Why do some CRM-focused projects, probably too many, end with a less-than-satisfying outcome? As our guest, Chuck Ingram, explains, dissatisfaction with enterprise technology is a strange thing. Even when a consulting team leaves a project with all metrics "green", things might not say that way after some time has passed.
Chuck last joined the podcast about 3 years ago. He updates us on his professional path since then, including his new firm CongruentX. As he explains, his new team will take a different approach to CRM projects, with a somewhat different engagement model and different measures of success. He will remain focused on Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM technology, and we talk about the impact of products like Power Apps and D365 Customer Insights, customer adaptation, and life in the partner channel these days.
Microsoft just released the 2020 release wave 1 plans for Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform. On this episode we talk with Microsoft MVP Malin Donoso Martnes for her perspective on updates coming to the D365 Human Resources (formerly Talent) and Marketing apps.
Malin has worked in the Dynamics CRM and D365 Customer Engagement space for several years, first on the customer side and now as a consultant based in Oslo. We discuss the new features of Human Resources, how to position the application alongside Dynamics 365 F&O and Project Service Automation, the role of Power Automate, and more.
While the Microsoft Power Platform is seemingly everywhere in the Dynamics ecosystem, not all Dynamics ERP partner teams can deliver these cloud services yet as part of customer solutions, especially in the SMB space.
Sven Noomen, founder of Process4People, joins us to talk about his work to build a consulting, advisory, and training business focused on Power Platform services in the Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 Business Central ecosystem. He and his team have developed their own reusable IP, along with providing Power Platform services, training partners, and even working with Microsoft at times.
As Sven explains in this episode, deploying Power Platform requires a unique focus and skill set, and many Dynamics partner, especially those serving the SMB market, do not yet have enough expertise to properly guide their clients on all the options.
Mariano Gomez is a Microsoft Dynamics GP expert, but he has also been focusing on the Power Platform for some time – not only learning for his own work but creating walkthroughs, demos, and presentations for the community. And he is often able to tie those Power Platform findings back to GP, as he is doing in a new three-part video series on Power Automate and its new (still in preview) UI flows tool.
On this episode, Mariano discusses his findings from working on a range of Power Platform scenarios, how it impacts his day job as director of technology services at Mekorma, and the implications of these new tools on ownership of older ERPs.
On this episode, our resident online marketing expert Marilou Barsam chats with Marleen De Winter, director of marketing at Integrity Data. They are looking at the recently revealed findings of the 2019 MSDW marketing research study, and Marleen explains how some of those results and trends relate to her teams' efforts and observations in the Dynamics ecosystem.
One such finding points to a notable shift in what Dynamics users expect when they land on ISV websites. Comments from users indicate that as part of their online search and buy process, they are looking for specific information on pricing, more demos and trials, and overall , a clearer roadmap to the right sales contact at your company.
Marleen shares with us how their company has addressed some of these issues. As part of our conversation she discusses how their company undertook a comprehensive home page design with drop-downs and trails pointing to separate product suites, produced demo videos by product specific sales people, added ROI calculators and customer testimonials, and highlighted a strong "Call to Action" to actually bring the user to the appropriate sales contact
Tune in to hear how these changes have improved Integrity Data's online close ratio and get specific tips for your own website.
Microsoft ISVs that have invested in upgrading their solutions from Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (D365FO) are working with a mix of cloud customers today – some that have upgraded (or re-implemented) and others that are new to the product.
On this episode of our AX to D365FO Upgrade Journeys series, To-Increase CEO Luciano Cunha discusses how his company, a longtime Microsoft ISV, has made investments over several years and across different departments and business practice areas to meet the needs of the D365FO market. While D365FO seems to be hitting its stride in terms of stability and maturity, ERP competition remains fierce, and buyers are still stuck with consequential decisions throughout the purchase, implementation, and post-deployment phases of D365FO solution ownership.
This episode of the MSDW Podcast is sponsored by Nomad eCommerce.
Ramin Marghi of Catapult ERP wrote recently about the challenges of on-premises ERP today, and why Dynamics 365 Business Central in the public cloud addresses those challenges – if not directly, then through a change of approach that will help set organizations on a new course for the future.
On this episode of the podcast, Ramin discusses some of the issues that define today's SMB ERP climate in the Microsoft channel. You can't discuss this topic without examining the history of Dynamics NAV and what the product's evolution has done to move organizations forward (or not) over the years. Broadening the outlook even further is the accelerating pace at which Microsoft has prioritized ERP-adjacent technology like the Power Platform tools. Those advances may be even more interesting to an owner of a legacy ERP, Ramin believes, as those peripheral capabilities could offer a more realistic way to bring improvements to an organization's processes and data than an ERP upgrade.
Priefert Manufacturing is a Microsoft Dynamics AX customer that operates in a rural location in the US that still loses internet connectivity to the outside world from time to time. The company maintains its own data center and IT expertise, ensuring that its critical systems are never lost due to failures beyond its control, like when all three of its ISPs fail at the same time.
Darren Goebel, VP of Technology at Priefert, joins our upgrade podcast series to share his experience looking into the company's path forward from Dynamics AX 2009 to something new. While Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations would seem to be the obvious choice, Goebel explained that, after lengthy discussions with Microsoft, his team is nearing the conclusion that the company will likely migrate to another vendor.
He speaks frankly about his observations, research, and skepticism about moving to the public cloud. He recounts conversations with Microsoft representative and he explains why he most likely does not see Microsoft's ERP priorities as the best match for his organization's future plans.
What was going to be a podcast episode largely recapping Ignite 2019 has become much more. There were two important Microsoft partnership updates this week and a notable ISV acquisition, all which deserved some discussion. We also recap Ignite 2019 news and observations, plus other notable events of recent weeks like license margin changes and Dynamics 365 product re-alignment.
Articles referenced in this episode include:
This episode of the MSDW Podcast is sponsored by Sana Commerce.
Alex Meyer of FastPath is closing out 2019 on a high note. He released a new edition of his book Microsoft Dynamics 365 Security and Audit Field Manual along with co-authors Andy Snook and Mark Polino. And was recently named a Microsoft MVP for the first time.
We talk with Alex about the new edition of the book and how his own views around Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (D365FO) are evolving as the product undergoes changes to licensing and adds more Power Platform touch points. The book has a technical side and an audit side, he says. It explores both how to set up security in a conceptual way, then how to implement it. And, he explains that while core concepts remain mostly unchanged amid product updates, fast moving updates around areas like the Power Platform do deserve a closer examination.
Kuldeep Gupta is a Project Delivery Head at CloudFronts Technologies, with a specialization in project service and program management. As part of his responsibility for project delivery excellence, Kuldeep not only oversees projects that deliver Microsoft Dynamics 365 Project Service Automation to clients, but he oversees its usage internally at CloudFronts.
On this episode of the MSDW Podcast we dive into some of the fundamentals of the PSA product, including the improvements over the three versions, progress toward the next generation that builds off Microsoft Project Online, and the needs of customers asking for PSA-based solutions. We also talk about some of Kuldeep's writing for MSDW and the future of the product.
This episode of the MSDW Podcast is sponsored by ClickLearn.
This episode is sponsored by ClickLearn.
It's an important week for Microsoft's Dynamics 365 and Power Platform teams as 2019 release wave 2 begins to roll out to customers. To learn more about what this means for D365 Business Central, we are joined by Microsoft group program manager Chad Sogge and Microsoft MVP and chief operating office of Dynamics Southwest AJ Ansari.
Chad explains the five key areas in which his team has delivered updates to Business Central and dives into some of the issues that partners and customers will be watching for as these updates roll out.
Improving the upgrade and migration tools is top of mind. Even more urgent is the status of extensions, specifically their development and support related to compatibility with wave 2. It's potentially a big change for existing BC customers, and the timing is critical.
Also up for discussion in this episode are topics including customer support, multiple production instances, submitting new ideas for the product team, and more.
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.
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:
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.
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.
Sometimes the biggest challenge facing ISVs and VARs is simply keeping tabs of all the moving parts in a complicated marketing initiative. It’s easy for deadlines to slip or for tasks to go untended. In this quick episode of the Marketer’s Corner, Heather Robinson of Fastpath, a security and compliance ISV working in the Microsoft channel and others, describes a marketing tool that has enabled her to monitor key aspects of performance by members of a Dynamics marketing team, and thereby bring accountability to each team member.
The tool is particularly effective for keeping tabs on lead-generation campaigns, which are Robinson’s primary responsibility. For details, listen in on the interview as she explains how she has expanded Fastpath’s marketing efficiency and effectiveness.
There’s lots more in this interview, the seventh in a series of Marketer’s Corner podcasts designed to provide ideas and guidance for improving marketing productivity and effectiveness, as well as to provide an accessible platform for ISVs and partners to share their marketing experiences and tips with the Dynamics community at large.
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.
In this brief podcast episode, Mary Miller of ImageTag discusses how she has deployed the work execution platform Smartsheet to manage nearly all aspects of her team's projects, calendar, budget, and more. She credits it with revolutionizing the marketing management function while boosting departmental productivity.
There’s lots more in this interview, the sixth in a series of Marketer’s Corner podcasts. The series is designed to provide ideas and guidance for improving marketing productivity and effectiveness, as well as to provide an accessible platform for ISVs and partners to share their marketing experiences and tips with the Dynamics community at large.
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.
How do Microsoft Dynamics users really go about researching and making buying decisions about ISV solutions?
It turns out the reality is often much different from partner's assumptions about the buying process. As just one example, it may be tempting for Dynamics marketers to assume that product videos and podcasts are fringe marketing vehicles for third-party solutions, when in fact they are rapidly becoming mainstream, argues Adam Berezin, MSDynamicsWorld’s CEO in the latest Marketer’s Corner podcast.
In this episode of the MSDW Marketer's Corner podcast series, Berezin draws on the results of our latest Dynamics ecosystem survey of decision makers and influencers, drawn from among MSDW’s 70,000-plus active site-members, for a number of surprising observations about what Dynamics users are really seeking in their product research and buying decisions.
In this latest MSDW Marketer’s Corner podcast, Stephanie Burke, vice president of marketing at Sana Commerce, provides guidance about developing rich content that will engage Dynamics users researching new products.
For example, she describes steps Sana has taken to create a credible blog that has helped bring sales prospects in. She explains how Sana uses case studies to bring prospects along in the sales cycle, along with the kinds of company and personnel information the company includes on its site.