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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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Oct 10, 2017

After writing two well-received new pieces analyzing Microsoft’s current position relative to its SMB business solutions partner channel and product line, James Crowter, director of Technology Management in the UK and a blogger and MVP, joins us to recap Directions EMEA 2017 and preview Summit Nashville 2017.

Show Notes:

  • 4:00 – How to adapt to Microsoft’s decisions around the Dynamics 365 SMB space
  • 5:50 – Directions EMEA review – did it meet attendee expectations?
  • 8:50 – Microsoft’s approach to developing new strategic plans before and after Directions US
  • 12:30 - Looking ahead to Summit Nashville 2017 – will the latest announcements resonate with users?
  • 14:20 – For NAVUG, is NAV 2017 still the focus at Summit?
  • 17:15 – Will Microsoft update its Dynamics 365 message for existing users this year compared to Summit US 2016?
  • 20:50 – Are existing Dynamics customers receptive to the latest tech announcements?
  • 24:20 – What new Msft tech will users respond to?
  • 29:40 – How does a partner help Dynamics customers digest what they are hearing at an event like Summit?
  • 36:15 – Roadmap updates and whether they will have a positive impact on customer sentiment and partner opportunity.
Oct 9, 2017

While good security and audit practices tend to remain steady, the real world conditions, from regulation to criminal activity to technology enablers, mean that organizations can never feel safe with last year’s policies. In this episode of the podcast, we talk with Andy Snook, Mark Polino, and Alex Meyer of Fastpath, the authors of the newly released Security and Audit Field manuals for Dynamics GP and Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations, Enterprise edition. We talk about the effort to release these titles, what they learned in the process, and what companies should be paying attention to these days. GDPR is one of the big topics, but Equifax, Yahoo, and interstate alcohol sales are all up for discussion.

Show Notes

  • 4:00 – Casting the vision for two new books on security and audit
  • 8:30 – Does writing a book broaden your knowledge of the software about which you write?
  • 11:45 – How to adapt a book to software updates like GP 2018?
  • 13:20 – How do enterprise software vendor product choices inform security decision making?
  • 14:00 – How are companies responding to and preparing for GDPR?
  • 17:30 – What should you be asking vendors at a conference exhibit hall?
  • 19:00 – Does GPDR really impose different demands for buyers or security vendors
  • 22:30 – Can good security practices co-exist with a world of purpose-built apps?
  • 26:00 – Is the social security number still viable in the US?
  • 31:00 – The road to Summit Nashville 2017
Sep 25, 2017

After an eventful week at Directions North America, Steve Mordue of RapidStart CRM joins us to look back at the impact of some key announcements for partners, especially those who sell Microsoft Dynamics 365 customer experience apps. Since this episode was recorded, Microsoft has clarified even more of its Dynamics 365 ERP and CRM application plans, while keeping most elements of the plan essentially on track.

Episode notes:

  • 2:15 - How is Microsoft going to market now?
  • 5:00 - How partners will adapt to changes in Microsoft’s enterprise software model.
  • 7:00 – Dynamics 365 Sales app – what we know about the two tiers
  • 10:00 – Reviewing CRM executive Q&A session at Directions NA
  • 17:00 – Where is the CRM strategy sitting today?
  • 19:00 – Will ERP and CRM apps move forward in closer alignment, including with Common Data Service (CDS).
  • 20: 15 – Will Dynamics evolve as a platform play with CDS? With XRM? With NAV?
  • 27:30 – Microsoft’s challenge of encouraging product-focused partners to sell the full suite
  • 37:45 – Why SaaS Dynamics offerings will eclipse on-premises
  • 45:00 – The timing issues between in-person conferences and Microsoft’s software planning cycles
Sep 20, 2017

This episode was taped live on location at Directions North America 2017. Todd McDaniel of software firm Dynavistics and the Enterprise Software Podcast joins us to chat about the first two days of the event: the good, the bad, and the somewhat puzzling. We share some first impressions on Microsoft's broad range of updates (keeping in mind there are more to come).

Topics include the future of Dynamics NAV as Dynamics 365 “Tenerife”, AppSource announcement like the introduction of customer reviews and partner services listings, some updated plans for the CRM apps for both SMB and enterprise, and a few reflections on how the North American Dynamics partner channel might interpret this week's event, including SMB ERP partners who sell GP or SL.

Sep 13, 2017

Microsoft MVP and Dynamics 365/CRM expert Gus Gonzalez has charted his own path to serving customers. And while the six-time MVP’s knows that some of his choices are a little unconventional, like his willingness to take on fixed-fee projects at the firm he founded, Elev8 Solutions.

But Elev8's work is grounded in years of experience around what works for Dynamics customers and partners on projects. On this MSDW Podcast, we discuss Gus’s experience in the field, his decision to found Elev8, the Microsoft MVP program Gus's own CRM MVP Podcast, and the Dynamics 365 roadmap.

Show notes:

  • 1:30 - The origins of Gus’s career in CRM;
  • 5:30 – Why Elev8 Solutions is different than past CRM firms Gus has worked at;
  • 7:15 – How to identify CRM customers with the right characteristics for success;
  • 13:30 - On saying no to customers – before or during a project;
  • 16:00– What happens when a prospective customer’s culture is not there?
  • 22:00 – Training partners on Dynamics 365/CRM
  • 26:00 – Do consultants utilize the available learning resources (like Dynamics Learning Portal)?
  • 30:00 – Why all your consultants should aim for Dynamics 365 certification
  • 32:15 – Should more CRM pro's go for MVP status?
  • 33:30 – What pushes MVPs to achieve and maintain their title?
  • 36:30 – The wrong and right way to try to reach MVP status
  • 45:00 – Things that MVP could change, in Gus’s view
  • 50:00 – Dynamics 365 technology of interest in 2017 and beyond (professional services, LinkedIn, and more)
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.
Jul 21, 2017

Why do you listen to the MSDW Podcast? Please take our new 3 minute survey to help us improve the show.

Our guest this week is Andrew King, CEO of WebSan Solutions, a Microsoft partner with offices in both Toronto and Indiana that provides Dynamics ERP and CRM solutions. Andrew last joined us a year ago, so this was a good opportunity catch up, following Microsoft Inspire 2017. Like everyone else at the partner channel event, Andrew was paying close attention to Microsoft’s guidance, as well as the program and product news that impacts the Dynamics channel.

Show notes:

  • 3:00 – What Microsoft’s re-organization means for partner priorities around breadth of technology supported.
  • 6:30 – Are Microsoft’s expectations and partner perceptions about market demand coming into line?
  • 7:10 – On winning a Microsoft Canada Impact Award for marketing
  • 10:00 –Partners have new ideas for Microsoft on Dynamics 365 pricing
  • 15:00 – How are Dynamics 365 Business Edition sales going? WebSan may have the largest volume so far.
  • 20:00 – What are existing Dynamics customers taking away from the latest news?
  • 25:00 – Why Microsoft’s verticalization push has become more credible to partners.
Jul 14, 2017

Inspire 2017 was a week of “shock and awe,” says Steve Mordue of RapidStart CRM, who spoke to us on the final day of Microsoft’s conference.

It was a good week. Mordue believes that the One Commercial Partner model allows Microsoft CVP Ron Huddleston to pull the trigger on his sales vision. And it will be a boon for Dynamics partners – if they are willing to evolve. Microsoft’s vision has no place for the “general purpose” partner who just wants to implement. Aggressive partners will be all over AppSource, and make themselves known on the Partner Center.

Customers are evolving as well, and are no longer willing to let the head of IT make ERP and CRM purchase decisions. Decision makers are looking for rich capabilities, in apps versus suites, and want to find them on AppSource.

In this episode of the podcast, Mordue and MSDynamicsWorld Editor Jason Gumpert discuss:

  • What partners can expect from One Commercial Partner and Ron Huddleston
  • Microsoft’s demand for IP partners with deep vertical expertise
  • The new sales model; say goodbye to the old-fashioned account rep
  • Why SMB partners should be encouraged by the reorg
  • Why partners must have an AppSource strategy
  • The new Partner Center; partners must go there to be “surfaced”
  • Dynamics 365 Business edition; much in demand, still fuzzy-edged
  • How AppSource is the “stickiness engine” for Power BI, Dynamics and Office 365
Jul 13, 2017

This episode comes to you from Inspire 2017 in Washington DC. We caught up with Linda Rose, who recently sold her business, RoseASP, to private equity firm ESW Capital. It wasn’t her first business sale, but she says it was different from previous deals, and it sparked a different type of response from other business owners in the Microsoft channel.

Linda tells us about the questions she is fielding from Microsoft partners about selling a business, the economics of today’s channel opportunity, and the efforts of Microsoft and others in the channel to support the importance of women in executive leadership roles at technology companies.

For more on Linda’s approach to business valuations, the question she says she is asked about most, you can check out here blog post on the topic.

Jun 29, 2017

Is Microsoft doing all it can to make Dynamics 365 the crown jewel of its enterprise business? Not like it used to, says industry analyst Joshua Greenbaum of Enterprise Applications Consulting. In a recent article he called out the company for what he sees as a reduced investment in marketing the product line to analysts and prospective customers. Less access for analysts to product executives and the product community has been “a damn shame,” he wrote, describing Dynamics as stuck in a “cone of silence” that is “ keeping Dynamics out of a deal flow that by rights it should be deep in the mix of.”

For their part, Microsoft officials have already stated they don't agree with Greenbaum’s assessment and cite new events like the "Business Forward" customer and prospect event series, which is expanding globally and aims to present the big picture on Microsoft's commitment to Dynamics.

But Greenbaum's perspective on the matter, as he explains in this episode of the podcast, accounts for the unique role analysts serve as advisers to software buyers who are thinking not just about features and functions, but about committing to the future performance of a software vendor and its larger technology ecosystem.

In this episode of the podcast, topics include:

  • 4:25 – Why Dynamics should be a showcase at Microsoft
  • 6:00 – The state of the analyst relations program for Dynamics
  • 11:30 – What bets are software buyers making on enterprise software?
  • 14:00 – The multi-cloud world that customers are trying to make sense of
  • 20:45 – Can Dynamics serve to open up larger Microsoft opportunities?
  • 25:30 – Microsoft remains strong as an enterprise tech competitor
  • 28:45 – The importance of Microsoft-run conferences among competitors
Jun 26, 2017

In this episode of the podcast we welcome Chris Cognetta to discuss last week’s public reveal of the next generation of Dynamics 365 customer engagement apps. You can see our day 1, day 2, and day 3 recaps.

Chris is a Dynamics veteran who attended the executive briefing and documented almost all Microsoft's announcements. He's a Microsoft MVP and a Dynamics 365 evangelist, and he's also the director for the center of excellence and the client field services engineering team at Tribridge.

Show Notes:

  • 7:10 – Jason’s top picks from the Microsoft executive briefing
  • 8:15 – Chris’s top picks from the briefing. See his blog post for his full top five.
  • 9:50 – Importance and implications of the platform plans
  • 15:50 – Cloud deployment model plans for Dynamics 365/CRM
  • 17:00 – Org Insights app and the implications for partner support of clients
  • 21:00 – How many times was “on-premises” discussed at the three day briefing?
  • 22:00 – Security and regulatory compliance in the cloud
  • 23:50 – On the different approach to the rollout approach for this release compared to past launches
  • 27:00 – Hints on the future of Dynamics 365/CRM leadership?
Jun 5, 2017

When Steve Endow and Christina Phillips started the Dynamics GP Land blog, they knew it was a time of change in the Microsoft channel. Events were changing, blogs were growing in importance, and Microsoft technology was evolving around them. Nine years later, the blog run by this pair of MVPs has become a rich source of knowledge on GP implementations, coding, upgrades, and a whole lot more. 

Even as their roles have changed, Phillips and Endow have kept the site an active and popular destination for the GP community, full of engaging stories and useful advice on project management, technical challenges, and customer outcomes.

Show Notes:

  • 1:00 - Origin story of the Dynamics GP Land blog.
  • 8:30 – How to tell a good story about software
  • 12:30 – Remembering a formative and complex GP project
  • 20:30 – GP Upgrades: Where are things changing today?
  • 27:00 – Does lower software ownership cost mean there will be more investment adding value and engagment?
  • 31:20 – Learning Dynamics 365 for Financials as a GP veteran
May 29, 2017

This week we catch up with the team from Catapult, a Microsoft VAR with expertise in Dynamics NAV, CRM, and now Dynamics 365. CEO Elliot Fishman and VP of client development Jeff Bacon have always watched Microsoft's product development and channel closely, and we discuss some of the important changes they have seen this year that they believe will directly impact partners in terms of technology, service offerings, and even personnel.

Some topics of the discussion include:

  • New opportunities for adding cloud infrastructure services to Dynamics client engagements;
  • Expectations and hopes for what will come next with Dynamics 365 for Financials;
  • The choice channel firms face when looking at Microsoft and its enterprise software competitors like Salesforce. 
May 22, 2017

For all the changes vendors are pushing in the ERP space today, from licensing to deployment to custom development, some patterns from past eras persist for both service providers and customers. This week on the podcast we talk to Peter Joeckel of Turn On Dynamics about the current crossroads that ERP buyers and partners face, looking back at legacy solutions like Dynamics GP and to opportunities of the future with Dynamics 365, other vendors’ solutions, and perhaps offerings that haven’t yet been developed..

In this conversation, we discuss:

  • Why ERP software selection processes have changed so little in the last twenty years
  • The realistic case for GP’s continued longevity
  • Why a GP to D365 for Operations migration path still has promise
  • How Dynamics partners should select the next opportunity to pursue – with 365 or otherwise
May 4, 2017

Do you truly need Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities? Does the definition that marketers are feeding you even accurate?

Joining us to make sense of the technology and nomenclature is Nucleus Research analyst Joseph Mathias, author of the provocatively titled report Cutting Through the IoT Hysteria. Mathias and MSDynamicsWorld editor Jason Gumpert explore:

  • What true IoT is, and isn’t. (Hint: can the thing receive commands?)
  • Why the IoT journey must begin with a problem that may be solved by sensors sensors and/or analytics.
  • How the IoT label is misapplied; most user companies need one-way sensor data and analytics.
  • Today’s compelling IoT use cases (e.g., in manufacturing, for predictive maintenance).
  • The difference between streaming versus batch analytics, and who benefits from each.
  • The analytics engines that companies use to make sense of IoT data (e.g., Apache Spark).
  • If, and how, Microsoft IoT and Azure Machine Learning fill the bill.
Apr 28, 2017

Be honest: why are you implementing CRM? To make relationships smoother, which serves both you and the customer, or to make transactions smoother, which serves just you?

Customers know the difference, says JC Quintana. He is author of CRM to the People; also Speaking Frankly About Customer Relationship Management, and the upcoming Serious Relationships: The 7 Elements of Successful Business Relationships due out in June.

JC is the founder and president of the Corporate Relationship Group, which helps companies resolve business relationship challenges; and before launching his company, was the Global Head of Customer Strategy Innovation with Hewlett Packard. Most recently, he delivered the customer keynote at eXtreme Lisbon, and he’s here to tell us more about customer strategies:

  • How the term CRM has become a technology, not a practice
  • How Microsoft with Dynamics 365 balances outcomes with functionality
  • Why relationships are about human needs – which requires an experience staging that must happen before a relationship begins
  • A customer relationship is still the goal; but staging the relationship to succeed is customer experience
  • How functionality, accessibility and emotional connection define an experience
  • How a CX assessment is the new measure of customer sentiment – but is it enough?
  • How to leverage CRM to deliver CX and stronger customer relationships.
Apr 16, 2017

This time, a Dynamics download from Summit EMEA 2017 and eXtreme365, plus the fate of AX 2012 R3, NAV "Tenerife", and no kidding, D365 Cannabis.

Among the stories:

  • The Dynamics 365 for Operations roadmap – can you wait until July for the next release?
  • The “Activities” user level in D365, for roles that don’t need the full functionality.
  • What is NAV “Tenerife?” It’s a late 2017 NAV release, closely intertwined with Dynamics 365's Financials app. What can you expect?
  • The end of Dynamics AX 2012 R3 licenses. No it’s not being discontinued, but expect D365 to get the R&D dollars.
  • With CRM, complexity kills: Hear three new user adoption tactics for Dynamics 365 CRM apps.
  • D365 Cannabis, an end-to-end solution for a huge industry that’s gone legit.

And more.

Mar 26, 2017

As the Dynamics community moves through a new series of conferences for Dynamics 365/CRM, 365/AX, 365/NAV, and GP communities, the channel is suddenly awash in roadmap updates and an expected (but still sudden) surprise from Adobe and Microsoft.

Some of the news that MSDynamicsWorld editor Jason Gumpert and assistant editor Dann Maurno cover:

  • Dynamics 365 for Financials gets the "full NAV" treatment with a shared codebase, NAV feature set, and W1 localization.
  • The Common Data Service, a report from the Dynamics 365 technical conference, where CDS, new deployment options, power BI and faster implementations dominated conversations
  • Microsoft and Adobe’s joint customer experience solutions, which burst onto the scene at Adobe Summit 2017, fully developed (but not ready for the channel)
  • The updated Dynamics GP 2018 roadmap, with Workforce 4.0 – and what is “PowerSuite”?
Mar 16, 2017

If AXMentor’s inaugural Evolve event in early March served to “take a temperature” of Dynamics 365’s early health, it appears strong. 

With customers (and partners) still trying to understand the future of their Dynamics AX and Dynamics CRM investments, AXMentor planned to answer their questions. 

The company's product manager Deborah Wittich and marketing & sales manager Amir Khoshnayati join us to recap of the event, which focused on and helping companies understand the future of their Dynamics AX and Dynamics CRM investments; and charting their transition paths to Dynamics 365. Our guests describe an air of both caution and enthusiasm.  

Among the highlights:  

  • How customers can extend the lifecycle of what they have built out in upgrading to the latest version of Dynamics 365. 
  • Digital transformation – what does it mean to customers in the purchasing cycle? In productivity? Overall business outcomes?  
  • How as Wittich describes customers are beginning to grasp digital transformation with “some actual lightbulbs going off and eyes lighting up.”  
  • Local data: How the on-prem and hybrid model is a sigh of relief to at least some customers, who take it as a sign that “Microsoft is listening.” 
  • How the manufacturing vertical is especially vocal in its need for high-volume, high-availability performance of Dynamics 365 (and Microsoft’s answer to that demand). 
  • How the Dynamics 365 brand is catching on – fueled in part by the familiarity of Office 365.  
  • A surprising interest in Power Apps, and how in an impromptu session AXMentor created a working mobile app in under 10 minutes. 
Mar 13, 2017

It has been an exciting few weeks of news in the Microsoft Dynamics channel, with acquisitions (Arbela absorbing Integral USA), product news (Dynamics 365 for Operations on-premise), and expectations around new CRM SMB announcements to come.

Some of the topics MSDynamicsWorld editor Jason Gumpert and assistant editor Dann Maurno cover:

  • Dynamics 365 for Operations local business data: Call it on-prem if you like. It won’t offer all the benefits of pure-cloud ERP, but partners and customers are ready to embrace it.
  • Cloud outages: Delta’s massive 2016 IT outage should have taught it a lesson, but alas. What can Dynamics users learn from this about disaster recovery?
  • A Q&A with PowerObjects, which “bet the farm” on Dynamics CRM 3.0 and shared its best practices for riding the CRM wave to Dynamics 365.
  • Why the cloud calls for managed services despite its self-service image, a thought piece by Lasse Olsen of Avanade.
  • Integrating Dynamics ERP with Amazon: It isn’t plug-and-play easy, but Western Computer walks us through the technical and tactical challenges.
Mar 6, 2017

Newly awarded Microsoft MVP Steve Mordue has never shied away from the challenging issues that partners face both in their day to day work and in long term business planning. A veteran of the Salesforce ecosystem who transitioned his consulting business to Dynamics CRM several years ago, Mordue now runs RapidStart CRM, an ISV that offers tools that improve user adoption of Dynamics 365.

As we move deeper into 2017, Dynamics 365 professionals are awaiting the next phase of the suite’s position in the CRM market, namely with its planned SMB, or “Business Edition,” sales and marketing apps. Once a skeptic, Mordue says he has been won over by Microsoft’s efforts on the buildout of these apps so far. But questions remain, among them:

  • How will partners and customers handle around the dozens of CRM-related SKUs related to Dynamics 365 apps and plan?
  • What newly interested Microsoft partners, especially those selling Office 365 and Azure, will do to adopt D365
  • Where Microsoft is able to get an edge against Salesforce today in terms of features or hype
  • Does AppSource still has a lot of runway to build momentum with ISVs?
  • Can Dynamics 365 Business Edition sales and marketing compete with SMB sales and marketing cloud solutions?
  • How should partners transition from previous generation services to next generation? (Hint: vertical focus)
Feb 26, 2017

With Dynamics 365 for Operations, “shiny new things” come fast and furiously. It’s up to implementation partners to make sure they’re stand-up ready for customers, says Eamon O’Toole, Senior Manager of CRM Solutions with BDO Canada,

O’Toole is a 15-years CRM-industry veteran, who is enthused by some of the apps around Dynamics 365. When he began his CRM career, there were much broader release windows in which features were static for years at a time. Now, new features evolve in the middle of an implementation.

Some of the topics Eamon discusses with MSDynamicsWorld editor Jason Gumpert:

  • Why larger companies are no longer cloud laggards – nor are the risk-averse healthcare and public sectors.
  • Field service options: Between the FieldOne acquisition and Dynamics 365’s scheduling engine, which suits break/fix situations like HVAC, and which suits other industries?
  • Internet-of-Things (IoT) readiness: When this is a job for CRM, and when it is not.
  • Workforce management and allocation: Has Microsoft finally embraced Human Capital Management in a stand-up application?
  • The changing partner opportunity: With shorter and less-complex engagements, partners add value in governance and vetting as much as in implementation.
  • Why partners can expect 2017 to be a year of continual excitement, and 2018 one of stabilization.
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