With Extreme365 Europe just weeks away, we catch up with Microsoft MVP Mark Smith, a.k.a nz365guy, for a preview of his plans for the event and a few predictions of top areas of discussion around the business of Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform.
On this episode we catch up with a Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations upgrade project in process. We talk to project managers from both the partner and customer side to learn how each of them has navigated a challenging project with a very rigid deadline that is just two months away. From daily standup calls to project tools to executive sponsors, our guests, Arun (the customer project manager) and Ebrahim (the partner project manager) talk about their progress so far, technical hurdles of ERP on Azure, and how they have dealt with change management.
When Dynamics AX customers first examined Microsoft's cloud-first vision for Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, many of the questions revolved around how users could remain on-premises into the foreseeable future. As the years have passed and Microsoft has pressed its case for SaaS ERP, the hardline on-prem segment has diminished, partly due to a clear view of what on-prem D365FO really looks like and partly due to a ceaseless campaign by Microsoft (and other ERP vendors) to promote cloud as the default option for new projects. Microsoft's progress on addressing key regulatory, security, and technical concerns of the public cloud seems to be helping, too.
Stickiest of all the on-prem debates, however, has been the hybrid question: how can an organization run both public cloud ERP and support sites that can't afford to stop operating if they lose connection to the outside world. Microsoft promised an architectural answer to this challenge, but their progress remains uncertain. In the meantime, D365FO partners continue to work with clients to develop real-world solutions.
On this episode of the series, we talk with Ken Edwards, a practice lead at Centric Consulting, on how he advises clients on the challenge of hybrid. Ken has worked on multiple generations of ERP and CRM from both the customer and partner side and explains that, in his view, the progress Microsoft is making with D365FO will not only change the conversation about hybrid, but about ERP investment more generally.
CRM has been an accepted enterprise software market segment for decades at this point, but debate still rages about where to seek the next great opportunities for growth and innovation. Analyst Denis Pombriant of Beagle Research, sees consolidation around broad centralized platforms as one of the next big trends of CRM-related technology and economic impact. He recently wrote about his outlook for the CRM market in next decade for MSDW and we wanted to continue the discussion around topics like consolidation, platforms, industry-specific solutions, and the technology that could have the biggest direct impact.
In addition to advisory services in the enterprise software space, Denis has written three books, including, "Solve for the Customer," and "You Can't Buy Customer Loyalty, But You Can Earn It." Most recently Pombriant published, "The Age of Sustainability," about the economic and technical solutions to global warming.
Our Microsoft Dynamics AX to 365 upgrade journeys podcast series continues (catch up on parts one and two) with a very different perspective: the observations of a Dynamics AX 2012 customer still in the planning stages of their next upgrade.
Kenny Mullican is CIO of Paragon Films, a plastics manufacturer based in Oklahoma and a Dynamics AX 2012 R2 customer. Paragon Films is the perhaps a perfect AX 2012 manufacturing customer. They use most AX modules, work across multiple sites, and, thanks to Kenny's team, have managed a stable, standards-based, lightly customized (relatively speaking) ERP solution for several years.
Now Kenny and his team are in the process of evaluating where to take their ERP solution in the future. An upgrade to Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations would seem to be the logical path, but there are questions. Chief among them:
Kenny walks through his team's approach to AX 2012, what he has learned so far about his D365FO upgrade options, and the questions that still remain. We are also joined once again by ERP and AX veteran Peter Joeckel of TurnOnDynamics to share his perspective on both manufacturing and AX upgrades.
You might imagine that the choice between a new cloud or on-premises ERP solution would be carefully reasoned, with sober analysis and PowerPoint presentations leading to a final decision, the reality can feel more like a hostage standoff when real users start weighing their options.
In episode 2 of our series exploring Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (D365FO) upgrade and migration projects, ERP and AX veteran Peter Joeckel of TurnOnDynamicsjoins us to share his experience helping companies evaluate their options. As Peter explains, a D365FO upgrade evaluation is full of surprises, from the nature of the internal debate to the technical considerations.
On this episode we catch up with Nicholas Hayduk, founder of Engineered Code to learn more about what's coming next with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Portal based on the still-new April 2019 release notes. There are some exciting updates, like the removal dependencies on first party Dynamics app objects, and intriguing hints at the future like a new way to display of external data.
Nick is a Portal and Adxstudio veteran and he recently wrote about the April 2019 release wave on his blog.
What are Dynamics AX to Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (D365FO) upgrades really like? As fascinating as you might expect, and then some.
In episode 1 of a new series exploring current upgrade and migration projects, ERP and AX veteran Peter Joeckel of Turn On Dynamics joins us to make the case for why these projects are turning out to be so different from the many ERP upgrades and migrations he has seen in the last twenty years.
We also use this brief episode to lay out plans for subsequent podcasts in the series on topics like project management, organizational planning, and the technical readiness elements that have become critical to D365FO success.
On this episode we talk with John Silvani, President & CEO of Gravity Software. John wrote an article for MSDW in 2018 describing his experience running a SaaS ERP business built originally on Dynamics CRM Online and now on the Common Data Service and the Power platform. We talk about the evolution of Gravity's partnership with Microsoft, his thoughts on the evolution of CDS and the Power platform, and advice for other businesses looking to use Microsoft's business solutions ecosystem as their platform of choice.
Murray Fife is a Dynamics 365 Global Black Belt at Microsoft who also spent years in the Dynamics partner channel. He writes on his own "A Tinkerer's Notebook" blog, he publishes an ongoing series of books about D365 and AX configuration and usage, and he can frequently be found in person and online educating the community on some of the latest and greatest tech inside and around Dynamics. Murray out in front on how the possibilities for blending standard Dynamics 365 capabilities with other cool. And as you'll hear in this conversation, these days Murray is looking farther and deeper than ever before at the ways customers can approach their technology needs.
The news roundup is back! With a busy few weeks behind us, the MSDW editorial team looks back at some of most important news and announcements in the Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP and CRM ecosystem. There were leadership changes, product architecture announcements, partner channel revelations, and plans for a new article series.
The MVP collaboration known as PowerISV is all about the business opportunities of Microsoft's Power platform - PowerApps, Power BI, Flow, and the Common Data Service. On this episode we talk with two members of the group, Mark Smith, aka nz365guy, and returning guest Steve Mordue, to discuss why the group got together, what value they provide, and who needs to understand the opportunity for developing solutions on Microsoft's still-emerging cloud application infrastructure.
Marko Peresic has now stepped down from his role at Microsoft in the Business Applications group, and the former general manager sat down with MSDW for an exit interview of sorts. On this MSDW Podcast episode he discusses his twelve years at Microsoft and reflects on both his own growth and the evolution of the company's business applications group.
Leaving the company was not a decision he took lightly, he says. The company's talented employees, as well as the intensity of its partner and customer bases it a unique place to work. He weighed different potential job offers, both inside and outside the company before landing on a new role at a yet-to-be-identified HR software firm. And he advised that the search for his replacement, which is ongoing, is expected to result in a new leader with same general manager roles and responsibilities. Other topics of our conversation included some of the feedback he heard from within Microsoft when he announced his plans, how he has adapted to handling conflict with stakeholders in the community, shifting from a technology focus to a customer success focus, and why Microsoft needs to better develop its executive talent pool internationally rather than centered in Redmond.
Andrew King of WebSan Solutions joins us once again to talk building and selling Microsoft business solutions to SMBs. Andrew and his team have been working with clients on a range of the latest Microsoft technology, from the Business Applications suite to Power BI, Office 365, SharePoint, Teams, and Azure products.
On this episode we cover a range of topics including what types of solutions are resonating with new and existing clients, the technology on which his team is building expertise, the types of conversations he is having with NAV and GP customers these days, and WebSan's upcoming webcast for MSDW on November 20 about moving GP solutions to the cloud.
Mike Dickerson,the CEO of marketing technology vendor ClickDimensions, joins us to discuss his company and its evolution in the Microsoft channel over the last two years. Now owned by private equity firm Accel KKR, the company has adjusted its focus today to three main challenges for customers and partners in the future – simplifying the technology, reducing costs, and solving the skills and resources gap. He discusses some fascinating findings about Microsoft partners, how the company has adapted to Microsoft's other marketing technology moves, and some principles of leadership.
On this episode, Dynamics NAV veteran and COO of Dynamics Southwest AJ Ansari joined us live at Summit 2018 to discuss the future of NAV and Dynamics 365 Business Central. Recorded on the fly in the halls of the Phoenix Convention Center, we discuss customer perceptions of Microsoft's SMB ERP roadmap, how partners are adapting, including AJ's own firm, and our predictions of some of the most exciting new opportunities for innovative use of Microsoft business technology by both customers and partners.
On this episode of the MSDW Podcast we look ahead to Directions North America 2018, which kicks off on September 30. Brent Fisher, the leader of Dynamics 365 Business Central and NAV at DXC Eclipse, joins us to preview the event. He is on the Directions NA board and leads the content team for the event, working with partners and Microsoft subject matter experts.
Brent helps us put the 2018 event in context after a 2017 event that proved to be a critical part of the Dynamics 365 SMB story, from product roadmap to branding to partner readiness.
Our guest on this episode, Elif Item, founder of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations training firm , Item by Item, has worked with AX and D365FO for more than a decade and recently took her years of consulting and project-based work and translated them into a new video-based training platform designed to offer smaller, digestible units of educational content for companies deploying D365FO.
We talk about Elif's history in the Dynamics channel, her new company, and D365FO customers' training needs.
We welcome back Gus Gonzalez, founder and CEO of Elev8 Solutions and a Microsoft MVP, to chat about his recent article discussing Microsoft's decision to open up access to the Dynamics Learning Portal, or DLP, making it free for partners and customers with premier support. The article generated some responses from readers, so we dive into the DLP discussion in more detail, taking on those issues as well as more of a comparison of what DLP offers versus other types of training and why more open access to DLP should serve as a competitive advantage for Microsoft in the marketplace.
On this episode we talk with Josh Greenbaum (@josheac) of Enterprise Application Consulting. Josh has covered Microsoft and other major players in the enterprise business solutions space for many years now and was at Microsoft's recent Business Applications Summit as part of an analyst briefing that coincided with the event.
Josh chats with us about the state of Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations in the context of the competitive landscape, and he shares his latest new perspective on where some of the technology cycles are at more broadly in areas including citizen developer trends, integration, and automation.
On this episode our guest is Julie Yack, a Microsoft MVP and Dynamics 365 CRM expert. When she's not helping to lead Colorado Technology Consultants, you're like to find Julie active in another role in the Microsoft ecosystem like organizing the XRM Virtual community, training customers, or participating at a conference.
On this episode, we talk conferences, training, including the new online training venture Julie is involved with, and keeping up with the Dynamics 365 product roadmap.
With the publication of its hefty new release notes document for fall 2018 release wave, Microsoft has made it clear that business applications partners and customers will stay busy through October figuring out what and how to prioritize their learning and deployment decisions across Dynamics 365 solutions, PowerApps, Flow, and Power BI.
On this episode of the podcast we check in with Steve Mordue, a Microsoft MVP and founder of RapidStartCRM to talk about where the Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem finds itself coming out of a busy two weeks in July that included the Inspire 2018 partner event and the new Business Applications Summit.
We discuss the events themselves and what some of the highlights will mean for customers. We also discuss key decisions that will start impacting Dynamics 365 partners in the near term like Microsoft's commitment to twice yearly updates, the maturing PowerApps development model based on XRM, and progress on the Unified interface that is quickly broadening its reach on the D365 customer engagement apps.
The MSDW editorial team brings you another news roundup edition of the podcast, this one following two big events – Inspire 2018 and the Microsoft Business Applications Summit. We look back at the headlines from Las Vegas and Seattle, respectively, and more. Topics include:
Welcome to the MSDW Podcast, I'm Jason Gumpert, editor at MSDynamicsWorld.com. On this episode I talk with Eric Kimberling of Third Stage Consulting. As an independent advisor, Eric keeps his eye on multiple ERP solutions and vendors, so he sees the ERP selection and deployment process from a unique angle. We discuss the competitiveness of Dynamics 365 solutions compared to other vendors' cloud solutions, trends in project planning, and how buyers are dealing with their legacy IT investments in today's marketplace.
On this episode we welcome back Jeff Bacon and Elliot Fishman of Catapult ERP. Elliot recently published a two part piece on MSDW that explains how his firm will adapt its business model to serve clients in a SaaS era that no longer aligns with older time and materials or fixed price models for services delivery. Cloud adoption, a preference for subscription pricing, and a trend away from customization in favor of packaged add-on solutions all lead Fishman and Bacon to the conclusion that services firms that want to survive in this era must rethink their engagement model from the ground up.