The MSDW Podcast

The (MSDW) podcast explores news, ideas, and events in the Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM community.
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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.
Feb 17, 2017

Today we chat with Bob McAdam, program manager for GPUG and organizer of this year’s GPUG Amplify event. Amplify is in its second year and it is one of the few user-facing events of the spring. With Convergence now long gone, we discuss topics including:

  • The Dynamics GP user experience,
  • The full GP event lineup for 2017,
  • The new competitive landscape for GP partners, many of whom now sell a competing solution,
  • How Microsoft is adapting its stance on business solutions amid so much other change at the company.
Feb 14, 2017

Nothing signals an interesting week more than a police presence. Join us for a recap of compelling Microsoft Dynamics stories. Among the topics we cover this time:

Feb 6, 2017

Chuck Ingram knows CRM like few do. He has worked with it before it was even called CRM in the late ‘90s, and worked at Microsoft for eight years in CRM, and is now the Dynamics practice director for Tribridge.

He observes "It certainly feels like perpetual on-premises will be an exception rather than the rule,” now that Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2016 on-premises will move ahead to become "Dynamics 365 (On-Premises)".

Ingram walks us through Tribridge’s experience and observations of the Dynamics CRM to Dynamics 365, be it on-prem, in the public cloud or somewhere in between.

Among his observations:

  • How the transition will help CRM users weather the digital disruption.
  • Why digital disruption means that “streamlining operations” is no longer a strategy – not when competing with the Amazons of the world.
  • When the “Netflix approach” to CRM makes sense; get up and running, and explore the features later. (If you’re a subscriber, you have time.)
  • How large customers with big IT departments are used to subscriptions and like it that way..
  • How eight in 10 customers are perfectly comfortable with the cloud; but security or certification requirements still mandate (or at least encourage) on-prem CRM.
Jan 23, 2017

A momentous couple of weeks in the Microsoft Dynamics channel, both within Microsoft and in the channel, as partners roll up their sleeves and put the 2016 tornado of solutions to work.

MSDynamicsWorld Editor Jason Gumpert and Assistant Editor Dann Maurno recap the news, including:

  • Microsoft’s Ron Huddleston taking the reins of the "One Commercial Partner" business, an umbrella for the ISV team, Enterprise Partner team and WPG team.
  • Microsoft StaffHub, the company’s new workforce management app for Office 365; what are the possibilities for Dynamics 365?
  • Microsoft GM Paul White on why survivors among SMB partners will embrace the market shift to cloud apps.
  • New GPUG Board Chair Rick Zich on why the future has a place for both Dynamics 365 and Dynamics GP.
  • Just how long will NAV partners be able to delay before embracing the quickly evolving Dynamics 365 for Financials? Technology Managements James Crowter weighs in.
Jan 14, 2017

"I am going to laugh when my kids complain that Dynamics 365 marketing dominates the home page and marketplace on their Xbox."

So says Jeff Frye, a veteran Microsoft Dynamics GP user, whose colorful comments consistently challenge the official word on the future of Microsoft technology. Frye has experience on both the customer and partner sides of the ERP ecosystem and he is now a systems analyst with Nashville, Tenn.-based Hunt Brothers Pizza, a deeply-entrenched Microsoft Dynamics GP environment with 7,000+ locations.

Jeff has much more to say about Dynamics GP's status and future, and he joined us to share his wisdom and shoot-from-the-hip commentary:

  • On the Dynamics GP development team: "I just get a sense they're hamstrung by a leadership that wants to take things in a different direction...that's a threat to what my company wants to do."
  • On the Dynamics GP roadmap: "[Microsoft] used the word ‘no big boulders,' just customers' most requested things...We're paying part of our support fees for those big boulders."
  • On staying loyal to GP: "We are a growth company...we'd rather spend time growing our business than changing an accounting system that works and meets our needs right now."
  • On a cloud migration: "I just would prefer my environment be the one that goes to the cloud instead of someone creating another ERP system for me to shove 85 users."
  • On "tone-deaf" Dynamics 365 marketing at GP events: "Opening up GPUG with a multi-hour presentation about a product nobody actually owns, D365 while everybody's there to learn about the products they have bought and continue to pay for...sort of wells up that knot in your stomach."

It's a lively conversation.

Dec 28, 2016

Sure, Dynamics 365 was the big story of 2016, and likely will be in 2017. But it wasn’t the only story with impact on the year ahead. What else do we see in our crystal ball for 2017?

MSDynamicsWorld Editor Jason Gumpert looks ahead, with his answers to the questions:

  • Will Microsoft need to rebrand Dynamics 365? And who will be the public face of D365?
  • Are customers eager for a Dynamics/LinkedIn integration? Or would that be one-too-many CRM interfaces?
  • What compelling reason is there to upgrade from Dynamics AX 2012 to Dynamics 365 for Operations? (Is there one?)
  • When will D365 for Financials reach functional parity with Dynamics NAV? And with its low pricepoint, where does that leave NAV partners?
  • Will SMB ERP partners begin dropping off or getting acquired, or, do they have too strong a value proposition to just fade away?
Dec 19, 2016

As 2016 nears its end, the MSDW Podcast ponders things ending (Envision), beginning (LinkedIn acquisition), and just coming into focus (Dynamics 365). We also review a raft of excellent expert content and look ahead to two can't-miss webcasts in this last full work week of the year (for most). 

Topics include: 

Dec 15, 2016

Something a little different this week: seven enterprise software podcasters weigh in on 2016 and 2017, talking about everything from Microsoft’s sudden burst of product releases, consolidations among both enterprise packages and partners, and even driverless cars and bitcoin.

Hosted by Bob McAdam (acting as moderator), Todd McDaniel, and Darcy Boerio, cohosts of the, also taking part were:

Dec 4, 2016

Is digital transformation “The end of ERP software as we know it”?

Panorama Consulting’s Eric Kimberling joins us to talk about his company’s report Everything You Need to Know About Digital Transformation, which makes that bold claim.

No, ERP is not going obsolete; it essential to digital transformation, but just a piece of the puzzle. 

Kimberling joins MSDynamicsWorld Editor Jason Gumpert to explore:

  • Why digital strategies are driven by an overarching business strategies versus IT’s need to upgrade current systems.
  • When ERP upgrades are the right choice.
  • Which industries have no choice but to make a digital transformation? (Hint: Can brick-and-mortar retailers compete with Amazon without deeply-integrated CRM and e-commerce?)
  • Why the global manufacturing environment practically mandates a transformation.
  • How intelligence, not tools, is the aim of any digital transformation.
  • How Microsoft leads in completeness of vision.
Nov 21, 2016

An interesting week it was, starting with Microsoft’s plans for a vastly new Envision 2017. Hint: More real-life experience and decision making, no expo floor. Also, why Dynamics NAV partners risk ignoring Dynamics 365 at their own peril. Plus the Dynamics GP 2016 R2 release, and a few very practical how-to articles in warehousing, calendars and CRM portals.

Among the stories we’ll cover:

Nov 11, 2016

“NAV used to be a rather stationary target, where updates and new versions were few and far between.” But not anymore.

So begins Catapult‘s latest eBook How to Future-Proof Microsoft Dynamics NAV (download), and CEO Elliot Fishman joins us to tell us more. Elliott describes:

  • How the “good enough” approach to upgrades costs Dynamics NAV users
  • The considerable advantages of Dynamics NAV 2017
  • The benefits of staying current, including:
    • Maximum security
    • Cost savings
    • New functionality
    • Cloud compatibility
    • Integration with Office 365 (and all its applications) as well as Dynamics CRM
  • How the sophisticated Dynamics NAV upgrade tools available from Microsoft ease the transition

Elliot has also just written the MSDW article 3 best practices for managing Cumulative Updates in Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

Nov 7, 2016

November 1 was a landmark day. We knew that Microsoft Dynamics 365 would be generally available, but Microsoft surprised us by releasing Microsoft Flow and PowerApps on the same day, as well as its Common Data Service – all cloud technologies in a single burst.

How are partners synthesizing it all into their businesses? Do these tools truly enable digital transformation at customer organizations? And what’s behind the sudden spike of Dynamics professionals planning to quit partners and go freelance?

(This is also our old-time AM transistor-radio series, wherein two editors on the road phoned in on land lines; please enjoy the classic 1950s sound quality.)

Oct 28, 2016

The feel-good conference season is over, with its keynotes, success stories and Dynamics 365 unveiling. Now, what do Microsoft Dynamics SMB partner organizations truly think of the Dynamics channel direction?

Linda Rose, “Chief Cloudster” and founder of RoseASP, joins us for an unflinching look at what Dynamics SMB partners and their clients are likely to experience in the near future. She previews the 2016 Dynamics SMB Partner Survey (registration required) including issues like:

  • Competitive cloud products being sold, which scare partners and which entice them?
  • How reliant is the channel on cloud service providers, and can we expect more? Fewer?
  • Current plans for Dynamics 365: Must partners prepare for their own digital transformations?
  • Differences between Microsoft Dynamics GP, NAV, and SL partners. Hint: D365 may be impressive but you’ll pry these classic solutions from the cold, dead fingers of loyal customers.
Oct 22, 2016

Dynamic Communities’ GPUG Summit celebrated its 10th anniversary this month with record attendance; it was the best-attended of four events (including the AXUG, NAVUG and CRMUG Summits).

GPUG Program Director, Bob McAdam helps orchestrate the Summit, from the content to the venue to Microsoft’s involvement.

Bob joins us to talk about:

  • The Dynamics GP roadmap. Dynamics GP 2017 has a name, and a release date (around Summit 2017).
  • The new, yearly release cadence – perhaps a relief to users?
  • Next year’s venue. With 60 percent higher attendance in 2016, the Summits have outgrown Tampa. Enjoy the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tenn.
  • Why GP holds its loyal user base and will continue to do so, even as Dynamics 365 grabs all the attention.
Oct 18, 2016

Microsoft finally unveiled Dynamics 365 last week, just ahead of the user group Summit conferences. They also updated Dynamics ERP and CRM customers on their respective products’ roadmaps, and what 365 will mean for each one.

There was a lot to take in at the event, and we cover a lot in this podcast including:

  • Microsoft’s new intelligence apps, wherein Microsoft takes aim at Salesforce with new pricing, analytics expertise on display in Dynamics 365.
  • On-premise options related to the rapidly-changing D365 plans. Your on-prem solution for AX might be AX 2012.
  • Microsoft readies Dynamics 365 customer engagement apps with added analytics and new partnerships for customer service and lead intelligence round out next wave of offerings.
  • Dynamics 365 for Operations: Microsoft reveals AX 2009, 2012 upgrade tools, roadmap
  • Not one, but two new Dynamics 365 user groups.
Oct 7, 2016

The CEO of RapidStart CRM calls himself a “Dynamics 365 Fighter Pilot.”

Steve Mordue has enthusiasm for progress. You won’t find the cloud CRM veteran, ISV and blogger trying to cling to sunsetting products and last decade's sales models.

Steve is the author of such provocative posts as Dynamics 365 – The Irresistible Force meets the Immovable Channel, a subject he talks about in this week’s podcast. He also shares his wisdom about:

  • The future of Dynamics CRM. Is there one, post Dynamics 365?
  • Partner-to-partner relationships. Microsoft is pushing them for a reason; can you be an expert in all things Microsoft? And what’s behind partners’ hesitation?
  • Why the CRM channel should expect an uptick of acquisitions in 2016.
  • Is the channel making a dent in Microsoft’s market share?
  • Why ERP and CRM partners must “sing together" or risk losing out to a shifting software sales landscape.
Oct 3, 2016

Two weeks of compelling Microsoft Dynamics stories, including intelligence from both Directions 2016 and Ignite. Among this week’s topics:

  • Directions 2016 North America, where Microsoft asked NAV partners to embrace the differences of the Dynamics 365 opportunity (and clarifies why there is an opportunity)
  • Microsoft’s quiet AI revolution is over now that artificial intelligence is practical and in use by customers like Lowe’s and the NFL. And Surprise! Microsoft has built an Azure-based supercomputer to manage it all.
  • Several intriguing guest columns. The topics:
    • Is your CRM an enabler or enemy for your sales team?
    • Why there is no credible AX integration framework from Microsoft, and what to do.
    • Three reasons why the cloud may not be for your organization. Think capex versus opex – maybe your organization is not the subscriber kind.
Sep 26, 2016

Two weeks of compelling Microsoft Dynamics stories.  Among this week's topics:

  • reIMAGINE 2016, the Dynamics GP conference. What exactly is GP "Next," and what partners think of it, good and bad
  • Early pricing details for Dynamics 365 - incentives for choosing plans over apps
  • Microsoft's giant HP win and more
Sep 16, 2016

He’s a Dynamics GP veteran, author and even humorist, and he’s has co-written the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2016 Cookbook.

This week, Fastpath Director of Client Services Mark Polino tells us about his new book, the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2016 Cookbook - Second Edition, co-authored with Ian Grieve and available directly from Packt Publishing or from Amazon. Somewhere between editions he found time to write the free Undead Guide to Dynamics GP Summit (among others), and at the Summit he’ll deliver a talk called “Naked and Afraid: GP Security.”

There’s 55 pages of new material in this cookbook update, meaning quite a lot that’s new. In the podcast, Polino talks about:

  • “GP Hacks,” a new chapter devoted to clever work-arounds by actual users.
  • When to surrender your hack and seek a third-party solution.
  • Do GP experts still get jazzed by new editions?
  • What excites Polino about 2016, and what would he like to see in the next release?
  • Are you poking a hole in your firewall by using OData from a remote location? Yes, but you should use it anyway.
Sep 6, 2016

A week of compelling stories from the Microsoft Dynamics channel, among the stories:

Aug 29, 2016

Your solution on a Dynamics NAV menu – perfect. But it has to have broad utility and proven pay-off, says Bob Monio, Director, Global Alliances at Lexmark International, Inc.

Then, how do you find and support partners? And what new demands do NAV 2017 and Dynamics 365 place on you?

Monio joins us to navigate the complexities. He will discuss:

  • Lexmark’s “glove-in-hand” partnership with Microsoft for a partnership in financial process automation solution.
  • How ISVs can grab Microsoft’s attention; a killer app is just a start, is it mature?
  • How Lexmark’s SaaS-based Invoice Capture Service (ICS) is built into Dynamics user interfaces for enterprises of all
  • The costs savings of AP automation. Hint: saving 80% of $15/invoice = just $3/invoice.
  • How this ISV will manage both NAV 2017 and Dynamics 365; Lexmark has been down the road of on-premise vs. cloud before, and is willing to advise partners.
  • Microsoft’s mandate to provide consistent value, and tasks ISVs to provide continuous savings.
  • Making the freemium model payoff: What’s the “breaking point” at which it drives subscriptions? (Hint: Research and guidance from Microsoft are two factors.)
Aug 22, 2016

A week of compelling stories. AX on Azure, NAV Extensions excitement and dismay, the Common Data Model preview for PowerApps, and why is marketing automation sitting on the shelf?

Among this week’s topics:

Aug 12, 2016

Dynamics AX cannot have enough add-ons: perhaps you need retail store pack-and-ship, or, advanced product lifecycle management. There are ISVs by the hundreds to choose from—but proceed with caution.

Don Riggs joins us to navigate the complexities. He’s a 13-year Dynamics AX veteran, currently Sr. Director AX Applications Architect, enVista Corporation, and a much-sought expert in the AXUG community.

Don will discuss:

  • Why ISV products are often bought but not implemented.
  • The qualities to look for in an ISV partner. Hint: what is their commitment to the AX product? What is their roadmap?
  • What are the partner’s responsibilities in an implementation, or for support?
  • What are the long-term risks and hidden costs?
Aug 4, 2016

Paul Greenberg is leading CRM analyst, the managing principal of The 56 Group LLC, author of CRM at the Speed of Light (now in its fourth edition and dubbed “The Bible of CRM”), author of the upcoming Commonwealth of Self Interest, and he practically hosted Microsoft’s June “Customer Driven” online event.

He joins us for the MSDW Podcast to share his latest views on issues and topics including:

  • “Customer driven” need not mean “customer obsessed”: customers don’t need to love you, they must want to continue to do business with you.
  • Does customer culture trump technology (like CRM)?
  • Self interest drives both the customer and companies; for companies, it is a key strategy.
  • Microsoft aspires to offer more than a platform, but the “matrix within” a business (and how the LinkedIn acquisition can help achieve that).
  • Why e-commerce is not the fourth pillar of CRM – but it can’t be missing.
  • Is there a worthwhile e-commerce vendor for Microsoft to acquire?
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