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Drive Innovation for 'Internet of Things' Through Field Service

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

Azure Modeler for Dynamics ERP Helps Partners Explain Cloud Options

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 Partner Builds on Decade of Mobility Experience

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

How Partners Can Add Value to Office 365 Services with Dynamics CRM

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. More

Posted by Barb Levisay on October 01, 2014 at 1:06 PM0 comments

Beyond Exchange Migrations, Governance Is an Emerging Partner Opportunity

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 Focus Giving On-Premises Customers Pause

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

The 3 'R's of Building Service Opportunities in Existing Accounts

Every business owner knows that it's easier to sell additional services to a current customer than to acquire a new one. But when your consultants visited client sites every month, it was easier to follow the business' growth and proactively identify needs. Now that cloud solutions and remotely delivered services minimize face-to-face contact, partners need to take a more formal approach to account management.

With nearly a decade of experience managing customer accounts, Nadia Isata, customer sales manager at BroadPoint Technologies, believes that following the three "R"s -- clearly defining roles, doing your research and building C-level relationships -- provides the foundation for a successful existing customer sales program. More

Posted by Barb Levisay on August 06, 2014 at 1:57 PM0 comments

Microsoft Takes New Tack in Pushing Partners to Cloud

An underlying theme of every message to partners at the Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) this year was, "If you haven't started the transition to the cloud, you are going to be left behind."

The directed message, delivered during the keynotes and sessions, suggests that there is a good chunk of the partner community that is still not on board. Microsoft clearly wants to change that, but instead of the Ballmer-esque get-off-your-butt-and-do-it approach, we saw a kinder, gentler strategy. More

Posted by Barb Levisay on July 23, 2014 at 8:45 AM0 comments

Partner Nets Quality Recruits Through Community Involvement

The technical skills gap presents challenges to all growing partners, and even more so for those partners whose services require strict adherence to regulatory requirements.

One Microsoft managed services provider (MSP) whose customers include strictly regulated customers like financial institutions and medical organizations is meeting the challenge through active engagement in the community and classes at the local university. More

Posted by Barb Levisay on July 09, 2014 at 11:54 AM0 comments

WPC Tips from Microsoft's Sales Specialist of the Year

Getting the most from the four days of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) is in large part learned through experience. So, how do the most-experienced Microsoft channel players plan their time?

The 2014 Microsoft Sales Specialist of the Year, Geno Cenci, national practice director of ePlus Inc., agreed to share his strategy for WPC, including the topics he's interested in and how he'll spend his time. More

Posted by Barb Levisay on June 18, 2014 at 11:52 AM0 comments

Set Your Game Plan for the Worldwide Partner Conference

No matter how many times you attend the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), the week feels a bit like a carnival ride -- exhilarating, but over before you know it. With the month before WPC focused on closing business for Microsoft's year-end, it's often hard to find the time to plan ahead. You know you should and now is the time to lay out your plans to make the most from the whirlwind of WPC.

"You need to go to WPC with a strategy," says Christian Buckley, SharePoint MVP and chief evangelist for Metalogix. "With a firm grasp of what you want to accomplish, you'll know what sessions you want to attend, which vendors to see and which Microsoft meetings you want to set up. And, you should start as early as possible." More

Posted by Barb Levisay on June 04, 2014 at 8:16 AM0 comments

Microsoft Partner Makes the Shift to 'Internet of Things'

The emerging opportunity for partners to help their customers tap into the Internet of Things (IoT) was recently confirmed by Microsoft's addition of the Intelligent Systems competency.

The cloud play for IoT -- providing a secure place for all the data to live -- is an obvious partner opportunity, but the service opportunities are where it gets really interesting. As always, there are partners who are leading the way to help solve business problems and take advantage of the latest technology. More

Posted by Barb Levisay on May 21, 2014 at 10:38 AM0 comments