No transcript of a speech by Kirill Tatarinov, given at last week’s Worldwide Partner Conference, has been posted on Microsoft’s Web site. One rationale offered was the talks given by executives at Tatarinov’s level—he’s the head of Microsoft Business Solutions—weren’t posted.  My memory was that he was one of three keynotes shown on the WPC Web page when I first looked—and, given Microsoft’s lavish use of the word, keynote—it didn’t seem like there would be such a shortage of space for transcripts. Moreover, nobody has been able to come up with a transcript of Tatarinov's speech  in the last week.

It’s a sign of the change from the years in which Doug Burgum headed MBS. Even when Burgum started concentrating more on software and less on historical lessons, his speeches were made available.

Part of this is the fact MBS has been buried in the Microsoft Business Division. And perhaps part of this is because the market for accounting software is hardly hot. No wonder in a number of speeches I studied, the phrase, “CRM,” was used 43 times compared to 20 for all combinations referring to the financial part of the Dynamics line. There are a lot more new CRM sites to sell. And this change is probably a just reaction to Microsoft’s unspoken realization that it wildly overestimated the market potential for mid-market accounting software when it purchased Great Plains and then, Navision, with the expectation the market would reach $10 billion annually.

Companies that need revenue growth talk about what’s hot, and outside of CRM, Dynamics is not. Nor does MBS have the kind of voice it had when Burgum could talk to his friend, CEO Steve Ballmer.

MBS is also likely to get less air time at WPC because so many accounting software resellers are shunning it. Reports are that Microsoft beat on resellers very hard to get them to go. Before this year, many had cut back substantially on the number of staff members they sent.

Most good resellers I’ve talked would rather go to Convergence, the Dynamics user conference that is held in March. And Convergence may be the answer to the disillusionment with WPC.

Turn Convergence into the WPC show for end users and Dynamics resellers alike. Events could be held on consecutive days. But put the Dynamics resellers in a world where they belong; not with the thousands of very general dealers that handle the rest of the Microsoft line.


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