Directions North America 2023: Microsoft VP Mike Morton previews channel plans, product messages

March 21 2023

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Microsoft representatives will arrive at Directions North America 2023, April 16 to 19, ready to talk product, cloud, and channel strategy.

In a new interview, Microsoft Business Applications VP for SMB Mike Morton tells us about key themes that his team is preparing for the event. (MSDW is a media sponsor of Directions North America.) Recent product news and partner program updates will be part of the event, as will as-yet-unannounced product roadmap updates. Morton says he expects Directions NA attendees to arrive with tough questions and a keen interest in how Microsoft is evolving its approach to  issues that impact their businesses and clients.

The Dynamics 365 Business Central team seeks a balance between staying agile and iterative in some areas while providing stability in other areas, Morton told us. It's a theme he noted last year, and in this new interview he explained more about how the Business Central team balances ongoing updates with the need for stability.

We're still pretty conservative in the Biz Apps space. I'll differentiate between iteration and experimentation. I think we are iterating at a greater rate. You'll see things like the action bars in Business Central where we're getting feedback and trying to go at a relatively quick pace.

But we also get plenty of feedback from partners and customers about wanting to have control. We're trying find the balance of letting people see things and give feedback quickly, while also providing control of when actual customers get access and capabilities getting turned on and off.

[We recently announced Dynamics 365 Copilot and] I think you're going to see areas like that where fast iteration is going to be absolutely critical. It is built on the GPT technology and we know there's going to be a lot of learning.

You're going to see us picking our spots, things around the UX, things around AI, that are evolving very quickly and really making that fundamental on our side and on the back end. We also really want to make sure that we have the right controls. And so if we do iterate quickly, we can roll things back.

He added that the team may move more rapidly in areas like documentation and marketing.

About Jason Gumpert

As the editor of, Jason oversees all editorial content on the site and at our events, as well as providing site management and strategy. He can be reached at

Prior to co-founding, Jason was a Principal Software Consultant at Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC), where he implemented solutions, trained customers, managed software development, and spent some time in the pre-sales engineering organization. He has also held consulting positions at CSC Consulting and Monitor Group.

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