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Community Summit Europe 2020 Session Preview: Projects & People in a SaaS World

by James Crowter
Managing Director, Clever Dynamics

Editor's Note: is collaborating with Community Summit Europe and extreme365 Europe 2020 to explore the events taking place the week of June 29. In this article, Microsoft MVP James Crowter explores the theme of one of his sessions at the event.

The role of the mid-market Dynamics ERP consultant is changing.  For previous decades, the best played the role of hero, knowing and doing everything, roaming the client’s every department and driving the agenda for what to do and how. Their expertise in Dynamics made them the go-to resource for anything the business did or aspired to. Clients loved them and conspired to get as much of their time as they possibly could.

Sure, it helped if these hot shots were vertical, but knowing every industry was hard – the technology not so much. One moment you were the analyst, the next you were knocking together the prototype with a bit of quick development, assisting with data preparation, and delivering training. Above all, it was essential that you were around to make sure all the careful knitting you’d done stayed together when the system went live.

In the last five years, the pace of technical change, first with Dynamics NAV and now Dynamics 365 Business Central, has accelerated to the point where it’s impossible for one person to be that kind of ERP superhero. Three good examples come to mind of changes that have challenged the old view of a consultant’s role.

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About James Crowter

I'm passionate about how businesses can improve their efficiency by getting process optimal more of the time. For the last twenty five years I've worked to help organisations of all sizes and types implement the ERP & CRM software that typically they decide they need when things are going wrong. I've seen that work unbelievably well and enabled those organisations to rapidly grow but I've also had some hard projects over that time where it's felt more like warfare at times.

Since 1996 (and version 1.01) I've been working with a small Danish product called Navision that's now become Microsoft's Dynamics NAV and I've also been using and consulting around Microsoft CRM since 2005. As managing Director of one of the longest established first Navision and now Microsoft Dynamics partners I've been involved in the complete history including numerous product councils and system design reviews. It's my privilege to know many of the key Microsoft executives and product designers and have insight into both where the products are now and their future direction.

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