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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Interview with Microsoft Executive: Allison L. Watson, Corporate Vice President, Worldwide Partner Group

Recently I took the time to email Allison Watson, Corporate Vice President, Worldwide Patner Group for Microsoft.

The focus of these questions, was to pick the brain of the Microsoft executive, to a certain degree, relating to Dynamics ERP, Dynamics AX and the current worldwide recession we are in.

The following are the questions and answers:

1.) Currently the U.S., and most of the world is in a Recession. Why would customers what to choose Dynamics ERP, specifically Dynamics AX, during this down turn?

"Right now can be one of the best times for a company to invest in its infrastructure because they have the time and resources to commit to the implementation, and once the economy picks back up they will be ready to hit the ground running.

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 offers customers strong total cost of ownership by applying Microsoft application platform technology, delivering improved user productivity through RoleTailored design and a familiar user interface, self-service business intelligence and reporting tools, and manages the complexities of a global organization by consolidating and standardizing processes and providing visibility across the organization.

Additionally, Microsoft Dynamics is currently offering 0 percent financing for 36 months for new, qualifying customers of Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM solutions. The limited time offer is available to Microsoft Dynamics customers who receive Microsoft Financing credit approval on all purchases of $20,000 (U.S.) up to $1 million (U.S.)."

2.) Since we are in a downturn, budgets are cutting back in order to save on cost. What new technologies released this year, can actually help customers cut cost, even though it would mean deploying a new system or upgrading?

"At Microsoft, we have several options to help customers use the power of technology in their cost-cutting efforts to reduce travel and communications costs, leverage virtualization to optimize their infrastructure, and reduce PC energy consumption.

Reduce travel and communications costs
Cutting back on plane trips and hotel stays is one of the most obvious ways to save money, but that must be balanced against the value of person-to-person interaction. Today, video conferencing and new collaboration tools are making virtual meetings much more like face-to-face interaction and companies are finding that in many cases, information sharing and collaboration can be accomplished more efficiently and for much less cost when done virtually.

Microsoft provides a suite of Unified Communications technology that uses software to bring voice, e-mail, instant messaging, and video conferencing together is enabling companies to replace traditional phone and voice mail systems with solutions that integrate telephony with corporate messaging, calendaring, and directories. At Microsoft, for example, unified messaging is enabling us to save $5 million each year through reduced hardware and maintenance costs. Equally important, combining phone and e-mail communications into a single solution is increasing employee productivity and decreasing the administrative workload for IT professionals.

Microsoft also provides a Deskless Workers Suite. We estimate that approximately half of employees worldwide are deskless workers. To that end, Microsoft is rolling out solutions designed to meet the needs of deskless workers, those people who typically spend a small portion of their workday using a computer but still need to communicate and collaborate with colleagues and partners.

Virtualization is another incredible opportunity to cut cost and optimize your infrastructure. Windows Server Hyper-V makes it possible to run more than one operating system on a single machine, which can help companies reduce costs by enabling them to use more of the computing power that they already own. Virtualization also presents opportunities to consolidate the number of server companies own and use. But saving money is just the beginning of the value that this important technology offers. In a virtualized IT environment, new resources can be deployed more quickly and processes are easier to automate. The result is tremendous flexibility for employees and greater efficiency and agility for IT departments.

Reduce energy costs
There are incredible power management tools in software today that help companies more effectively manage energy consumption. Companies should make sure they are taking advantage of all power management tools in today’s software. Also use central IT administrator features for controlling all your desktops. Like so many companies across the globe, Microsoft strives to save our customers money while reducing carbon emissions. By upgrading to Windows Vista operating system, our customers with 1,000 PCs or more can save more than $70,000 a year and reduce carbon emission by more than 1 million pounds."

3.) Can you explain how Microsoft Partners could better align themselves with Microsoft’s discounts during this downturn, in order to help reach a bigger customer base and truly offer the customer value while still saving on cost at the same time?

"We announced a 0% Financing offer for Microsoft Dynamics recently, which has been very important to partners. But there are several other incentives here in the U.S. specifically to help partners save customers money. For example, the popular Big Easy 2.0 promotion is available, and it lets customers use their cost savings on Microsoft products for services and support from a Microsoft partner. MicrosoftIncentives.com is a great place for partners to stay up-to-date on the latest and greatest incentives.

Partners should also leverage Microsoft Financing as a strategic way to make IT purchases affordable. Microsoft Financing enables partners to offer their customers quick, easy and affordable financing as an integrated offering with their IT solution, helping customers of all sizes to purchase Microsoft products and services, such as partner implementation and training. This allows customers to purchase the complete, best-fit solution up front, have it professionally deployed, and manage all of their IT as one investment that they pay for over an extended term.

To help partners effectively integrate financing into their regular business practices, we’re offering a Partner Training Roadmap, which is a mixture of on-demand training, from brief podcasts to full-length training courses. Subjects covered include an introduction to financing, how to use financing tools, how financing can help partners enable sales and how to manage and optimize the financial footprint of customers. Microsoft also offers partners sales and marketing tools to help them easily incorporate Microsoft Financing in their next proposal."

4.) And to make this more personal, what’s your favorite food?

"That’s easy -- Jamoca Almond Fudge ice cream."

I want to thank Allison for working with me on getting this interview in place, and ready for posting here. I think is some good information for all of us, Customer, Possible customers and Partners alike. To find out more about Allison, please go to the following link for her online public bio: Allison L. Watson, Corporate Vice President, Worldwide Partner Group - Public Bio Link

I also want to thank Anige and Katie from Waggener Edstrom Worldwide. Without them none of this would have been possible!

Well that's it's for now, check back soon, and Allison I hope santa brings you lots and lots of 'Jamoca Almond Fudge Ice Cream'!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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