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Mark’s Microsoft Inspire Update

Team Dyn365Pros made the annual trek to Microsoft Inspire this week. Held in Washington D.C. this year, it was a exciting if somewhat sweltering week. This conference used to be called Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference. The name is new but the idea behind the event has not changed. It’s an ideal time to meet with contacts from Microsoft, learn about new and upcoming solutions, meet and mingle with our Microsoft Partners, and think about how best to present what we learned to our clients. This blog provides a Microsoft Inspire update, primarily those using some flavor of Dynamics or Office 365.

There were 100s of conference sessions and over 17,000 attendees, so there’s not enough room in this blog for all the stories. That’s OK. I’ll provide some high-level info on some important topics and follow up with more detail in subsequent blogs.

Microsoft Relationship Sales

Microsoft demonstrated how the LinkedIn acquisition is finally bearing fruit. There’s a new sku that combines Dynamics 365 for Sales, Enterprise Edition with LinkedIn Sales Navigator. It’s called Microsoft Relationship Sales and offers a much easier way for sellers to look for leads and expand connections in pursuit of sales orders.

Integrating a slimmed down version of LinkedIn with Dynamics 365 means you’re spending less time jumping back and forth between the solutions and more time making connections with the individuals you need to influence to win deals. The new sku is $135/user/month which represents a significant discount to users that would purchase these solutions separately.

From Start-Up to Enterprise, We’ve Got You Covered

Microsoft unveiled an interesting approach to capturing business users from the start-up phase to enterprise level. They are subscribing to the theory that at launch, small businesses are not prepared to bite off an enterprise level solution, so a smart approach would be to allow customers to take baby steps. For example, start with Office 365 Business Premium for email and productivity, the add on some simple invoicing, integration with an online payment solution, a little customer management, collaboration, and eventually email marketing. Some of these add-ons are available now or in preview. Microsoft projects they’ll all be out before the end of 2017.

As the business grows, customers will organically upgrade to more robust solutions and hopefully choose to remain in the Microsoft Cloud ecosystem, moving up the ladder to Dynamics 365 Business Edition (only some of which has not been released) or to Dynamics 365 Enterprise Edition, which is fully baked and ready for use by organizations large and small.

Microsoft AppSource

Microsoft AppSource is an online shopping site where you find software and services designed to help you get more value from Microsoft Dynamics and Office 365. Some of the software will be authored by Microsoft, but the majority will come from Microsoft partners. In many cases you’ll find a Microsoft partner service provider that offers services around implementing or using the solutions on AppSource.

We’ll dive deeper into each of these areas in upcoming blogs.

By Mark Abes, Vice President Sales and Marketing, Dyn365Pros, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Partner, Southern California, San Diego. For more information or help click here.