We are kicking off our new podcast series, the Biz Apps Classroom, and our hosts, Julie Yack of 365.training and Jason Gumpert of MSDynamicsWorld.com, discuss how this project arose and where it will be going in future episodes. They chat about some of the training and learning themes influencing the Power Platform and Dynamics 365 landscape today and trade notes on recent conference experiences and Microsoft product announcements. Julie also shares some observations from her most recent classroom training work.
Stay tuned for upcoming episodes of the Biz Apps Classroom, where we will examine topics like the influence of AI, Microsoft certifications, training resources, classroom and teaching styles, the evolution of the Microsoft business applications products, and more.
Special offer: Listeners can support the podcast and get a discount on an annual plan for 365.training by visiting https://365l.ink/MSDW.
Contact our hosts:
The analysts at Everest Group have published their latest ratings of systems integrators in the Microsoft Dynamics 365 ecosystem, and changes in the space reflect both product trends and attitudes toward enterprise software investment.
Our guest, Everest Group practice director Abhishek Mundra, discusses the factors that his time uses to assess service providers in terms of partnership with Microsoft, types of engagements, project outcomes, attitudes toward value realization, and more. And he explains why some firms have risen to become major contenders based on factors like geography or industry.
Learn more about the Everest Group report here.
This episode is sponsored by enVista.
The speed with which Microsoft has introduced various Copilot capabilities has challenged even the most dedicated channel professionals to keep up. Updates across Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, Power Platform, and beyond have signaled a new era at Microsoft, with the company's product teams all putting AI-based capabilities at the forefront of their planning and messaging.
To get more perspective on how Microsoft's Copilot brand and tools are evolving, we are joined by Nathan Bench and Hillary Schwartzbach of enVista. They have been paying attention to Microsoft's updates, both the new Copilot announcements and the adjustments and rebranding that are still going on. They offer perspective on the AI capabilities that Microsoft customers have responded most favorably to already in work scenarios like code development, meeting management, and sales. We also discuss the close relationship between deploying AI workloads and having a strong base of IT fundamentals in an organization like data management and security policies. And they share some perspective on how champions can bring Microsoft Copilot tools back to their teams and win over skeptical or less educated colleagues to begin putting some of these capabilities to work.
enVista is a Microsoft Solution Partner with designations in Business Applications, Data & AI (Azure), Digital App & Innovation, and Modern Work. With two decades of experience in Microsoft consulting, implementations, development, technical support and operations for manufacturers, distributors and retailers, Microsoft business users benefit from having a single partner that can address all needs across the Microsoft platform.
Check out enVista’s D365 Copilot 1-Day Readiness Workshop:
This episode is sponsored by Wisefish.
Seafood companies face a unique mix of operational and production challenges related to sustainability, traceability, supply chain management, and cloud adoption. Our guests on this episode, Sigrun Dora and Ari Hróbjartsson of Wisefish, tell us about the ways that their company's seafood industry solutions, built on Dynamics 365 Business Central, address the needs of these companies.
Our guests discuss the history of Wisefish in the seafood market, the importance of sustainability and traceability in the industry today, the company's work in the Microsoft Business Applications channel, and how the company is positioning itself for the future through its partner program, roadmap, and go-to-market plans.
For the first time ever, Wisefish will be a silver sponsor at Directions EMEA from November 1-3, 2023. Please visit their booth #S8 and discover how their solutions can help build a sustainable future in Seafood, and help Business Central partners gain business in the fishing industry.
They will also have a speaking session entitled “Follow That Fish: Traceability through the Wisefish Value Chain”, on November 1st at 16:16 in the Amphitheatre.
Please contact them at partner@Wisefish.com for more information
This episode is sponsored by Vena.
Organizations are rethinking the finance function and its potential to improve business-wide collaboration, decision making, and planning. In the Microsoft ecosystem, standard tools like Dynamics 365 Finance, Power BI, and Excel play a key role for financial professionals, but the office of finance often needs more specialized capabilities. Our guest, Rishi Grover of Vena Solutions, joins us to explain how the company is partnering with Microsoft to bring new offerings to market focused on the future of finance. He shares his perspective on advances across Microsoft's business solutions lineup and explains how Vena has partnered with Microsoft to offer Dynamics 365 customers new finance capabilities. He shares Vena's product roadmap, how the company is working with Microsoft Dynamics partners, and shares perspective on the implications of Microsoft's AI roadmap on the finance function.
To learn more about Vena’s Complete Planning Platform natively integrated with Microsoft 365, visit https://www.venasolutions.com/platform/microsoft
If you’d like to speak with a Vena expert or schedule a demo, contact us at: www.venasolutions.com/requestdemo
With the second annual Microsoft Power Platform Conference (MPPC 2023) now over, Microsoft MVPs Steve Mordue and Asif Rehmani joined us to review their experiences and observations at the event. Microsoft had positive numbers to share on growth in both customers and community, but it was the company's messaging on Copilot overpowered other announcements at the event. Nevertheless, attendees and community presenters were at the show to talk about a whole lot more than the latest AI hype. Steve and Asif tell us about some of the sessions and themes they took note of in areas including governance, security, DevOps, data management, updates to Fabric, and more. And they share their views on the balance Microsoft is trying to strike between splashy AI headlines and less exciting foundational improvements across the platform.
More from Asif Rehmani:
More from Steve Mordue:
This episode is sponsored by KwikTag by Paymerang.
KwikTag recently joined the Paymerang family, bringing together the firms' AP and payment automation services. Their combined solutions streamline invoice and payment automation to extract and match data, eliminating manual processes to reduce the risk of fraud.
On this MSDW Podcast episode, Sierre Lindgren and Tiffany Allen of Paymerang join us to discuss how Dynamics GP and D365 Business Central customers use finance technology to fight fraud in AP automation. 66% of businesses have dealt with some sort of AP fraud event, they report, whether that be email, check, or wire fraud. Listen to this episode to understand what security measures you can take to fight AP fraud, from identifying top threats to adding layers of protection.
Visit paymerang.com for more details, and check out notes from this session at: https://www.paymerang.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/MSDW-Fraud-Podcast.pdf
This episode is sponsored by Experlogix.
Configure Price Quote (CPQ) solutions are all about overcoming the challenges of a complex sales scenario. And when those sales relate to physical products, the ability to bring accurate engineering details to the customer without bothering the engineering team can be a benefit for all involved.
But there are other benefits to be gained from incorporating visualization technology into CPQ scenarios, and to help us identify them we welcome Jim Meyer, a product manager at Experlogix to learn about how they have approached this area of CPQ, specific ways that businesses get value from it, and why sales sees it helping their clients.
Jim tells us about what it takes to be a good candidate for the Experlogix 3D visualization offering and shares more details on the technology partnership that made this offering possible.
Interested in learning more about 3D Visualization and how businesses can leverage it with CPQ software to enhance customer experience? Check out our product webpage to learn more.
For more information or to see a demo, contact the Experlogix team!
This episode is sponsored by Data Courage.
When our guests, Tristan Threlkeld and Madison Hillend, talk about AI-enabled apps for Dynamics 365 Business Central, they aren't surprised to hear different responses from Microsoft customers and partners.
The Data Courage team will be at Summit North America 2023 in October to talk more about their two key solutions for Business Central, AI Item Intelligence and AI Customer Intelligence. They tell us about what attendees can expect from the team, and they update us on the work that has gone into building new solutions atop standard Business Central data models and business logic
More from Data Courage:
We are excited to see everyone at Summit this year! Stop by Data Courage booth 2017 at Summit and learn how you can get Item Insights or Customer Intelligence with complimentary Power BI Dashboards free for 30 days. We would love to chat about all things AI too. Hope to see you there!
This episode is sponsored by Argano.
The team at Microsoft partner Argano attended the first Microsoft Power Platform Conference in 2022 and they are returning for the 2023 event in Las Vegas starting on October 3. In this event preview episode of the podcast, Jon Rastia, senior director of innovation and technology at Argano joins us to discuss the team's experiences last year, the Power Platform roadmap, the evolution of the community, and more. He also shares a preview of a customer case study Argano will be presenting at MPPC 2023.
Learn more about Argano's presence at MPPC 2023 here.
This episode is sponsored by Resco.net.
Power Platform has influenced how Microsoft customers and partners evaluate how to extend or customize business systems, including for mobile scenarios.
Microsoft has adjusted its marketing around Power Platform over the years, with early emphasis on the citizen developers and no-code customization and now promoting its strengths as a development platform for everyone from business users to pro developers.
To help us get another perspective on the state of mobile business solutions in the Dynamics and Power Platform space, we are talking to Ben Mitchell of Resco, he leads partnerships and success in North America for the company. He updates us on how Resco sees their mobile solution development expertise aligning with the strengths and limitations of today's core Microsoft technologies. Customers still need to deploy advanced mobile capabilities that core Power Platform tools can't address, including under demanding conditions. He explains what some of those requirements are and why Resco believes they and their partners are well positioned to meet those needs while staying aligned with Microsoft's vision.
To discover more about Resco for Power Platform, visit: https://www.resco.net/learning/power-platform/
Want to see it in action? Email email@example.com
Visit the Resco.net booth #125 @ Microsoft Power Platform Conference in Vegas, October 3-5.
The Microsoft Power Platform Conference returns for its second edition in October, and Microsoft's Heather Cook, who is also an executive producer of the event, joins us to talk about the conference and trends in the community. Heather joined Microsoft's Business Applications team in June of 2020 after working in the Microsoft Teams group, and she tells us about her efforts over that time, from supporting grassroots local groups to large centralized events like MPPC 2023.
MPPC will offer sessions for a range of interest, from technical to professional development to community. Heather tells us how MPPC fits into Microsoft's broader approach to supporting the Power Platform community, how newcomers are getting involved, and what else Microsoft will be doing in the coming months.
Follow Mondays at Microsoft (https://www.linkedin.com/company/microsoft-community/) with Heather and Karuana Gatimu at 8am PT every other week, where they share product and community updates.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central veterans Robb Delprado and Steve Chinsky of Accelerynt attended Cavallo's recent PANELS'23 event and joined us as the event was winding down to discuss their impressions. We discuss Cavallo's Business Central product roadmap, the role of ISVs more generally in today's BC ecosystem, today's balance between investing in custom development (including Power Platform) and add-on solutions, and what an ISV like Cavallo, with its existing GP customer base, can teach NAV and BC veterans about the future of Business Central projects for organizations with on-prem ERP today.
This episode is sponsored by Mazars USA.
As Microsoft and other large technology firms accelerate their AI-related roadmaps, businesses have no choice but to reckon with how different technology will impact their employees, customers, and partners. Some AI tools will be relatively easy to deploy, like prebuilt capabilities coming to Microsoft Dynamics 365 apps via Copilot. Other uses of AI will require greater investment, carry different risk profiles, and raise new ethical, regulatory, and governance question.
Ivan Cole, managing director at Mazars USA about AI adoption in the Microsoft space, joins us to these topics and expand on some of the points he and his colleague, Microsoft MVP Chris Segurado, raised in a recent webcast for the MSDW audience about adoption and momentum of AI in the Dynamics space.
As Ivan explains, all artificial intelligence isn’t created equal. With the popularity of generative AI, we are seeing a tendency for people to confuse it with other capabilities like machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP). Ivan explains how he untangles some of these fundamentals and shares his outlook on why an AI framework helps guide businesses in their approach to the various technologies.
More from Mazars:
With Mazars' SAFE AI FrameworkTM as your guide, you can confidently embrace your organization’s future with AI.
Journey with Mazars and discover AI's enormous potential, while ensuring its use aligns with best practices for security, adaptability, factual integrity and ethics.
This episode is sponsored by Avanade.
Enterprise-scale call centers face the challenge of dispersed information across systems run by fragmented technology. As customers expect better digital-first support, customer service teams need to elevate their capabilities to deliver an expected level of performance across channels.
On this episode, our guests, Abi Sridhar and Barry Givens of Avanade and Shriram Viswanathan of Accenture, dive deeper into some of the points raised in Avanade's recent webcast examining key challenges faced by executives and technology teams, and customer service leaders in providing exceptional contact center service experience to end customers while optimizing operational costs for their organizations. They share recent real-world experiences, including examples of how customers are bringing together Dynamics 365, Power Platform, Azure services, and Nuance offerings to enhance customer experience.
Find out more from Avanade about transforming service with Microsoft Digital Contact Center Platform: https://www.avanade.com/en-ca/blogs/avanade-insights/cx/transforming-contact-center-platform
This episode is sponsored by Experlogix.
Configure price quote (CPQ) technology is notoriously versatile, and while its early use cases focused on a few prime sectors of the economy, today's CPQ solutions regularly reach a broad swath of industries and business scenarios. On this episode, Peter Willemse, VP of product management at Experlogix, shares his latest views on why CPQ capabilities continue to expand and how the evaluation process for enterprise technology continues to change. He also explains his latest thinking on how to model ROI, taking into account the full spectrum of costs, benefits, and opportunities to improve business processes.
A podcast episode about CPQ wouldn't be complete without hearing about some interesting new scenarios that puts the technology to use. And Peter gives an update on Experlogix's product lineup, which is evolving to incorporate their newer document management and commerce capabilities.
This podcast episode is sponsored by NMB Solutions.
Chris Winstanley, VP of solutions management at NMB Solutions, joins us to talk about how the company's solution offerings in transportation, shipping, and third party screening have evolved over their 25 years in business. Staying competitive as an ISV in the Microsoft Dynamics 365 channel has required NMB to both broaden their range of offerings while also focusing on areas of specialization. Partnerships and strategic investments in integrations have been important decisions for the company in recent years, Chris explains. And he tells us why he believes the future of supply chain solutions in the Microsoft channel will lean heavily toward platform and connectors.
This episode is sponsored by Evenica.
Dynamics 365 Commerce is often thought of as a platform for the retail industry. But our guests on this episode, Kelly Mazur and Stefanie Richter from Evenica, have worked with organizations across a range of industries including manufacturing, professional services and government.
On this episode we discuss commerce use cases for a range of industries within the Microsoft channel, including new ways to transact online and the evolution of digital experiences.
This episode is sponsored by Esker.
Integration a third-party solution with Dynamics 365 F&O remains a real challenge, and an ISV's architectural choices can make a bit difference for ERP customers weighing their options, especially as they plan for a cloud-based implementation. Our guest on this episode, Michael Bowden, technology evangelist at Esker, tells us about some of the decisions that went into the company's decision to build a new synchronous integration with Dynamics 365 F&O for their AP automation solution. Michael shares the lessons Esker has learned from customers across the ERP landscape as they have been steadily moving to the cloud in recent years and how the AX to Dynamics 365 compared. He also shares some recommendations on how D365 customers should evaluate their ISV solution integrations overall with an eye toward ERP project success.
Learn more about Esker's Dynamics 365 F&O Connector Whitepaper.
This episode is sponsored by Enavate.
Microsoft Dynamics GP customers have a lot invested in their ERP solutions, with years spent tailoring processes, interfaces, integrations, and reports to suit their business needs. And while some GP users are moving on to newer cloud ERP products, many others intend to capitalize on the value of their GP systems for the foreseeable future.
Still, concerns over maintenance, backups, security, and disaster recovery are driving more GP customers to examine their support and maintenance options. On-premises architectures require investments in hardware and other infrastructure, as well as IT expertise.
Our guests on this episode, Bill Moore and Chris Lavelle of Enavate, explain how Azure managed services for on-premises ERP bring together a unique combination of capabilities that can address the range of GP customers' long-term concerns, from risk management and IT best practices to user experience, cost, and performance.
More resources from Enavate:
This episode is sponsored by commercebuild.
Early generations of e-commerce may have suited the needs and expectations of consumers, but they often fell short of the needs of B2B organizations. One of the key challenges in B2B, say our guests, Jay Newman and Megan Mann of commercebuild, is the alignment between critical business systems like ERP with the e-commerce experience that customers have come to expect based on their years of B2C online shopping.
But as workers with buying authority trend younger and bring distinct e-commerce sensibilities to their organizations, B2B sellers must be prepared to account for some of the most challenging requirements in areas like personalization, inventory availability, order management, mobility, and self-service.
Jay and Megan share recommendations based on some of the emerging scenarios their customers are already supporting and they offer advice on how Dynamics 365 Business Central customers can plan for a successful e-commerce project.
Resources from commercebuild:
This episode is sponsored by Cavallo.
Microsoft has provided a wealth of Dynamics 365 Business Central product and channel guidance in 2023 that is sure to impact strategic planning across the ecosystem. Our guests on this episode, Matt Abbott and Bob McAdam of Cavallo, share their views on what the future holds for customers, VARs, and ISVs. Coming out of Directions North America 2023, they discuss their unique perspective on going to market with advanced capabilities that augment Business Central. In a specialized area like advanced workflow capabilities for order management, Cavallo must stay aligned with Microsoft's process automation capabilities, they say, while continuing to differentiate their advanced out of the box offering.
Bob and Matt also offer a preview of their team's conference plans for the near future.
For more information or to see a demo of Cavallo, reach out to Matt Abbott: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Training workers on their organization's Microsoft Dynamics 365 F&O or CE solution is never a simple initiative. Trainers must factor in the way users learn and the way they do their work. Another critical factor: the choices the organization makes throughout an implementation project in terms of scheduling and funding training efforts. Our guest on this episode, Elif Item, is a Dynamics AX and Dynamics 365 consulting veteran and trainer and she works hard on optimizing training to match the way software users learn. Recently recognized as a Microsoft MVP, Elif talks with us about her latest work including a new video series for MSDW, her journey to becoming an MVP, expanding her work to include training on D365 CE applications, and what younger people entering the workforce will expect from their employers when it comes to technology training.
This episode is sponsored by Microsoft.
FastTrack senior program manager Rachel Profitt joins us to talk about Dynamics 365 F&O migrations, the latest updates to the FastTrack program, and her team's newest achievement, the launch of new business process guides and a guidance hub.
The first editions of the guides have just launched, and Rachel talks about what it means to take a business process-focused implementation, how to use the tools, how partners and users might contribute, and how to give her team feedback.
This conversation follows a Microsoft roundtable on successful AX to D365 migrations hosted by MSDW in which Rachel also participated.
This episode is sponsored by Forceworks.
Microsoft has revealed a broad range of plans to bring generative AI to businesses. The Copilot brand now spans productivity tools, collaboration, and business applications, and their Azure OpenAI Service will offer any developer new ways to incorporate the technology into their own offerings.
Our guest, Microsoft MVP and Forceworks CEO Steve Mordue, has been thinking about the impact AI will have on some of today's conventional wisdom around developers and applications. He wrote about Microsoft's vision for building a massive population of no-code/low-code citizen developers and why that could be as unrealistic as the myth of the so-called full-stack developer. Microsoft's Copilot investments could expose the weak points in how customers use Power Platform or how they customize their business applications more broadly, Steve says. He even offers a few guesses at what could come next as Microsoft and others in the generative AI market accelerate their efforts.