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8 years in a row in Microsoft Inner Circle

Wednesday, March 30, 2022
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This weekend, I just came back from the Inner Circle conference in Santa Barbara, California, where I had the privilege to represent Companial together with our CEO, Louis Rustenhoven. It was the eighth time in a row for QBS Group to be part of this exclusive circle, however for the first time we participated as Companial – the recently launched company, merged between 1ClickFactory and QBS Group. The Inner Circle is an exclusive group of Microsoft Dynamics Partners, where we have had the unique opportunity to get latest insights from Microsoft and network among each other to discuss challenges and opportunities.

Hearing future plans first hand  from Microsoft executives like Charles Lamanna or Vahé Torossian and discuss within community how we can land these plans in favor of our joined customers, makes me proud being part of this outstanding group of partners. What are the plans for Business Central, how will Power Platform evolve, how should partner look at the upcoming Microsoft Cloud Partner Program? All these questions were discussed during those intensive 3 days. Most information is yet under non-disclosure, as soon as we get permission, we will share with our valued partner community firsthand.

Just to give you a heads-up, the amount of innovation that will come in next 6-12 month within the Power Platform is truly amazing.

The Inner Circle summit is an outstanding opportunity to share and discuss strategy with Microsoft senior leaders and fellow partners to learn of developments and journey of Microsoft Dynamics. It was inspirational and exciting to see the Microsoft Business Applications journey ahead. The honorable Microsoft Dynamics Inner Circle represents the Top 1% of the complete Business Application ecosystem and drives more than 30% of the worldwide Dynamics revenue. Being a member of the Inner Circle shows the commitment and high quality of those partners. Companial was not only represented this year but showed consistently outstanding performance and delivering valuable solution to the Microsoft Dynamics community for the last 8 years.

The strategic relationship we have with Microsoft enables Companial to support our partners where they need help and guidance to make strategic business decisions and provide a distinct advantage over the competition. Equally important, we look at ourselves as ambassadors for our partner community and take the feedback and insights of our partners int the discussions we have with Microsoft executives in events such as the Inner Circle summit in Santa Barbara!

My personal key takeaways

You cannot replace community events with Teams or Zoom meetings. The energy and collaboration I got from an in-person meeting was worth the trip alone.

While the capabilities of Power Platform grows and hence the potential solutions partners can build, it will become one of our objectives to not only consult, advice and train partners on these capabilities but also help them to bring their solutions to market.

We had many discussions about an “out of box” SMB solution for CRM from Microsoft. For many SMB’s D365 Sales might just be too overwhelming to start with. But if partners take Power Platform as “forms over data,” they just have a great solution platform at hand to get a simple but scalable customer engagement solution for SMB. One that can easily be migrated to D365 Sales Enterprise when customer is ready.

Michael Hartmann
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