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MSDW Podcast: Retail's evolution in the Microsoft Dynamics channel, with Afshin Alikhani

by Jason Gumpert

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On this episode, we speak with Afshin Alikhani, chairman of Retail Realm, a software distribution and development company with a focus on distributing Microsoft's Dynamics RMS, AX for Retail, and 365 for Retail, as well as their own related retail solutions.

Afshin founded Retail Realm in the 1990s and has expanded its reach around the world. He has seen the business landscape shift over that time, and he believes the Microsoft channel is at a major transition point. Veteran firms are re-considering their strategy and there are big challenges for new entrants. And amid these changes, the retail industry continues to be one of the fastest evolving for new technology for businesses of all sizes.

Show notes:

  • 2:15 - How the role of Microsoft partners is changing in FY 2018 in light of new programs, models
  • 4:30 - Is consolidation in the channel inevitable in the Dynamics channel, and is it the same at the enterprise and SMB spaces?
  • 8:10 - Do SMB retailers know what kind of solutions they need?
  • 11:30 - Microsoft's challenge of building up the next generation of retail SMB offerings via Dynamics 365.
  • 15:10 - Why does Microsoft care so much about retail?
  • 18:45 - Where do SMBs go today for a Microsoft-based retail solution?
  • 21:00 - The opportunity (and risks) of moving from Dynamics RMS to AX/365
  • 26:00 - What are retail channel partners focusing on in SMB if Microsoft doesn't have something for them today beyond Dynamics RMS?
  • 28:30 - Why ERP vendors are buying ...

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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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