Welcome to the Spark of Thought blog series where I will blog about influential business topics.
In my first blog, I’d like to talk about what I think about the opportunity in the business solutions market and where we should go next. Before I talk about the future, first I’d like to talk about the recent change in my employment.
Microsoft is an innovative and amazing company to work for. They are a fantastic company. I learned a lot in my time there and I don’t regret a single moment. Even though the layoff was not related to my performance, it was incredibly difficult. I never dreamed it would be this hard, not only for me, but the community that I love as well.
Just like with any large change, I went through the stages of loss. Denial, anger, guilt, depression…after a while I reached the stage of acceptance. It happened. I no longer work at Microsoft.
It’s time to move on and get off of the emotional rollercoaster.
I took the opportunity to reflect on the past twenty-two years. The journey I’ve been on with all of you has been pretty impressive. I’ve worked with so many passionate, inspiring and insanely smart people over the years. I planned to highlight my proudest moments (and the learning ones too) in this blog, but there are too many stories to share.
I encourage you to add your stories in the comments using the #IamDynGP hashtag.
In the process of moving forward, I offer these thoughts:
- Let go of your theories on why it happened. Sometimes there isn’t a why, plus it doesn’t matter anymore. We are moving on.
- Let go of trying to find any extra meaning in it. There are no hidden messages about the future of GP and no secret conspiracies. Don’t waste your time trying to find them.
- Don’t make any decisions of any kind based on the layoff.
Let go and accept the past. Focus on what’s next, because what’s next might be better than even your proudest accomplishments of the past.
As I reflected on the past, thoughts of my future and what I really wanted to do next were never too far away. Many people that I respect in the community offered helpful perspective and advice. Thank you all for your open ears and insightful words. You helped me more than you know.
I believe with all my heart and soul that GP will live on and have a bright future, if partners and ISV’s keep selling it. We have control over the future. In my opinion, the future is for us to set as a community, not Microsoft. It’s time to take control over what’s next and set our own path.
Now, what do I think is the best next step?
Technology is an amazing thing, but tech for the sake of tech doesn’t create value. I believe it’s time to innovate for the real world. It’s time to disrupt the market like Uber did for the taxi industry. We are in a unique position with GP because the product is robust and stable. We can change without a lot of risk and reach for a huge reward. And, we know what people need.
Plus, we get to help customers uberize their own business and industry. How fun is that?
Dynamics GP is a product that people want to use, that’s why most of our new deals come from referrals. We understand how people use software and how to solve business problems. We know how to create the solutions users don’t even know they need. While the competition is still trying to add basic functionality to catch up to GP, now is the time to innovate. I’ve looked at the latest releases of many competing products, and do you know what really stands out? The functionality they are adding has been in GP for years.
Now is the time to unite and revolutionize.
I believe that many people (me included) forget how innovative we’ve been over the past thirty years. We were pioneers in the industry and had big, bold ideas. We went after them with gumption. The opportunity still exists, we just need to be willing to go after it again. We need to create apps that make sense and give value to customers. We need to embrace new online solutions that are already in the market instead of selling what we always have.
Do you remember when you gathered leads by seminars, faxing and cold calling? Back then, if a customer wanted to learn about our solution, they had to talk to us, which isn’t the case anymore. We need new ways to get people’s attention. We need to demonstrate our experience. We need to break through the fog that marketing departments create so that people don’t see how little their products can do. We need to make it simpler and easier to buy from us.
We need to evolve to create a revolution of disruption.
Is it too big of a risk to go with GP and aggressively sell it? In my opinion, no because:
- Risk is everywhere.
- Don’t get distracted by the marketing messages and move forward with fear. Focus on what works and where you can make money.
- Adding a competing product is a risk, and reaching profitability is hard. Most of you have experienced this first hand.
- No one is in a leadership position for the mid-market. It’s completely open right now, and I don’t see anyone else able to win. With this much uncertainty, sell what you know. Sell what customers want. Sell GP.
- Brilliant marketing strategies can hide what a product can really can do, but with GP, you don’t need to hide.
- Also because of marketing, we are competing against very old products who now pretend that they are new. I find it fascinating that some of these products are as old or older than GP but they talk like they aren’t, and they don’t have equivalent functionality. What have they been doing all this time?
- Several products have been acquired, and therefore, have an uncertain future, especially if you look at their historical actions and not their words.
GP works. It’s stable and GP customers love the product and don’t want to use anything else. This, combined with our extensive knowledge and the ability to solve problems means we win.
What’s next? It’s time to join me in the revolution. Let’s go take GP to the next level, together.
Director of Cloud Applications