Saturday, October 18, 2014

Keep Calm and Carry On

I read with interest and not a little disbelief, David Musgrave's blog post about moving on.  David is a very visible member of the Dynamics GP Community. Microsoft announced a staggering number of cuts, and the fact David made it onto the list of folks Microsoft feels they are better off without was surprising to many.

In his post, David mentioned he'd pulled an April Fools prank previously, posting he was leaving.  This post was no prank.  David also mentioned he'd be reinventing Winthrop Dexterity Consultants as Winthrop Development Consultants (a not so subtle indicator Dexterity is not long for this world).

David's reference to his April Fools prank, brought to mind the announcement of the acquisition of Great Plains by Microsoft...  For those of you who weren't part of the GP Family when it happened, on April 1st, 2001 (April Fools Day) someone at Great Plains sent a Fax Blast (yep that was a thing) to all GP partners announcing the intended acquisition.  I thought, BEST PRANK EVER, too bad the person who did it is going to get fired!!!

When trading in GP stock was suspended later that day, and national news agencies started reporting the story, I rode an emotional roller coaster, which is hard to describe. I was happy, then sad, then scared, within a matter of minutes.

I was happy because, lets face it, Microsoft had been winning at everything they'd attempted for some time, so I was really glad Microsoft hadn't bought a competitor. Microsoft tried to buy QuickBooks previously, and regulators killed the deal. 

I was sad because, I loved the Great Plains organization and ecosystem, and I knew Microsoft would forever change it.  It was hard to imagine all the changes would be for the better.

I was scared because I instinctively knew thousands of small partners weren't going to do well in a Microsoft world, and at the time, my partner organization employed exactly 4 people!

In the last couple of years, Microsoft has been making serious moves, things frankly I thought would have happened years ago.  Microsoft has consolidated the partner network. Microsoft has replaced products with their own versions; FRx and SmartList Builder were replaced by Management Reporter and SmartList Designer.

Finally, Microsoft has discovered how to have their cake and eat it too.  By dismissing folks that don't fit into their current strategy, they reduce their costs, while many of these folks will be absorbed back into the community where they will be sages and catalysts to guide and grow the ecosystem.

So consider yourselves lucky if you can pick one or more of these folks up or go to work for one. Keep Calm and Carry On - things change.

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