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The MSDW Podcast

The MSDynamicsWorld.com (MSDW) podcast explores news, ideas, and events in the Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM community.
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Now displaying: August, 2017
Aug 22, 2017

Last week’s Dynamics GP Tech Conference at Microsoft’s Fargo campus was about more than the next new release. Sure, GP 2018 was discussed, but our guests, Microsoft MVPs Belinda Allen of njevity, Mariano Gomez of Mekorma, and Mark Polino of Fastpath, say the event was a well-rounded dive into the technology that should matter to any GP partner or consultant preparing for what’s next in the Microsoft ecosystem. Deep dives into GP tech was part of the event, but so were Power BI, PowerApps, Flow, and other cloud-centric tools.

  • 1:05 – GP 2018 was a part of the conference, but it took a backseat to other opportunities to focus on tech.
  • 5:00 – Why sessions about the GP web client were valuable
  • 10:20 – The importance of web-based reporting (and the role of MR)
  • 12:00 – Who attends GP events in Fargo?
  • 14:30 – The role of PowerApps, Flow, and other Microsoft tech as part of the GP cloud story
  • 16:40 –Microsoft employees that work with various Dynamics products
  • 19:30 – Summarizing the sessions run by Belinda and Mariano – Power BI, OData, Dexterity, and more.
  • 25:00 – Other standout sessions
  • 26:00 – How are GP customers doing?
Aug 21, 2017

This week’s guest, Guus Krabbenborg, has worked with Dynamics products and partners for almost twenty years. He has had several roles in that time, including a role at Navision before the Microsoft acquisition. But Guus’s current role as a co-founder of QBS Group puts his team’s venture at the center of Microsoft’s partner channel transformation. MSDW has documented QBS Group’s growth over the last four years, working as a distributor of sorts, with an approach that has been broadly adopted by Microsoft’s partner team.

Guus is also a long time documentarian when it comes to major Microsoft events like Inspire. As with WPC before it, there will soon be a new report coming out about the latest event (there is also a webcast coming up), so this was also a great time to catch up and learn more about his latest observations.

Show notes:

  • 2:00 – The evolution of the Dynamics partner channel and Guus’s role
  • 4:10 – Why a single country in western Europe was too small for starting up a “Master VAR”
  • 8:50 – On the competitive concerns of Dynamics VARs on joining an SMB distributor/CSP/Master VAR
  • 10:30 – Why do VARs buy into QBS Group’s model?
  • 14:45 – What does size and scale mean for Dynamics VARs and ISVs and their investments in marketing?
  • 17:30 – Reflections on Inspire 2017, several weeks later
  • 20:15 – Why Inspire was not so big on product news, and why that might continue
  • 22:40 – The future of Microsoft’s distribution policy for Dynamics
  • 23:45 – What percentage of Dynamics partners will be directly managed going forward?
  • 26:00 – What does the disti world look like today, and how will traditional Dynamics partners adapt to Dynamics 365?
Aug 9, 2017

Harald Horgen of The York Group has worked on and around Microsoft channel programs for over a decade. Vendor and reseller priorities have change in that time, and in the last few years Microsoft’s focus has been on driving higher cloud technology consumption.

Horgen believes the newest approach, via One Commercial Partner and related platforms like Partner Center, will bring more discipline to Microsoft’s channel efforts, but not without some risks. ISVs looking to establish a channel of their own within the Microsoft ecosystem must be disciplined, practical, and strategic, says Horgen. Not all business owners will adapt to meet the challenges of this new phase of channel challenges.

Show notes:

  • 3:15 - How long has P2P been on Microsoft’s agenda?
  • 8:00 – Microsoft’s goals with the One Commercial Partner program
  • 9:40 – What AppSource means for partners
  • 10:30 – What should ISVs do now to address Microsoft’s changes?
  • 13:20 – How ISVs should evaluate prospective reselling partners
  • 17:00 – Triangulating between an ISV, a channel partner, and Microsoft
  • 20:45 – How well are ISVs adapting their products to match with Microsoft’s direction?
  • 22:00 – The importance of Azure consumption and Office365 activitation
  • 23:30 – Why Harald has a pessimistic view of the future of the big distributors in the Microsoft channel
  • 28:00 – Why dropping margins will drive a repositioning of channel partners
  • 30:30 – Why partners are less willing to invest in new solutions today than in the past
Aug 3, 2017

On this episode, we speak with Afshin Alikhani, chairman of Retail Realm, a software distribution and development company specializing in the retail sector with a focus on distributing Microsoft’s Dynamics RMS, AX for Retail, and 365 for Retail, as well as their own related retail solutions.

Afshin founded Retail Realm in the 1990s and has expanded its reach around the world. He has seen the business landscape shift over that time, and he believes the Microsoft channel is at a major transition point. Veteran firms are re-considering their strategy and there are big challenges for new entrants. And amid these changes, the retail industry continues to be one of the fastest evolving for new technology for businesses of all sizes.

Show notes:

  • 2:15 – How the role of Microsoft partners is changing in FY 2018 in light of new programs, models
  • 4:30 – Is consolidation in the channel inevitable in the Dynamics channel, and is it the same at the enterprise and SMB spaces?
  • 8:10 – Do SMB retailers know what kind of solutions they need?
  • 11:30 – Microsoft’s challenge of building up the next generation of retail SMB offerings via Dynamics 365.
  • 15:10 – Why does Microsoft care so much about retail?
  • 18:45 – Where do SMBs go today for a Microsoft-based retail solution?
  • 21:00 – The opportunity (and risks) of moving from Dynamics RMS to AX/365
  • 26:00 – What are retail channel partners focusing on in SMB if Msft doesn’t have something for them today beyond Dynamics RMS?
  • 28:30 – Why ERP vendors are buying retail solutions rather than developing them.
  • 29:45 – How will Microsoft Partner Center help SMB partners?
  • 33:00 – Will Microsoft really change its account management following the reorg?
  • 34:45 – What’s new and exciting in retail tech in the Microsoft space.
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