Guest blog by Justin Herbert, Commercial Manager SMB, Prodware. Being part of the Microsoft Dynamics Partner Network can help IT professionals achieve their career goals and develop their industry knowledge. Here are some of the advantages of being a part of this ever-expanding, global community from our Microsoft Pre–sales Solution Specialist’s perspective. Be in the heart of innovation in one of the fastest growing business technology markets in the world Microsoft have a wide ecosystem of partners selling, implementing and maintaining technology solutions directly with clients. The Microsoft Dynamics Network as increased considerably over the last few years with the Gartner study, Market Share Analysis: Customer Relationship Management Software, Worldwide, 2014 naming Microsoft as one of the fastest growing CRM providers. Microsoft had a triple-digit growth of the Dynamics CRM Online installed base in 2015 and the overall Dynamics business is growing revenue by double digits. Microsoft see huge potential for future growth, “The CRM and ERP markets combined are over $60 billion, and represent a massive opportunity for reinvention as they shift to the cloud and mobile experiences...At Microsoft, we push the boundaries of what is possible through a broad range of research and development activities that seek to identify and address the changing demands of customers, industry trends, and competitive forces.” So, what’s it like to work within a network experiencing such growth, diversity and heavy investment in product innovation? We had a chat with Prodware’s Microsoft Pre-sales Consultant Andrew Cooper who has worked over 15 years with the Microsoft Dynamics NAV solution for SMEs. He has really experienced both the growth of Microsoft and how the product has evolved over the years. “The Microsoft Dynamics NAV solution has changed over the years and that’s what makes my job so interesting – keeping up-to-date with the latest features, and identifying even the smallest of tweaks, can bring the businesses I work with huge benefits… Microsoft have really invested in their product, which makes my job so interesting and relevant. Bringing these investments to life to solve real customer pain-points is hugely satisfying, the dramatic growth in Microsoft Dynamics popularity means more people are interested in hearing about NAV. Customers also often feel more secure knowing that Microsoft has a consistent development schedule, it really guarantees the longevity of the product, but also my ongoing career options.” Be part of an International network of people For Andrew, other major advantage is the Internationality and variety of people he has a chance to deal with, “The Partner Network is now so large that you can work from virtually anywhere, along the way I have worked in the UK, Spain, France, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Estonia, Ghana, Angola, South Africa, USA and Switzerland. Experiencing different cultures and working with different people is definitely a perk of the job. You can meet people with the same interests including fellow Pre–sales Solution Specialists who are incredibly smart to bounce ideas off and work together to give customers great experiences with Microsoft Dynamics.” Craig Langford, Microsoft Pre-sales Consultant at Prodware UK, echoes Andrew’s sentiments, “It is very rewarding to be part of a growing community that has a positive impact on businesses around the world. With such a progressive market the only way to keep ahead of the curve is to make sure you are a member of the Microsoft communities across various platforms. As a Pre-sales Consultant I get to work with a variety of people ranging from MDs, to Sales Representatives in the field. I am lucky enough to work with front-line customers, who are driving the strategic vision and technological innovation within their companies. The interaction I have on an internal level is also varied, but my main interaction is with Technical Consultants and Developers.” Receive training and development support as a Microsoft Pre–sales Solution Specialist On top of training and support you get from your direct employer, Microsoft Partner Technical Services supports partners with technical presales assistance. They help Pre–sales Solution Specialists to build their expertise with technical training through partner advisory hours, webcasts and resources readily available through the partner network portal. Microsoft Partners invest heavily in their employees. We asked Craig, who has experience in both Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Dynamics NAV, how he benefits from Microsoft learning resources. “The personalised Pre-sales deployment assistance is key to winning business. Microsoft Technical Services supports me and my colleagues across the entire sales lifecycle from discovery to deployment. Not only are resources readily available but there is a community of fellow Partners and experts who are ready and willing to answer any questions I might have. Technical Services allows me to work on my Pre-sales and deployment skill set and helps companies achieve a competitive advantage by getting technical consultation and customised assistance, such as proof-of-concept guidance, competitive assistance, feature overview and comparison guidance, request for proposal (RFP) questions and technical licensing recommendations, to name just a few.” To remain up-to-date and relevant, Microsoft channel partners have access to business analysis tools and insights needed to understand how to succeed and grow in a technology-driven world. Microsoft provides powerful, innovative, and robust technology meeting the needs of all types of organisations from big to small. A comprehensive product stack of cloud, hybrid, and on-premises solutions means that Pre–sales Solution Specialists within Microsoft community remain technologically relevant and interested within their IT career. If you would like to join a community of thousands of partners around the world with the power and experience of Microsoft behind them, Contact Prodware today to find out more about their current vacancies. Find out more about Microsoft Dynamics solutions for SMEs: Dynamics NAV Dynamics CRM Justin Herbert heads up the sales function of Prodware UK's SMB division for Manufacturing, Distribution and Services. Justin has 28 years’ experience within the distribution and manufacturing industry. Justin spent 13 years as Group Operations Manager in wholesale distribution and assembly operations in the hi-tech industry and lead the selection and implementation of a £1.3m ERP project UK & Europe. Subsequently he has had 15 years’ experience in selling extended ERP & CRM solutions UK, Europe and world-wide. Founded in 1989, Prodware Group create, integrate and host IT solutions for businesses. Prodware Group serves more than 20,000 active clients and is the largest Microsoft Dynamics partner in the EMEA region. As a Microsoft Gold Partner, Prodware have developed industry solutions for manufacturing, distribution, professional services and holiday park organisations in addition to innovative software for mobility and e-commerce that integrates with business management solutions.