NEW ORLEANS — March 10, 2009 — Microsoft today welcomed thousands of customers and partners to Convergence 2009, the semiannual event for its Microsoft Dynamics lineup of business- management solutions. Taking center stage at this year’s U.S. conference is Microsoft’s vision for “the Dynamic Business,” and the ways that Microsoft Dynamics enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) products can help organizations flourish and succeed in today’s economic environment.
Kirill Tatarinov, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Business Solutions
PressPass spoke with Microsoft Business Solutions corporate vice president Kirill Tatarinov, the keynote speaker at Convergence 2009. Tatarinov talked about the concept of the Dynamic Business and how Microsoft Dynamics solutions can enable organizations to empower their people, streamline their processes, pare costs, connect with partners and suppliers, and drive customer satisfaction.
PressPass: What key messages do you have for businesses at Convergence 2009?
Tatarinov: We’re living through a time in which the only constant is change. It can be a little scary. But out of change comes opportunity. So the theme of this year’s event is the “power of possibilities,” which speaks to the powerful new opportunities opening up for the smart, savvy organization — what we call the Dynamic Business.
With that, we’re putting the questions that really matter to businesses today front and center at this year’s Convergence: How to operate more efficiently and effectively, how to navigate rapidly changing conditions, and how to seize opportunities to drive enduring success.
We’re sending the message out loud and clear that organizations can count on Microsoft Dynamics as the linchpin of their strategy to flourish and grow in today’s economic environment by empowering them to be an all-round dynamic business.
PressPass: Can you explain a bit more about what you mean by the Dynamic Business?
Tatarinov: Sure. The Dynamic Business is our vision of managing a business for maximum relevance, responsiveness, and impact. Key to this are three core investment areas. Let’s start with people. They’re the lifeblood of an organization, its most strategic asset. Ultimately, productivity, efficiency — all these key business performance indicators — come down to empowered people. That’s why it’s imperative to ensure they’re set up for success and fully enabled to realize their potential.
The second element is process. Effective streamlined processes give businesses a backbone. They’re where strategy and execution come together to deliver results. Get them right and you have an organization that is agile, responsive, and able to proactively embrace opportunities.
The third component we call ecosystem. This gets to the web of interconnectivity within which successful businesses operate and without which they simply cannot thrive. No business is an island. Customers, partners, suppliers and vendors are absolutely integral to their success. It’s this connectedness that lies at the heart of the dynamic business.
Independently, each area is essential to operational excellence. Together, they intersect and powerfully reinforce one another. Productivity and adaptability go hand-in-hand and in turn spur greater connectivity and customer satisfaction, for example. By folding them into the fabric of their organization, businesses can tap into the synergies between them to generate powerful results.
PressPass: So how can Microsoft Dynamics create a dynamic business?
Tatarinov: Microsoft Dynamics products are really designed to enable the dynamic business. That’s how we think of it. They’re engineered to work the way real people do. This means extending the user interface people are already fluent in – from Microsoft Office – to shorten their learning curve and get them up and running with minimal hassle. And it’s a way of thinking that’s embodied in the role-tailored design principles we’re now employing across Microsoft Dynamics products. The Role Centers in Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft Dynamics NAV, for example, enable individual workers to cut through the clutter and gain quick, easy access to the tools they need to perform their particular job.
We’re also empowering end users and fueling business innovation by opening up access to business intelligence, collaboration and other sophisticated capabilities that in less user-friendly solutions are limited to a narrow tier of specialists.
In the meantime, we’ve strived to ensure that Microsoft Dynamics applications integrate seamlessly with products such as SQL Server, SharePoint Server, Office Communications Server, and the Microsoft Office system. That way businesses can take advantage of synergies and extend the value of their existing IT investments — a critical concern in today’s cost-conscious environment.
PressPass: The economy is top of mind for so many business leaders today. How is Microsoft Dynamics helping customers face this challenge?
Tatarinov: I’d highlight two areas in which we’re innovating to help customers maximize the value of their existing investments. First off, we recently released a set of tools, available at no charge, that enable businesses to track their energy consumption and environmental impact, and identify opportunities to cut costs and reduce their carbon footprint — all from within their ERP solution. The Environmental Sustainability Dashboard for Microsoft Dynamics AX is a great example of how doing the right thing also makes compelling business sense. Complementing the dashboard, we’ve issued detailed guidance on how to implement environmental management accounting with Microsoft Dynamics GP and will shortly be doing the same for Microsoft Dynamics NAV.
Second, I’d call out the announcements we’re making at Convergence 2009 about Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The new service update for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, code-named “Release 3,” delivers significant enhancements. These include improved ease of use, server uptime and performance. Plus it has new features like Internet lead capture and certificate-based authentication. We also recently released eight Microsoft Dynamics CRM Accelerators, a suite of add-on modules that significantly extend the capabilities of customers’ CRM platform at no additional cost, allowing them to improve efficiency while they increase customer satisfaction. An example is the e-service accelerator, which allows businesses to create a self-service portal for customers to troubleshoot issues 24×7. This generates considerable savings on the call center costs they’d otherwise incur in offering such a service. Again, we’re enabling customers to drive bottom-line savings and top-line growth at no additional expense.
PressPass: Are there any examples you can share of customers who are making this a reality?
Tatarinov: You bet. With this year’s Convergence taking place in New Orleans, the American Red Cross is a great example. The American Red Cross was among the first responders on the scene in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. American Red Cross workers and volunteers led a massive humanitarian relief effort that was instrumental in getting urgent help to thousands of people in dire need and saving scores of lives.
The American Red Cross is perhaps the ultimate dynamic organization. Its ability to operate effectively and efficiently can make the difference between life and death. The American Red Cross of Greater Cleveland relies on both Microsoft Dynamics CRM and ERP solutions to track and manage their operations. The chapter credits Microsoft Dynamics with helping it cut costs, drive greater financial transparency and increase productivity — business performance improvements that have enabled it to redouble its focus on its core humanitarian mission. We’re very proud to be able to help an organization with the stature and vision of the American Red Cross and to play a part in the great work it does.
PressPass: What can customers look forward to from Microsoft Dynamics in the year ahead?
Tatarinov: The biggest message to get across going forward is that our customers can count on us being behind them every step of the way, investing in their future and absolutely committed to their continued success.
Over the next two years, customers can anticipate a series of major new releases of every one of our ERP and CRM products, accompanied by regular incremental upgrades such as feature packs and service packs that really fine-tune existing releases and make them even more cost-effective. By delivering continuous innovation, we offer our customers the assurance that they’re always on the cutting edge of the very latest technological capabilities to drive their business. More than that, though, they can count on an unrivaled level of support in tools, training resources, and the formidable knowledge base of our 10,000–plus partners to give them the confidence that they have everything they need to succeed.