Anya Ciecierski, marketing director of CAL Business Solutions and the creator of several group blogs for the Microsoft channel, joins MSDW's Marilou Barsam for part two of a conversation on the challenges of developing and realizing value from marketing content. Here, she explains how some simple techniques can yield big results when it comes to re-purposing content for different online properties, as well as reviving great older content.
More about Anya:
Anya Ciecierski, marketing director of CAL Business Solutions and the creator of several group blogs for the Microsoft channel, joins MSDW's Marilou Barsam for part one of a conversation on the challenges of developing and realizing value from marketing content. The source of the most insightful content at an ERP services firm is the firm's subject matter experts, a group that is notoriously challenging to encourage to write. Anya offers her tips for getting the most out of her team, as well as some of the options for making the most of the content she develops, whether it is blog posts, white papers, or other items.
Paul Soliman is one of the newest Microsoft MVPs and the first for business applications in the Philippines. As we learned from our recent profile piece, Paul splits his time between running two businesses, Hacktiv and Raven Global Ventures and helping to organize his country's growing business apps community group, which has grown from single digits to hundreds of members. Paul sat down to discuss his experiences in more depth, including his work experiences at major Dynamics NAV customers in his country and his realization at the possibilities of the Power Platform to transform businesses and careers.
(Editor's note: Due to some audio engineering issues, some parts of the interview have a bit of distortion, but it is still easy to understand.)
Microsoft has noticeably ramped up efforts to offer a path for its on-premises SMB ERP customers on Dynamics NAV, GP, and SL to Dynamics 365 Business Central. Some technical tools already exist to help migrate data to the cloud, and there is a roadmap for more to come. And Business Central partners are armed with favorable licensing conversions and special offers for these existing customers. While many SMB ERP customer will be well suited to a future Business Central solution, others will be best served looking elsewhere. Staying in the Microsoft family, Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations is the logical option for organizations with multi-company, multi-currency, or other complex needs that their current ERP is struggling to fulfill. Some may end up looking at other third party options.
Our guests on this episode, Karen Riordan of Menlo Technologies and Peter Joeckel of TurnOnDynamics walk us through some of the reasons today's on-premises SMB ERP customer may be tomorrow's SaaS enterprise ERP customer - or not.
See also: Peter and Karen's new article on the options that GP customers can consider when evaluating their on-premises GP solution's future.
Editor's Note: This episode is sponsored by Ingram Micro Cloud
Microsoft partners have no choice but to adapt at a time when coronavirus has raised so much uncertainty in the world. But while some firms are facing massive risk, others continue to thrive, engaging their clients and fostering a constructive position in the ecosystem.
To understand more about how partners should face the challenge of marketing during an unprecedented crisis, we're speaking on this episode with Shark Chobot, chief transformation officer at Neural Impact, a sales and marketing consulting firm that applies behavioral economics, neuroscience and persuasion psychology to the customer acquisition process.
On this episode we discuss how partners are adapting to change today, including the impact on the sale, service, and delivery of Microsoft technology, from productivity tools to cloud services to ERP and CRM.
To learn more about today's sponsor, Ingram Micro, and their partner services please visit https://microsoft.ingrammicrocloud.com/dynamics/.
Editor's Note: This episode is sponsored by PowerObjects.
The Power Platform has evolved into a collection of services underpinning everything about Microsoft's Business Applications suite. First-party apps like Dynamics 365 Sales and Customer Service are really Power Apps now, but so are the thousands of custom applications, automated processes, and dashboards built by and for customers.
Our guests on this episode are Avni Pandya, Merlin Schwaiger, and Dave Kuntz of PowerObjects and they will be discussing how organizations that use the Power Platform should approach critical components of any development project like user adoption, app development, and data protection.
They also share lessons from the field about learning how to use tools like Power Apps and Power Automate, mitigating risk, and some success stories.
Learn more about PowerObjects' training on organizational adoption and governance of Microsoft’s Power Platform.
Editor's Note: This episode of the MSDW Podcast is sponsored by Avanade.
Larger enterprises have transitioned to remote work in response to the coronavirus, and it has forced IT managers to re-evaluate their traditional methods for mobilizing, managing, and delivering a successful technology project.
To understand the delivery challenges of an ERP project in today's environment, we speak with David Misakian, delivery management group lead at Avanade. David discusses recently completed and ongoing client work and explains how his teams are navigating the current challenges successfully.
To learn more about how Avanade helps organizations upgrade, integrate and maximize their ERP technology investment visit https://www.avanade.com/en-ca/solutions/business-applications/finance-and-operations.
Frieda Maher of SalesPOD joins us to discuss the her work with organizations deploying or improving CRM systems and processes. One of the key challenges to successful CRM, she says, is establishing a strong relationship between end users like sales reps and the largeyl technical teams that roll out a CRM-based solution. We discuss notable projects like Frieda's work at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), innovative use of Microsoft technology like Power Apps and Teams, and how projects apply agile techniques and Scrum, particularly in the context of CRM.
The MSDW editorial team compares notes once again, and there is nowhere to start but the impact of coronavirus on the Microsoft ecosystem. We reflect on the varied feedback we are hearing from VARs and ISVs of different sizes, independent experts, and customers. And this week is also significant for kicking off 2020 release wave 1 for Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform. We discuss some of the most consequential changes like dual-write for ERP-CRM integration and RPA for Power Automate.
Articles referenced in this episode include:
Microsoft MVP Ed Gonzales (LinkedIn, Twitter)is not a professional developer, but his willingness to dive into new technology has helped him steadily expand his expertise from the Dynamics 365 product line to the Power Platform, Teams, and beyond. He recently told MSDW about his journey to becoming an MVP, with his time spent championing Microsoft tools at his day job while challenging himself with new tech at other times. He documents his latest explorations on his blog, The Flying Polymath, like an increasingly sophisticated bot that pulls in a range of Microsoft technology based on his own exploration and input from others in the community.
This is a special episode of the podcast, sponsored by ClickLearn, the multimedia digital training and documentation software firm.
Joachim Schiermacher, CEO of ClickLearn, joins us to discuss the company's newly announced updates to both their licensing model and partner model.
As Joachim explains, the changes, which include subscription pricing and new partner incentives, are key to the next stage in the company's growth and come at a time when the company aims to expand its reach, both among large enterprises and in the small and mid-sized enterprise sector.
Directions on Microsoft research vice president Andy Snodgrass joins us to discuss Microsoft licensing, cloud transitions, Power Platform investments, and other complex choices that his firm's clients are weighing today.
When your organization has made the decision to move ahead with a Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations (D365FO) project, what should you expect from your implementation partner? What should your internal team be ready to provide? On this episode we talk with two D365FO consultants who have been through the deployment project experience multiple times and have some recommendations on what customers need to know upfront. MSDW contributing expert Satish Panwar and Sukrut Parab, both with Hitachi Solutions America, join us for a discussion of some of the key planning criteria for a new project.
Even if you have been through an ERP project before, there are probably going to be many new challenges with D365FO if it is your first enterprise-scale cloud ERP project. That means the expectations at various project stages will be new, like the need for fewer customizations in many cases. But other demands will be greater, like knowledge of cloud tools and systems, from D365 Lifecycle Services to key Microsoft cloud products like Azure DevOps, Azure Service Bus, Teams, and more.
We also touch on Satish and Sukrut's experiences working with the Microsoft FastTrack team, the promise of the Business Events framework, and other considerations when planning a go-live.
Editor's Note: This is a special episode of the MSDW Podcast sponsored by k-eCommerce.
Louis Mousseau, president of k-eCommerce joins us to discuss the company's recently launched Payment Portal and Payment Extension for Dynamics GP. There are a range of reasons why a GP customer should consider adding e-payment capabilities, even if they don't need e-commerce. Mousseau explains some of the differences between the two, like the fact that e-payments provide benefits on top of fundamental GP accounting features arounds sales and invoicing. We also discuss topics including security, customer experience, and streamlining operations.
The MSDW editorial team was long overdue to recap the headlines of recent weeks, and today's episode touches on a broad range of updates that touch the full range of Microsoft business applications, from products reaching general availability to promises of upcoming investment.
Articles referenced in this episode include:
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.