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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Kineticsware pre-Convergence Information for Dynamics AX

Well Jeff Sampson and Richard Barnett of newly formed Kineticsware contacted me this week. They wanted to talk about their announcement of their new company Kineticsware. I was able to have a phone conversation about their new company, and I have to say it was very interesting. They have some big players, and big names in the ERP game on their team, and they are looking to address some serious gaps in the current ecosystem that is Microsoft Dynamics AX.

Let me back track a little and talk about who Jeff Sampson and Richard Barnett are: [Jeff Sampson, Richard Barnett, and other key Kineticsware Management Profiles]
As you can see they have a lot of experience in the industry and have a good view point on the entire biology behind Microsoft and their partners, as well as Dynamics AX itself. Now moving on, I asked both of them why they left Microsoft to form Kineticsware, and they told me that both were driven by their own entrepreneurship and the need they saw that existed in the current ecosystem of Dynamics AX. With that we dove deeper into the needs that they see, and Jeff laid out the three main area’s of focus, that they will address with their business model.

The first is industry functionality. This topic is something of much debate, and when I say that, I mean in regard to Microsoft. You see, no matter who you ask at Microsoft, if you ask “Is Dynamics AX a platform or an application?” the most likely answer is “Yes.” Meaning right now yes to both. But we all know Microsoft, and Dynamics in general will shift to a platform more and more, as evident in the roadmaps that have been released. With this, Kineticsware wants to try and offer that bridge of functionality, to the platform, to take the platform and offer the needed functionality in order to compete with those that Dynamics AX competes with today. [ie: SAP and Oracle.] This first area leads into the second, because in order to offer industry functionality, then you have to have experienced personnel in the functional area’s needed.

So the second area of focus for their business model is trained and billable resources for implementing Dynamics AX and the Kineticsware solution suite. Now this is easer said than done. Like most people, my training in DAX has most always been OTJ or On The Job training method. There is hardly any training materials that exists, still today (much less when I first got started), that help one prepare and gain confidence in the product they want to sale and support. Kineticsware plans to offer, what I refer to as, a deep reach training and implementation method, in that they will train their partners, work with them to implement, and still offer up a better than 80% return on their partners revenue generated from services and sales. This is actually a very good thing, because we have all seen those fly by night companies that promise the moon in sales, and take their implementation teams to hell and back in order to achieve what they promised. Kineticsware plans on avoiding this, and addressing this very critical need that would help bring partners up to speed, keep them up to speed, and their customers as well. Like all puzzles, this one builds on top of each piece before it, and so we move on.

The third area of focus is sales lead generation. Most VAR’s and ISV’s in the Dynamics AX ecosystem work hard, and have large investment in their sales teams. This means a lot of resourceful digging for just warm leads in the sales pipe line. One of the things that Kenticsware plans to do, is use their vast social network and marketing ability to give their partners a sales channel that offers up more warm and hot leads, along with working with their newest partners hand in hand to deploy for new implementations. Jeff and Richard, in this section of the review, talked about how the partners are graded and perform on Execution, let me say that again, E-x-e-c-u-t-i-o-n will have more and more sales lead generation sent their way. So just like in school, partners will be graded on the full cycle of a project, from sales, execution, and customer retention. This is very important note, because a lot of current grading for awards and acknowledgements *cough* are focused on volume license sales and not so much on execution of implementations. Kineticsware considers their partner building strategy the next evolved step in IBI or industry builder initiative from Microsoft, and hence why they claim this will bring more projects into a higher success rate, because of the quality of Experience for the customer.

So now we have the company, the people behind it, and the vision for the business model they want to focus on. So what do they do? Good question! Kineticsware by all accounts is a software product company, focused on / in the Dynamics AX ecosystem. They plan to focus on discreet manufacturing, and have listed verticals as:

- High Technology Value Chain
- Consumer Goods Value Chain
- Apparel Value Chain

Their product offerings with be IBI in nature for the verticals listed, and address GAP area’s in Dynamics AX that don’t exist with today’s current software offerings. One of the areas that Richard and Jeff talked about for their announcement at Convergence 2007 from their product offerings is their Advanced Planning Solution. With this they plan to offer a compliment to the current Demand Planner and MRP engine with Dynamics AX for constraint based models, priorities of different forecast types, advanced simulation of forecast, and to address the different GAP’s that exists for representing forecast with Dynamics AX. The particular piece of their solution is developed on the .Net framework, but unlike most, this is developed with Dynamics AX in mind, for working with and integrating with Dynamics AX. Some of the other highlights they talked about, that will be announced at Convergence 2007 is the building of templates for future cases, to speed along deployments, variable yield abilities (this plays to the High Tech vertical), etc.

Well to not ramble on much longer, all in all I had a very nice conversation with both Jeff and Richard. They have a lot of synergy around their company and focus, and a lot of claims that they will have to hold themselves too. I hope that all their laid out expectations can be met and they are able to deliver on them. I mean they have a lot of big players, like Peggy Taylor being a board member, who was one of the founders of PeopleSoft, etc. etc. The biggest question about a new company, and new claims, is the execution of the vision, and the execution of the claims. If Jeff, Richard, and everyone at Kineticsware can hold up through the different hurdles ahead, and come through with what they want to deliver, then they will truly bring forth a lot of great things for the Dynamics AX ecosystem, and really be a great company to partner with.

I would like to take the time now to thank both Jeff Sampson and Richard Barnett for contacting me about my blog, and wanting to use it as an outlet to talk about their company, vision, and use it as a pre-Convergence platform where all of this will be covered. I also would like to state here that I am not officially indorsing the company. I have not yet worked with their team, or product line. I hope to get the chance too though, and with everything is said and done I believe Kineticsware has a great chance to really make a big splash, and stick, in the Dynamics AX ecosystem.

You can find out more about Kineticsware by visiting their website at: [Kineticsware Website] as well as visiting them at Convergence. You can also see the wonderful VAR I am a part of, Sunrise Technologies, Inc, at Convergence as well (Sunrise Technologies, Inc. List Events).

Well that’s all for now, check back soon as I continue to try and add to the growing Dynamics world we all live in! :-)

Find a job at: www.DynamicsAXJobs.com


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