eMail Marketing, and How NOT to do Video.

Here’s a great piece from the grandfather of eCommerce and Internet marketing, Ralph Wilson. I was going to post this anyway, but I watched it and have a piece of advice that goes further than just the advice that’s here.
If you decide to do video to promote your project, and you interview someone online, DON’T STARE AT THE CAMERA while the other person is talking. LOOK AT THE PERSON TALKING.
This is good information, as well as good entertainment. Take a look
YouTube – Getting Emails Relevant–and opened–with Maxine Grossman

Sage Software: Where to from here?

Every email I’ve gotten from or about Sage recently, I’ve been looking for a major announcement of some kind. The announcement earlier in the year that the company had pushed the management groups for all the mid-market software products (Sage BusinessWorks, BusinessVision, ACCPAC, MAS90/200/500, Platinum, Pro Series, etc.) into one business unit was what I thought to be the beginning of the end for some of the products. This move looks to me like a profitability enhancing move. Which products will survive and which won’t? Interestingly enough, Sage has also tightened the rules for business partners. It’ll cost a bit more (travel, education, training) to be a business partner. Also, they established minimum sales in terms of dollars and units TO REMAIN A PARTNER. Traditionally, they’ve had other programs into which partners that were servicing the products but not selling them could move. Looks to me like these are being discouraged, and Sage is interested in retaining only the partners that are producing big sales and new sales.
I still think that if you’re in one of the primary lines (MAS or ACCPAC), you’re pretty safe. I’d be cautious with the other mid-market products from Sage. Also, there’s a rumor that Sage is on the auction block again.
All of this interesting, don’t you think?
Sage Software Cleans House

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 6.0

Dead_Raccoon.jpgI was in line to get a hamburger at a fast food restaurant. When what should I see in front of me but a couple of legs sticking up from the side of a truck bed in front of me. Well, I grabbed my trusty digital camera and shot this picture.
Yesterday afternoon, I got the newest and best issue of the newsletter from Microsoft. And right there was what I’d predicted all along: NAV 5.1 (now we’re going to call it 6.0 like we should have been doing all along) will be released (projected) Q4 CY2008. If you’re not a Msoftie, that stands for 4th Quarter, Calendar Year 2008 (as opposed to 4th Quarter, Fiscal Year 2008 which would be 2Q CY2009 or something like that).
Anyway, the “preview” for partners will be out H1 CY2008 (yep, that’s the first half of 2008), and we’re just sure it’ll be out promptly.
Now that I’ve allowed my snide and cynical side to write a few lines, let me tell you what I think this means from a business perspective.
One of the reasons we at DGG selected this product as one we would support was its design. Bluntly put, Navision (the Danish company) did a heck of a job developing not only the features and functions that are built into Dynamics NAV, but developing the tools that were used to build it. These tools are the same ones that clients and implementers use to do development work, and they’re really top-notch for the type of work that is needed in an accounting system.
Anyway, NAV has been integrated into more of the Microsoft stack than most of the other products (it has–over the years–worked with BizTalk, Forcasting, FRx, Commerce Server, SQL, etc.) Many of these things were in place 3-4 years ago, long before other Microsoft ERP products integrated with these traditional products.
Also, NAV has far and away the largest feature set of any product in the Microsoft cradle. When we use our software evaluation database (that contains 150 or so products) to do needs analysis, NAV is often one of the last products left outside the Tier I space (that is, SAP, J D. Edwards, Oracle, etc.).
So I think it’s pretty reasonable that it’s taking Microsoft a while to make sure they’re getting it right. Also, the last few demos I’ve seen of this new technology, Microsoft seems to be getting closer and closer to keeping the product easy to modify, install, and use.
I’m expecting to blog a lot more at the beginning of November from Directions 2007, the Dynamics NAV conference. Hopefully, we’ll be able to tell you a lot more.
So if you think you see something dead in the back of Microsoft’s truck…it’s not a bad thing. Just think of it as a raccoon-skin hat. Oh, boy, that’ll bring down the tree huggers.