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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Microsoft Dynamics Cited as an Order Management Hub Solutions Leader

Well there is some great new independent research that is given Microsoft Dynamics AX a great spotlight. I am talking about the recent press release, that Microsoft recent released, which you can find here.: Microsoft Dynamics Cited as an Order Management Hub Solutions Leader by Independent Research Firm

The independent research firm is Forrester Research Inc., and from my standpoint carries a lot of weight, that can be seen with how much they put into these studies.

From the press release.:
"Microsoft Corp.(Nasdaq “MSFT”) today announced that Microsoft Dynamics AX earned recognition from Forrester Research Inc., a leading independent research firm, as a Leader in The Forrester Wave™: Order Management Hubs, Q3 2010 (August 2010). To participate, vendors had to meet specific requirements, including an ability to provide support for market-leading industries, to demonstrate a broad business process footprint and to target organizations with 500 or more employees. These vendors were then evaluated against 112 criteria based on current offering, strategy, and market presence. According to Forrester, Microsoft Dynamics AX was one of the vendors that earned a Leader designation because of “strong support for end-to-end management processes and forward-looking product strategies.”

Now look at the above, and re-read it.:
To participate, vendors had to meet specific requirements, including an ability to provide support for market-leading industries, to demonstrate a broad business process footprint and to target organizations with 500 or more employees.

So this was upper mid-sized targeted, all the way through larger enterprises. With this, Dynamics AX: "earned a Leader designation because of strong support for end-to-end management processes and forward-looking product strategies."

This is a great highlight, because this means that among mid-sized companies, to larger enterprises, Dynamics AX is a Leader with strong support for end-to-end maangement processes and forward looking product strategies.

There is a lot in those words, as we can see from the follow excerpt, from Microsoft's own Crispin Read, GM, Microsoft Dynamics ERP:
"We believe being named a Leader in the Forrester Wave is a reflection of the investment in our Microsoft Dynamics ERP industry road map, our support for two-tier ERP implementation scenarios and our Dynamic Business vision... By delivering on a market vision focused on simplifying the user experience, increasing productivity and delivering continuous innovation for customers, we are able to help them keep pace with the rapid rate of change in today’s complex business environment."

I think Mr. Read's words really puts the Vision and Focus Microsoft has For Dynamics AX. We see this focus on the user experience (UX) with the release of Dynamics AX 2009 and Role Centers. (see: Creating a BI Solution for your company with Microsoft Dynamics AX)

Now with more and more information coming out about Dynamics AX 6.0, we also can see that Microsoft continues to push the UX, and help deliver needed information, which equal more productive processes to a companies end users.

Looking back, to an interview I did with Doug Kennedy and Crispin Read, in May of 2009, Interview with Microsoft's Doug Kennedy, including comments from Crispin Read, we can see then that Microsoft's focus is around the UX. This study and report from Forrester just shows the work being done by Microsoft is having great payback for customers and their ROI for a Dynamics AX ERP solution.:

" You’ll see that the next version of Microsoft Dynamics AX will continue to build on RoleTailored user experience, expand Microsoft Dynamics AX functionalities across key industries, and deliver enhanced support for multinational customers.” - Crispin Read, General Manager, Microsoft Dynamics ERP"

All in all, I think this report helps solidfy the fact that Microsoft Dynamics AX is a Tier 1 ERP platform, that takes advantage of the Microsoft stack, research and inovation.

That's all for now, but check back soon as more to come!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Monday, August 23, 2010

MSDW: Dynamics AX Team Announces Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Compatibiltiy with AX 2009 SP1

Over at MSDynamicsWorld.com, a new article is out, that focuses around the recent news of Dynamics AX 2009 SP1, being able to make use of MOSS 2010 and some of its features.

The full article can be found here.: Dynamics AX Team Announces Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Compatibiltiy with AX 2009 SP1

I was actually interviewed for this article, and I think it captures well the impact this has on the Dynamics AX community and customer base. I love some of the things that fellow AX Pro, Joe Marcus had to say.:
"Knowing what SharePoint 2010 offers, I would say one of the benefits is the future-proofing of the stack... So you wouldn't have a homogeneous stack anymore. If you were a customer who had AX 2009 and your organization was moving toward 2010 SharePoint, you'd have to have multiple implementations of SharePoint," he said. "What this really does for an IT shop, is it puts them back into compatibility with the stack. So it's more of a future proofing for better [Microsoft] Office interoperability."

My Focus was around this, but more heavily on what MOSS 2010 brings, with BI focus.:
"AX has part of it built on top of SharePoint, specifically its Enterprise Portals and its role centers, which help shape the user experience for a certain role type like a CEO, shop floor control person, comptroller," he said. "When a user goes and connects either through the rich client or the web-based client, the role center delivers to the user the information they need like the most common tasks, reports, forms. SharePoint has new features specifically around BI and one of the hot ones is PowerPivot, a self-service targeted business intelligence. So Microsoft's vision is trying to give access to everybody in the company who needs access to BI versus just to a select few. That's what SharePoint 2010 brings and this update enables Dynamics AX SP 1 to have its Enterprise Portal and role centers deployed on it and be used versus using the older SharePoint 2007"

I would like to thank MSDW for including me on this interview, and I think it's important this recent move and news for supporting AX 2009 on MOSS 2010 and the Office 2010 system. This move shows Microsoft continued support of AX throughout the entire stack and vice versa, which is one of the many benefits of a company investing into Dynamics AX.

That's all for now, check back soon as more to come!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Interview with DynamicsAnywhere Executives

Back at the start of this year, I did an interview with DynamicsAnywhere' - Joop van Voorthuijsen. In that interview, we talked about what Exactly DynamicsAnywhere was, what is offered, it's plans etc.

The full interview can be viewed here.: An interview with DynamicsAnywhere - Joop van Voorthuijsen

Now I have had another (virtual) sit down with Joop, to talk about the progress that has been made by DynamicsAnywhere, where things stand, how things are going, and the future.

The following is the result of that interview.:

Joop's LinkedIn Profile

1. Joop, Dynamics Anywhere seems to be in full swing since it's launch and are last interview. Can you give some highlights about recent developments for DynamicsAnywhere? How do these apply to customers and partners?

"The first half of 2010 has been used to put us ‘’on the radar’’ of the Microsoft Dynamics AX and NAV partners. We started by having a booth at Convergence Europe in November last year, Convergence US in April, Decisions in June and of course WPC 2010 in July. It has been going much faster than we could have imagined. Together with other activities like Newsletters and Live-meeting webinars, we generated contacts with over 100 partners and already more than 100 customers.

Our team has doubled in growth since October last year and we now have a full R&D team focusing on developing our frameworks and pre-configured apps for AX and NAV. Through the opening of our subs in the US covering North America and in Denmark covering the Nordic region we now have teams dedicated to EMEA, Nordics and North America. Our next goal is to establish a sub covering Asia Pacific so that we can service all continents. Although we focused the first half year mainly on partner recruitment, we also closed a number of deals and now have over 500 users ordered for our AX Anywhere solutions.

At this moment, more than 20 partners have been trained in our AX solution; their feedback and evaluations have been great. As an example, read the following statement from one of our trained partners about our AX solution : ''Excellent performance, sophistication and simplicity. The framework provides easy-to-use functionality, while taking care of very complicated functions''

Also in the last months we have enhanced our solution to support more browsers. Since June we support also Safari and Firefox besides of course Internet Explorer. Many Dynamics customers are having devices with the Safari and Firefox browser. From now on we can also deploy on devices like iPhone and iPad!

Bjarne Schøn (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland), Mike Wijas (USA and Canada) and Eddy van de Lagemaat (All other countries) are mainly responsible for recruitment of new partners and partner account management. and Bjarne Schøn has been in charge of Dynamics Mobile at Microsoft"

2. What has been some of the biggest challanges that DynamicsAnywhere has faced in getting traction for taking off, and how did DynamicsAnywhere overcome those challanges?

"For ISV’s, one of the biggest challenges is building a channel. We have overcome this challenge by hiring experienced people like Eddy van de Lagemaat who used to be Partner Account Manager at Microsoft in the Netherlands for many years. Together with my background as co-founder and former CEO of To-Increase, we have a great network within the Dynamics community. This helped us a lot in building our channel."

3. It's been publicly released that Bjarne Schon, formely a Microsoft employee and responsible for Microsoft Dynamics Mobile joined DynamicsAnywhere. Can you tell us a little bit about what Bjarne has brought to DynamicsAnywhere so far, and what you expect is role and leadership will do for DynamicsAnywhere in the future?

"We are very happy having Bjarne in our team. He has a lot of expertise in the mobility area (R&D, Go-To-Market, Channel, etc), and a great network both within Microsoft and the Dynamics Channel. These things will help a lot in getting extra traction. It is also a great confirmation of our strategy that Bjarne decided to join Dynamics Anywhere."

4. From an implementation point of view, can you give us some insight into current or recently deployed DynamicsAnywhere solutions for Microsoft Dynamics AX? Can you tell us about the partner and customer experience in these referenced implementations?

"Over the past months, we have sold our solutions to more than 10 customers. From these customers, about 50% are already live with our software. An average implementation takes 5 to 10 days. The fact that our solutions are written in Microsoft Dynamics AX and NAV makes it a super easy for both partners and customers to implement the solution.

We have developed something we call an “ROI Calculator” – This tool partners enable partners to work with their customers to assess the benefits they will get from implementing our mobile solutions and so far our assessments show that customers typically get an ROI after 6-9 months which is extremely short in the IT-industry!"

5. In regard to Microsoft Dynamics AX 6.0, current due '2011', what to you feel will change in the base, that will alter DynamicsAnywhere solution? Will it allow DynamicsAnywhere to be more flexible and offer more functionality?

"The way we have developed our Framework makes it easy to migrate to new releases of Dynamics AX. As the Framework does not depend much on AX functionality, we will have our new Framework soon available after Microsoft Dynamics AX 6.0 is launched."

6. Tell us a little bit about DynamicsAnywhere plans as a company? Will you be expanding to an office in the U.S., or other parts of the world? Do you plan on targeting the APAC region?

"For an ISV, building a channel is one of the most important investments. Based on my experience as co-founder and CEO of To-Increase, we have developed a strategy where we go worldwide as quickly as possible. We already opened offices in the US (Chicago) covering North America and Denmark, because I believe in local presence to get the business going.

The Danish office covers the Nordic region and is led by Bjarne Schon, formerly responsible for Dynamics Mobile in Microsoft. At this moment we have a lot of interest from the APAC area also. We plan to open an office in APAC beginning 2011. In this way, we have coverage in the world’s biggest and most important areas. "

I also asked Joop and Bjarne to give closing statements, below are those statement.:
"’Looking at the most recent reports from Gartner, IDC and AMR we see Mobility becoming more and more important to companies and consumers. It is the fastest growing topic on the top-10 list of IT directors. We also see many partners using our mobile solutions as a differentiator to position themselves better for both existing but also new customers.

Many competitors don’t have an integrated solution. So, for our Microsoft Dynamics partners we offer a great opportunity to strengthen their offering to their existing and new customers!

Let me leave you with these 3 quick facts that can make your “head spin”:

a) By 2013 more than 1/3 (1.2 Billion) of the global workforce will be so-called “mobile workers” – i.e. spending a significant amount of time away from their desk!

b) Today on average only 15% of the employees in a company use the ERP system. The remaining 85% are often found in Manufacturing, Warehousing, Sales, Service and Distribution!

c) In December 2010 there will be more than 5.1 Billion mobile devices in use on a global scale – more than ANY other technology or solution EVER in history!

Now imagine the benefits and opportunities companies will get when their mobile workforce starts to connect their mobile devices to the ERP-system and begins reporting in real-time from the shop floor, the dock-door, at customers and on the road!

The technology is mature, our solutions are here and the need is there!"

"’Looking back at almost 9 fantastic years at Microsoft’s R&D center in Copenhagen where I had the privilege of starting up Dynamics Mobile and 4 other business areas (2 funded directly by Steve Ballmer) I realize that somewhere on the way I got stung by the “Mobile Bee”.

I find everything that has to do with mobility and mobile solutions super interesting and inspiring – the tremendous impact mobility will have on people, processes and companies has only just started and it is only the imagination that will set the limits to what it can be used for.

When I met Joop for the first time 8 years ago I was deeply inspired by his entrepreneurship and business acumen. Now 8 years later being asked to work with him and the great team at Dynamics Anywhere to build a company in the area that I am so passionate about was a fantastic opportunity. Topping it off with the fact that I would remain connected to Microsoft, working with the AX & NAV product lines and the Dynamics channel was a dream come true. The opportunities with mobile solutions are growing every day – I think the “3 quick facts that can make your head spin” above are a good testament of exactly that."

I would like to thank DynamicsAnywhere, Joop and Bjarne for taking the time to virtuall sit down and complete this interview.

I think what DynamicsAnywhere brings, is exactly what Microsoft wanted the partner community to bring, when they canceled the Mobile Dynamics Solutions.

DynamicsAnywhere enables web based publihsed interactions, that can be consumed on most any mobile device, and wokr directly with AX data and business logic. I am very excited about the work they are doing, and look forward to hearing more and more from them in the future.

That's all for now, but check back soon as more to come!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Microsoft SharePoint 2010 now compatible with Dynamics AX

I just saw this today when checking around, but the Dynamics AX Sustained Engineering team on Thurs of last week did a blog post about how Microsoft SharePoint 2010 is now compatible with Dynamics AX 2009 SP1.

The direct link to that can be found here.:
Dynamics AX Sustained Engineering Team is pleased to announce the compatibility of Microsoft SharePoint 2010 with Dynamics AX 2009 Service Pack 1

From the post.:
"Please notice the following system requirements for SharePoint 2010:
- .NET 3.5 and only in 64 bits mode
- Windows Server 2008 SP2 and R2 Standard and Enterprise Edition
- SQL Server 2005 SP3 with latest cumulative Update or SQL Server 2008

For Upgrade from MOSS 2007 or WSS 3.0 please notice the *Service Pack 2* is required.
Also, the side by side installation of SharePoint 2010 against any previous version is *not* supported."

I personally have a few clients I am working with that are very interested in this. I have been waiting to hear when this was going to happen. Its good to see it take place.

This is great news, because now all the great features like PowerPivot, etc. can be taking advantage of, in a more native setting.

That's all for now, check back soon!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Friday, August 13, 2010

I believe in PowerShell!

Microsoft PowerShell is a very powerful tool. With it, all sort of administrative task can be taking care of. It can connect and work with all Microsoft porducts, and is very open for creating your own connections and integrating with third party applications.

It is a true scripting language that offers those invested into Dynamics AX a valuable TCO lowering option. First off you can download PowerShell for free, and there are so many great resources on the web now that can point you in the right direction for it's use.

But what about Dynamics AX? How can a scripting language help a Dynamics AX investment? Well with Dynamics AX, there is typically integrations, WCF services, need to promote code, to check the "health" of the application, database with SQL Server, etc. etc.

So there are processes with the administration of Dynamics AX, and all the things that connect and extend Dynamics AX, that can have the administrative task associated with them, automated.

Before we get into some of the ideas, let first review some resources, that are must have bookmarks, when diving into Microsoft's PowerShell.

I have placed these in order of which I think you should review them. The first is MSDN home for PowerShell, and it's the getting started guide. This is a must to have, as it can get you going with PowerShell, syntax, and starting about about uses.

Next we have 'The PowerShell Guy', which is a blog all about PowerShell. Great articles, and good place to check from time to time. Finally we have two examples of PowerShell working with AX. The first shows off some cool stuff with working with records within AX, making use of the .Net BC.

The last entry, is from the Axaptapedia site, and it talks about PowerShell, and have some decent examples of starting uses for PowerShell. Take the last part, for example.:

# load the .dll (similar to the c# "Using" statement)
[reflection.Assembly]::Loadfile("C:\Program Files\Microsoft Dynamics AX\50\Client\Bin\Microsoft.Dynamics.BusinessConnectorNet.dll")
# or [Reflection.Assembly]::LoadWithPartialName("Microsoft.Dynamics.BusinessConnectorNet")
# or [Reflection.Assembly]::Load("Microsoft.Dynamics.BusinessConnectorNet, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35")
$ax = new-object Microsoft.Dynamics.BusinessConnectorNet.Axapta

# Look at the properties
# More info at: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa626373.aspx
# $ax | get-member

$o = $ax.CallStaticClassMethod("SysLabel","labelId2String2","@SYS21669" )
$o # Should be "ABC"

# Look at some session info
$xSession = $ax.CreateAxaptaObject("XSession")
$xApplication = $ax.CreateAxaptaObject("XApplication")
$ax.CallStaticClassMethod("Session", "isBusinessConnector")
$ax.CallStaticClassMethod("Session", "getAOSInstance")
$ax.CallStaticClassMethod("Session", "getAOSPort")

I think the above example is most handy, as it can quickly get you into connecting with AX, through the application layer, via the .Net BC.

Now that you have the above, you would also need a download for PowerShell. A great KB article has this, plus more, which can be found here: Windows Management Framework (Windows PowerShell 2.0, WinRM 2.0, and BITS 4.0)

It's the full Windows Management Framework, including the latest PowerShell 2.0.

With all of this, and examples, think about now what manual processes you do? Have any WCF services? Not using Windows AppFabric yet? Well then you can use Powershell to automate deployment, cycling, etc of the WCF services that AX might consume. What about automating your promotion process?

You can create a Table / Form that manages what objects, projects, etc. gets promoted, when, and the from and to instances. Then Powershell can read from this information, and actually execute this for you.

Creating something of this fashion not only allows you to then document what is being promoted, but also is the control panel for such promotions.

There is a lot that PowerShell can offer to help lower the TCO of an AX investment, and you could even use PowerShell to create testing scripts to have some forms of automated testing or even stress testing.

That's all for now, check back soon, and feel free to leave a comment on how you use PowerShell to help manage your Dynamics AX investment!

Visit Hillstar Business Intelligence (www.HillstarBI.com) in order to truly unlock your data trapped in your Microsoft Dynamics investment. With our value driven business intelligence strategy Hillstar help you transform into a data informed company.

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Friday, August 06, 2010

Interview with Microsoft's Doug Kennedy

Well Convergence has come and gone, and WPC 2010 is now behind us, along with Microsoft's FY2010. With that, it's time for another interview with Microsoft's own Doug Kennedy, Vice President, Microsoft Dynamics Partners.

For reference, last years interview can be found here.: Interview with Microsoft's Doug Kennedy, including comments from Crispin Read

Recently I virtually sat down with Doug, and posed a few questions about the Dynamics Partner Ecosystem, work Microsoft is doing to help Partners, and his advice for Partners for FY2011. The following is the result of that interview.:

1.) Doug, last year's interview opened up with us focusing around Microsoft's drive to vertically and geographically align partners and solutions. In that topic, you mentioned that Microsoft had created a new role to help identify the 'white space', called 'Industry Market Development Manager (IMDM)'. How successful has this move been? What other developments have taken place over the past year in this area and what new focuses will be done for Fiscal Year 2011?

"The creation of the IMDM role within the Microsoft Dynamics field teams has been very successful. The IMDMs have provided a crucial connection between our corporate team in Redmond and our partners and field teams throughout the world. Based on that success, we are continuing to realign our resources to help our partners focus and win in Industry.

Going into FY11, we are creating a separate Industry team to drive the Industry message deeper into our product development and field engagement. The Industry Teams are led by another new role, Global Industry Directors. These Industry Directors work with R&D, Product Mgmt, Sector Industry Leads (EPG, SMSP), Partners, Sales, Marketing, IMDMs and Field to align and drive our WW Go-To-Market strategy and execution for Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM. The Industry team works closely with our R&D team to make sure our development is focused on the industries and verticals where our partners can compete and win.

The Global Industry Directors also link Redmond with the IMDMs to provide clear information and direction to our partners and the field.

Also in FY11, we are helping our partners focus their business by Industry and Vertical with three industry specific programs:

1. The Vertical Solution Prioritization (VSP) process. This field process identifies, verifies and catalogs our proven and repeatable industry solutions. These solutions include Microsoft Dynamics IP at their core along with ISV IP, proven Partners, and integration to other Microsoft products such as SharePoint, SQL, PinPoint, etc. These VSPs must have a minimum number of customer references and be on track to become Certified for Microsoft Dynamics (CfMD).

2. Our AMR Industry Certification Program provides our implementing Partners with independent, third-party certification of their industry-specific expertise. AMR (a division of Gartner) conducts the certification process. The process is largely based on customer satisfaction and willingness to recommend surveys. This certification provides our customers with the assurance that the Partner they are working with has a strong track record in that customer’s specific industry.

3. The Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) Industry Badge will be made available later this year. To attain this Badge the Partner must first attain the AMR Industry Certification (demonstrating their proven industry capabilities with customers). Additionally, the Partner must attain several Microsoft competencies. In combination we are certifying the Partner based on proven technical capability AND Industry expertise."

2.) Another topic from last year’s interview was around the Microsoft Dynamics Ecosystem and issues that Partners faced. The economy is improving and sales of Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions have risen. With this said and with the economy improved, though still weak, what are some top issues you see partners facing for fiscal year 2011 and what is Microsoft doing to try to help these areas?

"The economy is definitely improving and both customers and prospects are ready to invest again which translates into increasing pipeline and improved partner growth and profitability.

Having said that, the underlying issues we are trying to address still exist and our efforts to improve partner productivity and develop bigger, stronger and more specialized partners are as relevant as ever.

The good news is that we see more and more partners take our “Go Vertical” and “Play to Win” messages to heart. The changes we are driving through the Microsoft Partner Network such as higher certification requirements and the introduction of an “Industry Badge” are aimed at better differentiating and recognizing partners who support our strategy, and partners are taking it very seriously and working hard to meet the new higher bar.

We understand that this is not an easy transition for many partners and that we have to support them in getting to the next level. Over the last seven months we have introduced a number of programs aimed at driving strategic change and execution excellence in the channel. Even though we have only recently introduced these programs, we have already received great feedback.

Some examples of the positive feedback from partners are tied to the following deliverables:

• The Marketing Services Bureaus, 3rd party marketing agencies that understand Microsoft’s go-to-market strategy and can help partners design and execute more effective campaigns that drive higher ROI

• The Microsoft Dynamics Partner Academy which provides a rich role-based multi-year training and certification curriculum across 7 key business, sales and technical roles within the partner’s organization .

• The Partner Business System - an integrated business solution spanning CRM, ERP and BI specifically designed for Microsoft Dynamics partners – which helps partners improve insight into and oversight over their business, increasingly important as their operations grow.

• The Partner Business Consulting program which provides partners with tools, KPIs and performance benchmark data as well as access to a network of 3rd party business management consultants with channel experience and expertise who – through deep 1-to-1 engagements – can help partners identify and address growth and profitability issues."

3.) With Microsoft Azure in full production and solutions being developed, the 'Cloud' is for sure here and rolling. It's easy to see how an ISV can make money with the cloud, building solutions that are built for Microsoft Azure or embed Azure into their solutions. What about VAR's though?

I realize service dollars can be made by VAR's with creating solutions that interact and extend a customer’s Microsoft Dynamics investment, but what about revenue from sales of Azure accounts? Does Microsoft plan to address this with VAR's? Also what advice would you give Microsoft Dynamics Partners in regard for taking advantage of the Cloud for themselves and their customers at the ISV, and VAR level?

"The cloud provides a variety of business opportunities for the Microsoft Dynamics Partners. We are highlighting these opportunities and providing programs to assist partners with embracing the cloud. Some of our guidance and programs included the following:

• We are reminding the Microsoft Dynamics Partners that they can offer Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM to customers as on-premise or hosted solutions. Having these options offer customers more flexibility in how they consume software and can reduce the partner’s cost of a sale and shorten sales cycles.

• We are telling the Microsoft Dynamics VARs to leverage Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and provision new accounts for their customers in seconds, all backed by a 99.9% uptime guarantee. Partners can leverage Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online to quickly set-up proof of concepts and rapidly prototype new capabilities to increase opportunity success. The flexibility of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online ensures that it can be leveraged within any organization in any number of groups and in different ways to manage any type of relationship, not just customers.

• The business focus for VARs should be centered on the services revenue opportunities available to them that span proof of concepts through to implementing production systems."

4.) Doug, for Fiscal Year 2011, what are some key areas you would like Microsoft Dynamics Partners to focus on to help? Also what are some possible new projects, tools, etc. that maybe have not gotten enough attention that Microsoft Dynamics Partners can really make use of to help their business grow and better align with Microsoft's vision for FY2011?

"Embracing the cloud.

o Partners should plan to be ready for the rollout of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online/2011 is very important for Microsoft Dynamics CRM partners in FY11. We have provided tools on partnersource that helps partners self-assess their cloud readiness which will help them take full advantage of the rollout of CRM 2011 Online.

o Microsoft Dynamics ERP partners should work with the Microsoft Dynamics field teams to understand the options for moving to their customers to the cloud. There are many third party hosters that partner with the Dynamics ERP channel to address the growing demand for cloud deployment. Additionally, as we continue into FY11 we will help partners understand how they can utilize Azure to support partner managed cloud based ERP deployments.

MPN qualifications are published and partner must meet these qualifications early next calendar year. Extensive training across technical and non-technical skills are available through the CPLS’ and the Partner Development Centers throughout the world. Partners should not wait until the last minute to meet the qualifications required to attain the new MPN levels.

All managed partners should have a multi-year plan in place with Microsoft. Microsoft’s PAM’s should be working with their partners to develop multi-year business plans that cover all aspects of the partnership, including education, marketing and sales. Partners should contact their PAM if they have not already spent time developing multi-year partner business plans.

Partners should understand the go to market scenarios for Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Dynamics ERP which Dynamics will be using in FY11 and beyond. These go to market scenarios were presented and discussed at the Worldwide Partner Conference and are now posted on available on partnersource. Every managed partner’s PAM should be able to explain the Microsoft Dynamics ERP and Microsoft Dynamics CRM go to market scenarios to their partners."

I also asked Doug to give me a closing statement, below is that statement.:

"We are in the middle of a four year journey to modify the Microsoft Dynamics Partnering model to drive higher revenue, profit and marketshare for our partners and Microsoft.

I believe we have remained on plan and are slightly ahead of where I believed we would be in the Summer of 2010. Being on plan is a reflection of the fact that these changes were not only necessary to achieve a higher level of partnering success but the changes were expected and requested by many of the Microsoft Dynamics partners.

There is still a ways to go but we believe the strong partnerships we have with the Microsoft Dynamics partner ecosystem will lead to continued rapid adoption of the partnering changes and move us to a much higher level of mutual success.

As always, I want to thank the partners for their ongoing commitment and dedication to Microsoft and to the Microsoft Dynamics’ business and wish them all a very successful FY11."

I would like to thank Doug once again for doing this annual interview we have been doing now for three years. I hope that you have found the information helpful and useful.

Also a special thanks to Katie, whom without having a third year of Doug's insight on this blog would not be possible!

Till next time!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Tuesday, August 03, 2010

AXUG Summit 2010 - coming in October

The AXUG Summit 2010 has been set, and things are really ramping up to make this a very great event. All kinds of sessions are already planned, and last years feedback is for sure being used to help make this one of the must attend AX related events of the year.

A direct link to AXUG Summit 2010, can be found here.: AXUG Summit 2010

In preps for the upcoming Summit 2010, I plan on doing a series of post until the summit, that will build up to the summit kick off. From there, I will be attending the Summit myself this year, and will be doing coverage while I am there.

From this, I wanted to get things started, and hope to peak everyone's interest in this most value event. With that, I virtually sat down with Andy Hafer, which leads the Dynamics Community teams responsible for AXUG. Andy had this to say about the upcoming event.:

"This year’s AXUG Summit is shaping up to be the best one yet! In the six years that I’ve been involved in the User Group, I have never seen such energy and excitement around this conference. From my observations, it appears that most companies are starting to see the economic slump in their rearview mirror and are now seriously re-tooling for the distinctively new way of doing business post-recession. I’ve had countless conversations with individuals who are having to become proficient on jobs that others used to do in their company and they are leveraging AXUG to help them gain that education.

The Summit has gained a reputation for being the most cost-effective and efficient means of Dynamics AX training out there. Since AXUG brought a bit of the Summit-experience to Convergence through hosting most of the Interactive Discussions in Atlanta in April, it appears that an entirely new audience was introduced to the value of the User Community. We’ve already had to go back to the Orlando Renaissance Hotel for more space once and now the team is discussing how to handle a “sold-out” situation.

It seems that the “perfect storm” scenario is upon us and the AXUG User Community is going to be the ones to benefit. With three days of knowledge sharing and break-out sessions plus two more days of formal training and education, attendees will have over 200 sessions to take advantage of. There is no doubt that a massive increase in AX competency will transform the community in Orlando the week of October 18th."

I agree with Andy there does seem to be a perfect storm brewing, and the summit is the accumlating storms coming to rain knowledge on all those who attend.

Ok, so to much analogy --- I know. Point is, there is a lot going on at AXUG Summit, and if you have AX, if your investing into it at any level, as a customer AXUG Summit is the place you should attend.

Just to give you an idea of some of the topics of interest.:

  • Sneak Peak at AX 6.0

  • Role Center Setup and Administration

  • SSRS Reporting

  • Setting up Workflow

  • Mastering Master Planning

  • Introduction to Management Reporter

  • Executive BI Roundtable

These are just some highlights. Well I hope I have your attention, and your ready to sign up for AXUG. Look here, as I continue to highlight the upcoming Summit, along with some interviews and key point of views around AXUG, the summit, and what value it brings to customers!

Till next time!

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