About the Author:

Jasmine McNellis

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Convergence Tip of the Week Festival – Week 7

By Jasmine McNellis

This week brings you tips from Mark Rockwell of Rockton Software

  1. In preparing for Convergence, consider joining The Spot or co-marketing with other Partners. There are lots of ways to team up. Perhaps you can find another ISV that has a similar or complementary business offering. Split the costs of giving away a nice prize to attendees for visiting both of your booths.
  2. At Convergence, train your staff to ask leading questions to passers-by that walk down the aisles in front of your booth. We’ve had great success at Rockton asking “Do you use (Microsoft) Dynamics GP?” It quickly weeds out the non-GP users, and amazingly engages the passer-by to answer a follow-up question such as “Have you heard of Rockton and what we offer?” By being aggressive in “fishing” the aisles to bring people into our booth, we get roughly 50% more attendees to step into our booth and hold a conversation with us.

Convergence Tip of the Week Festival – Week 6

By Jasmine McNellis

This week brings you tips from Heather Leslie-Ball of Binary Stream Software

Every year Microsoft Convergence brings a great deal of excitement and vigour to our team and our marketing efforts.  Here are some tips from our team to your to get the ball rolling and make the most of the event this year!

  1. Start Early – Every year you get incredibly busy at Convergence.  To make the most out of it, start early and plan ahead.  Set meeting priorities ahead of time to ensure you are making the needed connections before you even arrive in Atlanta!
  2. Make each Connection Count! – ensure that you really make each conversation count.  Listen carefully and take client needs to heart. Ensure that you take good notes to remember why exactly you were speaking to specific individuals after the event.  The backs of business cards can be especially helpful here.
  3. Stay Fuelled! – With an event like Convergence you and your team are literally running from dawn until dusk and beyond every day.  Because of this it is really important to make sure you eat during expo receptions times, drink plenty of water and get a good amount of sleep before the event even begins.
  4. Stay on target, Stay on message – Try to focus your conversations in on what really matters to your organization. Keep the messages about your products simple, straight-forward and benefit based.  Go deep when needed, but during booth introductions ensure everyone knows your elevator pitch too.

Convergence Tip of the Week Festival – Week 5

By Jasmine McNellis

This week brings you tips from John Kleb of Sikich

1.  You are not going to the conference to eat or sleep.  There will be ample eating, enough sleeping, but the goal is to gain as much new information as you can and to make as many connections as you can handle.

2.  Be sure your suitcase or backpack has room to bring home more than you brought as you will go home with more.

3.  Be sure to attend the keynote sessions.  The keynotes with Microsoft Executives will help you align your future with theirs.  In fact, you will often see a future you hadn’t yet imagined.  The keynote(s) with non-Microsoft speakers are always a fantastic as that is why that presenter was engaged.

4.  Look beyond the sessions.  There is no question the sessions carry a lot of value, but if all you do at Convergence is attend sessions, you will have left behind a lot of opportunity.

5.  You have ideas or needs – share them with your product technical team.  One of two things will happen.  Either you will find an answer/grow an idea or the technical team will receive an insight into the real world that will help them build an even better product.

6.  Meet as many members of the Microsoft Executive team as you are able and share with them how your business is going as well as how your Dynamics product(s) enables your business.  Don’t hesitate to provide them with a short list of things they can do/change to make your life better.  They love this stuff and you will help guide their thinking.

7.  Believe it or not – attend the parties.  The environment created by a social event allows conservative professional  barriers to be lowered and can often provide you with real insight or, at worst, a great new relationship with someone like you.  Remember, everyone there shares Dynamics in common so you will never be stuck for lack of something to talk about.

8.  If you are an end-user, engage with your partner.  Convergence is a big opportunity for free consulting ;-).  If you are a partner, engage with your end-users as there will be nothing to build loyalty better than the Convergence connections you can make and the solution sharing you can provide.

If you would like to provide a Convergence tip for a future post, please contact Jasmine@thepartnerchannel.com.


Convergence Tip of the Week Festival – Week 4

By Jasmine McNellis

This week brings you tips from Manick Vel of ZSL Inc

Best Practices for Convergence Exhibitors

Exhibiting at MS Convergence provides good lead generation, markets your brand name and focusing on a targeted audience. It’s a great place to launch new products, provide education about your business, meet and talk to your client base and, check out the competition.

It enables you to keep abreast with latest developments and strengthens existing relationships with clients & MS community. You are likely to speak to more people in one day than you would see in a week or more using other marketing strategies. Everyone you speak to could easily be a potential client.

Here is the list of measurable out comes for the conference which can be set for every day.

1.  Set target for  deal closures at the conference and measure
2.  Set target for product demos and measure
3.  Set target for daily booth Traffic and measure
4.  Set target for collecting new contacts business cards other than booth visitors
5.  Set target for partnerships with Other MS Partners/ISV’s.

If you would like to provide a Convergence tip for a future post, please contact Jasmine@thepartnerchannel.com.

Convergence Tip of the Week Festival – Weeks 2 & 3

By Jasmine McNellis

This week also brings you tips from John Kolakowski of Green Beacon Solutions, LLC. 

  • On Site Meeting: Schedule a brief meeting with all attendees immediately before the event to confirm established goals, review everyone’s schedule to ensure that all attendees know where they’re supposed to be and when, and to discuss any last minute updates/changes that may have occurred. Familiarize everyone with the booth, materials, giveaways, promos etc.  
  • Information Gathering: Ensure that there is a defined process in place that’s communicated to all attendees prior to the event for managing onsite inquiries, leads etc. Identify the “point person” who is responsible for managing the inquiries, leads etc.
  • Data Input: Although a follow on to the above, this point deserves to be called out: be sure that information, inquiries, leads etc. are input into your CRM system and assigned to the appropriate resources on a daily basis or immediately following the event. Ensure that any notes and follow up actions are included.
  • “Post Mortem”: Before the event has kicked off, schedule a meeting with all attendees no later than one week following Convergence. The objective is to discuss what went well/what could be improved upon, review results, and determine follow up actions (both from a marketing and sales standpoint). Ensure that you continue to monitor results/actions following the event….too often I’ve forgotten that just because an event is over, the work doesn’t stop!

This week brings you tips from Anya Ciecierski of CAL Business Solutions Inc.

1.  Reserve your hotel early – they book up fast. 

2.  Find a good local restaurant online so you have a place to set up company meetings. 

3.  Ask your Dynamics Partner to schedule one on one meetings with key ISV members in advance.  Use the scheduler tool to see when you have free time.

4.  For more great tips, check out:  http://www.erpsoftwareblog.com/2011/02/secrets-for-microsofts-customer-conference-convergence-2011/


If you would like to provide a Convergence tip for a future post, please contact Jasmine@thepartnerchannel.com.

Convergence Tip of the Week Festival – Week 1

By Jasmine McNellis

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Today kicks off our Convergence Tip of the Week Festival.  Each week will feature tips from VARs and ISVs who are also preparing for Convergence 2011 Atlanta.  This week brings you tips from Cheryl Strege of The Partner Marketing Group. 

Determining ROI on trade shows is daunting, especially for those new to investing in exhibitions.  How does one go about it?  What are the best practices for it? Exhibit Surveys, along with several trade show industry organizations (IAEE, CEIR and PCMA) have created an ROI Tool Kit that any exhibitor can use to determine the effectiveness of their trade show program. And the best part – it is free!! The Tool Kit answers questions regarding exhibit expenditure and its return. http://www.tradeshowmarketing.com/how-to-determine-the-roi-of-a-trade-show.shtml.

If you would like to provide a Convergence tip for a future post, please contact Jasmine@thepartnerchannel.com.

And Now a Word from our e-Newsletter Sponsor…Bottomline Technologies

By Jasmine McNellis

Bottomline Technologies Demonstrates Advanced Technologies at Microsoft Dynamics® AX Conference

During a recent session at Microsoft’s® Technical conference Bottomline was recognized by Microsoft® for developing innovative, easy-to-use connector technologies for the next version of Microsoft Dynamics® AX. Bottomline demonstrated robust connector technologies for the formatting and customization of ERP output. “As one of the first customers slated to go live on the next version on Microsoft Dynamics AX, we depend on Bottomline Technologies to design, develop and deliver add-on integrations that will ensure our successful upgrade,” said Robert Jablonski, operations manager at Hydra Power Systems. “Bottomline has proven to deliver innovative solutions that are simple to use and provide the flexibility necessary to make our processes more efficient and intelligent.”

“We’re honored to be recognized by Microsoft for our expertise in application development and proud to be identified as a technology front runner,” said Andrew Mintzer, senior vice president of product strategy and delivery for Bottomline Technologies. “We focus on developing solutions that provide the greatest value to our customers. The ability to connect applications to Microsoft Dynamics AX in an easy, intuitive and flexible way is just one of the benefits we offer.”



Bottomline again topped the Global Finance list of ‘World’s Best Treasury & Cash Management Providers’ in the Best Accounts Payable Services

We’ve won this award six times: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, and now 2011.  According to the article in Global Finance magazine, Global Finance editors — with input from industry analysts, corporate executives and technology experts — selected the best providers of treasury and cash management services. A variety of subjective and objective criteria were used for choosing the winners. Factors considered included: profitability, market share and reach, customer service, competitive pricing, product innovation and the extent to which treasury and cash management banks have successfully differentiated themselves from their competitors around core treasury and cash management service provision.

Bottomline was announced as a winner in their World’s Best Treasury and Cash Management Providers 2011 Awards


And Now a Word from our e-Newsletter Sponsor…Sabrix

By Jasmine McNellis

Sabrix Managed Tax Service (MTS) is an outsourced sales and use tax service managed by skilled tax experts.  Delivered via an on-demand software solution that integrates seamlessly with MS Dynamics to provide the highest level of compliance while eliminating manual, error-prone processes.  Sabrix MTS supports your sales tax process from end to end – from up to date tax research, tax determination and calculation, through to returns and filing.

And Now a Word from our e-Newsletter Sponsor…Mekorma

By Jasmine McNellis

Mekorma MICR is the only MICR check printing solution created especially for Microsoft Dynamics GP.  Mekorma MICR check printing makes it easy to manage multiple checkbooks.  Using blank check stock dramatically reduces processing time and errors.  Mekorma MICR is embedded in Microsoft Dynamics GP and can be customized to integrate with other databases as well.  The standard Microsoft Dynamics GP check printing process is closely followed so there is almost nothing new to learn.

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