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Cloud Opens ISV Expansion Opportunities: Plan for Success

The cloud is removing barriers and allowing ISVs across the globe to enter new markets. But success in unfamiliar markets requires much more than just access. Careful planning from the beginning and consistent execution can save you from cultural missteps and costly mistakes.

With the cloud as an international platform, ISVs should consider internationalization from the start, recommends Bart van der Horst, partner and managing director for iChannel, a strategy consulting firm that helps technology companies expand into new markets. More

Posted by Barb Levisay on July 08, 2015 at 1:35 PM0 comments

Microsoft's Top Communications Partner Leads with Skype User Adoption

With a new brand presence, Skype for Business simplifies the unified communications message for partners. Promising much more than just a name change, Microsoft's Skype for Business team wants the Office 365 suite to be at the center of all business conversations -- written, audio and video.

For some advice on how partners can take advantage of the growing opportunity led by Skype for Business, we looked to Enabling Technologies, Microsoft's 2015 (and 2009, 2010, 2012) Communications Partner of the Year.   More

Posted by Barb Levisay on June 24, 2015 at 4:57 PM0 comments

ISV Sees Partner Opportunity in Predictive Analytics

There is no doubt that data analytics is coming of age, turning the wealth of data that we are collecting into meaningful input that guides the direction of business. Though it's still early for mainstream data analytics adoption, this is the time to understand and build on the opportunity.

The low cost and high availability of computing power have brought machine learning to the masses. Microsoft Azure Machine Learning opens the door for any business and every partner to experiment and test without a big investment. Combine that with the increasing availability of public domain and commercial datasets, and you have the ingredients to support predictive analytics projects. The challenge so far, though, has been how to convince clients to take on those projects when the end game is unclear. More

Posted by Barb Levisay on May 20, 2015 at 9:48 AM0 comments

After Microsoft Ignite, How Do You Fan the Flames?

When you leave a Microsoft event like Ignite, Convergence or the Worldwide Partner Conference, the flame is definitely lit. You feel invigorated and ready to take your business to new heights.

You may also feel a teensy bit guilty. Yes, it's four days of intense learning -- sessions, the Expo, meetings with Microsoft, more sessions -- but it's also a ton of fun. With a little planning before you leave, you can share the wealth of knowledge and maybe even ignite some fun for your own team.  More

Posted by Barb Levisay on May 07, 2015 at 7:33 AM0 comments

The Journey to Dynamics CRM: A Partner Perspective, Part 2

As Microsoft continues to encourage partners to widen the suite of applications that they support, Dynamics CRM, as part of Office 365, is an obvious choice.

Last week, we followed the journey of Microsoft national solution provider RBA as it added Dynamics CRM services to its portfolio in response to changing spending habits of customers. A critical adjustment that took RBA multiple years to complete was aligning the right roles and people, in both sales and delivery, to achieve the full potential of the practice. More

Posted by Barb Levisay on April 22, 2015 at 4:10 PM0 comments

The Journey to Dynamics CRM: A Partner Perspective, Part 1

Changes in IT spending, cloud technology and the growing importance of digital customer engagement are all factors prompting system integrators (SIs) to add customer relationship management (CRM) to their service portfolios. For many partners, the obvious choice is Microsoft Dynamics CRM, with its easy availability through Office 365.

What does it take to build a CRM practice? One partner shares its journey, three years in, as Dynamics CRM takes its place in the company's next generation of services. More

Posted by Barb Levisay on April 16, 2015 at 11:35 AM0 comments

IAMCP Kicks It Up a Notch

In January, the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP) inducted a new board of directors that is putting plans in place to take the organization to a new level.

With 80 regional chapters around the world and a rapidly growing number of Women in Technology (WIT) communities, the IAMCP already has an established presence in the channel. The current board has committed to providing relevant education and enablement initiatives that support all Microsoft partners, with special emphasis on representing and adding value to the unmanaged partner community.  More

Posted by Barb Levisay on March 11, 2015 at 11:24 AM0 comments

7 Resources To Make Internet of Things and Machine Learning Easy for Partners

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

The Dynamics CRM Partner Opportunity Gets More Fuel

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

Is DevOps the Microsoft Dynamics Differentiator?

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

Microsoft Partner Reinvents Business with Power BI

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

So Much More than Coding: Women in the Wider World of Tech Jobs

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