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Satya Nadella - Running the Dynamics Team

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We continue our tour of the Dynamics team today with a few interviews. Here you meet Satya Nadella, who is the corporate vice president of the Dynamics team. Executive alert! But, he's pretty cool and tells you what's up in the Dynamics team and what they are bringing out. Also, what makes a good acquisition and why Microsoft got into this space. These interviews give you a good look inside the Dynamics team (which spans three continents and have thousands of people).

What is Dynamics? Supply Chain Management. Customer Relationship Management. Financial Management. This is Microsoft's enterprise team and their tools are used by businesses all over the world.

Why now? Next week is the big Convergence conference where Microsoft meets with its business partners and we wanted to get caught up on what was up on the team.

If you want to see more about Dynamics, here's the other interviews:

Hal Howard and team.
Jakob Nielsen, Dynamics/UX.
Mike Ehrenberg, architect on next generation of Dynamics.

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  • LostInSpacebarAdityaG OMG VISTA FTW LOLZ!!1one
    uhh.. is that steve jobs? Wink
  • pringlespringles sup?
    This Microsoft Dynamics thing scares me.  If my clients knew about this application family, I'd be out of a job.  From the demos on the Dynamics site, this thing does everything any business manager would ever need and more.  What does that leave me?  Why would somone wait 2 months for me to build them an application when they could just buy one that's built by the best of the best and have it running in a day or so?

    OK, so I don't really have clients yet.  But that's my dream; starting a business that builds line of business applications for my clients.  And my biggest selling point was gonna be that I am going to become an MCSE, an MCSD and an MCDBA. How am I going to do that when Microsoft itself has something that I couldn't do in my lifetime?

    I dunno.  It just makes me think I don't have a chance.
  • JaspJasp This is me looking happy
    pringles wrote:

    I dunno.  It just makes me think I don't have a chance.


    Nobody has a chance with Microsoft around. We are all DOOOOOMED Wink
  • LostInSpacebarAdityaG OMG VISTA FTW LOLZ!!1one
    pringles wrote:
    This Microsoft Dynamics thing scares me.  If my clients knew about this application family, I'd be out of a job.  From the demos on the Dynamics site, this thing does everything any business manager would ever need and more.  What does that leave me?  Why would somone wait 2 months for me to build them an application when they could just buy one that's built by the best of the best and have it running in a day or so?

    OK, so I don't really have clients yet.  But that's my dream; starting a business that builds line of business applications for my clients.  And my biggest selling point was gonna be that I am going to become an MCSE, an MCSD and an MCDBA. How am I going to do that when Microsoft itself has something that I couldn't do in my lifetime?

    I dunno.  It just makes me think I don't have a chance.


    Business applications aren't really a new thing. If you are trying to build a start-up, then you should probably look at more innovative ideas or atleast expect this sort of big competition...
  • ZippyVZippyV Fired Up
    pringles wrote:
    This Microsoft Dynamics thing scares me.  If my clients knew about this application family, I'd be out of a job. 

    OK, so I don't really have clients yet.  But that's my dream; starting a business that builds line of business applications for my clients.  And my biggest selling point was gonna be that I am going to become an MCSE, an MCSD and an MCDBA. How am I going to do that when Microsoft itself has something that I couldn't do in my lifetime?

    I dunno.  It just makes me think I don't have a chance.


    Crybaby.

    Learn about the Dynamics products and learn how to implement them in a company. You could give training to the people who have to use it. Write applications to extend the product. Try to convert businesses who already use old line-of-business applications.
    Microsoft gave you an application with a solid base to build upon. Otherwise you would have to it over and over again.

    Good luck with getting an MCSE, MCSD and an MCDBA certification. You obviously have to much money. Even with ms Dynamics you can still get a job with these certificates.
  • pringlespringles sup?
    i don't have too much money.  i'm nickel and dime-ing it as it is.  that's why i'm so frustrated.  i have all these ideas, and no way to implement them.
  • pringles: Have you considered going straigt to the source and just woring on the Dynamics team at Microsoft? Big Smile
  •  It'll be about 4-5 years before you will see Dynamics final product, till then you'll have all the old products that they aquired, Just becuase they renamed them doesn't mean a thing. Also knowing MS the first product they'll release will be a beta. So until then if you build a simple soultion that is easily customizable, you will be way a head of MS.
    Also I hope MS learns from the 5 products history and builds something better. 
    All I see right now is that they have MS CRM, separate product in .NET. They build workflow tools, that is a sepparate product, AX, NAV, GP, SL, all separate products and separate technology, and separate languages. And MSOffice has to be in there as well.
    From what I think they are doing, they are writing a new .NET product from ground up and allowing all the current products to upgrade to it.
    And guess what this new product will be like?
  • I guess the big elephant in the room, and the question that Robert should have asked is this... Microsoft owns 4 ERP packages, and the goal is to consolidate and unify them. If these applications are so good, why is Microsoft one of SAP's biggest customers?
  • The obvious reason why Microsoft is one of SAP's large customers and is not using our own ERP systems is that our ERP products are built for the mid-market. I.e. midsized companies and you can hardly call Microsoft a mid-market company Smiley

    We do not want customers the size of Microsoft for our Dynamics products. Our products are not geared to that size because such companies have a need for a different level of functionality. You might as well ask why SAP is not huge in the mid-market. And the answer is that in many cases SAP is overkill for that segment of businesses.

    Disclaimer: I am a Dynamics Team Memeber

  • Thanks Christian. So, MBS concentrates on Small and Midmarket companies and leaves the enterprise to the Oracle's and SAPs of this world?
  • The mid-market accounting/business mgmt software space is huge with many vendors.  Microsoft just happened to cherry-pick and buy the best ones (well, some of the best Wink ).

    Building a horizontal accounting application is probably not a good idea for a startup.  But building vertical market solutions on a good foundation might be, and a lot of people have made nice businesses for themselves doing so.

    I haven't watched the videos yet but I am interested to know if they are still keeping Dexterity around and if it will target the CLR Wink  That would be a pretty neat trick.
  • sloppycodesloppycode Cynical brit
    ZippyV wrote:
    pringles wrote: This Microsoft Dynamics thing scares me.  If my clients knew about this application family, I'd be out of a job. 

    OK, so I don't really have clients yet.  But that's my dream; starting a business that builds line of business applications for my clients.  And my biggest selling point was gonna be that I am going to become an MCSE, an MCSD and an MCDBA. How am I going to do that when Microsoft itself has something that I couldn't do in my lifetime?

    I dunno.  It just makes me think I don't have a chance.


    Crybaby.

    Learn about the Dynamics products....


    "Crybaby". That seems like the sort of response you see on the World of Warcraft forums, or other forums full of equally inane conversations between lonely 13 year olds.

    Pringles makes a very valid point. However Microsoft are now very wary of creating monopoly products.
  • Alexei PavlovBlackTiger If you stumbled and fell down, it doesn't mean yet, that you're going in the wrong direction.
    Dynamics team... Oh eah!Now I know your faces and names!

    Bast-R-ds! I have a lot of TNT for you. Wait for parcel.
  • ZippyVZippyV Fired Up
    sloppycode wrote:
    "Crybaby". That seems like the sort of response you see on blablabla lonely 13 year olds.

    Pringles makes a very valid point.


    How can you call this a valid point?

    pringles wrote: If my clients knew about this application family, I'd be out of a job. 

    OK, so I don't really have clients yet.



    sloppycode wrote:
    However Microsoft are now very wary of creating monopoly products.

    As far as I know there are already competitors out there, so how can Microsoft suddenly have a monopoly by releasing this product?
  • pringles wrote:
    This Microsoft Dynamics thing scares me.  If my clients knew about this application family, I'd be out of a job.  From the demos on the Dynamics site, this thing does everything any business manager would ever need and more.  What does that leave me?  Why would somone wait 2 months for me to build them an application when they could just buy one that's built by the best of the best and have it running in a day or so?

    OK, so I don't really have clients yet.  But that's my dream; starting a business that builds line of business applications for my clients.  And my biggest selling point was gonna be that I am going to become an MCSE, an MCSD and an MCDBA. How am I going to do that when Microsoft itself has something that I couldn't do in my lifetime?

    I dunno.  It just makes me think I don't have a chance.


    All I can say is...pringles...move onto the web instead.  If you score big, Google will probably hire you (or Microsoft, Yahoo, etc.) and you'll like it even more.  Or you'll fail like the many others out there trying to create startups.

    All I can say is that since the time when the tools have gotten tons easier, creating startups has never been easier, and yet the competion has never been fiercer.  It is not an easy time to create a startup right now...it seems.

    Think long term - vision stuff.  Otherwise, look for a large company to work for...
  • One thing Pringles can do is look at some of the line of business applications he has already built or will build in the future for his clients, and think about what it would take to 'productize' them.  What would it take to productize them as their own standalone product?  How about productizing them by re-implementing them as vertical solution add-ons to a popular system like Dynamics or Sage MAS90 or even QuickBooks (you'd be surprised how many companies hang onto QuickBooks even as they grow substantially).

    One other thing Pringles should do is examine his existing contracts with his clients, and make sure he is retaining the right to productize and/or remarket the solution and/or create derivative works.  In some cases he (or she?) could derive additional revenue if a client is willing to pay extra for an exclusivity deal.  Its all in how you market it and/or present it to your clients (I would recommend not making a big deal of it unless or until they ask about it, and sell it as standard).

    If Pringles has an MSDN subscription, he could download development versions of Dynamics, Axapta, or Solomon, and start building vertical solutions TODAY.  This is a big deal and I'm surprised it hasn't been promoted more by Microsoft.  It used to be (and still is the case with other vendors) that you would have to pay a substantial fee and become a vendor partner/ISV partner, etc. (distinct from a VAR/reselling relationship).  The fact that you can pull this stuff down from MSDN and you have easy access to it is a really big deal, at least to me.

    I think it would be impossible for Microsoft to build a monopoly on the mid-market because it is just so big, with so many competitors.  To get an idea of just how many solutions are already out there, take a look at:

    FindAccountingSoftware.com

    It is a website affiliated with CPAOnline, and is basically a directory of both horizontal and vertical software solutions.  Big and small names in their database.
  • FrankPalinkasFrank​Palinkas Microsoft Help MVP
    From what I can see, one of the most important goals that Microsoft is trying to achieve with this and other (Windows Workflow Foundation, for example) new items is the constuction of platforms/frameworks on which developers can build client specific apps.

    These are tools to help you move faster to satisfy a particular client's needs, which in this area are usually unique.

    Please take a close look at what they are doing and study all of the facts first before jumping to an emotional conclusion.

    Kind regards,
    Frank M. Palinkas
    MCP, MCT, MCSE, MCDBA, A+
    Senior Technical Communicator
  • Frank, What a great comment. If you find your niche that can help your clients out and serve them in a way that says "WOW" you will have customers and a job. Don't over react about silly things.
  • FrankPalinkasFrank​Palinkas Microsoft Help MVP
    Thanks for your comment.

    With this new movement forward by Microsoft, there are many misconceptions that have been spontaneously created by ignorance of what they are trying to achieve.

    Pringle's message is a prime example of this. However, he is not alone by a long shot. I've faced the same irrational attitude in the company where I currently work.

    This "fear factor" is also augmented by Java-based management and developers, ignorant of what is going on in the industry as a whole. By that, I mean that Oracle has also implemented similar programs which will also "affect" Java-centric shops.

    I've seen this Java group, within our company, launch a vitriolic cascade against the Windows Workflow Foundation, trying to confirm the fact that any further development of our Windows-based Workflow products (BPM) is doomed by the megalithic hand of Microsoft.

    Nothing can be further from the truth.

    Although most of this new development by MS is still in either Alpha or Beta stages, I do think that the MS Marketing Team could get out a more definitive message as to how these new tools will benefit the Windows development community, and do away with the ignorance that's creating this fear and uncertainty.

    MS Ladies and Gentlemen....I am available.

    Frank
  • An overall hidden (but common sense) view of a software company such as Microsoft to run SAP is to get full working knowledge of the product.
    Tear it apart, learn from it and evolve your products and at a very slow pace pick and prod at the high end market. This is more of a 25 year attack plan were MS will learn like they always have. MS still has many phases to evolve before they will have a stable/workable all in one running product that can be purchased in modules and help businesses the way a company like SAP can.
    Take over mid market and small business market and slowly push into the higher level markets.
    Also MS is going to have to code many modules/wizards/scripts/etc,etc.. that will have to be able to convert SAP data into workable data that can be used by future Microsoft products. Transitioning data is like a boxing match were you will truly have to prove yourself; you'll win or loose and it might get bloody.
    MS products need/\have to evolve and with this evolution you will find points of innovation that resolve problems other products have, and with this you can take advantage of these situations and increase market value/dominance of your product.

  • pringles wrote:
    This Microsoft Dynamics thing scares me.  If my clients knew about this application family, I'd be out of a job.  From the demos on the Dynamics site, this thing does everything any business manager would ever need and more.  What does that leave me?  Why would somone wait 2 months for me to build them an application when they could just buy one that's built by the best of the best and have it running in a day or so?

    OK, so I don't really have clients yet.  But that's my dream; starting a business that builds line of business applications for my clients.  And my biggest selling point was gonna be that I am going to become an MCSE, an MCSD and an MCDBA. How am I going to do that when Microsoft itself has something that I couldn't do in my lifetime?

    I dunno.  It just makes me think I don't have a chance.


    Pringles ... "Don't Panic"

    The thing to do is to be prepared. Dynamics is not a product right now, its more of a marketing package for what is about to come. What you need to do now is to get  a foot in the door. You need to be very aware, that Dynamics is not a programming language, it is an application. ANd if you want to be ready, then you need to understand the application.

    I am a Dynamics NAV MVP, and have been workign with Navision for 16 years now. Right now, there is plenty of Freelance work out there for Dynamics NAV and there is going to be a lot more over the next few years.

    I am writing a book that will show you how to implement Navision, www.dynamicsbook.com . From my experience, the Freelancers that are most in demand, and that make the best living, are those that understand the application. Knowing how to program is not as important.

    Don't fear Dynamics, become freinds with it, and you can build a great career.

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