The MSDW Podcast

The (MSDW) podcast explores news, ideas, and events in the Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM community.
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Sep 21, 2020

The news roundup returns, and on this episode, we look back at top headlines from the last several weeks of executive hires, Microsoft revenue numbers, product wins, partner updates, and more.

Show Notes:

Sep 17, 2020

Microsoft MVP, solution architect, and Scrum expert Neil Benson recently concluded two years of work on a membership and sales platform upgrade for RACQ (Royal Automobile Club of Queensland) that involved Dynamics 365 Customer Service, integration with multiple other SaaS vendor solutions, and, of course, lots of legacy data to contend with from the decades old systems being replaced. This was a big project by any standard. Microsoft celebrated its early successes last year, but work has continued, and Neil gives us an inside view of what it has been like managing five delivery streams amid a host of other changes, from user adoption to the IT department's Azure transition to going live during the pandemic.


Show Notes

  • 0:45 - About Neil and his business, Customery
  • 2:50 - About RACQ and their modernization project
  • 5:20 - The scale of this project and the challenges of working at that scale
  • 7:35 - Why RACQ had everything to lose in terms of customer satisfaction and retention from undertaking their modernization program
  • 8:20 - Attitude toward cloud adoption from their legacy stance
  • 10:50 - How five workstreams moved ahead together, how they divided up responsibilities and stages
  • 12:05 - The core software products that go into RACQ's cloud transformation
  • 13:35 - Observations on using Adobe Campaign with Dynamics 365 and other solutions
  • 15:20 - Deploying Apttus and the future of their relationship with (or without) Microsoft
  • 17:50 - The fight for ISV cloud hosting between the hypercloud vendors
  • 19:50 - Using Scrum on a project of this scale
  • 23:50 - Neil's experience training others on Scrum
  • 27:50 - Innovative solutions of the RACQ solution
  • 31:20 - How does an organization focused on driving adapt to Covid and other changing trends around car usage?
  • 34:20 - How such a big project transitioned to work from home during the pandemic
  • 34:35 - RACQ's efforts in trialing other tech like RPA
  • 38:20 - Is RPA a viable long-term product for CIOs?
  • 41:50 - On the history of Customery's LEGO usage
  • 43:15 - Neil's podcast activities

Where to find Neil:

Sep 1, 2020

Lisa Crosbie joins us to talk about her many community activities and interests in the Microsoft Business Applications space. Lisa is a technology evangelist at Barhead, a Microsoft partner, and when she's not working with their sales and professional services teams, she can be found doing a range of things, from blogging to podcasting to videos to presentations. We sit down to discuss some of the things Lisa has been focused on in her community efforts recently including Microsoft Teams and Project Oakdale, Microsoft certifications, product updates coming in the 2020 wave 2 releases for Dynamics 365 and Power Platform, and her latest presentation schedule, including the upcoming DynamicsCon event.

Show Notes:

  • 3:30 - Adjusting to and staying motivated by community participation in an all-virtual situation
  • 5:00 - The importance of certifications in today's Microsoft business apps landscape
  • 9:10 - How to use Microsoft Learn to prepare for certifications
  • 13:00 - Lisa's outlook on Project Oakdale
  • 24:20 - Will Teams interfaces be important for ISV solutions?
  • 25:30 - Why Power Automate in Teams will be important
  • 27:15 - The RPA opportunities of 2020 wave 2
  • 30:00 - Lisa's participation in DynamicsCon
  • 34:15 - Lisa's professional evolution from the client side to the consulting side
  • 39:15 - Why the MVP community is still thriving'
  • 41:30 - Will the virtual focus help more people achieve MVP status?
  • 43:15 - Creating the UP Podcast
  • 45:30 - What else Lisa is excited about in the next release wave
Aug 12, 2020

Erik Hougaard returns to the podcast with new perspective on Dynamics 365 Business Central development and customization. Over the last few months, Erik has been creating a rich new library of developer skills videos on his YouTube channel, covering everything from OAuth and Javascript controls to web services and String operations.


He recently created a Blast from the Past video in which he spun up an old NAV 3.56 system and explored its features, customization language (which was also called AL at the time), and interface. Looking at a 30 year old predecessor to today's Business Central was more than just a trip down memory lane, as he tells us. It can also give today's customers and professionals a better understanding of why the latest version of Business Central looks and acts the way it does. With that perspective in mind, Erik also shares his views on the latest customization trends, ISV solution adoption, SaaS support, and how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted the ecosystem.


Show Notes:

  • 1:45 - Why look at NAV 3.56 now?
  • 4:00 - Why now is a good time to create more educational content, and how Erik develops ideas.
  • 7:45 - Contextualizing the on-prem to cloud transition of Business Central
  • 10:00 - How Erik circulated an easter egg through older NAV systems
  • 11:30 - Is it good that so many features of BC today are so similar to NAV years ago?
  • 14:00 - Features or techniques that have potential for a big impact
  • 16:30 - As an MVP reaching the community, comparing video versus traditional blog posts
  • 20:00 - How many companies still need customization with BC?
  • 23:30 - Customer and partner responsibilities around managing DevOps for BC
  • 25:15 - A current challenge around country versions with extensions management, both in development and in releasing apps to AppSource
  • 29:00 - How are BC users doing in the context of coronavirus?
  • 32:00 - Why is development such a big part of NAV and BC?
  • 34:30 - Tips around developing your YouTube channel
Aug 5, 2020

We continue the Dynamics GP to Dynamics 365 migration podcast series with a conversation focused primarily around making the case for D365 Finance and Operations, once again joined by Karen Riordan of Menlo Technologies and Peter Joeckel of TurnOnDynamics. In some ways, the path to F&O could be described as only marginally easier than a migration from GP to any other vendor's ERP, so the discussion touches on ERP selection more broadly, the range of approaches that partners in the Microsoft channel have selected regarding their own ERP product sales strategies. Many sell more than one ERP, and for many of those, the other ERP is not a Microsoft product. We also touch on the DevOps debate around Business Central and some of the latest Microsoft incentives to GP customers.


Show Notes:

  • 1:00 - Quick recap of the first three episodes
  • 2:30 - What are renewing GP customers hearing from Microsoft and partners?
  • 5:00 - Marketing evaluation: Microsoft's BREP to CSP incentive and surrounding positioning
  • 10:45 - If GP customers don't select BC straight away, what does ERP selection look like?
  • 15:30 - What are signs that a GP customer might be a good fit for evaluating F&O?
  • 17:15 - Customer story: How AX/FO dimensional inventory solved a GP user's needs
  • 27:00 - What drives cost in ERP projects (hint: it's moving from one to another)
  • 30:00 - Why a partner sells both Dynamics ERPs and a competing vendor's ERP
  • 35:00 - The DevOps debate
  • 41:30 - Why so many GP partners will never look at F&O, and perhaps why some never should
Jul 31, 2020

With Microsoft's big summertime virtual event, Inspire 2020, now behind us, the MSDW editorial team chats about some of the biggest news of the event, as well as some of our readers favorite new articles from recent weeks. Up for discussion are the newest Microsoft business applications product names: Customer Voice and Dataflex, as well as Azure cost management, Business Central DevOps, and more.

Show Notes:

Jul 27, 2020

Editor's Note: This episode is sponsored by Ingram Micro Cloud.

The coronavirus pandemic has become a core element of Microsoft's FY21 cloud strategy. And the company now expects their partners to align with goals around remote and returning workers, industry specialization, and digital transformation.

While that vision rings true in many ways, it presents challenges for sellers in the Microsoft channel who need to adapt what they sell and how they sell it. Mark Stuyt, chief engagement officer at Neural Impact, a sales and marketing consulting firm that applies behavioral economics, neuroscience, and persuasion psychology to the customer acquisition process, joins us to talk about the transformation that sales teams themselves should consider to close new business in this challenging climate.

Some selling techniques remain unchanged today, but Mark also emphasizes novel tactics like selling via Teams, using video at key times, thinking more about the advantages of industry specialization.

To learn more about today's sponsor, Ingram Micro, and their partner services please visit

Show Notes:

  • 2:45 - How the pandemic has impacted organizations' investment decisions around tech
  • 4:00 - Unconscious decision making by buyers that leads to selecting a partner
  • 6:30 - Stresses of selling without the traditional early impressions of face to face meetings
  • 8:00 - The range of ways to take advantage of video, and how it taps into buyer psychology
  • 11:00 - Strategies that sales are using today to tap into video
  • 17:20 - Why should a sales team say yes to an industry?
  • 20:30 - The disadvantage that broadly-based partners will face over the next 12 to 18 months compared with industry-focused partners.
  • 22:30 - Why now is the time to be bold in selling
  • 24:30 - The challenge of driving an emotional connection with prospects and customers.
  • 26:30 - The role that  Microsoft Surface Hub can play for partners.
  • 28:00 - Neural Impact's work with Ingram Micro to develop tools to help partners sell remotely
Jul 25, 2020

Microsoft only revealed Dynamics 365 Commerce a year ago, but the offering is already evolving. In reality, Commerce came into existence as a rebrand of Dynamics 365 for Retail with a new e-commerce and content management tools introduced. Today's roadmap for Commerce calls for updates all over the wide ranging solution, from back office to warehouse to the storefront and the call center.

Amid such a wide ranging product, how does a customer train up their various users? To learn more, we welcome Elif Item, an AX and D365FO veteran who now focuses on training development and delivery through her company, Item by Item. Elif explains that Commerce is now delivered in a range of scenarios, and that variability is what can make training so challenging. Customer service agents and e-commerce management staff have very different experiences in the same system, for example. Training methods are also changing, and Elif talks about how her firm and clients are embracing different types of training content and platforms.

Show Notes

  • 2:00 - The evolution of Dynamics 365 Commerce and Elif's recent experiences
  • 5:00 - How the introduction of e-commerce capabiilties changed the product
  • 7:30 - The types of scenarios in which Commerce is deployed today
  • 11:00 - How Commerce differs from third party e-commerce solutions
  • 16:00 - The range of unique requirements and roles that Commerce aims to cover
  • 20:30 - How do you balance so many retail-related roles in a single system
  • 26:15 - Overlooked roles that still need training
  • 32:00 - Learning styles and training trends for today and the future
  • 39:00 - On embracing the changing roadmap of Dynamics 365 products
Jul 8, 2020

Editor's Note: This episode is sponsored by DXC Technology.

There is no single approach to successfully tackling challenges like project methodology, executive sponsorship, user adoption, or planning for post go-live support, but they are all absolutely critical to a successful Dynamics 365 project outcome.

This podcast episode explores some of the very real decisions organizations must face before and during an enterprise software project, and how they reckon with the factors that determine success. The responsibility – and the credit – for a successful project outcome is almost always shared between the services delivery team and the customer's own people. Microsoft MVP Rick McCutcheon speaks with Russ Riley and Greg Pierce of DXC Technology about the mindset of great project teams and what a strong partner relationship looks like during and after go-live.

If you’d like to speak with our guests or learn more about DXC Technology and how they can help your organization move your business applications from on-premises to the cloud with post go-live support, you can reach them at phone no#: 877-651-6193 or email:

Jun 30, 2020

Editor's Note: This episode is sponsored by Ingram Micro Cloud.

Dynamics 365 is one of the product areas in which Microsoft encourages its partners to push for growth. With some of the highest margins in the channel, Dynamics is a lucrative opportunity for firms -- if they can make it part of their portfolio.

In hindsight, many partners forget or may not have the capacity to add Dynamics 365 to their practice while most may not have the talent, operating model, or financial structure. With the economic impact in today’s market, traditional ERP or CRM isn’t a want anymore, but a need in the digital transformation era.

Mathew Batterbee, UK & EMEA Dynamics 365 lead at Ingram Micro Cloud, joins the podcast to discuss some of the ways Ingram is working to bring more Microsoft partners into the Dynamics 365 space. Growing the number of partners transacting on Dynamics will require some new thinking and new program models, he says. We discuss some of Ingram's latest programs and also look at broader updates in the Dynamics partner channel like new the BREP to CSP incentives and the untapped potential of Microsoft's Cloud Ascent tool.

Show Notes:

  • 1:00 - Mathew's background at Microsoft and in the channel
  • 5:00 - The challenges of transitioning to Dynamics 365
  • 9:00 - How Ingram supports cross-selling Dynamics 365
  • 12:30 - The value and challenges of Microsoft's Cloud Ascent analytics tool for partners
  • 17:00 - The importance of growing the Dynamics 365 channel
  • 19:15 - Mathew's perspective on the new EP to CSP offer for Dynamics ERP on-prem customers
  • 26:45 - How customers who have lapsed on support might be able to revive it
Jun 19, 2020

The news roundup podcast returns! developments. MSDW editors discuss a range of topics including:

  • 1:00 - an interesting new data-related acquisition
  • 3:30 - Microsoft's Q3 earnings
  • 6:30 - The new GM for Dynamics 365, Mike Morton
  • 9:40 - A new BREP to CSP option for Business Central and its impact
  • 13:00 - The new Web API for Power Apps Portals
  • 15:00 - New industry accelerators for the Power Platform
  • 17:00 - The impact of COVID-19 in the Azure space
  • 18:20 - The importance of Dynamics 365 certifications
Jun 16, 2020

While the second episode in our GP upgrade series dealt with customer needs, both current and future, this episode looks at some of the specific conversations that customers and their partners have when it is clear that a change is coming.


As we discuss in this episode, there are several precipitating factors that lead to a change from the GP status quo. And it is pretty clear that some ERP veterans, including our guests, Karen Riordan of Menlo Technologies and Peter Joeckel of TurnOnDynamics, have not yet embraced the idea that all or even most GP customers should move to Dynamics 365 Business Central. For some GP customers, BC is a good option, they say. But they also make the case that plotting the wrong path forward can result in big outlays of time and money with little to show at the end.

Show Notes:

  • 2:15 - Why now is the time to talk about GP customer upgrade options
  • 8:45 - Defining two of the unique reasons why GP customers are motivated for a change
  • 16:45 - Are GP customers moving to cloud hosting?
  • 20:15 - Multi-tenancy - what it means that GP doesn't support it
  • 22:45 - Peter makes the case for why GP to BC is not an upgrade
  • 24:45 - Are GP users educating themselves?
  • 28:45 - Why Karen is seeing interest in Intelligent Cloud
  • 30:15 - Where should this series go from here?
Jun 9, 2020

In the first episode of this series about upgrade strategies for Microsoft Dynamics GP customers, Karen Riordan of Menlo Technologies and Peter Joeckel of TurnOnDynamics joined us to discuss the wide-ranging the experiences of these organizations and varied viewpoints they hold today when it comes to the much-hyped promise of moving from on-prem ERP to Dynamics 365 Business Central in the cloud.

On this second episode, we go deeper on the needs of GP customers today. The tens of thousands of GP customers in the world are a diverse group. Some have watched carefully as Microsoft and other vendors have released their new generation of ERP solutions, while others need someone to come in and start from the beginning on what cloud is all about. Peter and Karen agree that GP customers should expect their partners to take a consultative approach rather than acting as an extension of their IT team. And they discuss some of the signs that a company is a good candidate for moving to pure cloud ERP as opposed to some other alternative.

Show Notes:

  • 1:00 - When talking about upgrades, why talk about the GP market's decisions?
  • 4:30 - Why don't companies have a great understanding of what a newer ERP system can do for their businesses?
  • 6:30 - The challenge of taking a consultative approach rather than a technical approach to ERP discussions
  • 10:30 - Signs that an organization really needs to consider a new ERP
  • 15:30 - What roles or groups tend to support new technology investments and why is there resistance in other areas?
  • 19:30 - Distinguishing between different types of GP deployments and why the broad use means different future needs
  • 22:30 - Why executive vision is the critical foundation to enterprise application investments, both for the organization and the success of an implementation partner.
  • 24:30 - How coronavirus has impacted the ERP and broader IT priorities of organizations.
Jun 6, 2020

When the full extent of the coronavirus pandemic finally became clear to businesses around the world, the falling stock markets, locked up supply chains, and panic buying were accompanied by a frenzy within marketing departments to re-calibrate both their messaging and their communication channels.


For marketing automation vendor ClickDimensions, one of the results was a massive jump in message volume from customers, says the company's CEO Mike Dickerson. He also observed that the crisis has put very different demands on the customers and the Microsoft partners with which his team works on a daily basis. Dickerson talks with us about these recent experiences and his observations on changes in the Microsoft channel since he last joined the podcast, including the evolution of digital marketing more generally, the need for special skills to accompany a marketing automation deployment, and the ISV Connect program.


Show Notes:

  • 1:30 - Responding to the impact of coronavirus on customers and partners
  • 6:30 - Modern B2B needs still reflect the digital consumer mindset
  • 8:30 - What shutdowns did to customers' communication volume
  • 9:30 - How the ClickDimensions services business has evolved, and the role it plays with Dynamics partners
  • 17:00 - How marketing automation users have adapted - or failed to adapt - their engagement strategy in the midst of a crisis.
  • 21:30 - Mike's perspective on how the pandemic is impacting the Microsoft channel more broadly
  • 26:30 - ISV Connect and its progress from the partner perspective
  • 31:00 - The risks of ISV Connect from the investor perspective and their influence with MIcrosoft
  • 35:00 - How else can partners adjust for better outcomes
Jun 2, 2020

Talking about digital transformation to an Microsoft community audience is a little like talking about gold medals to Olympic athletes. They all understand, they have all heard it a hundred times before. But few have a good chance to reach the goal. Fortunately, strategic IT is not a winner-take-all sport, and our returning guest for this episode, Guus Krabbenborg of Dynamics and More, has been spreading the message that all organizations have the opportunity to transform by shifting their thinking, re-focusing some IT priorities, and demanding a different kind of relationship with their technology partner.

Guus has a new book that tackles these challenges. We dive into Guus's motivation to create the book and his experiences in the last few years that shaped his message to customers and partners.

Show Notes:

  • 2:30 - Guus's outlook on digital transformation broadly
  • 6:45 - Executive sponsorship and the tension between IT projects, strategic vision, and responsibility for success
  • 11:45 - Why companies must refocus on their customers and engineer their business model accordingly
  • 14:00 - The challenge of having a conversation with executives vs IT, and how Microsoft partners can do better
  • 17:00 - Should partners try to be both strategic and tactical? Would they be better off breaking apart these duties?
  • 21:45 - Why change is so difficult for Dynamics partner organizations
  • 25:30 - How do you encourage clients to take action?
  • 30:00 - Guus's new book and his reasons for writing it
  • 36:00 - An alternative book sales model
  • 40:00 - How will Microsoft and partners address the topic of modernizing their ERP methodology guidance




May 27, 2020

Kerry Peters and Cynthia Priebe of New View Strategies join the MSDW Podcast to continue the discussion on some of the critical and timely topics they have raised in recent articles about bringing automation and digital tools to bear in financial management with Dynamics 365 Business Central.

They discuss some of the pressures their clients have faced in the last two months due to COVID-19, some of the new features of Business Central that they believe hold a lot of value for clients, and what they have learned about introducing new organizations to Business Central.

Articles referenced:

New View Strategies has created a page that collects all their remote work articles and a checklist.


Show Notes

  • 1:45 - Kerry and Cynthia's experience in the Dynamics community
  • 6:45 - How their clients had to adapt quickly to plan for work from home.
  • 10:15 - The challenge of reducing paper processes under situational pressures of COVID-19
  • 12:45 - Experiences implementing positive pay for Business Central - and how well organizations have adapted
  • 17:30 - Why organizations fail to be self-motivated on digital transformation in finance
  • 22:00 - Exciting new features
  • 27:30 - Do organizations need coaching to adopt electronic/paperless features of Business Central?
  • 31:30 - How are GP users evaluating Business Central?
  • 34:15 - Bringing new customers to Business Central from any other finance or ERP system.
May 22, 2020

Editor's Note: This episode is sponsored by DXC Technology.

Companies say they want off-the-shelf software, but the reality is that most products can't meet the needs of a sophisticated enterprise without some amount of enhancement. On this episode we assemble a roundtable of experts from DXC Technology to dive into the common challenges and questions around investing in custom software development. Our guests, delivery manager Mindy Waters, enterprise integration expert Keith Honkonen, vice president of software engineering Will Wirtz, and sales director David LaMarre, discuss software requirements definition, roadmap development, and how to build atop off-the-shelf or bridge the gap between solutions.

And they explore why software development fits in more naturally with application modernization efforts than many enterprise or mid-sized organizations might think.   

Show Notes:

  • 2:30 – In what cases should today's enterprise software buyer be thinking about custom development?
  • 5:45 – Examples of when an off-the-shelf Dynamics solution can benefit from solution development
  • 9:00 – Application modernization
  • 14:00 – Moving from on-prem to cloud and why it's not just about cost
  • 15:30 – The struggle of finding a balance between legacy applications and new development
  • 18:00 – Tips to get started defining their needs and building a solution roadmap
  • 23:00 – Bringing an agile mindset to solution development projects
  • 26:00 – How to measure success in deploying custom solutions

If you’d like to speak with our guests or learn more about DXC Technology and how they can help your organization move your business applications from on-premise to the cloud, you can reach them at phone no#: 877-651-6193 or email:

May 20, 2020

Editor's Note: This episode is sponsored by DXC Technology

Organizations with on-premises Dynamics ERP or Dynamics CRM solutions probably understand that moving those workloads to the cloud requires planning. But with so many variables, no two cloud journeys are exactly the same.

Today's podcast guests, Chris Lavelle and Heather Palmieri from DXC Technology, join Microsoft MVP Rick McCutcheon to share their experiences planning and delivering cloud migrations of various types. The process always starts with a conversation to understand the business goals and the current application environment, Lavelle and Palmieri explain.

Listen in as our guests discuss their experiences working with customers to move a Dynamics ERP or CRM solution to the cloud and what kinds of plans, expectations, and decisions lead to success.

If you have questions you can get in touch with our DXC guests at or by calling: +1 877-651-6193.

Show Notes:

  • 3:00 - How to start the conversation
  • 5:00 - Who on the user side needs to be involved in the process from the start?
  • 6:15 - How can an organization estimate the time their migration will  take?
  • 7:45 - Following a project planning methodology to develop a fact-based approach
  • 10:30 - Why legacy system migration usually includes unknowns that make expectation management a challenge
  • 15:15 - Estimating the time required of the end user organization to keep a cloud migration moving forward
  • 17:45 - How to prepare your organization for the commitment required on a cloud project.
  • 19:30 - Supporting an organization's ERP or CRM usage after moving to the cloud
  • 21:15 - How to use cloud migration as an inflection point for our business
May 17, 2020

Editor's Note: This episode is sponsored by DXC Technology.

An organization with a mandate to embrace digital transformation can only achieve its goals if it considers the needs of its workforce. Expectations by the executive team around productivity, flexibility, and expertise hinge on supporting employees with the tools that enable them to do their jobs no matter the challenge.

Today, as IT departments navigate a landscape that bridges the on-premises systems of the last two decades and today's cloud-based services, decisions around new technology investments will determine whether an organization can support a digital workforce.

In this episode, we hear from three subject matter experts from DXC Technology on how their clients are transitioning to support a digital workforce. DXC sales director Russ Riley, director of operations David Bowles, and IT manager Pete Loach sit down to discuss how a digital workforce succeeds today. We dive into how IT leaders are assessing their next investments and the measures that organizations are taking today to accelerate their digital journeys.

Show Notes

  • 2:00 – The value of virtual cloud migrations and scenarios that drive organizations to embrace it
  • 4:30 – What should companies expect to scope a cloud migration project?
  • 8:30 – Adopting virtual desktop infrastructure: The technology and the advantages
  • 12:30 – The importance of client-based VPN tools
  • 17:00 – Disaster recovery services and what they accomplish
  • 22:00 – DR and the importance of defining what's truly mission critical
  • 24:30 – Securing resources in a corporate environment via multi-factor authentication (MFA)
  • 26:30 – The benefits of managing public cloud infrastructure compared to the days of all on-premises data centers

If you’d like to speak with our guests or learn more about DXC's work with organizations building a digital workforce, you can reach them at phone no#: 877-651-6193 or email:

May 16, 2020

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.

Show Notes:

  • 0:45 - Managing for the unending demand for new content and the risks of duplicating content.
  • 5:00 - Rewriting or repurposing blog posts - when and how
  • 8:30 - Tips for increasing traffic on an existing blog post.

More about Anya:

May 16, 2020

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.

Show Notes:

  • 0:30 - Anya's background as a marketer in the ERP channel
  • 2:30 - A 3-step process for marketers who need to develop new content with the help of subject matter experts
  • 9:00 - How to calculate the ROI on content investments
  • 11:30 - The debate on calls-to-action, gating content (or not), and engagement metrics
  • 13:30 - The benefits of content generation with subject matter expertise
May 15, 2020

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.)

Show Notes

  • 2:45 - Paul's experience getting started in the Dynamics NAV space, including what he learned about corporate culture from his early employers
  • 5:30 - Experiences as an admin on a legacy ERP and exploring open source enterprise software
  • 10:00 - Transitioning to a consulting role and working with the Philippine Red Cross
  • 13:30 - Using empathic listening
  • 15:45 - Embracing the Power Platform
  • 17:00 - What it took to become an entrepreneur
  • 20:00 - Why focus on the Philippine market for his company's solutions
  • 23:45 - Favorite Power Platform use cases so far
  • 27:45 - The types of people who find roles via Hacktiv
  • 30:40 - Paul's early experiences as a Microsoft MVP
  • 32:40 - What's next in the Philippines Dynamics community
  • 36:30 - New and upcoming technology Paul is excited about: Adaptive cards, Teams, and more
May 13, 2020

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.

Show Notes:

  • 2:00 - Karen's background in the ERP channel
  • 3:00 - On being challenged to think about more than just Business Central for today's GP customers
  • 5:00 - When a GP customer should stay on GP
  • 7:45 - Microsoft's advantage by improving GP to BC cloud migrations
  • 11:00 - The importance of master data cleanup
  • 14:00 - Why GP customers may not be aware of the extent of the customization and ISV add-on solutions in their ERP
  • 18:30 - Consolidating legacy systems
  • 20:30 - Why leaving GP ought to be a move to the cloud in some form - whether BC, F&O, or another

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.

May 7, 2020

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


Show Notes:

  • 2:00 - What Neural Impact is hearing from partners today
  • 5:00 - Should partners bother investing in marketing activities right now? And what's not working?
  • 10:00 - The impact of mass marketing in the current climate
  • 15:30 - How can marketers get started changing their marketing stance? 
  • 18:00 - Identifying new revenue opportunities
  • 21:30 - New programs Sharka is working on with Ingram Micro
May 7, 2020

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.


Show Notes


  • 5:00 - How to begin understanding the Power Platform
  • 11:30 - Protecting your data.
  • 19:00 - The benefit of a common database to build upon
  • 22:00 - Assigning responsibility to your users for building, with guardrails
  • 23:30 - How to encourage use in places with resistance?
  • 27:00 - A story of the benefits of modernizing a carpet company
  • 33:30 - A key benefit of asking your team to help define the apps they need: ownership
  • 34:45 - The limitations of the citizen developer's skills and involvement
  • 36:00 - Other app examples
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