Recently I had the opportunity to interview Jon Rivers. In this interview he discusses his book, current projects and his views on user problems.
In a short summary what do you describe your job is?
I am currently the Channel Partner Manager at Data Masons Software an EDI ISV solution provider who helps to solve the EDI needs of clients who are running Dynamics GP, AX or NAV. When I am not helping the partners I am managing all of our Social Media outlets if that be our Blog, Twitter or LinkedIn accounts.
You can also find me presenting at Dynamics-focused conferences, educational forums and Web events, including the annual GPUG Summit, AXUG Summit, NAVUG Forum, Microsoft Convergence and numerous regional user groups.
How long have you’ve been in the Microsoft Dynamics GP Industry?
I have been in the Microsoft Dynamics GP space now for over two years but I have been in the Dynamics ERP ecosystem for over seven years working with both Dynamics AX and NAV.
What’s the message in your book “Solving the Social Media Puzzle for Microsoft Dynamics End Users” that you want readers to grasp?
Social Media can be confusing to people as there is expectation that you should be pushing content through various channels, but that’s not true you can be just a consumer of information. Actually that is where I started and with all the useful information out there, I wanted to bring that to the attention of the End User who uses Dynamics GP on daily basis. With blogs show how to resolve issue to YouTube videos give you snippets of how to training to content being pushed my Microsoft themselves.
Now-a-days social media has become the everyday norm, how much of an impact do you think Dynamics GP will have attracting new customers using marketing efforts through social media?
I believe Social Media is already having an impact out there especially when I see the efforts that Microsoft is putting behind it. Take for example when Microsoft released Dynamics AX 2012 they use Social Media a lot to drive traffic to the virtual release event. Now if I also take my role at Data Masons we have certainly seen an increased in awareness of our solution using these channels.
What does it take to expand to packages like NAV, AX, and SL?
Making sure you fully understand the packages and the verticals/client base you will be taking them into.
How do you think the Partner Channel will have to change over the coming years?
End Users are getting more and more savvy on how they do they research and evaluation of solutions so the Partner Channel community will have to adjust as necessary to this.
What customization tool would you create to meet the needs of users that are facing a common problem?
A portal that would scan every possible place within out there to see if that problem has been already been answer by other in the Dynamics Community via maybe a blog or tweet or maybe a video and of course search Microsoft’s KB’s as well. If there is no answer then it would post it and push it out to the Community.
We have a webinar coming up called 10 tricks in 30 minutes The Top 10 Features of Dynamics GP You’re Not Using and Should Be! What would be one of your tricks?
As I am not a physical user of Dynamics GP on a daily basis as I am more focused on solving EDI requirements for clients I am not sure I can recommend one.
What are your current projects now? Are you planning on speaking at a public event?
New projects… if you call it a project that is, I just became the Communications Chair for the IAMCP DC Chapter so excited about that new opportunity. From a speaking standpoint I will be speaking at the GPUG Summit in October this year “Where Do the Experts Turn for Answers? The Power of Social Media”. It should be exciting as I also get to work with Mariano Gomez for first time and it’s always an honor to work with the MVP’s in Dynamics GP ecosystem. There are also some others as well in the works so watch my twitter feed for updates.
What do you like most about your job?
The people I get to work with on a daily basis. The whole Dynamics Community is a great bunch of people to work with. It’s what drives me to be at my desk every morning.
By: Natalie Williams, Marketing Coordinator, WebSan Solutions Inc. a Canadian Certified Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner
I got the chance to interview Mark Polino a Microsoft Certified IT Professional for Dynamics GP. He is a well-known MVP in the MS Great Plains community. I attended Dynamics Decisions 2011 and I thought he did a wonderful job speaking about the worst mistakes that you can make with Dynamics GP, which was really helpful because I’m new to the system. These are the questions he was asked:
1. When did you realize this would be your career?
In my first few years as a consultant, I realized that my experience with Dynamics GP gave me an advantage even if I chose to go back into the industry. When I moved out of consulting and into a controller role for a while it made a huge difference in getting the job.
2. In 2010, you wrote the book “Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 Cookbook” what was your inspiration for writing it?
I had built several “50 Tips in 50 Minutes for Dynamics GP” presentations that got great reactions. I was considering building them into an eBook and mentioned that to my friend and fellow MVP, Mariano Gomez. He was talking to a publisher about a book and he put me in touch with Packt Publishing. The rest is history and the publisher’s help made a huge difference in delivering a better book.
3. What are you current projects now? Are you planning on writing another book or speaking at an upcoming event?
I have a number of speaking engagements lined up including a pile of presentations at Convergence 2012 in Houston. I’ve written a number of fictional short stories to illustrate Dynamics GP features in a different way. There are a few more projects in the works are, but none of them are far enough along to discuss just yet.
4. What would you say is the strongest feature in Microsoft Dynamics GP?
I think there are two. The first is its strong financial features. This provides a solid underpinning for Dynamics GP. Second is a strong ISV/Partner channel. This provides ways to extend Dynamics GP into places no one can foresee.
5. What is the biggest problem that you’ve observed that new users face?
It’s still training/training/training. Companies don’t want to pay for. Training gets delivered at implementation and maybe never again so new users only get what’s passed down. People learn more about what’s already in their system after an upgrade, even though much of the functionality isn’t new. Companies think ERP should be easy to use. It is, but Angry Birds is even easier and there are more than 56,000 videos of walkthroughs of Angry Birds. This idea of the software being so intuitive that we don’t need to train is simply unrealistic.
6. What do you think the future of Cloud ERP holds
Cloud ERP will bring greater accessibility, that is, ERP in more places. It may ultimately reduce flexibility. It will be harder for companies to customize ERP systems in the way they have in the past. Frankly, this is both good and bad. It keeps companies from making mistakes like customizing new systems to look just like their old systems, but it may make sales harder for more horizontally focused systems.
You can visit Mark Polino website here: http://msdynamicsgp.blogspot.com/
By: Natalie Williams, Marketing Coordinator, WebSan Solutions Inc., a Canadian Certified Microsoft Dynamics Partner