Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Emerging from the Curriculum Caverns

So, I have to start out with an apology of sorts, as I have been heads down for the past 6 weeks working on curriculum updates for Microsoft. So this has become an orphan blog, which Steve so gently reminded me of. So here I am to give you a bit of an update and share what has been keeping me away for so long. I have been updating courseware for the upcoming release of Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step 2010, primarily working on the courseware forProject Managing Microsoft Dynamics® AX, Microsoft Dynamics® GP, and Microsoft Dynamics® NAV Implementations with Microsoft Dynamics® Sure Step (which will be course 80199) and also doing some support around the Using Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step course (80047).

The Project Managing course is a case study based course, which I think is a great collaborative learning experience with students participating in the implementation of a fictional company and working with many of the key tools, templates, and guidance provided in Sure Step. I have experience teaching the course on earlier releases, and I found the shift in perception very interesting. Students often arrived in class aware of Sure Step and its capabilities, but unaware of how to apply the capabilities to their implementation process. After two days with the case study, however, the possibilities became clear and students would leave excited to take what they had learned and apply it practically (and quickly). As an instructor, I love to see that sort of return on the training investment!

The Using Sure Step course is meant to serve as a more general Sure Step training, great for those that need the nuts and bolts approach to understanding the components and benefits of the Sure Step model. This is the courseware we have used internally to train our team members, and I find myself referring to it regularly when I need to refresh my own memory :)

Being the geek girl that I am, I have to say that I came out of the project with a (even for me, an enternally enthusiastic person when it comes to new releases) surprising level of anticipation for the new release. For those of you not yet working with Sure Step, it presents a variety of additional touchpoints to engage you that I hope you will find immediately applicable to your business. And for those of you already working with it, I think you will find that Microsoft listened to the feedback and incorporated more tools and guidance to allow you to take the tool even further in to your implementation processes.

Some key new features (borrowed from the US Partner Executive Program News for Microsoft Dynamics - October 2009):
  • Industry and Cross-Product Content - Positioning and deploying Microsoft Dynamics solutions in a given Industry or its related segments. Industry Pilots for AX Process Manufacturing and CRM Public Sector including the launch of an Industry Playbook for solution selling. Also available will be guidance on xRM platform due-diligence and deployment.
  • Agile Project Type – The addition of this project type which will be especially suitable for implementations where the Microsoft Dynamics solution is positioned as a platform rather than as a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) system.
  • Organizational Change Management Discipline – New guidance on managing organizational change, to address this common challenge in any ERP or CRM deployment.
  • ISV Guidance – New content that applies to ISV solution positioning and deployment and engagement with the VARs and SIs during sales and implementation. Also, introducing Certified for Microsoft Dynamics alignment recommendations.
  • More collaboration and project tracking capabilities through enhanced SharePoint integration based on Sales, Implementation and Optimization engagements.
  • Enhancements to the Diagnostic Phase including a link between Sure Step and Unleash Your Potential, an Industry Playbook to assist the Sales Roles focused on selling Microsoft Dynamics solutions catered to a specific industry/vertical, a consolidated set of Decision Accelerator Offerings, estimation tools and an enhanced ROI calculator.
  • Enhancements to the Optimization Offerings including further alignment and integration to Support and Services from Microsoft and additional proactive and post go-live offerings.

If you are interested in checking out the upcoming release, I encourage you to check out the latest information available on PartnerSource under Partner Essentials>>Sure Step.

Also, don't forget about these resources for Sure Step as well:

I would love to hear back from those of you who are using Sure Step, thinking about using it, or wondering how/if it can apply to your organization and implementation practices!

In the meantime, I promise more frequent posts in the upcoming couple months (at least until my due date, 1/7/'s a girl for those of you who don't already know).

Take care,


1 comment:

Janakhiram said...

That's a good news Chrstina to know that there are lot of ne features coming up in sure step.