The following is a blog post written by Terry Petrzelka, founder and past CEO of Tectura Corporation.
As everyone knows by now, Microsoft is replacing Convergence, after nineteen years, with Envision. Convergence was hands down the premier event for the Dynamics community, serving partners and customers of all sizes. Now with the advent of Envision, the event will be for C-level leaders of Microsoft’s enterprise customers where business-level content will most likely focus on the New Dynamics AX and Dynamics CRM with little to no emphasis on any Dynamics SMB Platforms. Microsoft describes the opportunity for Envision attendees as such on their website:
“Learn how organizations are becoming more efficient and productive in an increasingly digital, mobile and connected world. See how enterprises can get the most out of their data through a secure, intelligent Cloud platform. And learn how factors such as privacy and security—and worker skills—can impact how you take advantage of the opportunities that today’s business transformation journey presents.”
So, what about all the content usually presented at Convergence? Where will you be able to find that information? Microsoft has indicated that technical content related to Dynamics, that may have been part of Convergence in years past, might now be found at Microsoft Ignite in September, though no details are available yet. Additionally, there are reports that Microsoft Dynamics experts will be more involved in the User Group Conventions in the fall.
This change is a very visible and a very powerful example of Microsoft’s continuing evolution to become increasingly relevant in a “cloud-first, mobile-first” world. It mirrors the changes we’ve seen in how Microsoft manages the Dynamics Channel. At Convergence, Microsoft directly managed an event focused on helping partners and customers (of all sizes) make the most of Dynamics software. It appears that Envision, Microsoft is maintaining its customer and partner relationships at the enterprise level, while directly educating that community about getting more business value of their investment in the Microsoft cloud platform with minor emphasis on SMB clients and Dynamics Partners who focus on the SMB market segment.
In the Dynamics SMB ERP channel, we’ve seen the same shift occur: from direct support and management to the field (with a focus on the software itself), to limited support from Microsoft and increasing emphasis on the cloud as a platform for solution delivery. With all this shifting and changing, what does this mean for Dynamics VARs?
- Don’t Count on Direct Support from Microsoft for SL, GP, or NAV. Microsoft previously “outsourced” training and certification to the user groups and is now doing the same with general education. Sales, marketing, and support resources are all self-service on PartnerSource and while there are some partner enablement programs available, they are almost always tied to cloud initiatives.
- It’s Time to Get Cloud-Ready. Microsoft is focusing all its investments and efforts towards cloud and any and all product development, pricing programs, and marketing will be supporting cloud solutions. Partners that cannot or will not evolve will be left behind.
So what can you do?
As an advisor to Microsoft Dynamics VARs, I work with SBS Group, a Microsoft-authorized Master VAR. Members of the Partner Network can offer the full complement of Microsoft Dynamics, Platform, and most importantly, Cloud solutions, along with 100’s of ISV products, with no investment in training or certification – enabling them to drive more revenue from their existing clients and compete more effectively for new customers. All partners receive strategic planning, marketing, and operational support and services, as well as the benefit of working with Microsoft, with the leverage that comes with being part of an Inner Circle Member and one of the world’s largest Dynamics VAR’s. Bottom line, joining the SBS Partner Network allows to you to transform your business into a more effective, competitive, and profitable organization with no investment – while you get to maintain full ownership and autonomy.
To promote this opportunity, I am offering a complimentary half-hour consulting session to hear about your challenges and share some of the insights I’ve learned from talking to, and working with, scores of partners. Click here to learn more and contact us to set up a time to talk. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. I hope to hear from you soon.