I had the opportunity to interview Victoria Yudin, a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) for Microsoft Dynamics GP and founder of Flexible Solutions Inc., as well as a well-known professional in the Dynamics GP community. I wanted to interview her to get an insider's insight on Dynamics GP - to find out her perspective on GP modules, Microsoft's partner channel, and what the future holds for Dynamics GP. As I'd hoped, her answers tell a lot about her success with the product and the direction of the GP ecosystem.
What do you most love about your job?
I love the feeling I get when I am able to help someone learn how to do something that saves them a lot of time or fixes an issue they are having. There is this tangible relief you can see (or hear if you’re on the phone) that is very gratifying.
This may sound a bit corny, but Dynamics GP as well as the GP community were both inspirations for me. Dynamics GP because I think it an amazing product and the community for being so dedicated and friendly.
Was there anything that you found particularly challenging when you were writing your book?
I don’t really consider myself a good writer, and as hard as it may be to believe after all the writing I have done, I do not particularly enjoy writing. The incredibly positive feedback I have received on my blog, as well as to my online GP community posts, have convinced me that writing is actually something I can do fairly well; but that is definitely a challenge I had to overcome while writing my book. Finding quiet time to concentrate on writing was another challenge. I did not take time off to write my book, so all the time had to be carved out around an already hectic schedule. The staff at Packt Publishing really helped with this by providing a schedule and guidelines while being flexible at the same time.
Of course the short answer to this is “yes”. I don’t know if it is ever possible to be 100% satisfied with any piece of software; there is always something more that can make it better, some feature that can save time or better address common requests. One thing that comes to mind from a recent customer question is the ability to enter prepayments against Purchase Orders. I believe that would add some nice functionality for a lot of users.
How do you think the partner channel will have to change over the coming years?
I am concerned about the direction that the Dynamics GP partner channel has taken with all of the recent changes. My belief is that the best way to address a mix of small and large customers is with a mix of small and large partners because a company like Microsoft simply cannot directly support a product like Dynamics GP without the help of the partner channel. While I understand that at some level this is a revenue game and that decisions have to be made for all partners and customers as a whole, what I see is smaller GP partner companies being systematically phased out or forced to merge with other companies to continue to do business. This as a move in the wrong direction and if it continues, it would be a big loss to the Dynamics GP partner channel and community. Hopefully Microsoft will realize that a partner channel comprised of only large companies is not the right approach for a product like Dynamics GP and what may mean more revenue short term could easily translate into less customer satisfaction and thus less revenue long term.
What do you think the future holds for Dynamics GP?
I think that Dynamics GP as a product will continue to be a great solution for many businesses. We’re seeing a lot of new functionality talked about, especially with the web client announcement for the next version. It will be exciting to see what the future brings.