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Get to know the first-ever Microsoft MVP for Dynamics 365 for Talent

by Linda Rosencrance
Contributing Writer, MSDW

Last August, Malin Donoso Martnes missed becoming the first person in the world to pass the MB6-898 Dynamics 365 for Talent certification by 20 minutes. "When I saw that, I was like, 'Aw.' Just beaten by 20 lousy minutes – that sort of hurts," she says. "I can't even remember the person's name. It was some guy from the UK and I haven't seen his name since."

In spite of that blow, Martnes can still say that she's the first-ever MVP for Dynamics 365 for Talent, Microsoft's new HR system.

"I received my award on July 1 and was so shocked because, well, it's huge," she says. "The first MVP for Talent ever with a pure focus on Talent, that's massive."

Martnes, who is a D365 Consultant for Talent and Customer Engagement at Point Taken AS in Norway, has worked with different CRM systems for almost 10 years, and she's worked as a Dynamics CRM consultant for four years. Although she graduated college in 2007 with a degree in marketing, such jobs were hard to come by at that time. 

"I did some other jobs and then I started working for an accounting company that was implementing Dynamics CRM and I just loved it," Martnes says. "Our implementation partner said I should look into becoming a CRM consultant."

After changing jobs and learning more about Dynamics CRM and how it worked, that's exactly the career path she chose. However, when Microsoft launched D365, Martnes had been out on medical leave for nearly a year. When she finally got back to work, everything had changed.

"The name CRM was gone and everything was Dynamics 365 and you had a lot of new functions and I didn't know any of them," she says. "So I had to start from scratch and learn everything anew. I don't think I've ever – before or after – felt so stupid."

D365 was difficult to learn but she learned it nevertheless. And in just two or three months, she felt very confident using the new system. Since then she's continued to build her skills to the point where she's a senior consultant, working with the Sales and Customer Service apps, as well as both D365 Marketing and ClickDimensions for marketing automation.

Getting to know Talent

Martnes has worked with Dynamics 365 for Talent since March 2018 and, as with her introduction to CRM, it was unplanned. She explained:

That was just as big a coincidence as the rest of my career, actually. Because I changed jobs and I started at Point Taken in February 2018.

In March a customer came to us and asked, 'Do you know Talent? Can you do a proof of concept?' We were like, ‘Yeah, yeah. Sure. No problem. Give us a couple of weeks and we'll help you with a proof of concept'

Then the sales guy turned to me and my manager and asked, 'What's Talent?' and I was like, 'I have no idea.'

My manager said, 'I think it's some HR thing, but I'm not sure it actually exists. But Malin will know in a couple of weeks, so she'll take it.' 

I was like, 'Huh? OK, I'll try.'

Martnes did the proof of concept and really enjoyed the system. But she had a problem trying to get information about the Talent application because no one was blogging about it and nobody was answering any questions about it on the Microsoft forums.

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About Linda Rosencrance

Linda Rosencrance is a freelance writer/editor in the Boston area. Rosencrance has over 25 years experience as an reporter/investigative reporter, writing for many newspapers in the metropolitan Boston area. Rosencrance has been writing about information technology for the past 16 years.

She has covered a variety of IT subjects, including Microsoft Dynamics, mobile security issues such as data loss prevention, network management, secure mobile app development, privacy, cloud computing, BI, big data, analytics, HR, CRM, ERP, and enterprise IT.

Rosencrance is the author of six true crime books for Kensington Publishing Corp.