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GPUG PreGAME at Convergence is a double-hitter with Doug Kennedy and Anders Spatzek

If you missed Mark Rockwell's viking outfit on Sunday at Convergence, then you must have missed the GPUG PreGAME event, hosted by GP Partner Connections. This event, like the AXUG and NAVUG DayONE events, are some of the best events as they occur before the Microsoft agenda kicks off, giving us partners the chance to dive right into ERP-specific content and take part in discussions with key Microsoft personnel.

The PreGAME kicked-off early with Kim Peterson of GPUG opening the session, with Doug Kennedy and Anders Spatzek following with a discussion on the partner channel and how it’s been different from other Microsoft partner models. Some interesting points from the keynote:

MPN (Managed Partner Network):

  • Over 65% of partners in the old version had Gold Status
  • They may have received the status from a non-Dynamics product, thus the need for certification to show customers their expertise

They have been facilitating 4yrs of sales surveys:

  • Win rate has not been what was expected: Even the people who knew of Dynamics, when polled, the deals were lost more from domain expertise.
  • Sure Step was a way to get partners to think of an implementation methodology to help failed implementations.
  • Not having certification is “like not having a driving license, so would you get in the car with that person?”
  • To Microsoft/clients it’s extremely important to show that you have an investment in what you’re doing.

Doug also noted that they're working on getting more educated pre-sales and sales people onboard. Together with Anders, another whole conversation focused on why verticalization is important for partners as they don’t want to see partners dabbling in all verticals. Instead, PAMs are trying to work with VARs to really find out what their key verticals are and better define what they should be, not just by industry but according to domain experience as well. And of course, Cloud was a big piece of the discussion as everyone anticipates announcements coming from Convergence.

Doug and Anders delivered an engaging keynote and excited all of us for what’s coming next at Convergence 2011, which by the way, is shaping up to be the second largest Convergence conference ever. Stay tuned.

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