The Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference kicks off this week in New Orleans. In years past Microsoft Dynamics CRM has been part of the conference, but not as big a part as you would expect given that the product really can be the heart and soul of a company. Sitting on every staff members desktop.
This year the buzz indicates that there has been a shift. Microsoft Dynamics CRM has reached a level of maturity where partners are really starting to get it. They get the power that an office product on major steriods can offer for them and for their customers.
There is still a significant difference between a
1) Dynamics Partner (NAV, AX, GP, long sales cycle, accounting software mindset) and a
2) Microsoft Partner (servers, workstations, operating system software, mix of line of business options, shorter sales cycle),
3) and what I find unique the CRM Partner (has a wide range of experience with CRM solutions and the CRM industry, understands sales teams and salse process, can do either an agile or a long term custom software development build)
but more and more there are different perspectives and energies in the space. Microsoft Office 2007 offering the XML standard opened some major doors that to me still seem significantly untapped. Pulling structured data out of Microsoft Dynamics CRM into word documents for instance and Microsoft Office 14 (2010) is also gearing up to blow a few minds...
Will the partner world (and more importantly, clients) be able to keep up and USE these new functionalities?