eXtreme365 Long Beach 2017 – our highlights
Microsoft’s Ron Huddleston, Avantiico’s Amir Khoshniyati, and eXtreme365’s Joseph Corigliano
In November, we attended and presented at eXtreme365 in Long Beach, CA. It was a fantastic event – high quality content, great speakers, a good venue, well run, even excellent food – all enjoyed by hundreds of Dynamics attendees from the whole spectrum of technical, business and leadership of top US and some EMEA partners. The eXtreme365 team run two events each year – one in the US and one in EMEA – we highly recommend you attend.
The Executive Exchange:
This was a two day track with a great agenda (see here for Day 1 and Day 2 topics) involving over 40 execs from leading Dynamics partners in the US and EMEA. The eXtreme365 Executive Exchange agenda and presentations were wide ranging, really informative, and the collaborative and sharing nature of the discussions was the best I’ve come across. Subjects included:
- Digital Transformation and how to work with it
- Addressing the Talent Shortage (presented by our own Elena Baeva)
- Dynamics 365 Product Strategy
- How to work effectively with IT giants like Microsoft
- How to differentiate your ISV business with Apps
- How to buy or sell your Dynamics business
We’ll be picking up more detail on some of these subjects in future blogs.
Keynotes and speeches
There were major speeches, discussions and presentations from Microsoft luminaries Mike Ehrenberg, the One Commercial Partner US leadership team of Ron Huddleston, Gretchen O’Hara, Karen Del Vescovo, Casey McGee, and Partner Evangelist lead Warren Wilbee. There were also many technical, functional and business sessions from experts around the world: some highlights from the business track included:
Talking to Executives about CRM
eXtreme365 veteran and CRM MVP Rick McCutcheon’s presentations on how to (and how not to) position Dynamics 365 with execs in sales and presales meetings was passionate, clear-speaking, added real common sense, and shone a light on something which so often goes wrong through poor planning and practice.
A Common Sense Approach to Digital Marketing
For a breath of fresh air on how to do digital marketing, follow Marie Wiese at Marketing CoPilot and read her book ‘You can’t be everywhere’. Digital Marketing is not that complex, it’s just that a lot of ‘advisors’ tell you it is. It isn’t a replacement for traditional marketing, it is a complementary part of the mix. How can your firm bridge the gap between marketing and sales and develop a content marketing and social selling strategy that will take you from online visitor to potential sale? Marie cut through this with some simple, clear steps that will help everyone promote their business in an effective way.
Addressing the Dynamics 365 Capacity Challenges
Elena Baeva looked at why there is such a shortage of talent in the Dynamics market space, what the effects are of this and how to mitigate those effects. She then ran a great breakout brainstorming session with 15 execs from top Dynamics partners in the US where they shared what they are doing about:
- Retaining top talent
- Promoting open positions
- Finding the right people for the organisation
- Hiring the right people in the new Azure world
- Attracting new talent into the pool
We’re packaging up some of this innovative thinking and best practice and will be publishing it soon.
Getting in Position to be in Position – Is it Buy or Sell Time?
Linda Rose’s information-packed session on what she learnt from selling 4 tech businesses over her career, how to transition to the cloud while organising your own firm for maximum value, how amazingly positively Dynamics businesses are currently viewed by investors thanks to the refresh being brought about by Satya Nadella, and how to use current valuations (depending on partner type) and what growth and EBITDA need to look like for a successful transaction to occur between the acquiring and selling companies.
CRM is from Mars, ERP is from Venus
Sam Miller, VP Sales of HSO, addressed some of the effects of CRM and ERP coming together as Dynamics 365 in his informative presentation about selling CRM and ERP in the cloud. For instance, “Can a CRM person sell the value of ERP and can an ERP person realize when CRM is the right approach?” which is an ongoing subject which came up once again yesterday at our own board meeting. Sam’s presentation was full of lots of great anecdotes and ‘how to’ stories, helped along by his own mime artist – yes really…..
Customer Satisfaction in Dynamics Sales & Delivery
A subject close to all of our hearts – why do projects fail, and what can we do to make sure they don’t? Bob Green is Lead Partner for SingerLewak’s business software lifecycle team, and did a vibrant talk through key reasons, but also that many firms think that the biggest problems start at the point of solutions delivery – and they should think again. Many key issues start far earlier, with the way the partner sells, and the customer buys and sets up their team. You can follow our view on this subject from our seminar session held in Summer 2017.
When is the next eXtreme365 event?
The next eXtreme365 event is in Dubrovnik, Croatia, 19-22 March 2018, with specific tracks for top Dynamics partners and for Dynamics end user customers. Have a look at the Agenda here. Whether you are technical, functional, or managerial, it’s definitely worth the registration fee and your time in attending. We thought Long Beach was excellent.
Early bird pricing – save up to €500 until Thursday Dec 14th
It’s worth taking this offer up to save €500 – if you find you cannot go, you can cancel your booking before 16th Feb and get your money back less €100 service charge. Register before 14th December and pricing the partner track is €1295 and the customer track is €295. The relevant registration pages are here for Dynamics partners and here for Dynamics end user customers.
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