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Preview: David Overton's Blog : CRM

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Free internal use Windows Intune, Office 365, Dynamics CRM Online licenses for Microsoft Partners through Cloud Essentials and Cloud Accelerate

Wed, 16 Nov 2011 08:32:00 GMT

While asking at Microsoft of any information they wanted me to share about Windows Intune Olivia asked me to share this.  I think this is so key, I will share this on the blog too.  Something to remember is that you can join Windows Intune ticketing up to Dynamics CRM Online for a more joined up helpdesk experience. Cloud Essentials is a free programme for all MOSPA-registered partners, without sales or reference obligations. Partners just need to sign up at and they can then sign in at this portal to receive the following benefits: Internal user rights for: • 250 licences of Office 365 • 25 subscriptions for Windows Intune • 250 licences for Dynamics CRM Online • Marketing resources • Demo showcase • Profitability Modeller • Online technical communities for Cloud • Listing as Cloud Essentials partner on Microsoft PinPoint online marketplace For partners who are actively selling Cloud, they could become Cloud Accelerate partners after completing three deals (with 150 aggregated...(read more)(image)

Manage customers with #Windows #Intune and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online (Updated)

Wed, 16 Nov 2011 00:27:00 GMT

As a Microsoft partner (or customer), you can connect Windows Intune to MS-CRM to enable management ticketing from MS-CRM for client computers managed through Windows Intune. The details of how to configure this can be found at and it states “This document shows how Managed Services Providers (MSPs) can use Windows Intune™ in conjunction with Microsoft Dynamics® CRM Online to create and manage customer contracts, establish and automate internal business processes, and create cases based on email messages sent by alerts that track against a customer’s contract.” It also states that: As organizations build their Windows Intune MSP capabilities, they can use Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online to: Track customer accounts. Create and manage contracts and service-level agreements (SLAs) with customers. Create and track cases against customer SLAs. Assign customer cases to Windows Intune technicians. Create workflows and dialogs that enforce standardized...(read more)(image)

How to sell Hosted CRM (CRM Online) in the UK and still retain your customers and a good profit – by working with Increase CRM

Thu, 24 Apr 2008 15:39:00 GMT

[updated with contact details at 16:38] I have a partners or two that are looking to implement CRM internally and through the conversations about how they could do this came to know of the guys at Increase CRM.  The good folks at Increase CRM seem to understand how SBSC partners think because the offerings they have for referral and resellers seem to be quite good to me.  if you want the brochure on the subject, let me know, but here is the important piece for partners: What is the Referral Program? Partners in the Referral Program refer their customers to Increase CRM and we offer hosted Microsoft Dynamics CRM and support services directly to the customer. Typically, the partner will provide implementation consulting services and may choose to provide first and second line support. Referral Partner Commissions The Referral Program guarantees partners commissions from any customers referred to Increase CRM: Subscribers Commission 5-10 100% of the first month’s subscription fees 11-50 200% of the first month’s subscription fees 51+ 300% of the first month’s subscription fees   What is the Reseller Program? Partners in the Reseller Program resell Increase CRM’s hosted services under their own brand and Increase CRM does not contract with their partner’s customer. Typically, the partner will provide all the implementation consulting, user support, system administration and billing services to the customer Reseller Wholesale Fees The Reseller Program guarantees partners a low wholesale fee for hosted Microsoft Dynamics CRM that partners can mark-up and offer to their customers, as described in the table below: No. of Users Reseller Partner User Subscription Fee 1 to 250 £30 per user per month 250+ Available on request   Comparison of the Partner Programs The table below compares the two partner programs: Responsibility Referral Partner Program Reseller Partner Program Marketing Partner Partner Sales Partner Partner Setup Increase CRM Increase CRM Implementation Partner Partner First line support Increase CRM or partner Partner Second line support Increase CRM or partner Partner Third line support Increase CRM Increase CRM Billing Increase CRM Partner I think this looks very well considered and is something partners who want to move into CRM should look at for those customers who can’t make the initial up front investment. If you want to know more about this, please contact Jon Sturgen at or on 020 8099 1305.  ttfnDavid Technorati Tags: SBSC, MS CRM, CRM, Community, Small Business, Dynamics Sales, Microsoft, Hosted, Hosted CRM, if you only read one thing today[...]

More ways to engage with customers using the Microsoft advertising campaigns

Tue, 04 Mar 2008 21:00:00 GMT


[updated 4th March]

Many people congratulated Microsoft after the Mr Busy campaigns allowed partners to drive their customers back to them using a MS campaign.  Well, this is now being repeated for a number of campaigns.  Today I found the click and go site to get them all (  You can get 200 post cards or 1,000 e-mails for free and then a low price for additional cards/ e-mails if required.  The campaigns covered include:

  • Business Productivity
  • Customer Acquisition and Retention
  • Security and Reliability
  • Small Business PC
  • Mr Busy

This method of engaging is not new to the Small Business team and others have covered this before (eg Susanne here), but it is worth re-highlighting this now as some of the campaigns have been renewed, so go back and visit the site!!





Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 VPC Image

Sun, 03 Feb 2008 19:55:11 GMT

I saw this and thought I would share for those who had not seen it - Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 VPC Image

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 VPC Image

Get familiar with the upcoming Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 release: Preview Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 in a Virtual PC (VPC) image.


This Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 preview leverages Release Candidate (RC0) code in a Virtual PC image. The demo is designed as a one-computer setup with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 server and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 client for Microsoft Outlook.

Note: Although the image can be utilised on a single PC or laptop computer, it is strongly suggested that the image be run using an external USB 2.0 hard drive for best performance. If you do not have an external drive, you can run the image locally on the host computer; however, you will experience a decrease in performance.


This VPC contains the following:

  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 (RC0)

  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM Laptop and Desktop Client

  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM SDK (C:\CRM Tools\SDK)

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition (SP2)

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005

  • Internet Explorer 7

  • Microsoft Office Professional 2007

  • Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007

  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2005

  • POP3 E-Mail Services (No Exchange)

  • Microsoft LCA Approved Sample Data

System Requirements

Supported Operating Systems

  • Windows Vista operating system; Microsoft Windows XP

Other Requirements

  • Personal computer with1.5 GHz or higher processor and at least 2.0 gigabytes (GB) of RAM

  • 12 GB of available hard drive space

  • Super VGA (1024x768) video adapter/monitor

  • Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 software (Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 and Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 also compatible)




Technorati Tags: ,,,,

Lots of OneNote PowerToys (file and data importers, Outlook tools, table sums, word count, tools to subpage a page or merge pages, copy to mobile device, template maker, favourites, table of contents and even CRM)

Fri, 18 Jan 2008 10:54:16 GMT

Many people out there love OneNote.  Lots of people have it and don't use it - shame on you - try it, but also try the tutorial so you stand a better chance of "getting" this note taking tool.  Anyway, I saw a mail by John listing some of the items posted about by him.  It is an impressive list. Here's the list, broken down by area: Migrating to OneNote: 1. Journal import 2. Text File Importer: 3. Export Outlook Notes to OneNote: 4. Import books from Project Gutenberg: Outlook Addins: 5. Outlook Email to OneNote: 6. Task Request 7. Use OneNote instead of Outlook Notes: Work with data on page: 8. Audio Fine Tuner 9. Table Sums 10. Image Rotator 11. Printout Manager: 12. Word Count: Working with Pages: 13. Make a Page a Subpage: 14. Merge Pages: OneNote Mobile: 15. Copy to Mobile Device: Notebook level addins: 16. Privatizer 17. Template Maker 18. OneNote Favorites: 19. Table of Contents: Shared source addins: 20. The Shared Source OM: (Donovan Lange and Jachym Kouba get ALL the credit for this one!) 21. CRM for OneNote: & ttfn David Technorati Tags: OneNote, Office 2007, Office System, PowerToys[...]

Where Customers may obtain License Keys for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0

Fri, 18 Jan 2008 00:32:00 GMT

I've been asked this a few times, so attached is the response I got from the nice Product peeps here in the UK.  Since the easiest way to share was a picture - here it is :-)

It covers the following license types:

  • Trial
  • MSDN/Technet
  • MSPP
  • MAPS
  • VL
  • BRL
  • SPLA
  • ISV Royalty


Again, see for more information on MS CRM and for download information.




Technorati Tags: ,,

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Ready for Download

Thu, 17 Jan 2008 14:01:00 GMT

Just in case you had not seen it - CRM 4.0 is available -  Susanne Dansey has also been to one of the CRM days and has some good info at Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Ready for DownloadBy Stuart J. Johnston Microsoft announced Monday that it has released to manufacturing the long-awaited update to its Dynamics-branded customer relationship management software (CRM). Previously codenamed "Titan," the latest version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM actually has two names in its final form. For on-premise, customer-hosted, as well as partner-hosted deployments, the product has been dubbed Dynamics CRM 4.0. The company will also be offering the package on-demand in a Microsoft-hosted environment that it has named Dynamics CRM Live. Existing and new customers will be able to download the update when it's released on the Web this week, a Microsoft official told The Microsoft-hosted version, however, continues to run under the early access program that the company began in September. Microsoft plans to take that version live during the first half of 2008, said Brad Wilson, general manager of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. "[In the meantime,] more than 100 customers are using [CRM Live] at this point," Wilson added. The release of Dynamics CRM 4.0 comes two years after version 3.0 shipped. CEO Steve Ballmer demonstrated CRM Live – a.k.a. CRM 4.0 -- during his keynote at the company's Convergence 2007 conference in March. Probably the most notable feature in CRM 4.0 is its so-called "multitenant" architecture, which enables a hosting partner, for instance, to run only one copy of the server but support multiple customers simultaneously and securely. CRM 4.0 also features support for 25 different languages and multiple currencies, although not all will be available immediately, according to a company statement. Among other additions, the package adds business process automation based on Microsoft Windows Workflow Foundation. It also provides new collaboration capabilities with Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007, such as real-time presence indicators within the CRM application, the statement said. With the move to two different names for the same code base, the company is aiming to differentiate its Microsoft-hosted Live version from the partner hosted version partly by pointing customers who need custom application work and support to those partners. At the same time, however, CRM Live is another step in Microsoft's emerging "software plus services" initiative – meaning that the company has to be careful not to step too much on partners who both sell the package to on-premise customers as well as host it for customers. Wilson emphasized that its CRM partners have much more expertise in deploying and supporting Dynamics CRM, particularly in vertical markets. Additionally, Microsoft's CRM Live offering targets "small, five to 50-user deployments," at least so far, he added. Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Ready for Download   Some Good CRM blogs are: TIDBITS on Microsoft Dynamics CRM Microsoft Dynamics CRM UK Blog   ttfn   David Technorati Tags: MSCRM,CRM,Dynamics[...]

Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) v3, SharePoint Portal and Office Communicator, Partner Sales 101 and Dynamics and CRM training

Mon, 23 Jul 2007 11:33:58 GMT

Office Communications Server 2007 Ignite Workshop This two-day workshop introduces many of the new features and capabilities that are built into Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007, including Rich Presence, Instant Messaging, Audio/Video Conferencing, and Voice.    Click here to enrol.   Implementing and Maintaining Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Course This is a residential, intensive and compressed course intended for those partners who want to get a head start on the new SharePoint certifications. Ten days compressed into five Training for 12+ hours a day Residential course, with 24 hour availability of labs and instructor Exams taken during the week Limited number of seats – few deliveries are planned, so if you want your Partners to attend please encourage them to sign up now Click here for more information or to enrol   Partner Sales 101 The next one is being held on the 11th September 2007Aim: This session will equip sales people with the knowledge and skills that will enable them to talk to new and existing customers about the business benefits of Microsoft technologies, and associated areas such as licensing. Target Audience: This session is aimed at sales people. People within a partner organisation who present technology solutions to customers from a non-technical or business point of view and people who are not technical experts and do not demonstrate software, but talk about the possible solution outcome. Objectives: For the sales person to gain an understanding of all key Microsoft technologies, with additional focus on infrastructure, and the Portals and Business Intelligence solutions, Windows Vista, Office 2007,the Microsoft Dynamics products and the  fundamentals of Microsoft licensing. Click Here to register.   Dynamics Sales Workshop Being held on the 20th September 2007 Aim: This one day course and workshop that will equip your Partners with the unique value proposition for you & Microsoft Dynamics, the Microsoft Dynamics Strategic value proposition, Competitive Positioning of Microsoft and Microsoft Dynamics, an understanding of the ‘ideal’ Microsoft/Dynamics Opportunity, a library of War Stories and Case Studies to use and Objection Handling. Target Audience: This is essential training for any new sales people in your Partners and potentially even for some of the more experienced sales people. For further information click here.   CRM Sales Academies 44SA003 - Sales Academy - Dynamics CRM -Aim: This session is aimed at both sales and pre-sales people selling Microsoft CRM into Mid Market and Enterprise. -Target Audience: This session is aimed at both sales and pre-sales people selling Microsoft CRM into Mid Market and Enterprise, Sales People within a partner organisation who present technology solutions to customers from a non-technical or business point of view and People who are not technical. Date                                        Location 15th Aug 2007                       Manchester 16th Aug 2007                       Edinburgh 17th Aug 2007                       Reading 30th Oct 2007                      [...]

Worldwide Partner Conference - WPC in Denver - what I know so far - Dynamics CRM Live

Tue, 10 Jul 2007 22:50:44 GMT

Microsoft Announces Product Offerings and Customer Early Access Program for Microsoft Dynamics Live CRM - This could be huge - $44 per calendar month per user for Professional CRM and $59 for Enterprise edition (Professional Edition plus offline support)!!!

Then, when you thought it was not so good for partners, look at the models:

With the new Live service, partners in the Microsoft Dynamics CRM ecosystem will have new opportunities to deliver value to their customers and to drive revenue for their businesses by developing and deploying solutions across the three deployment options — Live, on-premise and partner-hosted models. For revenue in the new Live model, partners will be compensated on a recurring basis, not a one-time basis; each year they will receive 10 percent of the yearly Software as a Service (SaaS) subscription revenue for each customer for whom they are the partner of record. During 2008, a special incentive will allow partners to receive 15 percent of the SaaS subscription revenue for that year

Steve from BMS noted the following:

Microsoft WPC 2007 notes at BMS Blog: SBS Consulting in the UK

  • Dynamics CRM Live launched
    • Live Demo by Brad Wilson - General Manager for CRM
    • Ability to download and completely remodel the CRM environment via partner provided XML templates
    • Direct competitor for etc.
    • Early adopter program
    • Only available through partners
    • Focus on making revenue from consultation




    Win an XBOX 360 or 5 x Office and Vista while getting Microsoft to pay some or all of your Marketing Campaign Builder Expenses for Small Business PC, Branch Office solutions or Build Customer Connections Campaigns. Time limited - ends 30th April 2007

    Wed, 11 Apr 2007 18:17:00 GMT


    Hopefully I have your attention, which is good.  Microsoft UK are trying to encourage the use of our marketing tools and also gain some feedback.

    First of all, the prizes for the best feedback - an Xbox 360 system OR 5 x Vista Ultimate AND 5 x Office 2007 Pro.

    Next, the cash - we can offer a limited number of people £150 towards a marketing campaign - if that covers the whole of the campaign, then so be it and it has cost you nothing!  This money is to be used at the UK Partner Campaign Builder portal.

    OK, so now for the pitch!

    As many of you know we like to help our partners in many ways here at Microsoft and one area that small business partners have asked for help is in the marketing area.  Campaign Builder is a one stop shop to either produce materials and run the campaign yourself, or use the agency to run the campaign for you (or at least print the materials).  Well, we have a limited number of discount vouchers to make this a £150 easier process.

    The idea is simple to do, simply do the following this April (2007 for the pedants)

    1. Visit the Business Efficiency/ Small Business PC Campaign page to learn more about the campaigns
    2. Visit Partner Campaign Builder and get up to £150* towards your first Business Efficiency/ Small Business PC Campaign with Partner Campaign Builder
    3. You then need to enter the promotional codes as below
    4. Send an e-mail to with the subject “I used campaign builder and it worked for me” with the details of how you used the campaign and what it has done to help your business and if necessary what it should do better.  Send the e-mail by the end of May and we will read them and pick out a winner for either 5 x Office 2007 and 5 x Windows Vista Ultimate OR a Xbox 360 core edition for the 3rd week of June (you choose which prize you want).  (we will notify you of you success via a return mail to your e-mail address and will publish the winning reason on the blog site).  We may also ask to discuss the benefits of Campaign Builder with you further to improve the service or ask to create a case study.

    · Business Efficiency (Small Business  PC) – EJYRDTWA  (first 30 partners)

    · Branch Office - 7AHXBYP4 (first 160 partners)

    · Build Customer Connections - DQH9HCY1 (first 100 partners)

    Run the campaign, tell me why you like it and get software or an Xbox.  If you have any concerns put a comment on the web and I will answer them.  You must be a UK Microsoft partner to qualify, your target market should also be in the UK and you must run the campaign.







    What is the Killer App for Office 2007 - Business Contact Manager (BCM)

    Fri, 24 Nov 2006 06:28:13 GMT

    Many people have asked me what the killer app is for Office and I have always replied that it depends on the customers' needs.  This is still true, so I am not doing a U-turn on that, but one thing people are always after is some form of CRM solution, but moving people to MS-CRM has an associated expense and complexity.  BCM in Office 2003 was a nice package, but suffered on account of mobility, sharing account information and scalability. Office 2007 has addressed these issues and is now an amazing product.  To see what it can do I strongly recommend you go and watch the small flash demo at .  When you load it onto your system (yes, I have it loaded on my work system connected to Exchange) you get the following mail that explains what it can do.  I have bolded the sections I think are the most important. One of the really interesting things is that many customers say they want some form of contact management system, but are far less interested in the marketing side.  When you drill down into this, it is often because they consider it too hard and complex.  Once they have seen how easy it is to deliver a campaign professionally with Office 2007, it is often the area that excites them the most and BCM can manage and monitor this for them, ensuring they understand what gives them value and that they follow up with customers as needed. If your customers could do with a bit of this - then Office 2007 is the product for them. Welcome to Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 with Business Contact Manager, which combines the familiar appearance of Outlook with great new and updated features. Feature  Overview New Features! Customization - Tailor Business Contact Manager for Outlook to fit your business needs by customizing forms, lists, and reports. Marketing Campaigns - Manage and measure the effectiveness of the marketing content that you create. Promote your brand, quickly see which Marketing Campaigns help you generate more business, and improve customer satisfaction. If you have created Marketing Campaigns before, Business Contact Manager for Outlook helps you distribute the Marketing Campaigns more effectively. If you're new to marketing your business, Business Contact Manager for Outlook guides you through the process. Business Projects and Project Tasks - Manage your time and business better by using the Business Project feature. Business Projects give you a single place to store all related project information, tasks, and assignments so that you can quickly see who's doing what project task, and its due date. Easily share project information across your company. For example, you can assign project tasks to colleagues, which they can see in their To-Do Bar. Offline - Take your data with you on your portable computer so that you can see how your business is doing at any time. View reports, follow up with customers, create new Business Projects, or just update Account and Business Contact information. When you return to your office, it is easy to synchronize the information. Business Contact Manager for Outlook E-Mail Marketing Service - By combining the power of the E-mail Marketing Service* with Business Contact Manager for Outlook, you can send specifically targeted e-mailings to your customers, and keep track of the responses to your e-mailings. The E-mail Marketing Service is free to try and provides a cost-effective and powerful way to reach your customers in a personal way. To use the E-mail Marketing Service, create a Marketing Campaign, and then select the Campaign Type as E-mail and the Delivery Method as E-mail Marketing Service. Home Page - Get [...]

    Important Sneak Peak – UK Small Business Symposium coming

    Wed, 08 Nov 2006 08:02:04 GMT

    I can't reveal all the details, although I am sure others will, however we are working on special event for SBSC members. This event design incorporates your feedback and suggestions as to what you want to hear about, share as a community as well as information Microsoft needs to share with you. Expect useful information, the opportunity to network with your peers, Microsoft and partners and the ability to socialise too J The timeframe for this event is February 2007, in Reading, Manchester (or Leeds) and Edinburgh, although more sessions will happen in the afternoon in Reading due to availability of speakers and rooms. The ROUGH agenda looks like this Morning: UK Exec who actually cares about Small Business (such as Natalie Ayres - Director of SMS&P*) talking about: What's the view from the top?Why does everything you've heard matter?What's the opportunity for partners? Aileen Hannah – responsible for SBSC programme in the UK, talking about: Highlights & lowlights of the program so farLatest resources & benefits for partnersReference partner success stories Steve Haddock – responsible for the Disty partners with some special news for SBSC partners talking about: Latest trend dataWhere Microsoft are investingWhat's the opportunity for partners? David Overton and Matt McSpirit from the PTS team and guest TAP** partner and customer talking about Vista & Office: Value for small businesses & partnersTAP Partner preso with actual customersChallenges they faced & how to overcome Tim Kimber, David Overton, and others talking about new products: Office LiveAntigen / ForefrontAdCentre Afternoon: The afternoon will include Panel and Technology led sessions with many presenters from the SBSC community as well as Microsoft: Panel Sessions: Building a better business model How to market your business Partner Power, working with the community Working with your regional Small Business infrastructure (eg BusinessLink, RDA, Accountants, FSB) Technology & MS Sessions: How I use and sell CRM Licensing "need to knows" for SBSC partners Legal "need to knows" for SBSC partners Setting up a hosted or SPLA business * SMS&P - Small and Midmarket Solutions and Partners – what a MS acronym ** TAP – Technology Adoption Programme – Where Microsoft, partners and customers come together to trial new software, garner learnings, offer product feedback and then build joint case studies[...]

    CRM Webcast focusing on the customer's needs that CRM can help solve

    Mon, 18 Sep 2006 10:59:07 GMT

    CRM: Focus on the Customer
    Tune in and learn how you can help increase sales success, deliver superior customer service, and make informed, agile business decisions with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Whether your organization is currently using Microsoft CRM or considering it, this Webcast series offers demos and interaction with CRM experts that you won’t want to miss.





    What do the Stone Roses, Chris Parkes and the Demo Showcase have in common? Apparently small business solutions that come in fours!!

    Thu, 07 Sep 2006 08:32:05 GMT


    Chris, who I previously mentioned the other day, has been up to his old tricks.  Not only does he think that the Demo Showcase is an amazing tool for everyone to be able to show and tell how a computer solution can solve real business problems, but he has done an amazing job of describing exactly what is in the kit for the small business partner.

    The small business demos cover a wide range of technologies, but everything is built using 1 SBS Virtual PC and one XP client VPC.  This means that showing things like mobile devices and how they work is much easier than just showing 1 person a PDA or mobile phone.  It also enables you to show accounting solutions, CRM etc and each one comes with an amazing script that you can change to suit your needs and they are even tailored to who you are talking to, be it the owner manager or the sales people, etc!  For more info, pictures and the ability to leave comments, pop along to The Demo Showcase & Small Business & The Stone Roses





    What is the Demo Showcase and how do you use it?

    Mon, 04 Sep 2006 22:18:00 GMT

    I have a mate at work, Chris, who has always been a good and clever egg the whole time I have known him.  He is also very passionate about partners getting the right level of support as well as liking Stoke City, but something's just have to be forgiven.

    One thing he has got a bee in his bonnet about this year is the Demo Showcase, which we will be using for all our demos going forward for a while.  If you have been to an ignite tour, that was based on an early version of the Showcase DVD set.

    Chris has been a prolific blogger on the subject - this is a great tool for you to use, so look at:

    Whoever heard of the Demo Showcase for the People Ready Business?

    The Demo Showcase Line Up

    What Does the Demo Showcase Look Like (Physically)?

    What Does the Demo Showcase Look Like (in Reality?)

    The Demo Showcase Team Tactics





    Microsoft releases campaign builder tool for partners - Non-marketing folks can use it (as well as the marketing ones) as a step by step process for delivering Microsoft aligned marketing campaigns to your customers

    Fri, 28 Jul 2006 14:42:00 GMT

    Imagine the scene - Microsoft is running a marketing set of events and awareness to encourage customers to buy their technology.  We tell customers that they need to work with SBSC specialists and point them to the bCentral web site.However, at the same time, you also get the materials you need from Microsoft to run your own campaign - be it post cards, handouts, telephone scripts, letters. And using a simple tool it will take you a few minutes to create the materials. Below is a walkthrough of how I built a campaign for SBS using 5 types of material (Telemarketing script, Postcard, Business Letter, e-Mail and Flyer)1st off, you need to visit the Campaign Builder Web site and log in. This enabled you to choose the campaign that is right for you.  You may notice it looked at the fact that I am a registered partner with the SBSC badge, so suggested the SBS Campaign (there are also campaigns for solutions that major in Office, Windows, CRM and so on).One I had selected the campaigns, it is simply a case of walking through the process.  I ticked the boxes for all 5 templates offered and hit the next button.  I then proceeded to fill in the details for each template, modifying them from the standard MS text where desired and inserting my logo etc.At any time I could stop - so after I had competed the two above, this is what the summary of the process showed:I then continued on in the same vane and completed the e-mail, flyer and call script.This then took me to the fulfilment screen - here I can choose to have these printed and potentially managed by Arvato, or I can take the materials and run. I opted to download the materials for myself.I then had the ability to download these materials - very simply really.  While I would strongly recommend you do not use the materials I produced - you can see them here:Campaign Builder - Business Letter.pdfBusiness_Letter-Letter.mhtBusiness_Letter-Envelope.mhtEmail.mhtFlyer.pdfFlyer-Front.mht (zipped)Flyer-Back.mhtPostcard.pdfPostcard-Front.mhtPostcard-Back.mhtTelemarketing_Script.mhtttfn David [...]

    UK Research shows that small business owner managers are doing everything to avoid working at the weekend - is this good or bad news for IT suppliers?

    Fri, 28 Jul 2006 10:48:00 GMT

    I came across this article which suggests that small business owner / managers are avoiding working at the weekend.  The article is backed by research from Barclays Bank. There are a few facts that really sound out to me:

    1. The development and uptake of new technologies is having a positive impact on hours worked: - 46 per cent of businesses with internet access work a standard 5 day week, compared to just 35 per cent of those without.
    2. Owners of small and medium businesses in the UK work 24 hours longer each week than the rest of the UK workforce
    3. 43 per cent said they now will not work weekends compared to 36 per cent in 2003 and Sundays have become even more precious with only 29 per cent admitting to working on that day compared to 36 per cent in 2003.
    4. On average entrepreneurs are spending over 15 hours a week – equivalent to almost two full days for most workers – on administration.  Six out of ten entrepreneurs feel that regulation is a barrier to doing business, particularly in larger SMEs, where owners highlighted the impact of employment regulation (PAYE and payroll, health and safety, pensions) and accounting regulation (tax and VAT).

    #1 is a real win for putting in IT and internet connectivity, could you ask your customer "would you like to reduce the hours you have to work?  Research from Barclays suggests that you are 11% less likely to have to work longer than a standard 5 day week with Technology helping you"

    #2 and #3 show that these business owners do not want to work at the weekend - depending on your relationship with your customer and their requirements, this either means you no longer have to (so they want to see you work which means it will be a week day - hurray) or their "free down time" is the weekend. 

    These points also provide the capability to talk about how going mobile with SBS and either Windows XP or Windows mobile could if not unleash them from the business, enable them to work from better locations.

    #4 is also a real winner - if administrivia really is such a big problem, helping them keep their books or manage their contacts or even produce information about the business using Office and Business Contact Manager should easily pay for itself - even if it only saves them an hour a week, if Office Pro cost (and I know it is less than this) £377 per copy, this works out as less than £7.50 per week - I bet an hour saved on admin is worth more than that.  What is more, if they can then use some of the customer management tools of Business Contact Manager, that would easily save more time and easily pay for itself in a short period of time.

    I see this sort of information as a great boon - see if it resonates with your customer and then describe how the business benefits - try talking about how it saves you time too!!





    Updated Technology Assessment Toolkit – Understand your customers and deliver the right solution

    Mon, 24 Jul 2006 03:59:00 GMT

    (image) Hopefully you have all heard of the Technology Assessment Toolkit – if not, it is a great set of tools, whitepapers, presentations and other "stuff" to enable you to quickly take your customer through the thought process as to what technology can do for them and how you can deliver the value their business needs.

    One award submission to the Worldwide Partner Conference awards stated – "We make great use of the Small Business Technology Assessment Toolkit we received from Microsoft. This has proved to be an invaluable tool for us and our clients in outlining their business / IT requirements & defining the solutions. We provide an excellent service to our clients & they recognise this from the hard work we put in for every installation—from sales, design, installation & post-installation support—they know they are in good hands and we would never let them down."

    As to the actual contents of the toolkit:

    • Ready-to-use "Business Assessment" guide
    • Comprehensive "Technology Assessment" guide
    • Microsoft Small Business Solution Selling guide
    • Three-year planning template
    • Sample proposal
    • Customizable sales and marketing tools
    • Datasheets, presentations, white papers and more
    • Information on Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 and Microsoft products designed for small business, such as Office 2003 Small Business Edition, Windows XP Professional, Microsoft CRM 3.0, Windows Mobile, and more

    To learn more about this, go visit . There is also the readiness centre to learn about best practices on using the toolkit to be found at




    David Overton moving to a solution / revenue based role (it means I need to help partners sell)

    Fri, 21 Jul 2006 17:06:00 GMT

    Many people ask me what I do and sometimes they are amazed with the answer "I help Microsoft Partners build solutions that deliver value to their small business partners – for free". This is a great job and part of it is to engage with as many partners as possible to improve the quality and knowledge around the solutions that can be built upon Microsoft technology. This year my role has a slightly different focus, but the way I achieve it will have many similarities. It has becoming important for me to ensure that partners are not just technically capable, but also selling solutions, sometimes even offering their customers alternative licensing options to suit their business needs. Some may see this as me selling out in some way, but while I love technology, if it is not applied correctly and you and I can't make money out of it, then there is a limit to the business value of the technology. I will still be blogging, posting on both business and technical ideas, but also be discussing how to...(read more)(image)

    Summary of Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) just before I leave

    Fri, 14 Jul 2006 14:01:00 GMT

    so, I have about 5 mins to write this, so it will be short & sweet. From the Small Business pre-day: event was sold out people told us licensing was still not up to scratch, but Eric Ligman's site was very useful Much of the information for people was how to run a small business as it 1) enables us all to understand what is going on in the minds of our customers and 2) since many SBSC members are small businesses, hopefully gives them some ideas on how to be more successful as a business The Sloan Brothers were the highlight for me in advice ( ) - they said Got for 10% of the Watermelon, not 90% of the grape - this basically meant get funding and help to grow your business - keeping ownership of your business is more than just the number of shares - it is being there, so even if other people own 90% of the equity, you are still in charge. Outsource non-core skills Hitch your wagon to a star - eg Microsoft, but also someone local who will recommend you - so you get...(read more)(image)

    Off to Partner Conference in Boston - see you blogging from there

    Sun, 09 Jul 2006 06:01:00 GMT

    Hello, just a quick note to say that I am due to fly today @ 11am to Boston for the Partner Conference - if you are going then I will see you there, if not, you can read about it here. ttfn David...(read more)(image)

    UK Managing Director Leaves the UK bound for Microsoft Corp - welcome to Gordon Frazer from South Africa

    Fri, 07 Jul 2006 21:00:00 GMT

    Today we had a bit of a kick of for FY07 (Financial Year 07 in Microsoft) and a review of FY 06. We had a healthy year with excellent growth (this is no way a prediction of the MS Company results) and we also did a bit of sweeping a few things out. It has been speculated for a little while that Alistair Baker would be moving on and today we had it confirmed. As of 31st July, the new MD of MS UK will be Gordon Frazer from the South African Sub. He did seem like a very positive and fired up person, so I think this will be nothing but goodness, as will having another Brit in the power halls at MS in the States. For the press release, have a look at ttfn David...(read more)(image)

    Bad links now fixed

    Tue, 04 Jul 2006 20:53:00 GMT

    Sooo many of you clicked the links in the posts from the last two days, but got an OWA screen that I had to go back and edit about 16 posts. All fixed now - thanks to Rob for pointing it out. ttfn David...(read more)(image)