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The MSDynamicsWorld.com (MSDW) podcast explores news, ideas, and events in the Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM community.
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Now displaying: Category: general
Sep 28, 2022

The first Microsoft Power Platform Conference (MCCP) 2022 has now concluded, and we catch up with Microsoft MVP Asif Rehmani to discuss what we learned at the event. We review some of the things we learned about Power Platform's position within the larger Microsoft Cloud, how SharePoint will co-exist with it, the various user roles related to Power Platform adoption, and our perception of the Microsoft product team's outlook. We also look ahead to how Power Platform events supported by Microsoft could change in the next year.

 

Asif has also written a LinkedIn post sharing his event experiences.

 

Related MSDW articles:

Sep 8, 2022

This episode is sponsored by Mavim.

An organization can invest in extensive business process modeling, but without an effective way for workers to access that information, the effort may not lead to any noticeable improvements.

Our guest on this episode, Shrikanth Balla, product lead for Mavim Portal, focuses his efforts on the challenge of helping an organization's people access process models and consume the guidance to incorporate it into their work. Shrikanth explains more about where the concepts of business process modelling and digital twins align, as well as one of the key touchpoints for process consumption, the enterprise systems like Dynamics ERP and CRM, and Power Platform solutions.

Show Notes:

  • 2:00 - What does it mean for a portal to serve as a consumption platform?
  • 5:00 - What are digital twins about in the context of business process?
  • 7:00 - The consumption perspective of a digital twin and its evolution over time
  • 9:45 - The challenge of harmonizing processes
  • 14:00 - Where a portal fits in with an enterprise system like Dynamics or Power Platform
  • 20:30 - Portals in the context of cloud migration efforts by Microsoft customers
  • 23:00 - Why Power Platform is so exciting to Mavim

More from Mavim:

May 26, 2022

The technology needs of today's deskless worker reflect the pressures they face in their day-to-day work experiences. On this episode we are looking at the mobile capabilities that deskless workers are taking advantage of today and how various tech advances suit different roles.

 

Our guest, Trevor Metcalf of Resco, shares his perspective on the wide range of organizations investing in new solutions for field workers and how they prioritize those requirements to deliver solutions that are optimized for different scenarios, from humanitarian work to retail to travel and leisure.

 

And Trevor shares some interesting perspective on the future of mobile solutions. More organizations are coming around to the idea that entire workforces can embrace mobile solutions, he says, allowing them to design a future that in some cases is completely free of desktop interfaces.

 

Show Notes:

  • 1:15 - What is the macro view for deskless worker experiences today?
  • 3:00 - Employers' pressure to deliver positive workforce engagement
  • 4:30 - How do you define the deskless workforce today?
  • 7:30 - Where are the next mobile tech opportunities for workers?
  • 10:30 - Why deskless workers need tailored solutions that aren't generic
  • 12:30 - Resco client stories that reflect typical needs for various types of organizations
  • 16:30 - How to design for the workers' needs
  • 18:00 - Why starting small on new mobile capabilities is a smart approach in many cases
  • 19:00 - Why today's mobile solutions can stand on their own, without a desktop interface for the back office
  • 23:45 - Planning for Resco.connect 2022

 

A message from Resco:

 

Join Resco on June 9th, 2022 in Charleston, SC at Resco.connect 2022 to share ideas & spark debates around deskless workers.

 

Explore the agenda and secure your tickets while they last!

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/rescoconnect-tickets-320874302677

 

We’re Resco, one of the global leaders in developing cross-platform mobile software solutions. We enable companies to collect, access, share and evaluate vital business data in the field.

 

Today, Resco products mobilize over 200,000 licensed users at 2000+ corporate customers worldwide and are supported by a network of 600+ partners.

 

If you want to learn more about Resco, visit: https://www.resco.net

Mar 7, 2022
Dec 16, 2021

When a new application changes the way a business operates, it is changing the way individual workers carry out their jobs. Our guest, Derek Lichtenwalner, a digital transformation specialist at water bottling company BlueTriton Brands, understands the impact of  changes better than your average solution developer because he made the transition to his current role after working several in roles on the company's production line.

Now a Microsoft Power Apps expert at the company, he is responsible for developing and enhancing applications that the production workers use to inspect and maintaining equipment.

Derek tells us about how Power Apps changed the trajectory of his career from production to digital transformation, and how he now interfaces with both the company's employees and management.

Show Notes:

  • 2:00 - How Power Platform was introduced at his company
  • 4:15 - Why Derek tends to look at the user's perspective first when designing apps
  • 5:00 - How a hackathon kickstarted Derek's Power Apps work
  • 8:15 - Details about the autonomous maintenance app that Derek works with.
  • 10:30 - The technology that make the app work, like Azure AD connector
  • 11:30 - Observations on app speed
  • 14:00 - Maintaining relationships with app users and getting feedback.
  • 15:30 - Getting involved in the Power Apps community
  • 16:30 - On changing career plans as a result of Power Apps work
  • 18:30 - What Derek is looking forward to in Power Platform
  • 19:30 - Why the business still needs to add automation
  • 20:30 - Lessons or advice to newcomers to Power Apps (helping others with questions, speed up dev of their applications)
Dec 7, 2021

This episode is sponsored by Avanade.

In a landscape of global competition and supply chain complexity, manufacturers are turning to some of the most interesting and newest technology offerings to help fuel their success. And our guests,

Jennifer Johnson, Avanade’s North America Manufacturing Industry lead, and Thomas Nall, Avanade’s Global Manufacturing Industry lead, share their perspective on the investments their manufacturing clients are making or planning as modern manufacturers. From big data and data transformation to disruptive technology and sustainable manufacturing, they share stories from the field and how Avanade is helping manufacturers move the needle when it comes to data, technology and innovation. 

Show Notes:

  • 2:15 - How to approach questions around getting data right for manufacturers and their supply chains
  • 6:30 - The importance of standardizing data
  • 8:00 - What do manufacturers face when they take ownership of new business systems?
  • 11:30 - Facing organizational change across many roles, from IT to the shop floor
  • 15:00 - Does more data open opportunities for new roles and responsibilities?
  • 17:00 - Trends in modernizing IoT
  • 18:30 - What do organizations need to understand about digital twins
  • 21:00 - What other new technology holds promise?  (augmented reality, predictive analytics, and more)
  • 28:00 - Do pressures of the pandemic prove instructive for future tech planning?
  • 29:30 - Are executives eager to talk about the future of their businesses, competition, and consumer habits?
  • 33:30 - Growing interest by customers in taking a technology-first approach
  • 36:30 - Reasons for optimism about technology investment in manufacturing

Connect with Jen and Tom on LinkedIn and visit Avanade.com for more information on Avanade - the leading digital innovator, creating great experiences and realizing results for their clients through the power of people and the Microsoft ecosystem.

Nov 22, 2021

This episode is sponsored by Vertex.

Changes in sales, use, and value added taxes around the world reflect other key shifts in economies, both local and international. As B2B and B2C commerce accelerated into digital channels starting in 2020, businesses were forced to not only reconcile their finances differently, but contend with any manual processes that would hold up their ability to levy and pay taxes. At the same time, companies have expanded geographically or digitally, making their tax burdens more complex. 

On this episode, Steve Johnston and Arun Raghavan of Vertex join us to discuss the state of tax automation and how it aligns with the ongoing shift to cloud ERP. As they explain, sales tax is not just about selling, it should be considered part of the broader customer engagement processes that touch sales, service, expense management, and more. And as regulations themselves evolve and modernize, the governments raise their expectations of businesses to comply, including the growing likelihood of the need in some places for real-time remittance and compliance.

Show Notes:

  • 2:30 - How Vertex customers have altered their approach to digital channels during the pandemic
  • 5:30 - The impact of digital channels on sales tax collection on both businesses and governments
  • 7:00 - The shift to cloud as companies see on-premises infrastructure as a greater potential risk
  • 10:30 - Roles that have been impacted by shift to digital, from CFO and compliance to procurement, sales, and more
  • 13:30 - How departments and roles are adapting: Geographic, role-based changes in today's economy
  • 16:30 - International M&A and stretching financial resources
  • 19:30 - From managing tax manually to embracing automated updates
  • 23:30 - Evolution of tax automation alongside other trends in ERP
  • 28:45 - Why companies are modernizing tax automation and Dynamics ERP at the same time
  • 31:30 - How to understand Microsoft's tax calculation engine in the context of broader tax automation
  • 33:45 - Recommendations on proper integration of tax automation software with Dynamics ERPs
  • 36:00 - How far will taxes reach into customer interaction in the future?

For more information on how Vertex delivers sales, use, and value added tax technology for a wide range of Microsoft Dynamics platforms, visit  https://www.vertexinc.com/partners/microsoft-dynamics-365 or contact them by email: microsoftdynamics@vertexinc.com

Nov 8, 2021

This episode is sponsored by KwikTag by enChoice.

 

Many organizations understand the benefits of automated invoice approval but often they haven't taken the next step to automate payments processing. Our guests on this episode, Mary Miller and Tiffany Allen of KwikTag by enChoice, share their outlook on payment processing and how its role alongside AP automation has changed in the last couple years. Paper checks have always been a costly and inefficient payment method, especially at scale, but the pandemic made checks even more challenging to manage. We discuss key elements of automating payment processing like virtual cards and cash flow management. But Tiffany and Mary also explain some of the broader spend management opportunities that their customers are enjoying, like control of spend over time and optimizing contracts.

 

Show Notes:

  • 2:00 - How to position payment processing in the context of AP
  • 4:00 - How well do organizations assess their own payment processing needs
  • 5:30 - What are virtual cards and what purpose do they serve?
  • 9:30 - Why KwikTag offers payment processing in addition to AP automation
  • 11:00 - Choosing a payments provider and analyzing customer needs
  • 16:00 - What GP customers can expect from living with a payment processing automation
  • 18:00 - Vendor onboarding needs and challenges

 

KwikTag, by enChoice, leads organizational digital transformation as the one system for invoice and payment automation. KwikTag helps organizations increase efficiency and gain visibility into their invoice workflows with complete AP automation and powerful integrations with the Microsoft Dynamics ERP systems. Visit kwiktag.com to learn how automation could benefit your business.

Learn more about KwikPayables Accelerate, the cloud-based AP and payment automation solution for Dynamics GP, watch this episode of Coffee with KwikTag: Complete the AP Cycle with Payment Processing. To read more about why AP and payment automation is so important post-pandemic, read the whitepaper: Why Automate AP and Payment Processes?

Sep 2, 2021

This episode is sponsored by BI4Dynamics.

Microsoft offers its Dynamics ERP customers a variety of ways to get started with analyzing their business data, but the BI and analytics landscape continues to evolve as data growth accelerates and industry demands change. Our guest on this episode,  Dr. Vijay Jog, the founder of CRGroup and president of Global Business Applications for CRGroup’s parent company, Quisitive, joins us to discuss the BI and reporting themes influencing Dynamics space today.

Expectations are changing for many roles, Vijay believes. Accounting teams must provide better insight that leads to a proactive outlook. IT departments must gaining new skills  in areas like data lakes, analytics, storage, and security. And teams continue to struggle with the perennial problem of data islands, Vijay says.

BI and analytics options vary by Dynamics product, and Vijay shares his views on  some of the most interesting new and upcoming capabilities, including the transition from BYOD to BYOL for Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations and advances with Power BI.

Show Notes:

  • 2:15 - What is unique about today's data challenges?
  • 4:30 - What do Dynamics customers get out of the box for BI and reporting?
  • 7:00 - BYOL and the other important competencies of BI
  • 10:00 - Building a great BI team around business systems like a Dynamics ERP
  • 14:00 - Metrics that customers are analyzing more carefully due to the pandemic
  • 16:00 - What makes an organization a top performer on BI and analytics practices
  • 18:00 - Microsoft technology to watch in the analytics and data management space
  • 21:30 - Optimism on the BYOL model for Dynamics 365 F&O

You can start a free 30 day trial of BI4Dynamics, just visit bi4dyamics.com/trial to learn more.

Aug 4, 2021

This episode is sponsored by Stratos Cloud Alliance, Velosio’s Microsoft partner program. Visit www.dynamics365partner.com to learn more about their partner offerings.

 

What does Microsoft want from partners in their fiscal 2022? If July's Inspire 2021 was any indication, partners will have to re-commit to priorities ranging from continued opportunities in remote work and data management to co-selling industry-focused solutions.

 

Stratos Cloud's Scott May and Jeff DeMaria join us to sort through the announcements from July and to offer some guidance on how partners can prepare for the opportunities of the new year.

 

Show Notes:

  • 2:00 - What are partners experiencing as Microsoft's FY 2021 ends and they watch for new messaging at Inspire in July
  • 3:30 - Takeaways from Satya Nadella's Inspire keynote
  • 7:00 - Microsoft's cloud platform strength
  • 10:00 - How to get aligned with Microsoft and finding the gaps
  • 13:00 - Real world opportunities: security, next phases of remote work, employee experience,
  • 18:30 - Dynamics 365 themes like skilling, verticals, and growth
  • 24:00 - Partner interests: industry, SKU updates to Business Central, and D365 green field opportunities
  • 28:00 - What the new "world of work" really means for partners
  • 32:00 - Important Microsoft programs in FY22
  • 36:00 - What's next at Stratos Cloud Alliance

 

About: Stratos Cloud Alliance is the Microsoft CSP Indirect Provider that provides all the sales support, enablement, and services a partner needs to build a profitable cloud solutions business with Microsoft Dynamics 365. With over 33 years’ experience implementing Dynamics business management solutions, Stratos Cloud offers partners a comprehensive portfolio of Microsoft Cloud Business and Productivity Solutions, ISV Products and Tools, Customer Services, and flexible Partner Programs supporting transformation at the pace and investment level that is right for you.

Jul 23, 2021

Note: This episode is sponsored by Sana Commerce.

 

What does it take to earn and retain the business of B2B buyers today? For manufacturers contemplating ways to improve the experiences of their customers, technology investment is likely a major component of any plan. After all, B2B buyers are hard to replace and, since they are also consumers when they're not at work, their expectations have changed over the years to include things like choosing their preferred ways to buy products and get support.

 

Our guest, supply chain technology marketing strategist Adam Robinson, joins us to provide context on how manufacturers investments in customer experience technology like modern e-commerce is becoming one of the most critical ways to position a company for success in the future. Robinson foresees a wave of change coming to the manufacturing sector that will impact supply chains through new waves of acquisition, continuing risks disruption, and new options for buyers who will more actively seek new options if a vendor fails to meet their needs.

 

Show Notes

  • 2:00 - How customer demand is driving manufacturers to invest in new capabilities
  • 6:00 - How concern over margins and other metrics are driving tech stack investments
  • 9:30 - Are current events creating smarter businesses?
  • 11:00 - Expectations in B2B commerce customer experiences
  • 14:00 - How to get out of day-to-day perspective and re-focus on broader view
  • 16:45 - The relationship between 3PLs and e-commerce technology
  • 20:00 - What roles in a manufacturing organization matter to understanding customers
  • 21:30 - Opportunities in direct-to-consumer scenarios when customer data connects across the organizations
  • 25:15 - Predictions on supply chain and logistics future

References:

Jun 15, 2021

This episode is sponsored by Stratos Cloud Alliance, Velosio’s Microsoft partner program. Visit www.dynamics365partner.com to learn more about their partner offerings.

 

Jeff Edwards recently joined Stratos Cloud Alliance, Velosio’s Microsoft partner program. He and Scott May tell us about some of Microsoft's latest partner incentives and the hottest opportunities in the channel today. We also discuss vertical strategies, Microsoft's performance as their fiscal year nears an end, and what to watch for in FY22 in terms of licensing, program updates, and leadership changes.

 

Show Notes:

  • 2:00 - Jeff's history in the Microsoft ecosystem and his leadership at Stratos Cloud
  • 3:45 - Scott's role and responsibilities
  • 5:30 - Important updates from Microsoft: Incentives, investments, and planning
  • 11:00 - What Microsoft's channel incentives on cloud customer onboarding say about business priorities
  • 15:30 - CSP growth rates at Stratos Cloud and in the channel overall and what that says about the market
  • 18:00 - Three different partner profiles that are engaging with Dynamics 365 and the rest of the Microsoft cloud
  • 21:30 - Microsoft's new fiscal year and how partners will reset, from executive leadership to licensing and commerce tools
  • 26:30 - The work partners can do to become industry-focused while aligning with Microsoft's plans

About: Stratos Cloud Alliance is the Microsoft CSP Indirect Provider that provides all the sales support, enablement, and services a partner needs to build a profitable cloud solutions business with Microsoft Dynamics 365. With over 33 years’ experience implementing Dynamics business management solutions, Stratos Cloud offers partners a comprehensive portfolio of Microsoft Cloud Business and Productivity Solutions, ISV Products and Tools, Customer Services, and flexible Partner Programs supporting transformation at the pace and investment level that is right for you.

Jun 10, 2021

A recent episode of the podcast looked at changing trends in the Dynamics 365 Business Central community, including some of the risks customers face when deploying the software in a fixed fee model.

 

For another perspective on the topic of fixed fee and the broader outlook on Business Central deployments, we spoke with Robert Jolliffe, founder of Microsoft partner Sabre Limited, to discuss his firm's evolution in delivering ERP projects. Jolliffe explains that while fixed fee ERP projects can be fraught with danger for both the consulting firm and the customer, they can also work well when designed to play to a partners' expertise and matched to the right type of customers.

 

In the Microsoft channel, partners with strong industry expertise can make the best case for fixed fee, Jolliffe believes, by relying on their knowledge and experience to shape projects that avoid typical pitfalls. Fixed fee does not have to mean low cost, and it doesn't necessarily mean a rapid deployment. But  new engagement models can help Microsoft partners differentiate themselves, and Jolliffe talks about how this approach informs not only deployment of an ERP solution like Dynamics 365 Business Central, but also the support, training, and other activities.

 

Jolliffe also discusses how his firm arrived at its current model, including the importance of learning from other VARs in the Microsoft channel and leaning on his pre-Microsoft ERP experiences. We also talk about the technology that is shaping his firm's work, the challenges of re-branding, and still feeling like a relative newcomer in the BC and NAV channel after nearly a decade.

 

Show Notes:

  • 2:00 - Rob's career history in engineering and ERP, including entering the Microsoft channel
  • 6:00 - What it was like entering the Microsoft channel with NAV in 2012, including the growing pains and path toward repeatability
  • 11:30 - The debate over if and how fixed fee BC deployments can work
  • 16:00 - The dangers of a basic fixed fee approach to ERP when an organization has specific industry needs
  • 20:45 - The balance of sales velocity and delivery quality
  • 25:00 - How Sabre's model has evolved, including what Rob has learned from other partners
  • 28:30 - More on transitioning a business model form hourly to fixed fee
  • 33:30 - Other important cloud tech for manufacturers
  • 41:30 - Rob shares a branding anecdote
May 19, 2021

Businesses set different thresholds for successful ERP projects, and the reasons can be complicated. With budgets that range from thousands to millions of dollars and often little room for delay or rework, it should be no surprise that some organizations end up going live with critical financial and operational business systems that an outside observer might consider sub-par.

Microsoft has taken an interesting strategy with Dynamics 365 Business Central, the company's SMB ERP cloud offering, urging partners to pursue highly repeatable, fixed price deployments wherever possible. That model serves some interests, like accelerating the growth of the customer base, but it has also created tension with ERP professionals who say their years of experience and dedication to customer success have taught them to pursue other approaches to achieve the best outcomes.

Alex Chow, founder of AP Commerce, is one of those ERP veterans who has charted his own path in the Microsoft channel. He says he started his own firm in 2005 to allow him to work with clients in the way he preferred. And while the firm is not the biggest or fastest growing, he says the company's philosophy has held the team on a steady path even as the product and channel trends have shifted around them.

Alex recently wrote about his experiences meeting Business Central customers post-go-live that were living with problematic deployments and the concerns these cases have raised. We discuss some of those observations and more about his broader experiences with Business Central and NAV.

Show Notes

  • 2:00 - Alex's early experiences in the ERP consulting profession and how that led to him starting his own firm
  • 6:00 - Finding other consulting models beyond billable hours, and how to make it a reality for NAV professionals
  • 13:00 - Does traditional billable consulting still make sense for Business Central today as a SaaS offering? And how Microsoft is managing partners today.
  • 17:00  - What makes an organization unique - or just like everyone else
  • 19:30 - What can go wrong on a BC deployment, and what led Alex to write about it.
  • 23:30 - The nature of fixed-price BC implementations and why it can lead to less-than-ideal outcomes
  • 25:30 - What's unique about these companies' issues compared to ERP failures of the past
  • 27:00 - How to improve sub-par implementations and why BC customers might be wary after go-live
  • 31:30 - What differentiates a worker doing repeatable deployments vs specialized service
  • 39:45 - Where to find professional help for BC
  • 41:30 - Response to Alex's article
  • 43:00 - If and how selling and servicing BC has changed AP Commerce
  • 45:30 - Can customers install solutions from AppSource themselves?
May 12, 2021

Editor's Note: This episode is sponsored by Enavate.

 

Across Microsoft's broad base of legacy ERP customers running Dynamics GP, NAV, and SL, there is a range of reasons why any organization might consider a cloud migration project. But until they assess the current state and future options, business leaders will be challenged to justify a decision on how to move forward with ERP modernization.

 

Our guests on this episode, Jennifer Ranz and Chad Sogge of Enavate, discuss the guidance and tools they have developed for organizations considering a move to Dynamics 365 Business Central in the cloud. Jennifer and Chad are veterans of Microsoft's ERP product teams and they have carried that experience in the SMB market with them to Enavate where their team has been developing new assessment tools and guidance around migrations based on Dynamics products and Enavate's own experience with many organizations that have already deployed Business Central.

 

We discuss various types of ERP journeys today, some of the ways Microsoft partners are collaborating on ERP projects today to benefit their clients, and how to handle challenges like industry-specific needs and historical data. We also look ahead to the future of migrations and how Business Central will  evolve to support more customers moving to the cloud.

 

To learn more about cloud migration, technology and options visit the Enavate blog.

 

Show Notes:

  • 3:00 - Advice Chad and Jennifer are offering legacy ERP customers today
  • 6:00 - How adoption of other modern business technology like Office 365 is spurring thinking on modernizing ERP
  • 7:30 - Benefits of Business Central after a transition
  • 11:00 - How to assess and select the right transition path, and about Enavate's assessment tool
  • 14:30 - How to explain the scope of a BC project to a customer
  • 16 :30 - Know your ERP project priorities
  • 21:45 - Why legacy ERP customers are going with SaaS transitions
  • 23:00 - ISV discovery and mapping from legacy to BC
  • 26:45 - What partners need to know about migration factories
  • 28:15 - Migration tooling available now
  • 32:00 - The importance of historical data and what to do with it after the transition to BC
  • 35:00 - How to make BC a better solution than the legacy system
  • 38:30 - The growth of assessments for ERP customers as the solutions evolve
May 5, 2021

Editor's Note: This episode is sponsored by Sana Commerce.

 

Many manufacturers still struggle to understand and meet B2B buyers’ expectations for online customer experience. In reality, business buyers are just consumers at their jobs. They know that Amazon-level experiences and capabilities are possible, and now their expectations of B2B experiences are rising.

On this episode we talk with Sana Commerce’s Customer Success Team Lead, Roberto Najera, as he shares his viewson the past, present, and future of e-commerce in the context of manufacturer's needs and Dynamics 365 integration. We also discuss findings from Sana Commerce's new State of Manufacturing and E-Commerce Benchmark Report and how some of the findings around levels of investment and addressing current challenges are reflected in Roberto's experience working one-on-one with manufacturers.

 

Show Notes:

  • 2:00 - A historic perspective of e-commerce in manufacturing and the changing trends today
  • 4:30 - Investments in B2B e-commerce in the wake of the pandemic, both technology and skills
  • 8:15 - Managing the growth of digital channels
  • 12:30 - Deciding if and how to enhance more customer interactions from traditional to online
  • 13:30 - Maturity levels that businesses go through in e-commerce adoption
  • 18:15 - E-commerce planning in the context of ERP data analysis
  • 19:30 - Surprising findings from of e-commerce initiatives
  • 21:45 - New challenges that B2B firms are facing today that e-commerce solutions are helping them overcome
Apr 30, 2021

Editor's Note: This episode of the podcast is sponsored by the PartnerLinQ Unified Digital Connectivity Solution.

The last year has taught us how volatile supply chains can be. Weaknesses came to the forefront, and businesses and consumers alike discovered the big downstream impact a seemingly small manufacturing or transportation issue can have.

In this episode of the MSDW Podcast, Visionet executive VP Jawad Khan and senior EDI strategy consultant Thomas Smith join the podcast to look back at what has happened to supply chains in the last year and how individual businesses running Dynamics 365 have adapted. Visionet recently launched PartnerLinQ globally.

We discuss how organizations are maturing their supply chain capabilities and expectations, and what today's solutions need to offer to meet those demands.

Show Notes:

  • 2:30 - What has changed in supply chain connectivity in the last year, and how work to modernize has progressed in that time.
  •  6:30 - What are businesses looking for in terms of supply chain visibility?
  • 9:00 - The impact of getting more roles and departments involved in supply chain activities in various industries
  • 11:00 - The needs of Dynamics 365 users who are working to manage trading partner relationships
  • 15:00 - The role of transporters in the larger networks
  • 21:00 - How supply chain pressures are shifting their planning to the needs of customers today and in the future
  • 23:00 - PartnerLinQ's global launch from Visionet
  • 27:00 - Capabilities that are here today that all organizations should support
Apr 22, 2021
  • Editor's Note: This episode is sponsored by Cincom.

Two decades ago, many product companies started their digital journeys with a brochure-style web site. Back then, a static online product list may have met customer expectations, but today's buyers expect something more. On this episode we talk with Greg Hall, director of product management at Cincom about buyer experiences, the state of the CPQ market, and his observations on how buyer and seller priorities have changed over time.

Hall foresees more complex products and services, even products sold primarily as services, using CPQ technology to engage customers earlier in the buying process and more holistically throughout it. 

Want to see how CPQ can help you? Visit cincom.com/cpqsync to learn more.

 

Show Notes

  • 1:30 - Introduction to Greg and a bit about Cincom's 50+ year history
  • 3:30 - Evolution from "brochure" web sites to digital selling
  • 9:30 - Buying journeys: Why simple and complex can exist side by side, and how it continues to change
  • 13:00 - Representing a complex product across a sales process
  • 15:15 - Other ways to enhance sales processes
  • 17:00 - The creative ways companies use CPQ tools, including in services-based businesses
  • 20:30 - Digital maturity levels and what is next for CPQ users
  • 23:00 - Which organizations are ready to operate in a data-driven culture
  • 24:30 - Prioritizing investments in digital commerce
  • 27:30 - Why CPQ adoption is still in the early stages across the broader marketplace
  • 28:30 - What else Greg is watching in the broader enterprise software market
Apr 9, 2021

Accountants have plenty to look forward to in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central's 2021 release wave 1. Our guest, Cari Corozza of New View Strategies, has been investigating the finance-related features of this cycle and she has already shared several in a recent article and webcast. Now she joins the podcast to chat about her findings, how she expect's New View's clients to adopt the latest updates, and how others in the community have responded.

 

Show Notes:

  • 1:40 - About Cari's work
  • 3:00 - What's exciting about 2021 release wave 1
  • 4:00 - Dimensions updates and how users can take advantage of it
  • 10:10 - Changing or correcting dimensions on GL entries and the impact on posted entry.
  • 12:10 - Bank integration
  • 17:00 - Using the Ideas site to promote feature requests, including one of Cari's favorites
  • 21:00 - Preparing to roll out these features for users

Links

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
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
Dec 14, 2020

Note: This episode is sponsored by Avanade. Learn more about Power Platform at Avanade here.

Venkat Rao, Power Platform go to market lead for North America at Avanade, joins us for a conversation following up on his recent five part article series on the Power Platform and its role in supporting the evolution of business applications. (Check out parts onetwothree, four, and five.)

Enterprise-grade systems like Dynamics 365 applications are here to stay. But, Venkat believes, thanks to low-code tools, organizations can now expect to give more responsibility back to their workers as they plan the future of their enterprise investments. Much of Venkat's writing has dealt with newcomers to the Power Platform, and he explains that embracing the tools here requires the acceptance of concepts and practices like running a Center of Excellence. He also reflects on recent customer successes in areas like  managing the return to work, mixed reality, and initiatives to empower citizen developers.

Show Notes:

  • 1:30 - Making sense of Power Platform and how to approach it for the first time
  • 5:00 - Thinking about low-code and no-code solutions as a technology segment
  • 7:30 - The importance of considering complex software requirements when evaluating low-code solutions
  • 9:30 - Venkat's evolving professional focus, from Dynamics CRM to Power Platform
  • 14:30 - What it looks like to scale up Power Platform initiatives across an organization
  • 18:00 - The frequent challenge of bringing a Power Apps deployment back under control after rapid spread
  • 21:00 - The Power Platform Center of Excellence (CoE) starter kit - Venkat's views on its usefulness
  • 24:30 - How organizations build upon the CoE starter kit
  • 27:00 - How Power Platform and HoloLens 2 work together
  • 33:30 - Is RPA mundane or amazing?
  • 36:00 - Looking ahead: New technology Avanade clients are excited about
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