Friday, March 27, 2015

A Closer Look at Dynamic Partner Connections

This month’s blog has focused on Microsoft Dynamics solutions and the resources available to partners and end users. In this article, we will be diving deeper into a vital part of the Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem with an interview from the Program Director of Dynamics Partner Connections, Joe Carroll. Joe’s organization is one of many resources available from Dynamics Communities. This resource is particularly valuable to Microsoft Dynamics partners.

Joe Carroll is the Partner Connections Program Director. Joe is a versatile and disciplined channel sales and marketing leader. Accomplished in creating and implementing channel programs to recruit, develop and manage business partners in diverse B2B environments. Recognized for establishing and managing multi-million dollar partnerships, producing market differentiation and consistent revenue growth.

What is Dynamics Partner Connections (DPC)? 
Joe: Dynamic Partner Connections is the global community for Microsoft Dynamics® GP, AX, CRM and SL partners. Our mission is to improve the success of Dynamics partners through community. Our mantra is ‘raising the tide for all’ in the Dynamics partner ecosystem.

DPC is part of Dynamic Communities, Inc. the organizing group of the Dynamics user groups of AXUG, CRMUG, GPUG and NAVUG.    

In addition, we just announced the formation of the Association of Dynamics Professionals,, which will expand our partner offerings.

The Association of Dynamics Professionals is an independent, not-for-profit membership organization devoted to the Microsoft Dynamics community. The Association exists to serve its members and to improve the community as a whole through education and the establishment of competency standards and assessments. This association will formally commence in September, 2015. The Association of Dynamics Professionals is an individual membership organization, open to any professional (consultants and users) seeking to better themselves and the Dynamics community. Many members are also seeking certification test to their level of expertise and ability to participate in or lead projects related to the Microsoft Dynamics family of products.

Who is eligible to join Dynamic Partner Connections?
Joe: Everybody (or nearly so J)! Every product -Dynamics AX, CRM, GP, SL and NAV-, every role–consultant, developer, sales, marketing, operations and leadership– and every organization –VAR, ISV and independent consultant- within the global Dynamics ecosystem is welcome to join. There is no charge to join DPC today.  

What are some of the key benefits of DPC?
Joe: DPC offers many ways to increase the effectiveness of individuals and organizations in the Dynamics ecosystem. This includes educational and informational webinars, speaking opportunities to act as a subject matter expert in the partner community, partner-to-partner networking to learn from like-minded business professionals and access to Microsoft teams and individuals.
The events and programs are organized around community, competency and advocacy. 

‘Community’ is about bringing together folks from the Dynamics ecosystem: resellers, ISVs, consultants and Microsoft. We all have a vested interest in making the Dynamics community grow and thrive because a diverse, healthy and growing community helps everyone. DPC's is to focus on what we have in common. We recognize that our biggest competition is outside of the Dynamics community, and ignorance and lethargy within it. When the community comes together we talk about common challenges and come up with new solutions. We do this through formal and informal networking events. This year, we are hosting three formal events: PreGAME to Convergence and PreGAME to Summit for all Dynamics partners, and reIMAGINE, specifically for Dynamics GP partners.

‘Competency’ refers to a structured approach to increase the skills and experience of members. Pick a topic, train and talk. VARs, ISVs and Microsoft all share their experience and knowledge to increase the value and competitive position of the ecosystem. Two things about DPC make our approach unique in this regard. One, the community delivers most of the courses and content, not Microsoft; and two, the delivery is not simply a lecture but a collaborative, didactic approach.
‘Advocacy’, which isn’t about lobbying. We don't take lots of actions on 'your' behalf. We don't write about issues and publish papers, BLOGs or 'letters to the editor.' We don't take and publish the results of polls or use these results to draw conclusions of our own. Rather, we provide the forum to bring the community together and have a collective voice for change. We collect the views of many individuals to form a single, combined voice for the community. Our voice is really your voice. We then share this with Microsoft and others to bring about changes for the good of all. Think: focus groups, conduit sessions, question and answer sessions, executive briefings.

How did you get involved with DPC?
Joe: My entire career has revolved around working with and for partners in the business solutions software industry. Last year Dynamic Communities decided to create a single Dynamics partner entity, Dynamic Partner Connections. Joining DPC allows me to apply 25 years of experience to help increase the success of Dynamics partners by bringing together like-minded individuals for learning, sharing and networking.

What makes you passionate about your role within the organization?
Joe: Microsoft Dynamics channel is the best in the industry, all things considered.  We just have to see, believe and act like it. What I really love doing is bringing together like minded individuals for peer-to-peer sharing and community involvement to help others to succeed.

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