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.
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.
If you are seeking demonstration materials for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013, look no further as Jay Manley from the Microsoft Dynamics GP product management team was happy to announce the availability of the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 RTM V1 Hyper-V image set.
Per Jay, a little about the image:
· Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 RTM Code with Web Client deployed
· Management Reporter 2012 with Web Viewer deployed
· Office 2013 with demo dashboards installed
· And Dynemo – our fantastic Dynamics Demo Engine to help drive your successful demonstrations!
Download the image sets from PartnerSource.
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.
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.
We are pleased to announce the Easy Start Offer, a new offer designed to help partners sell more Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 and Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 deals.
A great way to drive more awareness around the recent releases!
From February 1 until June 15, 2013, Microsoft Dynamics is discounting the Starter Pack by 40% to help you offer your prospects an even lower price point on their first three users. The limited-time offer element is an effective way to gain the attention of potential customers. Please review full terms and conditions on PartnerSource for more information on eligibility, promo code, countries where the offer is valid, etc.
To help you with your lead generation activities, we are making new campaign materials available for download on PartnerSource. The marketing bill of materials is currently being built out. You will soon find banner ads, micro-web site templates, direct mails, white papers and more. In all materials you can add your own company logo.
An extra incentive for you to grow your customer adds
As a reminder, partners have great opportunity to earn a substantial rebate from Microsoft. Because we believe that ERP customer add growth in the SMB space is beneficial to our mutual success, Microsoft Dynamics launched through PartnerSource in October 2012 the “Grow ERP SMB Adds – FY13 Partner Incentive”. This program is designed to reward partners for driving significant customer add growth in the ERP SMB space (Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, and Microsoft Dynamics SL).
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.
Convergence 2013 is coming to New Orleans, LA, March 18–21, so now is the time to register and encourage your customers to do the same. There is no better time or place to build your network while keeping your skills and knowledge current. Convergence just keeps getting better every year, and this year will be no exception:
· Industry themes—Check out the industry theater and demo stations in the Expo Experience as well as the industry-focused sessions to ensure you get the focused Convergence experience you want.
· International Lounge—Located just outside of the Convergence Experience Center, the international lounge is the place for international attendees to meet-up, take a break from all the activity or catch-up on activities outside of Convergence.
· Skype bar—Keep in touch with colleagues, friends, and family back home through Skype Internet video chats.
· Kofi A. Annan—Be inspired by this year’s closing keynote speaker, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations and joint recipient of the 2001 Nobel Prize for Peace.
· Matchbox Twenty—Make sure you and your customers plan to stay for the closing celebration featuring a performance by this uber-platinum-selling, Grammy Award–winning band!
Don’t miss the Partner Only Reception—Sunday, March 17.
It’s your chance to mingle privately with partners like yourself. And be sure to send in your questions for the Q&A session by February 15. No registration necessary for this event—more details can be found on PartnerSource.
Visit PartnerSource to also download marketing materials, the Convergence 2013 Partner Guide, customizable email templates, and more.
A Blog Series for Microsoft Dynamics Partners by Kati Hvidtfeldt, US Microsoft Dynamics ERP Cloud Lead.
There’s nothing worse than a rocky implementation. In a recent post we cited a study that found that 60-70% of ERP implementations fail. Every partner wants to do everything reasonable to make sure those failed implementations don’t happen for their customers.
This week we’ll take a look at the advantages of the cloud from a solution implementation perspective. John A Robb, Director of Strategic Alliances from WatServ talks about the advantages of the cloud platform in the pre-production process—advantages that translate into benefits for your business and your customers.
Changing or upgrading your ERP system is a little like changing a tire on your car when it’s in motion. Your new ERP system needs to be ready to go while your existing system is still operational.
In an on-premise deployment the typical customer needs to buy and install hardware and software for the new system as well as keep the existing system operational. This could mean an additional investment in assets that may go underutilized once the primary system is operational. Cloud deployment allows the client to turn off services that are no longer required. This can lead to cost savings.
The cost savings led client Ammano McGann to opt for the cloud in its recent Microsoft Dynamics GP upgrade. By deploying the solution in the cloud, we were able to create a robust pre-production environment, ensuring a smooth transition.
The cloud platform enabled us to scale the number of accounts for testing, all the way through the production process. And the team at Ammano McGann was able to go live with their upgrade just three weeks from signing the contract.
Part of what made the Ammano McGann upgrade go so smoothly was the data migration process we employed. Instead of waiting until the last minute to do the data migration we implemented several transitional data migrations, helping eliminate data issues at go live. The extra time we spent during the pre-production phase was made possible by having a complete, cloud-based system available for the transition. The client only had to pay for the additional resources during the upgrade phase and was able to scale back to what was needed for regular operations.
The ability to ensure a quick, smooth transition and scale up on a per user basis are reasons a cloud deployment of Microsoft Dynamics ERP could be right for your clients.
WatServ is one of the largest, most experienced providers of hosted Microsoft Dynamics ERP in North America. Click here to learn about how you can partner with WatServ to provide cloud services to your customers.
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-premises solutions can benefit their businesses.
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.
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.