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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: September, 2019
Sep 27, 2019

In a perfect world, CRM-related IT investments would always be made in the context of an organization's well-defined vision for serving customers, satisfying their needs and expectations, and doing it in a way that helps achieve business goals. But getting to that level of understanding can be a lot of work. Thankfully, CRM industry analyst Paul Greenberg is out with a new book that re-frames the issue of customer engagement in a way that makes sense of both the leadership challenges and the rationale for technology investment.

In The Commonwealth of Self-Interest: Business Success Through Customer Engagement, Paul explores the demands of 21st century customers and how companies must evolve to meet their expectations. As in the rest of his writing, like his earlier and seminal book CRM at the Speed of Light,  The Commonwealth of Self-Interest presents a mix of academic sources, case studies, anecdotes, wisdom built through years in the industry, and the careful construction a framework to guide readers away from the risks that come with rushed and poorly planned technology investments and toward the kind of changes that redefine business priorities to meet customers (and their sometimes outsized expectations) where they are today.

Along with the launch of the book, Paul is also working his way through his 2019 CRM Watchlist article series for ZDNet. Microsoft did not make the top tier (that went to Salesforce and Adobe), but the company is on the list once again this year.

On this episode we discuss the Dynamics 365 and Power Platform vision, key themes in the new book, and whether some of the latest trends in the CRM space have staying power.

Show Notes

  • 4:00 – What does commonwealth of self-interest (COSI) really mean?
  • 14:00 – On how to balance the need to invest in technology with mapping a company's vision to improve customer engagement and experiences
  • 21:30 – Why is Adobe so good at managing experience and what can Microsoft learn from them?
  • 23:45 – Are there any big successes based on the Microsoft + Adobe partnership?
  • 26:00 – What has changed in the world that makes Paul frame the CRM world in terms of COSI?
  • 33:00 – Why companies over-promise or reach for "delight" when they shouldn't.
  • 39:00 – The writing process: why talking about customer wraps together the personal and the big, public stories
  • 44:00 – Paul's view on Microsoft's choices around CRM and more broadly.
  • 49:00 – Why E-Commerce is so important?
  • 52:00 – Why LinkedIn needs to open its APIs back up
  • 57:30 – Why to be cautious about companies claiming to offer a Customer Data Platform (CDP)
  • 1:02:30 – How to make sense of the overlapping relationships between Microsoft, ServiceNow, and Adobe
  • 1:07:30 – Why invite Salesforce to be a part of the Open Data Initiative (ODI), and what the project represents.
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 18, 2019

A podcast series about the journey from Microsoft Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (D365FO) wouldn't be complete without examining the role that ISVs play. After all, the role of add-on solutions presents one of the key decision points in planning an upgrade or migration path from AX, whether it is an older version or the most recent build of AX 2012 R3.

On this episode of the AX to D365FO Journeys podcast series, we have our a conversation with an ISV executives who has been carefully watching and operating in the realm of the D365FO upgrade and migration space. Glenn McPeak, CEO of Data Masons is an ERP and supply chain veteran who understands the impact of an ERP update.

Microsoft's rollout of D365FO as a public cloud service (primarily) presents its own unique challenges for customers and the ISVs who serve them. Glenn talks about some of the ways that Data Masons, their partners, and their customers have been adapting to Microsoft's cloud-first approach, from both the technical and channel perspectives.

Show Notes

  • 5:00 – Why so much thinking is going into the D365FO journey and why ISVs are relevant
  • 9:45 – Why the external ISV model is gaining popularity, as opposed to embedded.
  • 13:30 – What role does Data Masons play alongside the D365FO partner on an engagement?
  • 15:00 – What is the state of the integration framework today?
  • 18:00 – Can customers and their partners manage safely around Microsoft's update policies?
  • 20:00 – What are the tools that ISVs should be using to make the transition?
  • 22:45 – What it means to be a part of a customer's go live in the context of Microsoft's FastTrack
  • 25:45 – Is there a role for EDI in upgrades beyond the final state solution?
  • 30:00 – Why are some companies choosing or feeling forced to wait on AX 2012 R3 or an earlier version? And why others feel the move to D365FO is the right choice.
  • 35:30 – Is the D365FO a total departure from previous versions of AX?
  • 38:30 – What will the new co-sell and co-market programs mean for ISVs?
  • 41:30 – What is the mix of D365FO implementations between new customers and upgrade/migrations, and how is it changing?
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.
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