Lifecycle Services (LCS), Microsoft’s Azure-based toolset for Microsoft Dynamics AX customers to manage their solution from pre-sales to support, will be coming to Dynamics CRM and NAV. Microsoft Business Solutions (MBS) CVP for marketing Wayne Morris made the announcement during a WPC 2014 keynote session on Monday, but added that further details of the LCS expansion are not yet available.
Kevin Hall, CEO of Dynamics partner eBECS took the stage to explain how his firm began using LCS as a pre-sales tool. He was joined by Microsoft’s Pepijn Richter.
“LCS is fairly hidden, but it is an excellent tool,” said Hall. “We use LCS to accelerate the sales cycle and bring consistency to your delivery processes,” Hall said. He noted that in competition with SAP, the process modeling and process library have helped convince prospects that AX can hold its own in terms of process flexibility and best practices.
Richter showed off some of the recently released enhancements to LCS, including new process sets for manufacturing and retail. He said the current process library now has over six hundred business processes covering a range of industries and methodologies.
Hall added that for eBECS, their use of LCS in pre-sales has reduced the company’s cost of sales by identifying and building out business processes in much less time than before. He also acknowledged that his organization still had parts of LCS left to adopt. The company wants to take the tool into services delivery and into support.
Making LCS work with Dynamics CRM or NAV will surely require retooling to align with different approaches to processes, technical support, and more. But the move seems to indicate that Microsoft executives believe in the LCS approach its potential to move sales forward, improve services delivery by VARs, and ultimately create happier customers. It’s still early days for LCS, but there are clearly some people paying attention as monthly updates roll out.
Bringing LCS to other Dynamics products would be consistent with other Microsoft initiatives to provide more tools and resources. Other announcements around WPC 2014 include improved and reduced-price online training, use of Microsoft Open Licensing, adding new MPN competencies, and expanding readiness, among other investments.
“We’re playing to win,” said Morris. “We’re growing our partner marketing investments five hundred percent. This includes industry focus, cloud jumpstart, co-marketing, and digital investments. Together we’ll ensure that prospects can quickly and easily discover and understand our offering and be quickly connected to a well-matched partner.”
He concluded by calling on Dynamics partners to start evolving into a “Microsoft partner”, whether they are currently focused on AX, GP, NAV, or CRM.
“Nobody can bring customers what Microsoft can with the Microsoft cloud for business portfolio.”
“You’re well placed to do this. Why? Because it’s about bringing together solutions for our customers. If you’re a CRM partner, understand and embrace sales productivity. IF you’re not an Office 365 partner, consider becoming one. If you’re an AX partner, make LCS your friend. If you’re an NAV or GP partner, embrace “in-on-with”
Published by Jason Gumpert, 14 July 2014
Shared via MS Dynamics World