Businesses are coming to the realization that they have to put data to work to stay ahead of the game. Whether that means improving product performance, expanding services with preventive maintenance or predicting what products consumers are likely to purchase, the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine learning (ML) turn data into action. Microsoft and others are making a convincing case that partners of all sizes and competencies are in the right place and the right time to build on the market potential.
There are a growing number of resources that bring the concepts of IoT and ML down a notch, into the practical, real-world business situations that most partners help clients manage. The center of the resource universe is Microsoft's Azure Machine Learning site that provides easy-to-use tools that allow non-developers to build powerful predictive analytics models. Documentation is approachable and the free trial makes it testable without a big investment. More
Posted by Barb Levisay on February 25, 2015 at 1:45 PM0 comments
Recent analyst coverage and Microsoft announcements are prompting partner conversations about the value of adding Dynamics CRM to their portfolio of services.
As small and midsize businesses clamber to catch up in the customer-engagement game, they need help from their technology partners. Cloud productivity, mobile and CRM are natural, complementary solutions and can be a powerful combination that offers high value to your customers. More
Posted by Barb Levisay on February 11, 2015 at 1:02 PM0 comments
DevOps, the emerging field that aims to build collaboration between development and operational teams in a world of ever-changing software requirements, is making its way into Microsoft Dynamics partner methodologies.
In response to the DevOps movement, platforms like Microsoft Azure and DevOps-specific software are providing the tools that support accelerated methodologies for technology implementers. Could these practices and tools provide the differentiator to boost Dynamics ERP adoption in the enterprise space? More
Posted by Barb Levisay on January 29, 2015 at 9:02 AM0 comments
Partners are choosing many paths to reinvention, responding to the changing world of tech. A common theme is using the latest Microsoft tools as a platform for services that deliver business value to customers.
For one partner, Power BI for Office 365 is leading the transformation and changing conversations from technology to business outcomes. More
Posted by Barb Levisay on January 15, 2015 at 7:34 AM0 comments
As you read the stories of the women in the e-book "12 Amazing Tech Jobs and the Women Who Rock Them: Imagine What You Can Do," one commonality stands out. Most of the women didn't think of themselves as "techy," let alone imagine that they would one day fill a key role in a technology company.
There are young women across the world and in your community thinking about their careers. You can make a difference in their future and help your business at the same time. More
Posted by Barb Levisay on December 17, 2014 at 12:21 PM0 comments
With the Microsoft Azure Machine Learning (Azure ML) preview now available, Microsoft partners are beginning to explore how predictive analytics can help their clients.
Supporting tactics used by retailers like Amazon.com and Target, the predictive analytics made possible through Azure ML allows partners to change the game for businesses of every size. An emerging opportunity, Azure ML can enable partners to help even the smallest clients mine data to uncover patterns and build competitive edge.
Posted by Barb Levisay on December 04, 2014 at 9:34 AM0 comments
Now that the Internet of Things (IoT) is enabling companies to follow their products and customers no matter where they go, the door to new revenue streams is wide open. So wide, in fact, that companies need help sorting it all out. One partner has found the field service can be a logical way for companies to turn all that data into revenue. And a way for technology providers to capitalize on IoT.
Kris Brannock, EVP of Vertical Solutions, has written several intriguing posts about the connection between field service and IoT for the company blog. "Could the Glue of the Internet of Things be Field Service?" suggests that IoT presents "long tail" opportunities to all companies -- whether they are historically considered a field service company or not. Long tail opportunity refers to the creative use of data gathered in the field to add new service offerings to a company's repertoire. More
Posted by Barb Levisay on November 12, 2014 at 5:29 PM0 comments
It's no surprise to anyone in the channel that the cloud has added a new layer of complexity to configuration and licensing discussions. Clearly explaining cloud, on-prem and hybrid deployment cost options to a customer is tough enough, let alone offering them multiple scenarios to compare.
Fortunately for Microsoft Dynamics ERP partners, there is a modeling tool that clears the fog. More
Posted by Barb Levisay on October 29, 2014 at 10:51 AM0 comments
Microsoft may have come late to the mobile party, but there are partners out there who have built significant experience over the past decade.
Recognizing the emerging trend in mobility in the early 2000s, TCC Software Solutions developed an application to serve the field workers in its vertical market. Through the years, TCC has adapted its solutions to take advantage of the latest Microsoft technology and apply the lessons learned to fine-tune and expand the business. More
Posted by Barb Levisay on October 15, 2014 at 10:34 AM0 comments
As Microsoft partners look for new ways to build their service value with Office 365 customers, adding Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online support services is a natural progression.
For those partners whose focus has been on infrastructure services, it's a big transition. To bring the full value of Dynamics CRM Online to your customers, business process guidance should be a part of the services you deliver.
Posted by Barb Levisay on October 01, 2014 at 1:06 PM0 comments
Microsoft Exchange migrations are a hot topic right now. Microsoft's new Office 365 FastTrack Onboarding service has raised concerns of a diminished role for partners in the transition to the cloud (see "Microsoft Takes Some Office 365 Deployments In-House"). But there are ISVs and partners feeling bullish about the services clients need that follow and augment the migration process.
Gartner has even chimed in to recognize a growing need for solutions that address the age-old problems of e-mail, including information governance and e-discovery. More
Posted by Barb Levisay on September 10, 2014 at 9:57 AM0 comments
Microsoft's "cloud first" mantra is prompting some business decision makers to step back and pause before making licensing commitments.
Faced with Microsoft's promise that cloud applications will get priority in functional improvements, is there growing motivation for customers committed to on-premises deployments to take a wait-and-see approach to software licensing? More
Posted by Barb Levisay on August 21, 2014 at 9:18 AM0 comments