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Microsoft Dynamics Profile: For new MVP, helping peers becomes a priority

by Linda Rosencrance
Contributing Writer, MSDW

New Microsoft MVP Billur Samdancioglu has known about the Dynamics community since she began working with Dynamics AX 17 years ago. Even back then, her web searches on AX questions would turn up Microsoft documents or the company's Dynamics AX community forum.

As she continued to turn to the community forum for help, she noticed that other professionals were distinguishing themselves by answering lots of community member questions. So last year, she decided to do the same, increasing her forum activity while also volunteering to speak at D365 F&O events and creating YouTube videos. But Samdancioglu, who works as a freelance F&O solution architect, consultant, and trainer, lacked a clear understanding of the MVP designation despite seeing other well-known contributors like André Arnaud De Calavon and Ludwig Reinhard receive the award in years past.

"Last year, I asked André what an MVP was," Samdancioglu says. "I knew it was a great thing, but that's all I knew. I thought that MVPs were [people] who just knew the system well and were really good at their jobs. But André explained it very well. He said that it's not about being the best, it's about contributing to the community and he explained what that meant. He also said it wasn't about the quantity of community involvement, it was about the quality."

Last year, she also started actively blogging, and something fortuitous happened.

"MVP Kelly Gustafson in America saw what I was doing and she asked if she could nominate me for MVP," Samdancioglu says. "I was shocked and very happy. I was not expecting that. It was good to be nominated and then I was honored to be selected as an MVP. Now I know that it's for people who help each other and help the community. And being an MVP allows me to be able to see [information about the application] before it's published and also present my ideas to Microsoft."

MSDW reached out to Billur, who has experience in finance, supply chain management, manufacturing, HR (except payroll), and project modules, to learn more about her work and her role in the community.

MSDW: What were your experiences when you first started out with Dynamics?

Samdancioglu:It was years and years ago when I was just getting out of university. And I learned that Microsoft had created a course for ERP. So I joined them and had one month of training. Then I got a job as a Microsoft Dynamics AX accounting specialist at a Turkish company called Oyak Teknoloji and worked there for seven years. It was really cool for me because I was going to customers in different cities and we were implementing Microsoft ERP. I started out as a junior consultant and then became a senior consultant, a solution architect, and a project manager.

What does your job as a freelance D365FO solution architect today consist of?

I do contract work, mostly on the finance side, although I do know the supply chain management part as well. I like being a solution architect because you have to know everything when you're an architect. I do all the analysis and the design. I have to know about the customers' processes and I also have to know about the ISVs. It's really a very hard job because the project depends on the solution architect. If you fail on a project as a solution architect, then all the design and the entire project may fail. And that can cost a lot of money. But I'm not just a solution architect. I have also had other roles like project manager and senior consultant.

Does your work with training help you to understand the needs of your customers?

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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.