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What's driving the Microsoft Dynamics AX and CRM industry strategy

by Jason Gumpert

Part of the Microsoft Dynamics enterprise strategy includes a redoubled effort to prioritize verticals and micro-verticals for various geographies and to share those decisions with groups that can take action.  Global system integrators, Microsoft consulting services, and smaller partners should all benefit from these efforts - if they can count on improved forecasting from the Dynamics team to improve their planning in key areas like staffing and business development.

But where is all that new guidance coming from? A key source of industry-focused planning for Dynamics is still relatively new team that works across Dynamics AX and CRM to analyze the various opportunities that could benefit from more targeted investment by Microsoft and its partners.  Such analysis is already impacting product-specific planning as well as a range of field activities, says Seth Patton, a veteran of the Dynamics CRM product management group who has been leading up that global industry team for about a year.

Analytically based decisions incorporate a range of factors, Patton explained in a recent interview.  His team is looking at things like existing numbers of seats by geography, addressable markets, more general software spend numbers, data on new deals, customer references, product fit analysis, and partner capacity, among others.  Analysis of this type yields a set of findings that can then be used in different ways. Vertical priorities influence  partner recruiting and investments, and they also influence Microsoft's core marketing investments. In various geographies, industry priorities can also kick off entire new planning processes, Patton said.

Today, some of the more fine-grained areas of interest include banking, capital markets, insurance, accounting and consulting, and specialty retail, as well as manufacturing areas like automotive, industrial equipment, and chemicals.

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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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