Microsoft Services and R&D teams in order to provide the deepest level of technical content that is not available anywhere outside the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Enterprise Academy.
There are two classes planned for United States partners:
· Atlanta, GA – April 22-26 · Chicago, IL – May 20-24
Register at http://regonline.com/crm2013. Save $700 if registered by March 15, 2013. Early Bird price $900!
Whether you’re interested in development or infrastructure, start with a 2-day Functional CRM foundation course before moving on to your preferred track.
For more information regarding content, pre-requisites, and additional criteria please visit the registration site.
Earn your Sales Specialist or Pre-Sales Technical Specialist accreditation and be automatically entered to win a Windows 8 tablet. Microsoft sales accreditations can help you increase revenue, shorten the sales cycle, and make you more successful. From February through April, we are giving away one tablet a month for Sales Specialist and one tablet for Pre-Sales Technical Specialist accreditations.
How to Enter
· Select Sales Specialist or Pre-Sales Technical Specialist at http://www.mssalesspecialist.com/Win-with-us/
· Register yourself if you have not done so yet.
· Select the Assessment Option on the left-hand side.
· Review the course materials to prepare you for the assessment.
· When you are ready, take the assessment online.
· Each passed assessment will count as one entry for the Sweepstakes.
Earn your accreditation and get expertise, get recognized, and get ahead!
This winter and spring, Microsoft will be hosting a series of webcasts exclusively for Microsoft Dynamics ERP customers. The webcast content is designed to increase customer awareness, help them understand how they can extend their current ERP investment with the objective of driving incremental Existing Customer license, services and consulting revenue opportunities for both Microsoft and partners. The webcast series will be promoted to customers via two emails: Microsoft Dynamics Winter Webcast Series and Microsoft Dynamics Spring Webcast Series.
A through-partner version of the winter email invitation has been created for you to download and modify and send to your customers. This email invitation and the Winter/Spring webcast schedule can be found on PartnerSource.
Each year, the winners and finalists of the Partner of the Year Awards are recognized at WPC. Partners, this is your opportunity to vie for awards that can showcase your solutions built on Microsoft technologies to benefit our mutual customers.
How Partner of the Year Awards benefit partners
Being a Partner of the Year Award winner or finalist positions your company for new business opportunities, generates press coverage, and can lead to more market recognition. Winners also appear onstage at WPC 2013 in Houston to be recognized by their peers and congratulated by key Microsoft executives. Award winners are also invited to an exclusive celebration during the conference.
Microsoft Dynamics recognition
This year there are four awards specifically for Microsoft Dynamics:
· Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Partner of the Year · Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Partner of the Year · Industry Partner of the Year · Cloud Partner of the Year
The Partner of the Year Awards nomination tool is now open. Partners can submit nominations until April 5, 2013, at 11:59 P.M. Pacific time. To get started please visit Digital WPC.
If you’re a Microsoft Dynamics VAR or ISV for Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, or Microsoft Dynamics GP attending Convergence 2013 in New Orleans reserve your space for the PreGAME events on Sunday, March 17.
PreGAME is an exclusive Microsoft Dynamics partner event providing an outstanding opportunity to collaborate, network, and learn. The afternoon is packed with engaging sessions and speakers to help partners maximize Microsoft Dynamics for your business.
There is no cost for Microsoft Dynamics partners to attend these PreGAME events; however, space is limited so register today! For full agendas and to register, visit:
· AXPC PreGAME website
· CRMPC PreGAME website
· GPPC PreGAME website
Sunday, March 17, 2013 | 1:00PM – 5:00PM CT Hilton New Orleans Riverside 2 Poydras Street New Orleans, LA
Guest post by Ben Rohling, Sr. Product Marketing 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.
In this week’s post, Microsoft’s Ben Rohling gives some examples of small businesses that have made big strides in their business growth and development with Microsoft Dynamics ERP in the cloud—examples partners can use to demonstrate value to customers.
For forward-thinking customers, being the best at what they do means making the most of the resources available. Smart businesses know that a single long-term investment—if it’s the right investment—can become the catalyst that sets business transformation in motion.
Partners can help their customers by giving them examples of how businesses of all kinds are breaking out from the competitive pack by implementing Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions. By investing in their processes and systems, companies are tackling their challenges, moving to a new way of doing business, and driving growth.
One of the best benefits of my job is connecting and learning from customers. Here are two real accounts from real businesses that have made real change in their businesses with Microsoft Dynamics ERP in the cloud.
Amax Incorporated distributes office products to more than 800 retailers in the US under the Stanley Bostitch brand. The company needed an out-of-the-box ERP solution that would be easy to implement, keep operations lean, and support continued growth. And with fluctuating margins they needed insights to help them make the right pricing decisions, a challenge that others in their business space struggle with.
After evaluating three competing ERP products, Amax deployed Microsoft Dynamics GP in the cloud, enabling the company to be up and running quickly and get easy access from anywhere. The new implementation has brought big benefits:
1. Business insights: Now employees across the company have visibility that enables them to manage inventory, optimize sales performance, and process large volumes of work efficiently.
2. Sales support: Sales people have access to real-time, accurate margin analysis that supports sales promotions and product mix suggestions to help customers take advantage of pricing opportunities.
With improved visibility into their ever-changing inventory costs, Amax has not only leveled out its margins, but increased them, improving cash flow in the process. Competitors that lack access to accurate margin data don’t stand a chance in tight negotiations.
Faribault Woolen Mills is the oldest family-run business in the US. They closed their doors in 2009, after the economic downturn. When they were able to regroup and reopen, they were basically a startup, and they wanted to do it the right way.
To minimize the costs of acquisition and ongoing maintenance, the company chose Microsoft Dynamics in the cloud. Faribault has gotten considerable value around getting up and running quickly and easily, and understanding their business like they never could before. Faribault’s leaders have told us about three other benefits to their new system:
1. Ease of use and access: Employees across the company can get free access to the information they need, and it’s easy to produce reports in Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word.
2. Accurate accounting: In their words, “Accurate accounting is not to be taken for granted.”
3. Business insights: Fairbault now has effective tools for cost, production, inventory, and financials to give them insights into productivity and help them plan for the future.
Faribault is now able to deliver a quality product at the best possible price. Sales growth has allowed the company to add new jobs to the local economy, growing from 38 to 50 employees in 2011, and now more than 100 in 2012.
We have scores of examples like these for partners to use. For more details on these three stories, including demos, view the full, on-demand webcast “Brilliant Ideas to Outsmart the Competition with Microsoft Dynamics ERP,” or download the white paper, “25 Brilliant Ideas to Outsmart Your Competition with Microsoft Dynamics ERP.”
Join the US Microsoft Dynamics US Partner Team for a recognition and networking event with Microsoft Dynamics leaders, SPLA Cloud Services Providers and Marketing Service Bureau vendors. Tuesday, March 19, 6:00-8:00PM, at The Foundry, New Orleans. Open bar and food provided. Space is limited. Register today!
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.
Special guest post by Microsoft Dynamics partner: Jim Barnes, President and CEO, enVista
Microsoft Convergence, the premier event for the Microsoft Dynamics community, is right around the corner. This year’s conference is being held March 18-21 in New Orleans. The four-day event can be a whirlwind for attendees. So how do you maximize your time and get the most out of the conference? Here are three tips to capitalize on all the conference has to offer and to maximize the value you receive.
STRATEGY #1: Plan ahead. And then plan some more.
Convergence is a big conference. It can be overwhelming for new attendees and experienced veterans, alike. Fortunately, the conference offers a robust web site with a full agenda, including: keynotes, educational sessions, expo information and networking opportunities. The site also includes an interactive tool to help attendees build their own schedule.
But before you begin building your schedule, I would suggest taking a step back and asking yourself what you want to get out of the conference. What do you need to learn about Microsoft Dynamics AX? Do you need to evaluate the solution or improve the way you use your current system? What about solutions available that extend the value of Microsoft Dynamics AX? What does the long-term solution roadmap look like, and how is that going to impact your organization? Perhaps you need to improve some key processes internally; how can Microsoft Dynamics AX help? Are there experienced partners who could help get you where you need to go faster to accelerate ROI?
Starting with these kinds of questions will define the types of tracks, presenters, training and vendors you build into your event plan.
STRATEGY #2: Be engaged.
We’ve all attended a conference where we knew few people, felt a bit sluggish, could blend in the crowd or easily stay in our hotel room or on our phones… and basically wait for the conference to end. If you are going to attend Convergence and invest your time and the company’s travel budget, then be present. Attend the sessions. Reach out to other users and partners. Ask questions. Ask more questions. And network.
With so many resources and experts at Convergence, chances are you will be able to find the answers you need. A speaker will offer the perfect gem of an idea or best practice, the attendee next to you may have “been there” or “done that” and become a trusted advisor into the future. Maybe you will find out that some of your assumptions about Microsoft Dynamics AX were wrong – or you will be proven right. Show up. You will learn something, likely many things, and meet some interesting, helpful people along the way.
STRATEGY #3: Stick to your plan, but break it for the right opportunities.
Assuming you followed Strategy #1 above for Convergence, you should know the information you need to uncover at the conference. Don’t leave the event without finding out. Make it your mission. That will mean forgoing some tracks in favor of lingering at others. It may mean you need to give yourself more time to peruse the exhibit hall and talk to partners, or continue a conversation with another helpful attendee over dinner. Wherever you anticipate you may have your ‘aha’ moments, build in a buffer of extra time. And be flexible while you are at the show. Work your plan so you conquer what you set out to do at Convergence, but recognize that you may need to deviate from it from time to time.
The bottom line: If you are prepared, engaged and present, Convergence offers a wealth of opportunities to expand your knowledge of Microsoft Dynamics AX and the value you can receive from the solution.
Our Microsoft Dynamics Operations team is delighted to invite you to attend the next AOC Microsoft Dynamics CRM Operational Community partner webcast.
• Microsoft Dynamics CRM offers for customers and partners
• Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Activation Process for Volume Licensing Customers
• Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Transitions to the Microsoft Online Services Environment
• Microsoft Dynamics CSA Program Update
• Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online December 2012 Service Update Reminder
United States partners can attend the call on February 21 at 11:00AM PT by registering here.
Visit the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Operational Community on PartnerSource to access past webcasts. Be sure to bookmark the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Operational Resources page for key operational information related to Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and the related Certified Software Advisor partner incentives program.
One of the most important ways you serve your existing clients is by helping them identify and implement enhancements that bring them a greater return on their investment.
Helping a current customer increase their business success strengthens your personal connection, builds loyalty, and offers an important additional revenue stream to your business, in good times and bad.
Conduct an “Annual Review”
Does your firm offer an annual system review to your clients? It’s an easy way to start the conversation, identifying key business needs and introducing new solutions.
Make Plans to Contact Your Customers Today!
The New Year presents a perfect opportunity to invite your customers to review their business processes and identify areas for improvement by adding users, updating or upgrading their solution. Schedule your first appointment today and discover the truly powerful opportunity you have in front of you. By listening carefully and sharing the best solutions to their needs. Take this opportunity to learn about 2013 licensing and pricing changes:
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