An interview with one of the team members
Company news - December 19, 2012
Exactly one year ago Dynamics Software started with the delivery of Consulting Services to support its Partners and Customers. In the beginning of 2012 MSDynamicsWorld interviewed Dynamics Software about this initiative and was very interested in the story behind the decision of a Microsoft Dynamics ISV to make an investment in dedicated consulting services. After almost 12 months it’s time to see how the consulting team is doing.
Let’s ask Gert-Jan van Linschoten for some feedback and insights.
Hi Gert-Jan. Can you give me a brief personal introduction?
Hi, my name is Gert-Jan, Senior Business Consultant and Project Manager at Dynamics Software. Together with Senne Musters I’m part of the Consulting Services Team. I joined Dynamics Software in January 2012. Before that I led as Managing Consultant for several years the consulting department of companies in the Field Service Industry, like Assa Abloy and Cofely GDF-Suez. With my knowledge and experience of the Service Industry and my expertise of Microsoft Dynamics AX and our solutions I basically support Microsoft Dynamics AX Partners and AX end-users in optimizing their service - and maintenance processes.
What has happened after the startup in January 2012?
After the startup of the team I jumped immediately in a rollercoaster called Dynamics. I was able to put my consulting services in practice from the start. There was no time to waste and there were already several projects initiated. I visited for example Mexico a couple of times to train a local Microsoft Dynamics AX Partner for our Service Management Solution and I helped them in the first phase of an implementation. I trained Partners and Customers in Sweden, Denmark, Finland and the United Kingdom for Service Management and Maintenance Management. In between my traveling I tested new functionality, hosted webinars and created helpful documentation. Never a dull moment!
Do AX Customers prefer to have direct contact with an ISV?
Yes I can confirm this. What you see is that especially Enterprise Customers with big IT departments more and more prefer to have direct contact with Microsoft and the ISV. They have created their own Competence Center to roll out Microsoft Dynamics AX internationally. They prefer direct knowledge transfer and prefer to talk to the source. Furthermore, all AX partners are extremely busy and the lack of capacity in our Partner Channel is also a reason additional help is needed in some cases. Don’t forget the release of AX 2012, the announcement of R2 and other developments a impacting the partner community Partners look more and more for add on solutions as the upgrade of their own solutions will cost them too much and is not profitable anymore. They prefer to work with the source as well.
Can you point out some specific projects you or your team worked on?
I would like to mention the projects at Taxameter in the Netherlands and at a major leading Industrial Manufacturer in Mexico. In Mexico we trained the Partner and the Customer before the implementation and during the first phase of the implementation we were also onsite to assist the IT team of the Customer with our specific input on the Dynamics Software Solutions. At Taxameter we are implementing the Mobile Field Service Solution as we speak. We are in the testing phase at the moment and are planning to go live.
What is the added value your consulting team brings to these projects?
The time between training and implementation is often more than 3 months. Dynamics Software being onsite during the implementation is really speeding up this process. All questions or issues from the Customer can be solved instantly. For the Customers the knowledge transfer is one to one and vice versa. This means we can better understand the needs of the Customer. It also works the other way around. Being active in the field gives Dynamics Software great feedback from users. This gives us the possibility to add new functionality and features to our software.
How did your Partners react on this initiative and what are the plans for the future?
I must say very positive. Partners are happy that the mutual Customer is getting the support they need. It really accelerates the implementation process. I do have to say that everything we do is in consultation with the Microsoft Dynamics AX Partner that’s involved. We do not contact prospective Customers or contract Customers. Our services are only around our products, not standard AX. The plans are that we will be involved more and more in Customer implementations, especially the Enterprise Customers. We are investing in a bigger consulting team so that we will be able to assist Customers worldwide as “flying doctors”.