The MSDW Podcast

The (MSDW) podcast explores news, ideas, and events in the Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM community.
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Feb 27, 2018

This time on the MSDW Podcast we catch up with two of the leaders at Real Dynamics, an enterprise software consultancy with expertise in Dynamics AX and 365, BI, and the vertical of mergers & acquisitions. Yogesh Kasat and Jason Weidenbenner share some of their experiences working with AX customers at various stages of solution ownership, why BI is such a key part of D365 projects at go-live, their recent D365 implementation book, and some of the complexities that organizations deal with during a sale or acquisition.

Show notes:

  • 1:45 – Roots of Real Dynamics
  • 4:45 – Getting involved with clients’ M&A activities
  • 5:45 – Reflections on working on the activities around the sale of Kofax (case study)
  • 10:40 – What makes M&A work challenging and unique
  • 16:45 – Why organizations modelling is so important to prepare for the possibility of M&A activity in the future
  • 20:00 – How eager are customers to get to D365 from AX?
  • 24:00 – Working in an advisory capacity separate from a Microsoft partner
  • 26:45 – How is the role of the independent consultant changing?
  • 30:00 – Reflections after 3 years in business
Feb 16, 2018

R ”Ray” Wang, Principal Analyst, Founder, and Chairman of Constellation Research, Inc., author of Disrupting Digital Business: Create an Authentic Experience in the Peer-to-Peer Economy, and longtime enterprise software blogger was on hand at this week’s Microsoft Business Applications Analyst Forum, the first such event from Microsoft in several years. He shared many observations on the fly over the course of the event’s two days and recently published an event report. Among the key findings, he wrote, was an updated Microsoft strategy focused around five key areas, at top of which was a “digital feedback loop” approach that frames technology around customers, people, and products, with data and intelligence at the center. It’s an ambitious vision, though one that the company might not yet have fully realized, Wang tells us.

Show notes:

  • 2:10 – First impressions of what Microsoft is doing differently today, including the digital feedback loop
  • 4:30 – Is Microsoft serious about competing with business soutions?
  • 5:50 – Impressions of the leadership team shaping Microsoft strategy
  • 7:30 – How the partner opportunity at Microsoft will change.
  • 8:45 – Winning with Dynamics 365 in the large enterprise – what is the reality?
  • 11:20 – Microsoft sees the C-Suite is pushing for digital transformation
  • 12:20 – The licensing vision for business apps?
  • 15:20 – Is Microsoft holding the door open for more big changes in branding and acquisitions?
  • 18:15 – The importance of major partnerships in the context of the cloud wars.

21:20 – What does Microsoft leave analysts with as they look across the broader cloud and enterprise software market space?  

Feb 6, 2018

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing is now on track to reach general availability by April, and principal program manager Kishan Chetan joins MSDW editor Jason Gumpert and Forceworks founder and Microsoft MVP Steve Mordue to talk about the newly revealed plans and the application’s role as “the front end of the sales cycle”.

The product is now in public preview and, as Kishan explains, partners, customers, and prospects will see in the solution much of the latest tech related to the recent “CRM v9” release of Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement. Topics of this interview include:

  • When the Marketing app reach general availability;
  • What’s in version 1 and what is in the roadmap beyond;
  • How Microsoft differentiates the value proposition for Marketing vs Adobe Marketing Cloud vs third party solutions;
  • Lessons and discoveries from the private preview so far;
  • Interesting architectural considerations of Marketing on Azure;
  • How the partner channel and existing customer base will want to explore Marketing.
Feb 2, 2018

Rod O’Connor, CEO and founder of Briware Solutions, has been taking stock of a year living with SaaS business applications, both for his own company and some clients. Rod is an ERP and accounting software veteran based in Ontario and who has been a reseller and user of of Dynamics GP for many years. But last year he tried something different - he migrated his own business from GP to what was then known as Dynamics 365 Financials, now known as Finance and Operations Business Edition, and soon it’s likely to have yet another brand name.

Rod talks to us about what the adoption of SaaS has meant for his company, what it will mean for other SMB VARs who are still entrenched in the on-prem ERP world, and the evolution of Dynamics 365 and its add-on solution market so far.

Show notes:

  • 4:00 – Transitioning from on-prem GP servers to a SaaS solution
  • 7:50 – Adjusting as D365FOB product has evolved.
  • 10:20 – Seeing features appear in a SaaS app at unexpected times
  • 11:30 – D365FOB as part of Briware’s expansion, and how its constantly expanding feature set changes the potential market space.
  • 15:00 – Experiences and best practices today for integrating D365FOB and the (enterprise) Sales app.
  • 16:45 – How to investigate new add-on apps for D365FOB
  • 22:20 – How Rod’s outlook has changed on traditional ERP-related services that go away in a SaaS world.
  • 25:00 – What to look forward to in the D365FOB roadmap as Tenerife approaches.
  • 26:40 – Could a traditional GP firm evolve to support Tenerife/NAV?
Dec 25, 2017

Chris de Visser, North American GM at Sana Commerce joins the MSDW Podcast to discuss a new report measuring B2B businesses’ attitudes around e-commerce and digital transformation. Among the findings was importance of customer experience in B2B and companies’ attitudes toward investing to achieve digital transformation. The discussion includes findings from Sana’s report and the broader outlook for eCommerce in the Dynamics 365/ERP channel, including trends around integration, different industries, and the challenges of B2B versus B2C commerce.

Show Notes:

  • 4:00 – What is the spectrum of e-commerce deployment and architectural models today?
  • 7:00 - How do you describe B2B e-commerce maturity today?
  • 13:00 – How divergent are B2B and B2C today?
  • 16:55 - Will consumer experience today shape B2B ecommerce expectations?
  • 18:30 – Industry-specific needs and opportunities for improvement
  • 23:10 – What’s driving investment in digital transformation today in the context of Dynamics ERP & CRM solutions?
  • 25:40 – Differences in the e-commerce market in North America versus Europe
  • 27:30 – What business goals drive e-commerce planning?
  • 30:50 – The value of sticking with standard, updated software and avoiding customization
Dec 15, 2017

Pablo Peralta joins us this week to talk about his current endeavor, Comunidad365, and about the business, technology, and community changes over time that have helped him reach this point in his career. 

Show notes:

  • 1:45 – Pablo’s background
  • 4:00 – On being an entrepreneur in the Microsoft channel in Uruguay
  • 11:00 – The need for a place for Latin American and Spanish Dynamics CRM professionals to form a community
  • 13:00 – On the need for native language communities and support for Dynamics CRM/365
  • 18:45 – The evolution of Comunidad365 from forum to education resource
  • 22:30 – Spanish language training needs
  • 25:00 – What types of content are Comunidad365 members most interested in?
  • 28:40 – How does Microsoft fare with translating D365 for Latin America and making the latest available?
  • 33:40 – Does a CRM forum help improve the D365 sales prospect’s impression?
  • 37:45 – Upcoming plans for Comunidad365
  • 42:00 – Learning about and teaching an expanding product like D365 Customer Experience apps.
Dec 8, 2017

Leon Tribe is a Microsoft MVP who is serious about Dynamics 365 and CRM, but still enjoys having some fun with the industry in which he has made his professional home. So when he isn't busy delivering complex enterprise solutions to customers, he might be found breaking down a new analyst report or simply trying to break the latest technology.  

Leon is the author of a long-running CRM blog, and his recent writings provided a great starting point for this conversation on Microsoft, Salesforce, agile projects, Flow, and more. 

Show notes: 

  • 2:40 – Analyzing the latest trajectories of sales force automation vendors from Gartner and Forrester
  • 6:45-7:45
  • 8:40 – Tactics Salesforce uses to compete with Msft, and the value debate
  • 11:35 – Salesforce earnings analysis, which Leon provides quarterly.
  • 17:00 – Lessons learned from setting up and playing with Microsoft Flow
  • 29:50 – Running a longterm scale Dynamics 365/CRM project with agile methodology
  • 45:20 – Other things Leon is involved with, including Microsoft Tech Summit and CRM Saturday


Dec 1, 2017

In this week’s Microsoft and Dynamics Channel news roundup, we’ll look at some compelling Azure news – why are Microsoft and SAP cozying up? We look at VMWare migrations, along with an outsider’s view on what NAV developers are excited about, GDPR regulations, standing up a Dynamics 365 practice in a hurry, the bumpy road to becoming an ISV, and more.


Nov 21, 2017

On this episode we talk with Lisa Craig, director of channel marketing at CafeX. The company has become a close partner of Microsoft when it comes to the Dynamics omnichannel customer service story and they are a serious participant in the bot story that Microsoft wants to tell around business apps. Craig also explains how the company has embraced Microsoft’s One Commercial Partner (OCP) strategy, and what that will mean for their own business and Dynamics partners who align with CafeX.

Show Notes:

  • 1:30 – Where’s the CafeX relationship with Microsoft today?
  • 3:00 – Lisa’s outlook on One Commercial Partner (OCP)
  • 5:15 – On building out the CafeX relationship with Dynamics partners
  • 6:30 – New features and product priorities of Live Assist with Dynamics 365
  • 9:20 – The BYOB (bring your own bot ) trend
  • 11:15 – Enabling features like escalation from bot to human agent
  • 13:30 – Who best benefits from a multi-channel customer service solution?
  • 16:00 – What tech do customer service teams really need to deliver better experience?
  • 17:20 – What’s the impact of Dynamics AI plans from Microsoft?
  • 19:45 – How do Dynamics partners grow their role in CafeX programs and deal opportunities
  • 23:00 – More on what vendors should do to fit Microsoft’s OCP plans.
Nov 13, 2017

We sit down with Joe Corigliano of the eXtreme365 team to talk about last week’s partner-focused event. While product news was part of the conference, changes around how Microsoft plans to go to market with partners in the future was the prevailing theme. Joe gives some early impressions of the week, including highlights that included the Executive Exchange program and Ron Huddelston’s keynote session that kicked off the event.

Show Notes:

  • 3:30 – Why the Dynamics channel is thinking so hard about change in 2017
  • 6:00 – Do partners have addictive behaviors as it relates to running a Microsoft channel business?
  • 6:40 – Why Microsoft’s partner re-org could be one of the most significant of modern business history
  • 9:30 – Why partners need to hear what Ron Huddleston spoke about at the event (check out the eXtreme365 site for access to the recording).
  • 12:45 – How to map your business model to complexity of Microsoft’s landscape and ecosystem
  • 13:40 – The eXtreme365 Executive Exchange – take-aways from the two day partner-to-partner exchange of ideas and experiences.

Show Notes:

  • 3:30 – Why the Dynamics channel is thinking so hard about change in 2017
  • 6:00 – Do partners have addictive behaviors as it relates to running a Microsoft channel business?
  • 6:40 – Why Microsoft’s partner re-org could be one of the most significant of modern business history
  • 9:30 – Why partners need to hear what Ron Huddleston spoke about at the event (check out the eXtreme365 site for access to the recording).
  • 12:45 – How to map your business model to complexity of Microsoft’s landscape and ecosystem
  • 13:40 – The eXtreme365 Executive Exchange – take-aways from the two day partner-to-partner exchange of ideas and experiences.
Nov 10, 2017

As eXtreme365 US 2017 wraps up, we sit down with Microsoft MVP and Dynamics channel veteran Rick McCutcheon to talk about what we learned and where partners will go from here as Dynamic 365 and One Commercial Partner continue to ramp up.

Show Notes:

  • 1:15 – High level takeaways from eXtreme365: Partner feedback and
  • 3:00 – Evaluating the OCP formula – Can partners work with it?
  • 6:00 – How OCP will begin to touch the typical Dynamics 365 partner.
  • 8:30 – The managed services model appears to be drifting away, and partners who live on revenue source that may need to find new options
  • 9:45 – Why AppSource will gain in importance
  • 12:45 – What does MIcrosoft really expect from AppSource in influencing deals?
  • 16:00 – Changes to the Dynamics product team and what happens now that they have embraced cloud solutions
  • 21:00 – The challenge of supporting Dynamics on-prem solutions in a cloud-first world, and ways Microsoft might push back.
  •  23:30 – Rick’s work advising startup tech companies, including some that work with Microsoft AI
  • 24:00 – How major CRM projects absorb professional talent
  • 26:00 – Is Microsoft ramping up sales and technical support staff for Dynamics as part of One Cmmercial Partner?
  • 28:15 – Final thoughts on eXtreme365
Oct 30, 2017

This week we’re bringing back the Dynamics news. Jason and Dann review a range of recent announcements and commentary pieces. It’s a wide-ranging episode, touching on Summit and Directions EMEA, and looking ahead to eXtreme365. Topics include Dynamics 365 Tenerife and NAV’s future, Dynamics 365 hybrid and on-prem plans, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, and more. 


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
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