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The MSDW Podcast

The MSDynamicsWorld.com (MSDW) podcast explores news, ideas, and events in the Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM community.
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Now displaying: 2021
Mar 28, 2021

Priyesh Wagh's current work in the Microsoft channel focuses on both Dynamics 365 Project Operations and various elements of the Power Platform. In this episode, Priyesh discusses the types of projects he has worked on recently, his community efforts and experiences as a new Microsoft MVP, and how Dynamics 365 project delivery has changed since he joined the Microsoft channel with CloudFronts in 2014.

 

Show Notes:

  • 2:00 - How Priyesh started his career and what tech he is focused on today
  • 4:30 - How standardized (or not) are Project Operations or Project Service Automation deployments?
  • 6:30 - How customization has changed in the era of Power Platform
  • 8:15 - Understanding the change from PSA to Project Operations
  • 9:30 - What kinds of organizations need project service capabilities?
  • 14:15 - Discovering new Project Operations capabilities like Project Buckets
  • 16:00 - How to understand Project Operations deployment options - Lite vs full (integrated with F&O)
  • 19:45 - Priyesh's experience as an MVP
  • 22:30 - What will Priyesh be exploring next?
  • 27:00 - Life in Mumbai during the pandemic

Links:

Mar 24, 2021

There's a new virtual event coming in April with an educational focus for Microsoft technology users but a slightly different origin story.

 

WWMSTUG (or Worldwide Microsoft Technology User Group) will take place on April 14 and 15. It came into existence because a group of Microsoft partners wanted to provide a virtual educational experience to their customers and decided to invest in the idea together. Two of the event organizers, Jeff Goldstein of Queue Associates and Bob McAdam of SalesPad tell us more about how the event came into existence, what they hope to achieve, and what they hope attendees will get out of it in terms of understanding the Microsoft technology updates related to Dynamics 365, Power Platform, Teams, and more. They also explain the registration model. Unlike a lot of events there is a modest fee to attend, though the participating partner organizations are picking up the tab for some attendees (details on their site).

 

Show Notes:

  • 1:15 - Why did the organizers see a need for this event?
  • 4:45 - Getting a new user event started
  • 8:00 - Assembling a lineup of sessions
  • 10:00 - What do customers expect from Microsoft and their partners in terms of technology selection?
  • 15:00 - What can attendees expect from the virtual experience?
  • 19:00 - On the decision to make this a paid event (and how free passes are being made available via sponsors)
  • 22:30 - Thoughts on Microsoft's new plan around user groups
Mar 8, 2021

Note: This episode is sponsored by Continia Software. To learn more, join one of their webinars.

Since we last spoke to Chris de Visser on the podcast he has taken on the role of North America CEO at Continia Software. Continia provides financial automation solutions with a focus on Dynamics 365 Business Central and NAV and, as a vendor based in Europe, has been working to expand its presence in the North American market. De Visser explains how he approaches his role  and some of the ways a firm must adapt to succeed in North America compared to other parts of the world.

We also discuss some of the other challenges that Dynamics 365 Business Central has presented to firms like Continia. Veteran NAV ISVs have invested many thousands of hours into transitioning away from  Microsoft's previous generation of ERP technology and we talk about why 2021 may be an inflection point in that journey as Business Central gains momentum.

Chris also shares some background on his own role and how his career has evolved as the Microsoft Dynamics channel has matured.

Feb 9, 2021

With the tools and services of the Power Platform evolving so rapidly, Microsoft and community leaders face a complex challenge in engaging with the experienced users and subject matter experts from around the world while also fostering an ecosystem that welcomes newcomers.

 

The Global Power Platform Bootcamp, taking place live (virtually) on February 19 and 20, offers one indication that users around the world still want to learn from each other when it comes to Power Apps, Power Automate, and Power BI. Last year's event consisted of 40+ local in-person meetings around the world. And though this year's event will be virtual, the organizers are expecting an even bigger set of meetings.

 

As people grow their own Power Platform skills, they can add value to the community by adopting a "show and tell" attitude, says Microsoft Power Platform senior evangelist Jon Levesque, who joined this episode along with Kent Weare of Microsoft's Power CAT team and two of the event's organizers, Kunal Tripathy and Vivek Patel. The group discussed the event's evolution, what attendees can expect to hear from Microsoft, and what it means to promote community as virtual communication persists.

 

Show Notes:

  • 5:30 - How this year's event will be different from 2020
  • 7:00 - Finding a balance between the local and global interests of Power Platform communities
  • 8:15 - Building more awareness of Microsoft's RPA and Power Virtual Agents work
  • 9:30 - How do local groups blend their direct interests and discovering the latest product updates?
  • 11:00 - What messages from Microsoft speakers will resonate at the event?
  • 15:15 - How is the mix of people joining Power Platform events changing?
  • 23:00 - Observations on the most innovative companies adopting Power Platform, including use of the Center of Excellence
  • 25:30 - What it takes to bring a global event together, and what attendees can expect
  • 30:10 - How to get involved in the Global Power Platform Bootcamp
Feb 3, 2021

This episode of the MSDW Podcast is sponsored by Stratos Cloud Alliance.

 

Microsoft continues to forecast significant growth in Dynamics 365 business, but to achieve it more partners will have to get involved. But building a practice focused on business solutions is quite different from cloud, productivity, or other specialties.

 

Our guests are Len DiCostanzo, Principal Consultant at MSP Toolkit, and Scott May, Director of Channel Development Stratos Cloud Alliance. We discuss Dynamics 365 as an opportunity for partner growth in the Microsoft channel. They lay out research on the market opportunity, the options partners have when it comes to building a D365 practice, and some of the factors that firms should look for in a prospective distribution partner.

Jan 31, 2021

Join us for a quick recap of top headlines from the first month of 2021 in the Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power Platform channel.

 

Show Notes:

Jan 25, 2021

As the pandemic drags on, the Microsoft business applications community is finding a new and evolving ways to connect. The DynamicsCon virtual event began in 2020 and will run for the second time in March. To learn more about how it began and what is going into the next event, we talked to the founder, Jon Stypula. MSDW is a media sponsor of the event and we wanted to discuss both the event has developed and where Jon hopes it will go in the future.

 

Show Notes:

  • 4:45 - Deciding to provide a professional level of production for DynamicsCon, including funding through sponsors.
  • 8:30 - Why to maintain transparency in the event's planning and organization, including with session selection.
  • 10:30 - Why the DynamicsCon is aiming to make the speaker lineup a mix of veterans and newcomers.
  • 17:30 - Microsoft's role in the community and event landscape these days, and why Jon believes they do not appear to be interested in overall community management.
  • 27:45 - Updates to the attendee experience
  • 30:30 - How virtual events have opened up accessibility to much of in-person events' value and how they will continue to change
  • 35:45 - How DynamicsCon has changed from the first event to the upcoming second event
  • 39:00 - How partners and customers work together differently with Power Platform and other tech compared to Dynamics
  • 42:00 - Microsoft's mixed reality solutions, from Dynamics 365 apps to HoloLens 2 more generally
  • 48:50 - More on what to expect from DynamicsCon
Jan 19, 2021

In this special edition of the MSDW Podcast we are featuring a recent conversation between Microsoft MVP Rick McCutcheon and Microsoft global strategic ISV alliance manager John O'Donnell on how partners are utilizing Microsoft AppSource. Rick originally published this conversation as part of his Partner Talks series.

Microsoft launched its AppSource ISV solution directory in 2016 as a replacement for a collection of old and fragmented systems. The initial coverage compared it to Salesforce AppExchange and Microsoft promised it would lead to higher ISV solution quality and that it would evolve quickly with.

Nearly five years later, AppSource has evolved and grown, though probably not as quickly as Microsoft has wanted. Still, most ISVs in the  Dynamics 365 and Power Platform space list their solutions there, and some partners even list services offerings. Some vendors report closing sales thanks to the platform, others don't.

In this conversation, O'Donnell emphasizes several strengths of the platform, from its global reach to its expanding set of offerings, beyond Dynamics 365 and Azure into other areas of Microsoft's business. They also discuss some ways vendors can optimize their listings to get the most out of the platform today.

Jan 18, 2021

The Microsoft's Dynamics 365 FastTrack team has been holding a TechTalk webcast series in recent months featuring the use of various tools and capabilities of the Power Platform in the context of strengthening a Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management (a.k.a., Finance and Operations) system.

 

Series organizer and FastTrack architect Rachel Profitt explains that, while there is lots of great material on Power Platform and likewise plenty of information available on D365 F&O, customers and partners can still find it hard to connect the dots that open up the full range of solution possibilities.

 

Profitt and principal technical specialist Murray Fife of Microsoft's Black Belt team recently co-presented  a new session in the event series on AI Builder, and they discuss with us some of the highlights of that session, the audience reaction, future plans for the webcast series, and the broader outlook for building momentum in blending Power Platform tools with ERP.

 

Show Notes

  • 2:30 - How Rachel and Murray's work with AI Builder is being received by customer and partner audiences.
  • 7:00 - Rachel's role as a FastTrack architect and Murray's role as a principal technical specialist on Microsoft's Global Black Belt  team
  • 10:30 - Why Rachel felt a need for a Power Platform TechTalk series for F&O customers to showcase customization alternatives
  • 12:30 - Reactions from the partner community after seeing the presentations.
  • 15:30 - Why developing with Power Platform requires a shift in the F&O customization mindset
  • 18: 00 - F&O customer roles most interested in Power Platform adoption
  • 21:30 - At what point in the development of a D365 solution do customers make the decision to deploy Power Platform?
  • 27:30 - What's in a partner's demo versus what's in scope for the delivery team
  • 29:30 - How accurate are AI Builder tools in doing their jobs?
  • 33:30 - What's next in the Tech Talk series, and what else has been covered already
  • 34:30 - What Rachel and Murray are excited about for 2021: events and features
Jan 11, 2021

On this episode we welcome back Peter Joeckel of TurnOnDynamics and Karen Riordan of Menlo Technologies for a discussion of the new year's Dynamics GP outlook for customers and partners.

Dynamics 365 Business Central is Microsoft's SMB ERP product of the future, so changes still to come are to some extent predictable already starting to play out: incentives for legacy ERP customers to plan for a transition to BC; greater urgency on partners to transact via Microsoft's CSP program, and a GP product roadmap that has shriveled to almost nothing.

But given these realities, what is to be done? The economics of ERP are changing along with the rest of IT and enterprise software. We discuss the impact of some of Microsoft's latest moves like new cloud assessments for on-prem customers (not necessarily through their partner of record) and the latest channel sales incentives. These changes, will impact customers not just in terms of whom they consult with, but what types of partners can really serve their needs in the future.

Show Notes:

  • 2:30 - Microsoft's interest in getting customers to assess a transition away from Dynamics GP
  • 4:30 - Why aren't GP customers more interest in transitioning to cloud ERP?
  • 7:00 - Pressure on partners to manage their GP customers
  • 10:00 - Finding an optimal way to engage with Microsoft customers: Can a partner talk to both IT and the CFO?
  • 12:00 - What should a customer really expect from their partner in terms of making sense of Microsoft's offerings?
  • 16:30 - How difficult is it for GP customers to do a full assessment of their next steps?
  • 20:15 - The economic challenges of ERP for Microsoft partners
  • 25:00 - What does the subscription-based ERP model mean for Microsoft's goals and partners' challenges?
  • 32:30 - How well has GP served its user base during the pandemic?
  • 36:30 - How many GP to BC transitions are really happening?
  • 39:00 - Who is doing GP to BC transition assessments for Microsoft and what are the outcomes?
  • 44:30 - How will Microsoft's  newest incentives shape the partner channel in 2021?
  • 47:30 - Do partners and Microsoft have a responsibility to encourage their clients to evolve enterprise IT?
  • 48:30 - 2021 predictions
Jan 5, 2021

This episode is sponsered by HCL-PowerObjects.

 

As the Microsoft Power Platform has enjoyed greater adoption, the challenges of managing security, governance, data migration, licensing and other needs have gained greater urgency for customers.

 

John Doris and Jamie Barker of HCL-PowerObjects join us to discuss their experiences working with a wide variety of organizations that have been investing in the Power Platform to modernize their systems and processes. We dive into the most common challenges as well as other considerations that both partners and customers are dealing with like the future of front office and back office applications, the impact of Microsoft Teams, and Jamie and John's experiences helping organizations build a Center of Excellence.

 

Other resources:

 

Show Notes:

  • 2:45 - Judging and measuring growth of Power Platform in the last year
  • 5:45 - How the pandemic impacted PowerObjects customers' priorities around collaboration and automation
  • 7:15 - Why a Modern Workplace are taking a stronger interest in use of Power Platform and Teams
  • 11:30 - Organizational challenge: finding a balance of front office and back office support
  • 13:00 - The varying approaches to governance and IT fundamentals with Power Platform
  • 16:00 - Challenges that customers should be considering next: onboarding, app evaluation, and more
  • 18:00 - Encouraging app makers to be innovative while also taking advantage of reusable components and following development best practices
  • 22:30 - Center of Excellence: What it takes to plan for creating one properly
  • 24:00 - How do organizations work with a Microsoft service provider for help with Power Platform development?
  • 27:45 - Measuring end users' happiness with the apps and flows they get from a citizen developer corp.
  • 33:00 - Discovery tools: Know when to retire, replace, augment, or keep them
  • 36:00 - Dealing with the end of life of SharePoint 2010 workflows and replacing them with Power Automate flows
  • 41:15 - What can organizations expect in licensing for Power Platform elements?
  • 44:45 - License consumption strategies
  • 48:00 - How to get in touch with Jamie or John
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