The Microsoft Dynamics 365 engineering team has unveiled a new way to reward successful technical experts in the Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (D365CE) and Finance and Operations (D365FO) partner ecosystems. The company has launched a new "FastTrack Recognized Solution Architects" designation for an inaugural group of recipients this week. FastTrackis a program delivered by the Dynamics 365 engineering team to provide guidance, best practices, and tools to help customers in their implementations.

Just nine professionals out of an initial nominated pool of over a hundred individuals that work for Microsoft’s system integrator partners are now FastTrack Recognized Solution Architects. The commendation is an effort to identify solution architects who have consistently demonstrated the ability to lead successful Dynamics 365 FastTrack projects for either D365CE or D365FO. Following this inaugural group, Microsoft will be opening up the nomination process more broadly.

The initial nine are made up of six D365CE solution architects – four from the US and 2 from EMEA – and three D365FO solution architects – one from the US and two from EMEA. The full list of architects can be found here. They are:

  • Michael Dearing, Delivery Manager, EY (D365CE)
  • Kunal Murarka, Solution Architect, World Bank Group (D365CE)
  • Christopher Strauß, Senior Manager, ORBIS AG (D365CE)
  • Shawn Hanson, Senior Consultant, Arctic IT (D365CE)
  • Torsten Reuter, Senior Manager, ORBIS AG (D365CE)
  • Stephen Ronning, Solution Architect, PowerObjects (D365CE)
  • Tobias Lång, Chief Solution Architect, CGI (D365FO)
  • Yogesh Kasat, Principal Architect, Real Dynamics (D365FO)
  • Gertjan van der Linden, Principal Solution & Technical Architect, Center of Excellence, Avanade (D365FO)

"The solution architect role has an outsized impact on implementation success. So, we want to recognize individuals who have proven real-world expertise with complex implementations and encourage partners to invest more in building elite solution architect capacity for Dynamics 365," says Shanthini Radhakrishnan, a program manager for the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer and Partner Success engineering team.

The level of performance and expertise of these nine was key to their recognition. Other factors also affected the decision. For example, Microsoft was looking at the number of successful FastTrack projects the nominees had undertaken (at least two) and their time working with Dynamics products and working as a solution architect (five and three years, respectively). Other elements under consideration included:

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