Microsoft to Invest $20M in Dynamics Partner Network

The software maker plans to spend the money over the next year to build the partner network supporting its Dynamics products.

DENVER—Microsoft will invest $20 million in several new technologies and initiatives over the next year to help extend its Dynamics partner ecosystem to ensure that partners can meet market demand and increase their growth rates.

"This $20 million investment will be very targeted at training 4,000 technical people within partner organizations and recruiting 1,000 additional specialists for partner organizations," said Barb Edson, director of marketing for Microsoft Dynamics.

"Our top partners each have an average of eight open positions in their organizations, so this is much-needed assistance," Edson said.

An April 2007 report by IDC analysts Michael Lawton and Stephen Graham, titled "Partner Pathway to Business Performance," found that Microsoft Dynamics partners were, on average, experiencing revenue growth twice that of their industry peers, and so the Dynamics group remained committed to investing in programs to directly help its partners meet the growing demand for these solutions, Edson said.

As such, the group will offer training and education for 4,000 partner technical sales specialists and will invest in training and education for new hires secured by partners that are part of the Microsoft Dynamics Presidents Club. The latter is a program that recognizes exceptional sales performance among the groups VARs and ISVs.

/zimages/4/28571.gifMicrosoft recently gave its Dynamics applications an Office makeover. Click here to read more.

The Dynamics group will also work with Presidents Club partners to recruit and hire 1,000 new professionals and to build delivery capacity for its solutions in partnership with global systems integrators, Edson said.

"We did a recruitment pilot in the U.S. last year that was quite successful, so we know that this is what partners need and something that we can help with," Edson said. "Microsoft will do some RFPs [requests for proposal] to get the right vendors working with them on staffing plans, and we will do things like placing postings on online recruitment sites and attending job fairs."

The Redmond, Wash., software maker will also use its annual Worldwide Partner Conference here July 10 to announce the new Microsoft Dynamics Entrepreneur Solution, which will be available later this quarter.

It is designed to help small businesses get an early start working with Microsoft Dynamics products so they can achieve greater efficiency and provide better customer service, according to Edson.

The new product, based on Microsoft Dynamics NAV, offers ERP (enterprise resource planning) functionality within finance, purchasing, sales and marketing and will be rolled out globally in phases, starting in Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom later this year.

Microsofts Dynamics Entrepreneur Solution is targeted at small businesses with fewer than 50 employees and up to five concurrent users and is priced at 750 euros per user, Edson said.

/zimages/4/28571.gifTo read more about the shake-up in Microsoft Dynamics leadership, click here.

"Microsoft Dynamics Entrepreneur also gives a new set of partners who focus on small growing businesses the opportunity to offer a solution within the Dynamics family of products, while there will also be new opportunities for existing partners as the business systems and IT needs of these customers expand," she said.

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The company will also unveil Dynamics AX Mobile Sales, which lets salespeople and managers place and track orders remotely, look up sales history, and manage campaigns from mobile devices while on the road, as well as Dynamics Mobile Development Tools, which are designed to help customers and partners develop mobile applications that work with Dynamics AX.

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