Guest post by Dan Youngers, Director of Business Development and Technical Sales, Data Resolution
Kati Hvidtfeldt has moved on to lead application program management for Microsoft Dynamics NAV. With the discontinuation of Kati Unplugged, we will continue to give partners perspectives on the benefits and challenges of offering cloud-based solutions to their customers.
A former Partner Technical Advisor for Microsoft Dynamics, Dan Youngers from Data Resolution provides an insider’s view on how to make the most of your Convergence experience.
We’re less than a month away from kicking off Convergence 2013 in New Orleans. Partners typically use this opportunity to network with customers and prospects, meet with Microsoft people, and learn about new technologies. But if you’re not mining opportunities to develop relationships with other partners, you’re not making the most out of your investment.
Let me start off by saying that Microsoft has made significant investments in the latest releases of the Microsoft Dynamics products. With the new technologies that have been introduced and the ever demanding changes in the market place, customers are expecting their partners to customize their solutions in new ways. By collaborating with other partners you can differentiate your company’s offerings by entering niche markets, developing innovative Microsoft Dynamics horizontal and vertical solutions, and offering the benefits of the cloud to your customers.
Here’s my advice for making the most from Convergence 2013.
1. It’s important to assemble the right team to help your business move forward. Do as much networking with other partners as possible to understand their areas expertise, and to communicate your company’s own strengths and direction. Make sure to check the Networking section of the Convergence 2013 FAQ page to facilitate making those connections.
2. Attend the Microsoft Dynamics SMB Partner Awards & Networking Event. This social will help you get the information you need to feel comfortable having cloud discussions with your existing customers. Take advantage of the opportunity to have deep discussions with the top Microsoft Dynamics Cloud Services partners who can help you deploy the latest versions of Microsoft Dynamics. If you are not comfortable talking about the cloud with your customers, make sure to bring them over to the cloud services partners’ booths in the Expo Hall.
3. Remember: If you’re not talking to your customers about the cloud, someone else is. I’ve seen more and more partners refer their customers to platform hosters to host products like Microsoft Office. Then the Microsoft Dynamics partner learns later that the platform hosting partner is now hosting Microsoft Dynamics for his or her customer. If this happens to you, you typically won’t get a monthly commission from the platform hosting partner as you would with a Microsoft Dynamics hosting partner. You’ll end up helping the platform hosting partner get Microsoft Dynamics up and running, and then it will be left up to you to resolve any application problems beyond Windows Server.
4. Last, make sure your customers and consultants are aware that there are Hands on Labs they can participate in online. With all of the changes Microsoft has made to the Microsoft Dynamics products, partners are making more application configurations and customizations. By using the Hands on Labs you can help ensure you’re following Microsoft’s recommended best practices, which can help improve performance.
With all the new product releases this year, Convergence 2013 is guaranteed to be an exciting event. See you in New Orleans!
Join the Microsoft Dynamics US Partner Team for a recognition and networking event with Microsoft Dynamics Cloud Services Partners, Microsoft Dynamics leaders and Marketing Service Bureau vendors. Tuesday, March 19, 6:00-8:00, at The Foundry, New Orleans. Open bar and food provided. Space is limited. Register today!
To learn more about how to incorporate cloud-based solutions into your business plans visit the Microsoft Dynamics ERP Cloud page on PartnerSource. Go to www.microsoft.com/dynamics/growyourbusiness for resources that demonstrate to customers how Microsoft Dynamics ERP cloud, hybrid and on-premise solutions can benefit their businesses.