Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

Microsoft Dynamics Partner Events, Information and Tips

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  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Catching Up & Preparing for FY11

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    As a Fargo, ND based Microsoft employee, and after spending two out of the last three weeks in Seattle, I need some time to catch up on work and life. Many of you know that April, May and June are Microsoft's 4th Quater of the fiscal year, but it's also a huge planning period for the upcoming fiscal year. That being said many wheels are in motion, especially with the changes to the Microsoft Partner Network, and future product launches.

    It's a good thing, I didn't sandwich a trip to Atlanta for Convergence in the middle. Talk about living out of a suitcase for a while!!!

    Next week, in Fargo we host our annual internal Microsoft Fargo Campus Meeting. These are always great to get refreshed on our strategies as well as to recognize some of our best employees. Featured speakers include Stephen Elop, President, MBD and Lisa Brummel, Senior Vice President, HR.

    I'll be back next week with plenty of Microsoft Dynamics news.

    PS - Happy Mother's Day this weekend!!!

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 & Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 Upgrade OFFER – Pilot Program

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    In order to stay focused on future revenue streams and a profitable business it is critical to have a healthy balance between new customer and existing customer business. Outsourcing of upgrades to upgrade partners could help you balance both revenue streams.

    An upgrade assessment of your customer’s Microsoft Dynamics ERP system can provide your customer with an overview of what is required to upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 or Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 and assist your customer’s decision to upgrade.

    Your customers can take advantage of professional pit-stop services and support to realize a faster return on investment:

    Value to Partners – Customer Retention

    Upgrading your customer to the latest release can enable your customer to grow and benefit from the business value this solution is offering.

    • Customer satisfaction & retention
    • Up- & cross-sell opportunity
    • Cost of support

    Value to Customers – Business Value

    Upgrades are successful when adding business value and benefits to the organization.

    • Lower-cost/risk platform
    • Support more biz processes
    • Adoption/productivity
    • Risk: cost of not upgrading
    • Return: realize BREP ROI

    Execute Upgrades – Profitable Business

    A specific upgrade training for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 & Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 has been designed, and includes Sure Step implementation methodology.

    • Acquire upgrade skill-set
    • Outsource upgrades
    • Show business value
    • Use upgrade tool-set
    • Use Sure Step Upgrade process

    Offer Overview and Process:

    • The assessment provider for this pilot program is Celenia Software (the "assessment provider"). Other organizations may provide the assessment services and be eligible for the subsidy in future programs if certain criteria are met.
    • Partner (the term "Partner" refers to partners who meet the eligibility requirements set forth in the Offer Terms and Conditions) works with the customer to collect the data necessary for the assessment.
    • Partner submits data to the assessment provider.
    • The assessment provider and the customer sign a customer assessment contract and will provide the customer with an assessment and estimate for a fixed price upgrade for moving the customer from their current version to Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 or Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009, the latest version.
    • The total cost of the assessment is $2,000 per assessment. Microsoft will provide $1,000 subsidiary for the assessment. The assessment provider will invoice Partner $1,000 for the assessment. Partner can decide in its sole discretion whether to charge the customer for the assessment.
    • The assessment provider will notify Partner when the assessment is complete, and if so requested by the customer, Partner can review assessment and upgrade review with customer.

    Offer Terms and Conditions:

    • This offer is ONLY available to partners located in the U.S. who are current on their service plans.
    • This offer does not apply to assessments provided to public sector customers.
    • The offer period starts on December 1, 2009 and ends on June 1, 2010.
    • This offer is limited to the first forty-five (45) customer assessment contracts signed (based on the execution date of the contract) through all qualifying partners during the offer period.
    • This offer is non-transferrable and not redeemable for cash.
    • Taxes, if any, are the sole responsibility of the recipient.
    • The assessment is provided for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT AND THE ASSESSMENT PROVIDER MAKE NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS, IMPLIED, OR STATUTORY, AS TO THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN CONNECTION WITH THE ASSESSMENT. MICROSOFT AND THE ASSESSMENT PROVIDER DISCLAIM ANY AND ALL LIABILITY FOR ANY CLAIMS ARISING FROM RELIANCE ON THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN CONNECTION WITH THE ASSESSMENT.

    Get Started

    To get more information about the upgrade assessment, please call the assessment provider at: 1-770-790-5485.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Ask the Experts – Navigating MPN Competency Requirements for US Microsoft Dynamics Partners

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    As I navigate many of the social media portals, blogs, and interactive websites available to Microsoft partners, I notice many of you continue to have questions centered around the upcoming changes to the Microsoft Partner Network. A lot of you are concerned with how the changes will impact your organization today, tomorrow, and well down the road. To assist you with your questions we've schedule a couple of sessions to help you along the way.

    Join us for a 90 minute webcast to get the latest updates on the ERP, CRM and ISV MPN Competency requirements. We’ll provide you with a step-by-step guide to help you map out the actions and timelines to achieve your MPN goals. We will cover both the technical and non-technical aspects of the new MPN Requirements, and provide an overview of a Training Plan that will show you how to plan and schedule the required certification classes, and complete the customer references and other MPN Requirements within the current timeline. We will also address frequently asked questions about the Network and the Competency requirements and benefits. Time will be allowed for participants to ask/submit questions during the presentation, and at the end of the session.

    The presentation will cover the following points:

    • Non-technical Training Requirements (Sales, Pre-Sales & Implementation Methodology accreditation)
    • Technical Training Requirements (Application Consultant/Developer Product Certification(s))
    • Sales Revenue and Business Ready Enhancement Plan (BREP) Recapture requirements
    • Customer & Methodology references, CSAT Survey & Service Plan Requirements
    • Step-by-Step Planning Guide for meeting MPN Requirements
    • Partner Q&A

    Schedule

    • Wednesday, May 19, 2010 – 12:30 to 2:00 Central

    Click here to register

    • Wednesday, June 2, 2010 – 12:30 to 2:00 Central

    Click here to register

    Please take the opportunity to attend one of these events.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    ERP User Offer - May/June 2010

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    Here's a great option for existing customers looking to add on to their current Microsoft Dynamics ERP solution. Keep in mind that this offer is for a very brief period, so act now!!!

    For a very limited time, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics SL, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, and Microsoft Dynamics AX customers can receive up to 15% off when purchasing additional user licenses or add-on module licenses.

    Business Ready Licensing (BRL) and Modular Based Licensing (MBL) customers can receive discounts of:

    • 10% on the purchase of additional user licenses and add-on module licenses between $5,000 and $19,999
    • 15% on the purchase of additional user licenses and add-on module licenses above $20,000

    OFFER TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

    • Offer valid from May 1, 2010 to June 25, 2010
    • Offer available only in the U.S. & Canada
    • Offer available only to Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics SL, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, and Microsoft Dynamics AX customers on a current plan who have purchased their Microsoft Dynamics solution prior to January 1st, 2010.

    As always, visit PartnerSource for complete details.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Invigoration Station Radio Show – Wednesday May 5

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    Join us for the next Invigoration Station Radio Show on Wednesday, May 5 at 11:00am Pacific. As always these shows inform and entertain! But, don’t just take my word for it. Watch my fellow team member, Sarah Anderson, as she explains the highlights of this month’s show!

     

    Click here to register.

    Also, if you attend the live show, and complete an evaluation, you will be entered into a drawing to win 1 of 2 NEW HD 16GB Zunes!!!

    No purchase necessary. Trade promotion open only to residents of the 50 US + D.C. who are employees of a Microsoft Partner Program member. Sweepstakes ends May 5th, 2010 at 5:00 PM Pacific. For complete rules, Click Here.

    NOTE: You must register in advance. You cannot join the show after it begins if you have not already registered.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Winning with Microsoft Dynamics ERP and Online Social Media

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    My Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community team is using social media, and I know many other Microsoft teams and employees are using these revolutionary tools to connect with partners, customers and prospects to share news, best practices, and collaborate. Now, you have the opportunity to listen to the Microsoft Dynamics ERP team explain how they've been utilizing these tools during a one-hour web seminar.

    Winning with Microsoft Dynamics ERP and Online Social Media

    Thursday, May 6, 2010 at 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM Pacific Time

    Social media is the latest trend – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn you name it everybody is doing it and corporate organizations are increasingly leveraging the power of online social media to gain traction in the marketplace and achieve their business goals. This session takes a first-hand look at how the global Microsoft Dynamics ERP marketing team is using online social media to connect with key stakeholders across the globe and drive an increased level awareness around the brand. Learn about the tools they use to realize this, future plans for world domination in the online social media domain and how you and your organization can get involved and benefit from their efforts.

    Click here to register.

    I hope you have the time to join us!

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Announcing the xRM Showcase Challenge

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    Another cool idea announced at Convergence. Partners and customers can compete for fame and fortune by submitting their solutions to a vote of our online community with the xRM Showcase Challenge. Having personally witnessed some of our own internal Microsoft solution demo contests, I'm sure that many of you will have a fun and creative time with this!

    The xRM Showcase Challenge

    A contest for solutions built with Microsoft Dynamics CRM and its flexible application development framework, xRM.

    Submit your solution to a vote of our online community. Win enough votes, and your solution will be showcased on the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Web site. Plus, you’ll win one of these very cool prizes:

    • 1st place: Netbook HP Mini 5102, Sponsored by Microsoft
    • 2nd place: Xbox 360, Sponsored by ADX Studio
    • 3rd place: Zune HD, Sponsored by Neudesic

    How to enter: Log on to xRM Showcase using your Windows Live ID. Briefly describe your xRM solution built with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, tell us why it should win, and upload your images. The deadline for entries is June 18.

    How to vote: At xRM Showcase, you can cast five votes for the entries you think are best (yes, you can vote for your own, and, no, we won’t tell). What is "best"? That’s up to you. Cast your votes based on creativity, functionality, problem-solving, return on investment, or any other reason. Voting closes on June 18. 2010. 

    Where to be: Winners will be announced during the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC 2010) in Washington, D.C., July 11-15. Although you don’t have to be present to win, WPC is a great place to find out how Microsoft can help your business grow.

    Why participate: Your business acumen and creativity may be showcased and your solution made permanently available online for sharing with your community. And, you may win a great prize. Plus, you can be a contestant and a judge!

    So get going! Visit xRM Showcase today to enter your xRM solution. Track your ranking and cast your 5 votes by June 18, 2010.

    PS: Don’t forget to promote your entry on Twitter using hash tag #XRMSHOWCASE.

    Time to step up to the plate and hit a grand slam!

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Technical Advisory Services Special Offer

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    Get expert assistance on Microsoft Dynamics—and on the full range of Microsoft technologies-with Microsoft Technical Advisory Services (TAS). TAS hours are available for purchase in cost-saving bundles. Buy TAS hours through June 18, 2010, and take advantage of this special offer to save even more.

    Discover how Microsoft Technical Advisory Services (TAS) can help your organization deliver the best value to your customers and improve your business success.

    The TAS team of dedicated Microsoft Services specialists can offer you advisory assistance to help better architect and deploy state-of-the-art infrastructure solutions, solve complex integration challenges, and accelerate the design and delivery of the full range of Microsoft solutions to the marketplace.

    It’s in your best interest to discover how using TAS can help you deliver the best value to your customers!

    Special Offer*

    TAS hours are available for purchase in cost-saving bundles. Buy TAS hours through June 18, 2010, and take advantage of this special offer to save even more.

    • Purchase 40 TAS hours and get 15 bonus hours
    • Purchase 20 TAS hours and get 5 bonus hours

    To take advantage of this offer e-mail tassales@microsoft.com.

    Benefits:

    TAS is available only to Microsoft partners, offering custom assistance to fit your specific needs at every stage of the service delivery life cycle, including:

    • Recommendations about solutions and best practices with Microsoft technologies, including Microsoft Dynamics solutions.
    • Consultative assistance and in-depth technical discussion on architecture and solutions.
    • Upgrade, migration, and deployment guidance.
    • Readiness opportunities through TAS events and one-on-one custom services.

    For ISV Partners, Benefits Also Include:

    • Development advice and best practice recommendations.
    • Code samples.
    • Architecture and design guidance reviews.

    Visit PartnerSource for complete details.

    * This offer is good in the United States and Canada only to Microsoft Dynamics partners who purchase Technical Advisory Service hours from April 20, 2010, through June 18, 2010, and is not redeemable for cash. This offer is nontransferable and cannot be combined with any other offer. Taxes, if any, are the sole responsibility of the recipient.

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 Web Seminars - Learn and Win!

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    As we gear up for the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 launch coming on May 1, 2010, take the opportunity to attend some great training and you could possibly be the winner of some great prizes!!! This material should have you well prepared for the questions and inquiries that may come from customers and prospects attending Microsoft Convergence this week.

    Don't miss the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 recorded web seminars! Help ensure your PEOPLE are your most powerful asset by gaining sales and technical readiness for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010.

    Microsoft Dynamics GP delivers a comprehensive ERP solution that goes beyond basic business management and reporting to meet your unique needs. Unlike many ERP systems, Microsoft Dynamics GP is easy to implement and use, enables your customers to work with information in ways that are familiar to them, and lays the groundwork for innovation now and into the future. Whatever the role, Microsoft Dynamics GP streamlines business processes and helps your customers work both fast and smart.

    Learn about the new features and tools by attending these web seminars today!

    Attend and Win!

    Attend the Sales Web Seminars and have a chance to walk away with an Xbox 360 Gaming System! (Terms & Conditions)

    Attend the Technical Web Seminars and be entered to win a set of Bose On-Ear Headphones! (Terms & Conditions)

    Sweepstakes ends 11:59 P.M. PT on June 1, 2010.

    Good luck!

    --Kevin

  • Microsoft Dynamics Partner Community Blog

    Convergence 2010 Kick Off!

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    Although, I'm not in attendance this year, I wanted to pass along some of the bigger announcements as they come along. Let's start with yesterday's press release...

    Convergence 2010 kicks off showcasing new Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM technologies to more than 8,000 attendees.

    ATLANTA — April 25, 2010 — Microsoft Corp. opens Convergence 2010 today with Microsoft Business Division President Stephen Elop and Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Business Solutions Kirill Tatarinov demonstrating how the company is delivering on its vision of the Dynamic Business by providing customer-driven advancements across Microsoft Dynamics CRM and ERP applications to help organizations embrace change and seize opportunities that drive enduring business success.

    As part of their joint keynote address, Elop and Tatarinov announced the May 2010 service update for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online that delivers seamless integration with Microsoft Dynamics GP, new language support, portal accelerators and cloud-based developer tools that help improve business connectivity. They also disclosed the road map for the expected international availability of the next generation of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online to 32 markets worldwide. The executives also previewed Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010, which will be generally available May 1, 2010, and announced a new promotion for Microsoft Dynamics GP customers to get a license for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online at a rate of $19 (U.S.) per user, per month.

    "The true competitive differentiator for Microsoft is the value customers derive through a consistent and world-class user experience and well-designed interoperability across our solutions," Elop said. "Our upcoming Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM releases light up this philosophy by delivering solutions that work well together and take advantage of existing IT investments."

    Offering New Innovations With Microsoft Dynamics CRM

    Continuing on its commitment to deliver the best value in the industry to more than 22,000 customers and 1.1 million users, the May 2010 service update for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, available at no additional charge for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online customers, focuses on improving the connectivity of the business to other systems, data and people through developer tools and resources. Key details include the following:

    • Expanded language support for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. The May 2010 service update is the first wave for moving Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online into international markets with multilingual capabilities for North American customers who have departments or teams with French, Spanish or Brazilian Portuguese language requirements.
    • New Portal accelerators. The service update adds new Portal accelerators for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. These accelerators include Event Management, eService and Partner Relationship Management and allow organizations to extend their reach and extend the power of CRM to external constituents.
    • New developer tools and resources. The service update provides new developer tools in the updated Microsoft Dynamics CRM Software Development Kit (SDK) to enable the connection of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online with other on-demand and on-premises applications and services such as Windows Azure.
    • Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics CRM integration. A new built-in integration framework for Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics CRM enables customers to easily connect the two systems to help provide business insight and improve user productivity across financials, supply chain, and sales and service. The integration is supported with both on-premises and cloud versions of Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 and Microsoft Dynamics GP 10.0.

    "We are very excited about the May 2010 service update for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online," said Steven Bowles, president of Pelagic Solutions Inc., a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner. "With the new portal solutions, we can easily tailor Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online to meet the unique needs of our customers and extend out the powerful capabilities to external audiences. We have already seen phenomenal growth with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, and with these new capabilities we expect that growth to continue."

    Disclosing the road map for international availability, Microsoft announced that it is slated to expand the next release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online to 32 global markets in the second half of 2010. In addition to the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, those markets are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Customers can get Microsoft Dynamics CRM as a service in those markets today, with solutions and consulting from an extensive network of Microsoft partners.

    Delivering Enterprise Resource Planning Excellence

    Convergence attendees also previewed Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010, an easy-to-use ERP solution for midsize businesses that want advanced functionality, strong business intelligence reporting options and interoperability with other line-of-business applications. More information about Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 can be found here.

    Delivering even more value to Microsoft Dynamics GP customers, Microsoft is offering them a license for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online at a promotional rate of $19 (U.S.) per user, per month. Starting today, the promotion is available to all Microsoft Dynamics GP customers until June 30, 2010. More information about this offer can be found here.

    "Data, information and analytics are at the heart of everything we do," said Steve Diakowsky, president and CEO of The Allan Candy Co. Ltd. "Fundamentally, the design of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 will greatly facilitate putting information into the right people’s hands, including my own, so that we can make business decisions that are timely and accurate."

    Investing in key industries, Microsoft also disclosed that Microsoft Dynamics AX for Retail, a new end-to-end offering designed for midsize specialty retailers, will be available in 16 countries on Aug. 1, 2010, with additional countries to follow early next year. In anticipation of this release, new and existing Microsoft Dynamics partners such as Avanade Inc., Columbus IT, Fujitsu, Hitachi Consulting Corp., Ideaca, Junction Solutions and Tectura Corp. are establishing new practices that focus on delivering retail solutions based on Microsoft Dynamics AX.

    Expanding Microsoft Dynamics Communities

    Microsoft Dynamics, by bringing its customer community and partner community closer together to help them get more from their Microsoft Dynamics software investments, has established an alliance with the Microsoft Dynamics AX User Group, Microsoft Dynamics CRM User Group, Microsoft Dynamics GP User Group, and the Microsoft Dynamics NAV User Group, which are independent user groups based in the U.S. The alliance will allow members of those groups to seamlessly utilize the Microsoft Dynamics Community site and bring a significant amount of new, high-quality content and resources to benefit all community users, including nonuser group members. Customer feedback has allowed the alliance to also include the user groups that are driving most of the user-created content at Convergence 2010. Customers and partners can get involved by participating in their product user group, and the Microsoft Dynamics Community.

    Stay tuned for additional exciting updates as they come in!

    --Kevin

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