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WPC: Dynamics Will Put a Twist on the Microsoft Partner Network

The Microsoft Dynamics unit will take the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group's new Microsoft Partner Network and add elements to it for Dynamics partners.

"We're snapping into what the Microsoft Partner Network is doing," explained Doug Kennedy, vice president, Microsoft Dynamics Partners.

Already Kennedy is pleased that the Microsoft Partner Network's new Competency structure will give Dynamics partners some much needed differentiation. Even though the overall number of Competencies and Specializations is being reduced, it's going the other way for Dynamics partners, who will now have one Competency for ERP and one Competency for CRM.

"Never before have we had the delineation of CRM and ERP -- it's been down to the Dynamics level. The partner ecosystems for CRM and ERP are completely different," Kennedy said.

In the Dynamics industry, though, vertical specialization is key. So Microsoft's Dynamics' team is planning to dive even deeper into categorizing partner with its own vertical specializations. Major industries being looked at now for such branding include manufacturing, distribution, retail, public sector, professional services and financial services.

Microsoft is also working with a third-party vendor to provide the industry-based stamp of approval for Dynamics partners, Kennedy said. The concept would be similar to the way Veritest certifies Microsoft applications.

The result could be extremely specialized labels in the Dynamics community. For example, a partner might be an Microsoft Advanced ERP Partner for Manufacturing in the Heartland region.

"It'll help customers find the right partner faster, which will help everyone," Kennedy said.

Posted by Scott Bekker on July 14, 2009 at 11:58 AM