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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.