Recent progress made by our Clients First-TX team has trailblazed the Microsoft Dynamics AX terrain.
In a recent press release published by Microsoft Gold Certified Partner Clients First, the team announced the completion of two certifications: both the Project Specialist and Trade & Logistics AX 2012 certificates. The team is also proud to announce that they've been invited to join Microsoft's Research & Development Program for the Dynamics AX product.
Microsoft Gold Certified Partner Requirements
Although the recent strides are important to the progress of Microsoft Dynamics AX development, we must take a step back and review what is initially required of a Microsoft partner to obtain Gold Certification status.
According to Microsoft's core benefits and requirements website, the following must be met:
- Four individuals must pass Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) exams. This requires an individual to have thorough knowledge of the Microsoft Dynamics product and pass an exam to receive certification.
- One professional in the organization must undergo a licensing overview assessment to recieve Gold Certified status. In addition, the partner must pass a Sales and Marketing competency assessment.
- Partner must have a complete Microsoft Partner Network profile.
- Five customer references must be submitted to the Microsoft Gold Certification Partner committee and reviewed.
- Revenue commitment.
- Membership fee.
Microsoft Dynamics AX Council Program
According to Microsoft, the Dynamics AX R&D Council Program is "the umbrella engagement program focused on continual improvement of the Dynamics AX Product by encouraging Customer and Partner feedback."
Although both Microsoft partners and end-users have equal opportunities to provide feedback on the AX system in forums like AXUG and Microsoft Community, the R&D Council Program reviews feedback given by selective members. This is a benefit for Microsoft Gold Certified Partners, such as Clients First, due to the value entrusted in the participating partners input.
Benefits include having the opportunity to review new releases of the AX 2012R2 product, such as the Lifecycle services v1 for Dynamics AX, and offering comprehensive feedback on changes and/or improvements of the release.
In a quote by Mark Skinner, the Director of Services for the Clients First office in Dallas, Texas, he states that "being prepared for new releases of the product is certainly an advantage, but even more so is the opportunity to be on the 'cutting edge' and establish ourselves as early adopters."
Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist Certifications
In addition to the accomplishments above, the team was proud to announce that one of their Dallas based AX Project Managers completed two Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certifications.
According to Microsoft, "MCTS certifications help IT professionals and developers target specific technologies and distinguish themselves by demonstrating in-depth knowledge and expertise."
It must also be noted that Microsoft Gold Certified Partner consultants are not required to have certifications in order to be assigned to a Dynamics AX project.
Although an individual, like Dallas based Project Manager Hope Enochs, may already be proficient in Dynamics AX 2012 R2, in addition to other ERP systems, certifications offer credibility and require an individual to analyze the system in a way that they may not have had before.
In the recent press release, Hope mentioned that despite her comfort level with Enterprise Resource Planning systems, "the complexity of the AX2012 system motivated me to build credibility with the product." She followed the statement by mentioning her anticipation to "add value to client implementations" with her new research in supply chain planning management and project accounting.
What's Next for the Gold ERP Team Moving Forward?
What wasn't mentioned in the press release was it's goals moving forward in 2014. Although there hasn't been an official statement on the Microsoft partner's direction for next year.
"We'll continue to do what we've always done," states Michael Conti, Managing Director of the Clients First South Central Texas office, "and that is to deliver what our customers need; and we find that much of what our customers need, is found in Dynamics AX functionality."