After 100 days in the job of leading Microsoft's business systems division, Kirill Tatarinov is getting his feet firmly under the table. I caught up with him at this year's EMEA Convergence, Microsoft's customer conference with eight questions:
1. When does the 10-year application support clock start ticking?
When the applications are put out on general release. The idea is to provide consistent and simplified support across all Microsoft products. This is one more step in that direction.
2. What community features will be included in Customer Source?
You can view Community Source as a number of things that include support, training and marketing. They will be used as online community resources including customer feedback but at present the business specific communities are detached.
3. Your statements of direction/roadmap imply 24 month release cycles. Is that perhaps a tad conservative given that disruptive technologies might require a faster response?
As long as you support web services and SOA then these tools (like FaceBook) are not really disruptive. For example, we're participating in this, tying NAV into Sharepoint. We're seeing implementer focus on infrastructure, business applications and custom applications so I don't think it will be a technical hurdle.
4. Can you give examples of what you mean when you talk about connecting to non-Microsoft applications?
We see this mostly in the enterprise where there are hub and spoke style deployments. Mist typcially this will be where there is say an SAP or Oracle at the center and we can deploy Dynamics around that in subsidiaries that don't need the complexity of those large scale applications.
5. With a 24 month release cycle, how do you propose aligning UI development, especially between Dynamics NAV and Entrepreneur?
We see the importance of this for customers that wish to move to the next level. The goal is to release Entrepreneur as close to NAV 6.0 as possible and try to keep them in step after that. I guess the delay is likely to be less than 90 days.
6. We hear the low TCO message but what about ROI?
Nucleus did some studies in this area but I agree, they need updating. Customers still want low TCO and we think we're getting close to achieving the best TCO figures in the market.
7. A $20 million investment in the partner eco-system seems small when set against a billion dollar Dynamics business. What are you offering?
I'm surprised you think that. This is really an acceleration of existing partner programs like SureStep and PartnerSource and is designed to help us improve partner capacity so we can keep up with demand for Dynamics.
8. How do you see Microsoft offering hosted solutions?
We have a number of ways to go to market and it is fair to say we're still working out some of the alternatives. We think for instance that some partners will want to offer small data center capability for products like Entrepreneur but it could also mean offering large data centers for products like CRM Live. In other cases, we may host ourselves.