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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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Sep 20, 2019

In this news roundup episode, our editorial desk offers an accelerated review of recent news and expert insights published on MSDW. Among the topics covered are:

Sep 12, 2019

What does it mean to be an ISV in the Microsoft business applications channel these days? With so many aspects of that particular type of partner relationship in flux today, there is no single answer. Yet another sign that things are not what they used to be: the most recent Inc. 5000 list, which featured only five or so partners from the Microsoft Dynamics channel down from nearly twenty in 2017.

While magazine "best of" lists are a generally terrible way to measure anything, at least this one has a bit of quantitative data to use as a starting point for a discussion. So on this MSDW podcast episode, we speak with Mike Dickerson, CEO of ClickDimensions, one of the Dynamics-focused ISVs on this year's list. They reported over 100% growth over the last three years.

As Mike tells us, there is no single reason for the drop on the Inc list. But with the massive changes underway in this space, both with the products and the partner strategy, there is plenty to consider in terms of what is changing, why, and how ISVs can position themselves for the future.

Show Notes

  • 3:00 – What has allowed ISVs to grow historically in the Dynamics space?
  • 6:00 – What might have caused the dropoff in high growth ISVs in this space, as measured by the Inc. 5000?
  • 11:15 – Is it a problem for Microsoft if fewer ISVs in their channel are growing?
  • 13:30 – What does growth mean to ISVs vs VARs?
  • 18:30 – How much influence does Microsoft have as a partner vs as a competitor?
  • 22:30 – The multi-faceted art of planning for change in the Microsoft channel
  • 27:15 – Can newcomers to the Microsoft business applications channel find real growth opportunities today?
  • 30:00 – How businesses can make the most of their marketing automation investments.
Aug 26, 2019

The reporting architecture of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (D365FO) is moving toward data lakes, and it's not a simple change for customers to understand. Today's guest, Kirk Donahoe, solution architect and consulting manager at MCA Connect, has been studying the changes to the entity store and the BYOD model and wrote about it recently. The use of ADLS Gen2 will change the overall architecture of D365FO in the Azure cloud, but it will also impact third party data warehouse solutions like his firm's. Partners like MCA Connect need to understand what to do next, but just as importantly, so do D365FO customers.

Kirk spends a good deal of his time advising clients on the impact of Microsoft's changes. He and other D365FO experts are also paying close attention to Microsoft's guidance on the topic as it rolls out, sometimes with bigger announcements but often in small pieces.

On this episode, Kirk reviews some of the highlights of his recent article, discusses how various updates will impact both D365FO and AX users, and explains how other Azure data services factor into a Microsoft cloud ERP customer's experience.

Show Notes

  • 2:30 – What's the impact of ADLS Gen2 on D365FO customers and Microsoft customers more generally?
  • 3:30 – More about Kirk's role at MCA Connect
  • 4:30 – What is the present state of data management and reporting in AX and D365FO?
  • 6:30 – Microsoft's move away from multidimensional data services and toward tabular.
  • 9:45 – What are entity store limitations today, and what will change with ADLS?
  • 12:00 – Why ADLS Gen2 does not change the need for data warehouses and a real reporting strategy.
  • 13:00 – Common examples of unstructured data in a data lake
  • 14:15 – How are AX and D365FO customer responding to the data lakes plan so far? And how will customer migrate to it?
  • 17:00 – How Power BI plays into the change, and how costs of Power BI and ADLS Gen2 compare to today's architectures
  • 20:00 – When will D365FO customers be switched to the data lake from the current entity store?
  • 21:20 – What does this mean for AX users planning an upgrade?
  • 24:30 – Open Data Initiative, data lakes, CDS for analytics, and other Azure data services to track
  • 26:45 – What should customers understand first to manage their project investments?
  • 29:00 – What else could Microsoft be doing to improve customer value?
Aug 21, 2019

Microsoft MVP Erik Hougaard published his first book this week, the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Field Guide, and he joins the MSDW Podcast to talk about the book, the state of Business Central, and his experiences with self-publishing.

Erik has been working with NAV and Business Central for a long time. He's perhaps best known for his work as a developer and architect and his related blogging and speaking. The Field Guide is a departure from some of the topics he usually discusses. It is written for new Business Central users and administrators, whether they have experience with Dynamics NAV or not. It is not intended as a cover to cover read, he says, but rather as a real field guide – something meant to be picked up as needed to learn more about specific topics, from standard features to integration options to reporting and customization.

We discuss a few important chapters, Erik's experience writing and publishing the book, and plans for updating it as Business Central is updated by Microsoft every six months going forward.

Show Notes:

  • 2:00 – Why write a book, and why make it a field guide?
  • 7:45 – What is it like to write about Business Central for the newcomer?
  • 10:00 – Thoughts on the real uses of the "Intelligent Cloud" tools for linking on-prem to cloud BC
  • 13:20 – User productivity in the Business Central interface
  • 19:00 – What topics around BC could use a deeper dive?
  • 21:30 – The strength of standard BC integration via APIs
  • 22:45 – How to keep a Business Central book current.
  • 24:50 – Thoughts on self-publishing
  • 26:10 – What else you need to know about the book.
Aug 9, 2019

In today's news roundup episode we break down recent Microsoft announcements, and highlight recent expert content on budgeting, automation, reporting, and ERP integration, and more.

Topics include:

Aug 7, 2019

Microsoft's industry accelerators for Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform don't simply appear. Rather, they are the result of extensive collaboration with partners willing to share their years of experience and intellectual property to help develop standardized data models and feature sets. In the financial services sector, VeriPark has contributed to that effort, contributing to the development of the recently launched Banking Accelerator.

Our guest on this episode, Wim Geukens, managing director of VeriPark Europe, explains that committing some of the company's most valuable IP to an open source initiative like an industry accelerator wasn't an easy decision. And while they may be losing some advantages, there are advantages to helping Microsoft shape its industry model, too, he says. The company also continues to move ahead with efforts to offer more high value capabilities for financial services firms, in areas like language processing and facial recognition.

We also discuss Wim's recent articles for MSDW on approaching the requirements of omnichannel customer engagement in the banking and insurance sectors. One reason the articles work so well is that, unlike generic statements on the importance of improving customer experience, they take on real and addressable challenges like integrating legacy solutions and prioritizing the availability of customer information at key moments.

Show Notes:

  • 2:30 – Approaching omni-channel customer experience needs for specific industries
  • 4:30 – The insurance industry's unique requirements
  • 5:50 – Are insurers eager to re-invent themselves through innovation and a modern architecture?
  • 10:15 – VeriPark's evolution as an industry-focused vendor
  • 13:45 – What does an industry-focused approach mean when designing and marketing a solution?
  • 18:00 – Does leading edge technology have a place in financial industries?
  • 19:00 – Why work with Microsoft on the banking accelerator initiative.
  • 23:00 – The broader industry effort around the Microsoft Business Applications platform
  • 26:00 – What's next for VeriPark's investment with Microsoft? Blending what's possible and what's realistic.
Jul 11, 2019

Inspire 2019 is just days away, and the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP) will be there as always, advocating for Microsoft partners and celebrating its 25th anniversary. On this episode we speak with Jeffrey Goldstein, president of IAMCP Americas and the managing director at Microsoft partner Queue Associates. He'll be at Inspire and he walks us through the themes that both his firm and IAMCP members will focus on, both internally and with Microsoft executives.

Some of the most pressing matters should be no surprise, like how to navigate the changes to gold and silver certifications, the loss of internal use rights (IURs), and the evolving use of AppSource. But Goldstein is also helping lead

Show Notes:

  • 2:30 – Inspire 2019 event outlook, including IAMCP's 25th anniversary celebration, board of directors meetings, and Microsoft executive roundtables
  • 8:50 – What partners can expect to hear from Microsoft at executive roundtables that's different from the event's formal keynotes.
  • 12:00 – What are the most pressing channel issues partners are looking at today?
  • 14:45 – IAMCP's role in encouraging winning partner-to-partner initiatives
  • 16:00 – What can we infer about Microsoft's view of SMB partners today?
  • 18:15 – How many partners will Microsoft realistically manage?
  • 20:00 – How Queue Associates has adapted to changes in competencies recently.
  • 23:00 – How IAMCP is approaching the impact of the removal of Internal Use Rights (IURs), including its statement on the matter.
  • 30:30 – Do partners yet understand the impact of AppSource?

Links:

Jul 7, 2019

Linda's new book, Get Acquired for Millions, reflects her own experiences in 3 sales, plus new research from across the industry.

The sale of a technology services provider (TSP) business brings into focus matters of all sorts -- financial, strategic, operational, psychological, and even personal. The prospect of an acquisition also raises a lot of challenges and anxieties – the worth of a business today, how can that value be improved, how buyers are approaching opportunities, and where sellers are finding the best deals.

Our guest is Linda Rose, a veteran of the tech services space and the Microsoft channel in particular. She has sold three businesses over her career, most recently her cloud services business about two years ago. After taking some time off for a few adventures, she's back to work with a new book for other business owners. It's called Get Acquired for Millions: A roadmap for technology service providers to maximize company value.

We talk about her own experiences as an entrepreneur, her research for the book, and some of the findings and recommendations for other TSPs.

Show Notes:

  • 1:50 – How Linda's new book came to be after selling her last business.
  • 6:00 – Takeaways from her latest deal, other business experiences, and translating those into the resources of the book.
  • 10:00 – Is transforming your business to become more attractive to buyers always healthy move even if you're not interested to sell?
  • 12:30 – Performance factors that prospective buyers will be looking at.
  • 14:30 – Psychological stresses that play into a deal's success.
  • 19:30 – The role of an M&A broker or coach
  • 25:00 – The importance of a letter of intent (LOI)
  • 28:15 – Where do Dynamics-focused partners fit into the broader TSP deal outlook?
  • 33:00 – What are private equity firms focused on in the Microsoft channel, and how are they framing the value of acquisitions?
  • 36:30 – Why are so many MSPs looking to sell?
  • 38:40 – Women in tech – what has changed, and how Linda's own experiences inform her views.

 

Apr 26, 2019

In a recent article, the co-host of today's podcast, Peter Joeckel, shared his perspective that the Dynamics AX user base falls into one of three categories as it relates to their Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (D365FO) upgrade prospects:

  • Small to mid-market and simple;
  • Large and complex but well funded;
  • Mid-market and complex but financially constrained

That last cohort, the constrained mid-market customer with complex customizations, is staffed with tense IT managers harboring the legitimate fear that the financial losses tie to an upgrade-gone-wrong could do real harm to the business overall.

In this episode of our Dynamics AX to D365FO Upgrade Journeys podcast series, we meet Irene, an IT director at a manufacturer running a not-so-successful AX 2012 system (she preferred to leave her company out of the discussion). Their AX implementation began in 2012 RTM and "it was not an easy implementation," she says. They faced many of the hurdles you hope not to find when executing an ERP project: the lack of a change mindset, a conservative (and seemingly un-engaged) executive team, and some technical deployment problems. Since their less-than-satisfying go—live, they have been working to steadily bring back features and functions that should have been there from the start.

Now they face the prospect of an upgrade of some sort. Irene explains how she evaluated the two primary choices: upgrading to D365FO in the cloud or upgrading to AX 2012 R3. It's not a scenario (or an outcome) that will earn itself a flashy video at the next Microsoft conference, but it's one that might seem more believable for a certain set of AX customers weighing their options today.

Show Notes

  • 3:15 – Introducing our AX customer guest and her company's current state
  • 6:15 – Past history: why the company is moving cautiously ahead after its original AX 2012 implementation
  • 9:45 – What their upgrade analysis looked like and why others will have to move from AX 2012 to D365FO first.
  • 12:30 – How the company made their decision on the next steps considering factors like customizations, reporting, and user experience.
  • 15:00 – Can a move from AX to D365FO really be called an upgrade?
  • 20:30 – AX was implemented to "make corporate happy" originally. Is anyone happy now, and who's not?
  • 22:45 – Why our guest is optimistic about the long term future at her company with D365FO – with some reservations like affordability. Would love to know Microsoft's strategy to keep adding value.
  • 26:00 – What it means to be in the midrange of ERP buyers when looking to the cloud.
  • 30:00 – How much are service providers quoting for an AX 2012 to AX 2012 R3 upgrade/re-implementation? And how would it have compared to the cost of a move to D365FO?
  • 35:00 – What a recent group of AX users had to say about planning for a move to D365FO?
  • 37:45 – Concerns over partner pressure to move to D365FO, and what is probably driving it.
  • 41:00 – The company's long term plans for the next five years.
  • 42:00 – Predicting Microsoft's plans for long term support of AX 2012 versions.
Apr 26, 2019

The podcast is back with a look at some of the most important articles and features from the last month. It's an episode that is heavy on Dynamics 365 Business Central news as Microsoft ramps up the April 2019 release and communicates its plans to partners, both in Asia last month and in North America in May. We also review some new insights from subject matter experts in partner channel strategy, manufacturing, banking, non-profits, Customer Engagement, Finance & Operations, and more.

Show Notes:

Jan 25, 2019

On this episode we catch up with Nicholas Hayduk, founder of Engineered Code to learn more about what's coming next with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Portal based on the still-new April 2019 release notes. There are some exciting updates, like the removal dependencies on first party Dynamics app objects, and intriguing hints at the future like a new way to display of external data.

Nick is a Portal and Adxstudio veteran and he recently wrote about the April 2019 release wave on his blog.

Jan 7, 2019

On this episode we talk with John Silvani, President & CEO of Gravity Software. John wrote an article for MSDW in 2018 describing his experience running a SaaS ERP business built originally on Dynamics CRM Online and now on the Common Data Service and the Power platform. We talk about the evolution of Gravity's partnership with Microsoft, his thoughts on the evolution of CDS and the Power platform, and advice for other businesses looking to use Microsoft's business solutions ecosystem as their platform of choice.

Show Notes:

  • 1:20 – John's background in the Microsoft channel
  • 3:15 – Formalizing xRM and the decision to build on it.
  • 4:30 – Why doing xRM with all custom entities
  • 7:00 – How ISVs are adapting to licensing and product changes for PowerApps and CDS-based solutions
  • 12:00 – Managing the ISV relationship with Microsoft as an ERP vendor: cooperating vs competing
  • 17:00 – Expanding an ISV offering and ecosystem with platform tools like Flow
  • 20:45 – Gravity's channel building efforts. And advice to other prospective Microsoft partners.
  • 24:40 – What to watch from Microsoft in 2019
  • 26:00 – Trends from partners and buyers to watch for in 2019
Nov 27, 2018

The MVP collaboration known as PowerISV is all about the business opportunities of Microsoft's Power platform - PowerApps, Power BI, Flow, and the Common Data Service. On this episode we talk with two members of the group, Mark Smith, aka nz365guy, and returning guest Steve Mordue, to discuss why the group got together, what value they provide, and who needs to understand the opportunity for developing solutions on Microsoft's still-emerging cloud application infrastructure.

Show Notes:

  • 3:00 – Why do partners need to start understanding the Power platform as a product platform
  • 4:40 – What kinds of questions are SIs and ISVs asking today?
  • 7:30 – Tracking Microsoft's product and partnership decisions and how that will impact companies building against the Power platform ecosystem.
  • 9:40 – The biggest mistakes that ISV partners are making today
  • 11:45 – What is solid today? Where do we know it will be in the near future? And where do we think it will be farther down the road?
  • 14:00 – Why connectors are a huge part of the future opportunity.
  • 17:00 – What partners need to understand about the freedom of building standalone on the Power platform rather than starting with Microsoft first party apps.
  • 21:00 – Why you might bet that the platform will win out over Microsoft's first party apps over the long term.
  • 25:00 – What is the future of ISV solutions built atop the first party D365 apps?
  • 30:30 – Why Microsoft's efforts with Power platform recruitment are different from past initiatives to lure ISV investment.
  • 34:45 – Why the citizen developer is a huge part of the story.
  • 41:30 – Why partners struggle with change management as much as their clients
  • 46:00 – Why AppSource could be so much more than it is today
  • 50:30 – The importance of learning to "work the system" as a Microsoft partner in order to be successful

Other links:

Nov 20, 2018

Marko Peresic has now stepped down from his role at Microsoft in the Business Applications group, and the former general manager sat down with MSDW for an exit interview of sorts. On this MSDW Podcast episode he discusses his twelve years at Microsoft and reflects on both his own growth and the evolution of the company's business applications group.

Leaving the company was not a decision he took lightly, he says. The company's talented employees, as well as the intensity of its partner and customer bases it a unique place to work. He weighed different potential job offers, both inside and outside the company before landing on a new role at a yet-to-be-identified HR software firm. And he advised that the search for his replacement, which is ongoing, is expected to result in a new leader with same general manager roles and responsibilities. Other topics of our conversation included some of the feedback he heard from within Microsoft when he announced his plans, how he has adapted to handling conflict with stakeholders in the community, shifting from a technology focus to a customer success focus, and why Microsoft needs to better develop its executive talent pool internationally rather than centered in Redmond.

Show Notes:

  • 1:30 – A warm response from the community to the news of Marko's departure
  • 3:15 - Did the latest progress with Business Central impact the decision to move on?
  • 6:00 - Why he spent such a long time at Microsoft after years of shorter term roles at startups
  • 12:15 - Recommendations for new hires at Microsoft, including the strengths of the culture and the need to get in front of partners and customers
  • 15:00 – Notable shifts resulting from the company's leadership change.
  • 20:00 – How his attitude and approach has changed, from "excessive self-confidence" in the early years to something more refined.
  • 25:00 – The impact of the partner channel on a Microsoft manager's role
  • 29:00 – Shifting from a technology focus to a business and customer success attitude.
  • 31:30 – Defining the role of Marko's replacement's
  • 33:00 – Why Microsoft needs more managers based internationally.
  • 36:00 – Where Marko is most excited about the direction of enterprise apps technology, including ERP, HR, and beyond.
Nov 2, 2018

Andrew King of WebSan Solutions joins us once again to talk building and selling Microsoft business solutions to SMBs. Andrew and his team have been working with clients on a range of the latest Microsoft technology, from the Business Applications suite to Power BI, Office 365, SharePoint, Teams, and Azure products.

On this episode we cover a range of topics including what types of solutions are resonating with new and existing clients, the technology on which his team is building expertise, the types of conversations he is having with NAV and GP customers these days, and WebSan's upcoming webcast for MSDW on November 20 about moving GP solutions to the cloud.

Show notes:

  • 1:30 – Introducing D365 Business Central to the market
  • 3:45 – What it takes to blend Microsoft technology together for a full vision when talking to prospects
  • 5:15 – Top scenarios with today's tech (Building AI chatbots, PowerApps, and more)
  • 8:45 – The bot, customer service, and field service opportunity
  • 12:00 – Why PSA and Field Service capabilities must integrate more comprehensively with Business Central.
  • 14:00 – Using Flow, Teams, Power BI, SharePoint, and more in solutions today.
  • 19:45 – Why Business Central is not sold by itself, and why competition doesn't allow for it.
  • 21:00 – Investing in PowerApps development services
  • 22:00 – The GP cloud migration opportunity (webcast)
  • 27:00 – The personnel challenges of ERP upgrades
  • 29:00 – Communicating the contrast between GP and Business Central and offering realistic guidance
  • 36:00 – Microsoft Tech Summit in Halifax
Oct 30, 2018

Mike Dickerson,the CEO of marketing technology vendor ClickDimensions, joins us to discuss his company and its evolution in the Microsoft channel over the last two years. Now owned by private equity firm Accel KKR, the company has adjusted its focus today to three main challenges for customers and partners in the future – simplifying the technology, reducing costs, and solving the skills and resources gap. He discusses some fascinating findings about Microsoft partners, how the company has adapted to Microsoft's other marketing technology moves, and some principles of leadership.

Show Notes

  • 1:25 – The ClickDimensions origin story
  • 3:15 – The company's position in today's market
  • 5:15 – What a focus on the Microsoft channel and technology has meant in go-to-market and distribution
  • 8:00 – How the company and martech field have changed in the last two years
  • 14:00 – Addressing the marketing skills gap in B2B
  • 17:00 – Bridging the skills gap – for partners and for customers
  • 24:00 – A "Center of Excellence" strategy for digital agency needs, and why it is needed
  • 34:00 – What is ClickDimensions is doing differently from Microsoft
  • 40:00 – Serving the on-prem customer base
  • 42:30 – Leading the company under private equity ownership
  • 46:30 – Guidance on decision making in leadership and advisory roles at tech companies
Oct 24, 2018

On this episode, Dynamics NAV veteran and COO of Dynamics Southwest AJ Ansari joined us live at Summit 2018 to discuss the future of NAV and Dynamics 365 Business Central. Recorded on the fly in the halls of the Phoenix Convention Center, we discuss customer perceptions of Microsoft's SMB ERP roadmap, how partners are adapting, including AJ's own firm, and our predictions of some of the most exciting new opportunities for innovative use of Microsoft business technology by both customers and partners.

Show Notes:

  • 2:30 - What will the early Business Central customers look like, and what can history teach us about upgrade patterns?
  • 4:30 – The real meaning (and future possibilities) of the Intelligent Cloud Insights tool.
  • 8:00 – What Microsoft really wants to talk about today (hint: not GP or NAV)
  • 10:00 – The PowerApps with Dynamics approach – moving from concept to reality, and the roll of customers vs partners
  • 11:30 – Why Business Central's focus is good news for all SMB ERP Dynamics customers as a sign of Microsoft's commitment.
  • 13:00 – What it takes to propose and sell Business Central vs NAV today, from the small business to the mid-market
  • 17:00 – Making sense of the ISV readiness situation – preparing NAV add-ons, and will VARs industrialize their customizations?
  • 22:00 – The promise of a more modular architecture for Business Central in the future
  • 26:00 – Will we see the rise of a new type of Microsoft business apps partner profile?
  • 29:00 – Customer conversations at NAVUG/BCUG Summit 2018 – some surprises and some interesting use cases.
Sep 19, 2018

On this episode of the MSDW Podcast we look ahead to Directions North America 2018, which kicks off on September 30. Brent Fisher, the leader of Dynamics 365 Business Central and NAV at DXC Eclipse, joins us to preview the event. He is on the Directions NA board and leads the content team for the event, working with partners and Microsoft subject matter experts.

Brent helps us put the 2018 event in context after a 2017 event that proved to be a critical part of the Dynamics 365 SMB story, from product roadmap to branding to partner readiness.

Show Notes

  • 4:00 - Are partners anticipating even more in 2018 than they were at this time in 2017?
  • 7:00 – Why partners should be giving Microsoft honest feedback
  • 9:30 – What will partners be asking of each other? Of Microsoft?
  • 12:00 – The partner role in marketing Dynamics 365-based solutions alongside Microsoft
  • 14:30 – Directions NA stats and other details
  • 17:30 – Does Directions attract non-NAV partners? Different roles?
  • 21:15 – D365 Business Central as an ISV opportunity – hearing from Microsoft and partners who have gone down the product development path
  • 26:00 – Stepping into a busy conference season
Sep 13, 2018

Our guest on this episode, Elif Item, founder of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations training firm , Item by Item,  has worked with AX and D365FO for more than a decade and recently took her years of consulting and project-based work and translated them into a new video-based training platform designed to offer smaller, digestible units of educational content for companies deploying D365FO.

We talk about Elif's history in the Dynamics channel, her new company, and D365FO customers' training needs.

Show Notes:

  • 1:30 - Elif's journey from AX 2.5 to D36FO
  • 6:00 - The modern learning needs of D365FO users – 3 pillars
  • 9:15 – Continuously engaging learnings in the context of a D365FO project
  • 11:50 – The importance of skill-based, digestible chunks of educational content
  • 14:10 – How much do training needs differ by customer?
  • 21:00 – The story behind the D365FO Diary
  • 27:45 – What kinds of organizations are going live with D365FO?
  • 41:30 – What's the future of training?
Aug 29, 2018

We welcome back Gus Gonzalez, founder and CEO of Elev8 Solutions and a Microsoft MVP, to chat about his recent article discussing Microsoft's decision to open up access to the Dynamics Learning Portal, or DLP, making it free for partners and customers with premier support. The article generated some responses from readers, so we dive into the DLP discussion in more detail, taking on those issues as well as more of a comparison of what DLP offers versus other types of training and why more open access to DLP should serve as a competitive advantage for Microsoft in the marketplace.

Show notes:

  • 2:00 – Reviewing the history of DLP for partners and
  • 6:30 – Who's writing DLP content anyway?
  • 8:45 – How to sign up for DLP access and what you'll find inside
  • 13:30 – Why make DLP free when it was already relatively inexpensive for partners?
  • 17:15 – Is DLP really free for partners and premier support customers?
  • 23:00 – The idea behind producing "Two-Minute Tuesday" educational videos
  • 24:15 – Why there is still a need for independent training in addition to DLP
  • 34:00 – Why training remains such a hot topic – as a free and paid service
  • 37:50 – The connection between DLP and Microsoft certifications
  • 40:00 – Finding the balance between training and prepping for exams
  • 41:15 – Why Gus developed the Black Belt training series and why it has changed over time
Aug 22, 2018

On this episode we talk with Josh Greenbaum (@josheac) of Enterprise Application Consulting. Josh has covered Microsoft and other major players in the enterprise business solutions space for many years now and was at Microsoft's recent Business Applications Summit as part of an analyst briefing that coincided with the event.

Josh chats with us about the state of Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations in the context of the competitive landscape, and he shares his latest new perspective on where some of the technology cycles are at more broadly in areas including citizen developer trends, integration, and automation.

Show notes:

  • 1:40 – Impressions on the revealed data about the Dynamics 365 user adds and implementation times
  • 10:00 – An inflection point in the market, and how D365FO faces the competition and nails their validity in the market.
  • 12:00 – Pressure to deliver cloud projects quickly and successfully
  • 14:00 – Faith in the extensibility drive?
  • 22:00 – Buyer advice – where the big problems and opportunities exist today (and how LCS fits in)
  • 25:30 – Why Microsoft has an opportunity to differentiate from Google and Amazon on cloud solution management
  • 29:30 – AI and process automation – where is that segment of the market today?
Aug 17, 2018

On this episode our guest is Julie Yack, a Microsoft MVP and Dynamics 365 CRM expert. When she's not helping to lead Colorado Technology Consultants, you're like to find Julie active in another role in the Microsoft ecosystem like organizing the XRM Virtual community, training customers, or participating at a conference.

On this episode, we talk conferences, training, including the new online training venture Julie is involved with, and keeping up with the Dynamics 365 product roadmap.

Topics include:

  • Thoughts on the inaugural Business Applications Summit
  • The history and evolution of XRM Virtual
  • Golden rules of running a user group
  • Application lifecycle management concerns in the D365 CRM community
  • A new online training venture – 365DotTraining
  • Why in-person training is Julie's favorite format
  • Diving into LinkedIn SalesNavigator and its integration to D365 – with Microsoft and other partners
  • The evolution of Microsoft Social Engagement, why it's worth a try, and its automation possibilities
  • Watching project service automation mature
Aug 3, 2018

With the publication of its hefty new release notes document for fall 2018 release wave, Microsoft has made it clear that business applications partners and customers will stay busy through October figuring out what and how to prioritize their learning and deployment decisions across Dynamics 365 solutions, PowerApps, Flow, and Power BI.

On this episode of the podcast we check in with Steve Mordue, a Microsoft MVP and founder of RapidStartCRM to talk about where the Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem finds itself coming out of a busy two weeks in July that included the Inspire 2018 partner event and the new Business Applications Summit.

We discuss the events themselves and what some of the highlights will mean for customers. We also discuss key decisions that will start impacting Dynamics 365 partners in the near term like Microsoft's commitment to twice yearly updates, the maturing PowerApps development model based on XRM, and progress on the Unified interface that is quickly broadening its reach on the D365 customer engagement apps.

Aug 1, 2018

The MSDW editorial team brings you another news roundup edition of the podcast, this one following two big events – Inspire 2018 and the Microsoft Business Applications Summit. We look back at the headlines from Las Vegas and Seattle, respectively, and more. Topics include:

  • Inspire's lack of drama
  • What the newly revealed D365FO customer stats could mean for the product
  • First impressions of the MS Business Apps Summit
  • The Power platform's role in shaping the future of D365 apps
  • New salary survey data
  • D365FO dashboards, reporting, and data sync
  • Real talk on Business Central/NAV from SMEs
Jul 12, 2018

Welcome to the MSDW Podcast, I'm Jason Gumpert, editor at MSDynamicsWorld.com. On this episode I talk with Eric Kimberling of Third Stage Consulting. As an independent advisor, Eric keeps his eye on multiple ERP solutions and vendors, so he sees the ERP selection and deployment process from a unique angle. We discuss the competitiveness of Dynamics 365 solutions compared to other vendors' cloud solutions, trends in project planning, and how buyers are dealing with their legacy IT investments in today's marketplace.

Show notes:

  • How do customers figure out whether they are ready for a cloud solution?
  • How is the marketplace taking to the Dynamics 365 cloud value prop?
  • Why are companies taking an incremental approach to cloud ERP, rather than lift-and-shift?
  • Is Microsoft's pursuit of new ERP business vs upgrading existing customer base similar to its competitors?
  • Choosing between SAP S4/HANA and D365FO – risk, scope, flexibility, speed, and more.
  • Navigating multi-cloud and hybrid IT ecosystems.
  • Why Eric has been cautious on jumping on the cloud bandwagon.
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