Steve has a Chat with Toby Bowers


I recently wrote a post with suggestions for Toby Bowers, the new Leader of the Microsoft ISV Program. I assumed he had read it, but just to be sure, I ambushed him on the phone. If you are a Microsoft Business Applications ISC, this is the guy who will make or break you. We had a great discussion about his plans for ISVs. We also chatted about my latest undertaking, ISV Connect ED, he acted like it was the first time he heard about it, but I already know that it has been chatted up in the halls in Redmond :). Enjoy!

BTW, don’t forget, Mark Smith (@nz365guy) and I do PowerUpLive every Tuesday at 4PM EST, click here to be alerted, and here’s a link to the replays!

Transcript Below:

Toby Bowers: Hello, this is Toby.

Steve Mordue: Toby, it’s  Steve Mordue. How’s it going?

Toby Bowers: Steve Mordue. It’s going well. How are you? Long time no see. I have a suspicion on why you’re calling. I read one of your recent posts, called Suggestions for Toby. Is it to talk through that?

Steve Mordue: So, before you talk too much, I got to let you know, the record button is on and I’m going to publish whatever the heck we talk about in the next few days on my podcast, if that’s all right.

Toby Bowers: Ah, okay. Okay. I’ve heard about these calls, Steve. Yeah, no. That’s fine. That’s fine. I’ve been looking forward to talking to you.

Steve Mordue: All right. Cool. So, news. Guggs is headed out the door, and he did the mic drop and you’ve picked up the mic.

Toby Bowers: Yep. Yep.

Steve Mordue: Which is a new role for you, but you’ve been in the periphery of this ISV, but you’re now the guy, right? Buck’s stopping at your desk, for ISVs and ISV Connect.

Toby Bowers: Yeah, no, absolutely. I’m excited with the opportunity. Yeah. Guggs is retiring for the company, and just with the turn of the fiscal year here at Microsoft, we took the opportunity to sort of reorganize a little bit. But as you said, Steve, I’m not new to the ISV strategy or the ISV Connect program. We’ve been, myself and my team, have been working really closely with Guggs and his team over the past year. Just to sort of explain where my team fits in. So, I work for Alysa Taylor and the product marketing group. We have all of our field sales enablement for all of our sellers and marketing teams around the world. We do our partner strategy all up, not just for ISV. We do customer success. We’re focused on usage and adoption and migration. And we also do community work as well, for both first and third party community. So, ISV has always been a part of my core team charter, but as you said, I’m just sort of picking up the mantle with Guggs, and we’ll get more actively involved.

Steve Mordue: Is it a little intimidating?

Toby Bowers: Oh, yeah. No, it is. I mean, obviously this is incredibly critical for us to get right as a company. Such a huge opportunity for us and for this business. I joined the dynamics team about three years ago, and we started talking about this, Steve, because we really didn’t have a modern SaaS ISV program, ISV strategy. We were still coming off the old legacy days where, of course, ISVs are critical in this business in driving success with our on-prem business. But we weren’t able to sort of effectively translate that into the cloud world. So, really, really important for us to get right. Why it’s important for Microsoft is, to be honest, this is just a massive market. I mean, we did some sessions at Inspire recently in fact, this is a $200 billion market. It’s a very fragmented market, Steve, as you know, so the better we are in building out an ISV ecosystem and driving those ISV’s growth, the more share we can take in this market, and attract ISVs to build on our platform with great solutions that help solidify it in the customer base.

Steve Mordue: Was that kind of an eyeopener for you guys a little bit to see the results of that study you commissioned around ISV? I mean, I know you guys had always kind of, in the back of your mind, assumed there was importance in ISVs, but was that an eye opener for you guys as well?

Toby Bowers: It was. It was. I mean, the fact that over half that addressable market is going to be driven by ISVs and the cloud in the business applications market was bigger than I thought, to be honest. It’s also, Steve, it’s interesting. It’s split pretty evenly across the sort of the medium business space and the enterprise. So, there’s equal opportunity across both customer segments, but for us, the real opportunity, Steve is… And I’d love a chance to talk about the opportunity I see for the ISVs, but for us, the opportunity to take share and reach new audiences through ISVs is something we really talk a lot about in our conversations. Acquiring new cloud customers, the fact that ISVs can build vertical and sub vertical solutions and reach BDM audiences that we’re just not that great at it, Microsoft, to be honest. Just represents a huge opportunity for us from a customer acquisition perspective. And then, the last thing I’d say, Steve, is we still sort of have this tactical opportunity to continue to help the remaining customers we have on on-prem dynamics products get to the cloud, and ISVs are obviously critical in doing that, in helping them sort of move their IP from the legacy stuff over to cloud. So, yeah, there’s a big opportunity for Microsoft in it, but I also feel like there’s a big opportunity for ISVs, just choosing us over someone else in the industry based on just the innovation we’re building in and the growth that we’re seeing in the Dynamics 365 and Power Platform business,

Steve Mordue: Well, they’re choosing Microsoft to start or adding Microsoft, if they’re already established elsewhere.

Toby Bowers: Yeah.

Steve Mordue: Both of those are good motions. There’s a huge ecosystem of ISVs for Salesforce and some of the other applications out there. And I don’t expect them to just drop that and come over here. But you reach a point in any business where you’re kind of plateauing, right? You’ve got your market share and you’re maintaining and you’ve got your steady growth, but if you’re looking for a new opportunity to create brand new growth, I mean, nothing like jumping into another sandbox.

Toby Bowers: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think that’s definitely part of it, and it kind of comes back to where we are in our journey with this strategy and this program [ISV Connect], Steve. I think back with the transition from Guggs, we sort of spent about a year in the design mode, and I know we worked with you to bounce ideas off you as a sounding board during that phase, back in the back of the day. And then last year, our fiscal year ’20 was really the launch year. And obviously, we launched it at Inspire in July, but then it really didn’t become operational for a couple of months. So, the bulk of last year was really helping our existing ISVs onboard and get enrolled in the program, and really the focus that we had on cleaning up app stores, getting everything all nice and certified and enrolled in the program for our existing ecosystem. And we feel pretty good about the result, that we got over 550 ISVs, 1200 apps. We have a good base now, but to your point, now we can sort of transition into going after recruits, right? And not only making our existing ISVs successful, but continuing to build out that ecosystem with new ISVs who are looking at multiple platforms to your point.

Steve Mordue: I’ve been, I guess, probably the best way to put it would be “optimistically critical”. I mean, I am an ISV, so obviously I’m bullish and have high hopes for success of the [ISV Connect] program, but the program has had its challenges. I think it’s been passed around a lot. Hopefully, you’ll hang around for a while with this thing. That’s one of the reasons I was asking about the survey, was that it seemed like for years prior to that, like I say, there’s been kind of a, yeah, we know ISVs are important, but it wasn’t particularly believable messaging, you know? Because I don’t know that a lot of the folks inside Microsoft had a clear picture of what that means. It’s was just Salesforce is doing it, so we should be doing it too. But I was thinking that study kind of would have really opened some eyes and poured some gas on this motion.

Toby Bowers: Yeah. I mean, it really has, Steve, and you’re right. And look, I’ll acknowledge we’ve had fits and starts with ISV strategies across Microsoft for several years, and I’ve been there to witness it. I’m a 20 plus year vet here at Microsoft, and I’ve worked in pretty much every side of the company from sales to marketing out in the field in different countries, and now here in product marketing working on BPOS and Office 365 in the early days, and then Azure in the early days, and now Biz Apps. We’ve gone through several evolutions that are related to our ISV strategy, and we’ve changed course and made some missteps, to be honest, here and there. I think my whole goal, again, in sort of stepping in and taking a little bit more responsibilities with this program in particular is to deliver on the value, deliver on the promise we made to partners. Last year when we launched, we talked about things like access to our field sellers in the premium tier, access to our partners, access to our customer base through app stores in the marketplace, access to platform capabilities. We’ve delivered some of that, but we still have a long way to go to deliver on the full promise. And so, I’m a partner guy. I had lots of partner responsibility in my previous roles at Microsoft, and I just think if we deliver on that promise and we support our partners’ growth, we’re going to grow. So, that’s my number one goal. And we can talk about some of the specifics in it, but I hear you. And I think we need to stay the course. Now that we’re in market, this is the year to really mainstream the program across the Microsoft machine and really deliver on the value that we’ve talked to ISVs.

Steve Mordue: I think one of the challenges with the ISV Connect… well, any of the programs in there is Microsoft is a huge machine, and you’ve got to get a lot of parts lined up in order for anything to happen, parts that are within your control, other parts that are not in your control. I mean, it’s a challenge to get all those things lined up in a groove. And I know that effort has been ongoing. We talked about AppSource as an example of something that Biz Apps doesn’t own AppSource. They kind of own their door to it. And so, some things that are kind of in your control, out of your control, some things you can influence, not influence. I guess a lot of it would probably be driven by such as interest in the success of the Biz App side of the business, which is certainly higher than any of its predecessors, right?

Toby Bowers: Yeah, absolutely. We have huge sponsorship, not only in support, not only for business applications like Dynamics and Power Platform from the senior leadership team, Satya and his LT down, but even the ISV strategy within that, Steve. I mean, we get a chance to get in front of that leadership team twice a year. We often talk about this ISV strategy, the ISV Connect program, what we’re doing. So, it’s well known across the company. And I think to your point around the matrix here at Microsoft, and what I would say is I’ve been around again for a long time and I’ve worked in most of these teams that are going to be critical for the success of this program, whether it’s Nick Parker coming in on the global partner solution side and Gavriela [Schuster], Casey McGee, or on the engineering side, James Phillips and Charlotte Yarkoni, who actually leads our commerce engineering team, including our marketplaces with Azure marketplace and AppSource. So, we’ve got high awareness, high prioritization to focus and improve in some of the areas, Steve, that we’ll probably talk about, we know we need to focus on and improve. But the last thing I’d say in this vein is when we launched last year… Again, you probably know the way Microsoft works. I mean, we kick off Q1 in July. Everyone goes in a little hole for it for a month, takes a couple of weeks of vacation, comes back out, and we quickly get into planning mode for the fiscal year, to sit down and build the pipeline we need, think about the right plans and investments around the world to be successful. And the difference between this year, this fiscal year and last fiscal year from an ISV Connect perspective is we now have this great stable of ISVs and apps ready to go. So, we had 500 ISVs enrolled in the program on day one, July 1. We have 1200 apps. We’ve got a great set of premium tier apps that we’re now working with our sales teams to align to their account and territory planning process. In fact, just earlier this morning, Steve, I was looking at a spreadsheet and you can imagine not to share sort of all the gory detail, but we have these things called sales plays, which are how we enable and align our sales force to go and talk to customers about our workloads and solutions. And we have six sales plays for business applications. Then, we have an industry focus. We have these industry priority scenarios. We have 13 of those. Then, we have 14 areas, we call them, around the world. These are countries and groups of countries around the world. So, if you think about a big spreadsheet with all of those, what we’ve done is we’ve mapped our ISV solutions to each one of those to say, “hey, if you’re looking to focus on supply chain in the manufacturing industry in France, here’s a set of ISVs that are enrolled in ISV Connect”, perhaps have an app in the premium tier that you should align to your account territory planning process, so that you can go and engage with them to build pipeline.

Steve Mordue: Wasn’t that previously like the… What was it? The catalog? The CSP? No, what was it?

Toby Bowers: That, yeah. It was the… Well, the OCP catalog is what we used internally.

Steve Mordue: OCP catalog.

Toby Bowers: Yep. There’s a Co-Sell Solution Finder. That’s more reactive, Steve. If you’re talking to a customer and say, “Hey, do you know a partner that has a solution on X,” you can bring up that tool and find one. What I’m talking about is more proactive, actual territory planning with the sales teams to sit down with ISVs and do that sort of engagement, to build joint pipeline, identify joint accounts. So, I just bring it up because we didn’t have the opportunity to do that last year, because we were just launching the program. So, I’m optimistic, as you say, critically optimistic that that’ll make a difference for us this year, at least on the Co-Sell side.

Steve Mordue: When Guggs came in, I was actually pretty excited, because that’s really the first time that someone who had been with Microsoft for a long time, had some clout, knew how to work the machine internally came on board, and he was on board for, what? About a year, and then retired. And I thought, “Uh-oh. Now what?” And so, hearing that you took over, I was once again, very excited. I’ve known you for a long time now. Obviously a completely different personality than Guggs. You are much less of a risk taker, I would say, and much more of a… You’re a much more mellow kind of a guy. You seek consensus.

Toby Bowers: Thank you, Steve.

Steve Mordue: I’ve always thought you seek consensus more than… Certainly Guggs wasn’t big on seeking consensus. I think that’s going to be critical to your ISV success. I think… And I admit, I’m not blowing smoke up your butt. I think you’re the right guy at the right time for this now, just knowing you the way I do. And obviously, a lot of ISVs will be listening to this. So, I don’t want to… I’ve kind of gotten caught in the past of sounding overly optimistic, and then things not stepping up. But I’m feeling as optimistic as I ever have about you stepping into role and being able to really make it work for everybody. We’ve got some very successful ISV stories out there, but there’s a lot of them that are struggling to get there. I think democratizing the process a little bit, because we definitely over-index on the big ISVs, which I get. We need to… But big ISVs didn’t start as big. We need to have motions that bring all people, raise all boats.

Toby Bowers: Yep.

Steve Mordue: What are you thinking about, now that you’re brand new in role? Although you’re not oblivious to what’s going on. You’ve been in the periphery there of this thing fairly deeply for a while. What are you thinking about things you want to try and attack right away that you think you can get some traction on right away? And then, maybe things that you want to focus on a little more long-term, so we can kind of see what we can expect quickly, and then what we can kind of expect down the road?

Toby Bowers: Yeah. Well, I appreciate that your sentiment, Steve. We have known each other for a long time, and I know you’re a straight shooter, and you’re also just a great champion for the broader partner ecosystem. So, I would just say, just to put everyone at ease, I’ve been around almost as long as Guggs and have been behind the scenes, like we said, on this for a long time. So, I don’t want anyone to feel like I’m going to come in and start cracking around and changing things up. I think to your point around risk taking, this whole design launch mainstream phasing that I talked about, the program is sound. I truly believe we have the right program in place for the long game, with the revenue sharing model, the different points of value that we need to provide to our partners. Like I said, we just need to deliver on that promise now. So, I’m not going to come in and change things drastically. I’m going to take what we have, and do my darnedest to make it successful Steve, because I truly believe it is set up for success if we have the right focus and attention. So, that sort of leads me to the way I work. I am a collaborative guy. I’ve got a lot of good relationships across the organizations that will be required to make this program successful, whether it’s the partner team or the sales team or all the folks out in the field who are closer to where the rubber hits the road. So, I feel pretty confident about the amount of focus and energy, and what I can do to really push it forward from here. As far as short term, long term, to answer your question, Steve, and I loved your blog. I read it. In fact, I listened to it. I was out walking the dog, and I listened to it. So, thank you for reading it out loud. I don’t know where you found that picture by the way. That’s about a decade old, so thank you. That’s very flattering.

Steve Mordue: Send me a new one.

Toby Bowers: Exactly. But there’s a couple things. I would say to some of your suggestions around… Let’s just take the first one around equalizing. We probably did over-index a bit on the Co-Sell side of things last year with our premium tier, especially, and getting those partners enrolled and engaging with our field around Co-Sell. That’s what, to be honest, a lot of the larger partners were most excited about. And there’s been a couple of really good examples of success there, Steve, and companies like Seismic. We just had Inspire. We talked about a few different ISVs and sort of success stories, but Seismic is a great example. Sales enablement solution, three clouds, Azure, us, Teams as well. They really got plugged quickly into the Co-Sell motion. And they talked about pipeline growth of 5X in the first 90 days. That’s a smaller group of ISVs that are in that premium tier app, and they’ve just seen a ton of success. Sort of taking a page out of the Azure Co-Sell playbook, and now applying that and extending it to ISV Connect. So, we’re going to continue to focus on that. Like I said, we’re able to kick off our fiscal year with this set of ISVs. And so, I feel pretty confident about continuing to push on the Co-Sell side. Where we need to focus more, Steve, is to your point on a couple of the other value points that we talked about. First is access to our ecosystem, right? We’ve got massive partner ecosystem, all shapes and sizes. SIs, local SIs, regional SIs, the big guys, resellers, CSP partners. Today, we’ve got some partner to partner benefits, kind of matchmaking benefits as part of the program, go to market program. We’ve got such an opportunity in the future to tap into those channels in a bigger way. You think about incentives or our transacting partners reaching into new markets and geographies around the world. That’s going to be an area of focus for me going forward. And then, the other piece around AppSource. You had some great feedback on AppSource, and I know you’ve been giving us feedback on AppSource, for years.

Steve Mordue: Yeah, since it launched. Before it launched, actually.

Toby Bowers: Yeah, exactly. This is going to be a real short term focus for me, Steve. The fact is we’ve been on and are on a little bit of a journey with AppSource, but we’ve got eyeballs in there. It’s got a monthly active usage of 4 million users, right? And growing. So, what we’ve done in the last quarter with AppSource is really worked on some of the plumbing underneath. It was just not where it needed to be when it came to search, discoverability of apps, just block and tackle, basic stuff. So, we worked with the engineering team to really focus on just fixing up that plumbing underneath. This next few months where we’re going to focus is the overall user experience. So, the website itself, focusing much more on the solutions themselves, merchandising the right apps, really helping customers who are going there find what they’re looking for quickly, not just from a search perspective, but an overall user experience perspective. And that’ll happen literally in the next few months. And then, from there, Steve, you know where we’re going to go. We’re ultimately going to light up transactability of third party IP through AppSource. That’ll come together with the ISV Connect program, so that partners can really choose how they transact. But we do feel like for the right apps and the right partners, that’ll really light up this big Microsoft install base of customers as a new way to sell and transact their apps. So, that’s where we’re going.

Steve Mordue: I think that would be particularly critical for the startup ISV, or the one who’s coming over from another platform.

Toby Bowers: Yep.

Steve Mordue: Because it’s a big enough challenge to build a worthwhile solution, but that’s only the beginning as an ISV of getting where you need to get. you’ve got to build some sort of a licensing construct to protect it, and you’ve got to build some sort of a billing platform to get paid for it. So, to the degree that you guys can offer some sort of plugin capabilities on those sorts of things, I think that’s going to open up for a lot more ISVs to engage, because you’ve just lowered the bar of entry to really, if you’ve got a good solution, if you’ve got good IP, you can jump in here. We’ll take care of more of this plumbing for you, because it’s definitely, I think, kept some folks on the sidelines or a lot of people have ended up just making apps free, because they don’t have a way to protect or sell them, which isn’t what the goal was.

Toby Bowers: Yeah, totally, Steve, and look. I’m going to be honest. We got to get better in this space. This is an area that I just see a huge opportunity for us to focus on and improve. We’ve seen some success there. I talked to Trevor [Nimegeers] at this company called ITRAK 365. It’s like a safety management app for waste management. Again, talk about vertical focus. Yeah. But he’s getting leads from AppSource. He’s going… Canadian based company. He’s cracking into New Zealand and winning some deals over there. And just the infrastructure that can enable that geo expansion through a marketplace like that has a lot of promise for a lot of our ISVs. But you mentioned something important as well, which I missed earlier. So, in addition to the marketing benefits, the go to market benefits, the Co-Sell benefits, we’re still working really hard with the engineering teams, whether it’s Charles [Lamanna] and his team, or the marketplace team on platform capabilities. So, obviously, we’ve got tools and stuff today with ISV Studio. We’ve got telemetry. We’ve got install telemetry today. We’ll have usage telemetry tomorrow. We’ll have licensed management capabilities tomorrow. That’ll flow into transactability. So, a lot of those platform investments that we can make from an engineering perspective ultimately come together to sort of paint a nice picture for ISVs who are looking to tap into that. And again, strong focus and sort of commitment across the engineering teams to do that.

Steve Mordue: And when you say tomorrow, so everybody is aware, you don’t literally mean tomorrow.

Toby Bowers: I do not mean Labor Day. That’s a very… No, no, I don’t. Yeah. I mean, I don’t have, and I can’t share specific dates, Steve, but we are on this biannual release cycle with James and his team. Obviously, you know our release cycle there with October and April. The commerce and marketplace team is on a biannual cadence as well. So, we just fit into those engineering cycles to continue to champion for what ISVs need to be successful, in that long list of work that those teams will do to just get it higher and higher on the list. And we’re really moving in the right direction.

Steve Mordue: And I see a little bit of a parallel with the ISV Connect motion and really the whole Power Platform motion. My last call with Charles Lamanna when I was asking him about what are the big things that they’re planning next? He said, “Actually, we’re going to focus on making everything we have work better.”

Toby Bowers: Yeah.

Steve Mordue: We have all the parts that we need and they’re all out there. They’re not necessarily wired up as ideally as we’d like, and you can’t just keep launching, launching, launching. At some point, you’ve got to take a look at the pile you’ve built and make sure that it’s organized and sorted and working, well oiled. And I kind of feel that way about ISV Connect. All the parts are there. We don’t need any new, necessarily any brand new things, some add-ons here and there. But it’s really just making that whole pile of components work like a well oiled machine.

Toby Bowers: Yeah. I think the table’s set. We just got to get people eating. Like I said before, I think the program is sound. The elements, the business model. It’s a self-fulfilling business model. The more success we have, the more we can invest and grow together. And I do think that we stay the course. It’s all about execution and delivering on that promise. Now that said, there are a few things, like we were just talking about that we need to add quickly or fix, to be honest. Things like getting AppSource where it needs to be, some of the benefits. You and I have talked a lot about internal use rights, and that is a benefit. We just need to get that done. I know we’ve been talking about it for too long. There’s a broader Microsoft dialogue going on around ISV and programs and IURs. I’m just going to move forward with the right IUR strategy for ISV Connect, because that’s just something we have to deliver on,

Steve Mordue: Just put your head down and crash through.

Toby Bowers: Exactly. Exactly. So, that’s a big one.

Steve Mordue: So, I recently started a new venture myself kind of on the side, towards this ISV Connect motion. I don’t know if you’d heard anything about it.

Toby Bowers: No, I haven’t. What are you doing?

Steve Mordue: ISV Connect ED.

Toby Bowers: Oh, nice. I like the play on words there, my friend. You should be in marketing.

Steve Mordue: Yeah, yeah. Well, I’m adding an ED to the end of it, but essentially, it’s… We don’t have a good external resource. I mean, you can go to Microsoft, and you can read all about ISV Connect and just read stuff, but there doesn’t seem to be a community for ISVs to compare notes and… Not so much, I don’t want to create a place for people to go bitch and complain. I want to create a place where people can go and learn what works, what doesn’t, how to be successful, and see if we can nurture some stuff around there. So, hopefully you’ll be hearing more about that.

Toby Bowers: Well, that sounds intriguing to me, Steve, but yeah, I’d love to learn more. I mentioned one of the other things my team is responsible for is our community strategy. And I know you are an active member of our MVP community, our Partner Advisory Councils, our sort of partner community at large. So I’m all for what you do with that initiative, Steve. I think, to me, community, and I know we’ve caught up at user groups and things like that. It’s just such a great listening mechanism for us. We can do all the research we want, and talk to our field and talk to partners, but that partner to partner community engagement to sort of identify common themes, and then have multiple voices bringing that back to us is just so important for us to be focusing on the right areas.

Steve Mordue: Yeah.

Toby Bowers: And I’m just a huge advocate. I mean, this is… In my career, I spent so much time out in the field with customers and partners, and I just feel it’s so important for us to listen at this point. Again, I feel like we’ve got the right strategy in place, the right program [ISV Connect] in place. We need to listen to what’s working and what’s not working, and then act quickly that. So, I love it. I love that you’re pulling that effort together, and I’d love to stay connected with you on it as far as opportunities to engage or just understand what you’re learning.

Steve Mordue: Oh, I’m going to lean on you, buddy. I’m going to lean on you.

Toby Bowers: You can lean on me anytime. In fact, I was going to say that.

Steve Mordue: One of the things that Guggs did, he kind of disbanded the ISV PAC and kind of went to that broader… But I think you definitely lose something when you’ve got… It’s funny. When we go to any of these events, when there’s a room with like 20 people in it, everybody’s happy to talk. When there’s 200 people, nobody says anything.

Toby Bowers: Yeah.

Steve Mordue: It’s like the group gets too big, and then who was it? Tony. You remember Tony de Freitas?

Toby Bowers: Yeah, I do.

Steve Mordue: He made a comment on one of my more critical posts recently. And he just said, “Feedback is a gift.” Coming from someone who used to be on the inside of Microsoft, I know you guys are desperate for the feedback. I mean, it’s all… Give me the feedback, tell us what’s working, what’s not working. And it doesn’t help when nobody says anything or they just complain. Getting that feedback is critical, and that’s part of what I’m hoping to try and accomplish here is to help you guys get some of that feedback.

Toby Bowers: Yeah. Absolutely, Steve. I mean, we can’t do this in a vacuum. It’s a new program. It’s a new model for us. And so, feedback is critical, and there’s multiple ways to get that feedback. The good news on the PAC is we’re getting the band back together, so we’re sort of re-establishing as we move into this next horizon. But yeah, in fact, I was going to offer, Steve. I think me coming in now, I would love to do this connection with you maybe in a few months as we sort of round out the calendar year to see what progress we’ve made, and you can keep me honest and I’d keep you honest. And I would love to engage with this community that you’re thinking about building.

Steve Mordue: Well, I hope that… I had Guggs on about once a quarter to just kind of talk about what’s up.

Toby Bowers: Okay.

Steve Mordue: I definitely feel like you are a person who is more amenable to the feedback.

Toby Bowers: Yeah, yeah.

Steve Mordue: More interested in hearing it, and will definitely act on it. So, anything else you want to say to folks about you coming in here, and taking the role? I mean, I’m feeling very positive. I think everybody should feel very positive. I think everybody needs to give you a fair chance to take some action, but I’m feeling very confident about it.

Toby Bowers: Well, I appreciate it, Steve. No, I appreciate the call, although it was a bit unexpected. I’d just wrap up with my number one job is to deliver value to our partners. That value will come in the form of growth, plain and simple, because if our partners are successful, we’re going to be successful with this. So, that’s what I’m going to be maniacally focused on for this next six months. And yeah, I look forward to catching up again soon and hopefully talking about some of the mutual successes that we’ve had.

Steve Mordue: Sounds good, man. I’ll be pinging you soon.

Toby Bowers: All right, Steve. Well, thanks again for the call. I appreciate the opportunity to have a chat.

Steve Mordue: All right. Bye bye.

Toby Bowers: Bye bye.

Steve Mordue MVP

Steve Mordue, a Microsoft Business Applications MVP, is the CEO of Forceworks, a 2014 Microsoft Partner of the Year. Steve started his business applications consulting career in 2001, originally supporting Salesforce.com as a Certified Consultant. Steve transitioned his consulting practice to Dynamics CRM, (now Dynamics 365) in 2011. Steve has been engaged in hundreds of deployments over the course of his career. As one of the leading Microsoft Business Application Consultants, recognized by Microsoft as an expert, Steve has provided training, on behalf of Microsoft, to other Microsoft Partners globally on how to launch and build successful practices. Steve is a member of the Worldwide Dynamics Partner Advisory Council, and is a frequent presenter and panelist at global Microsoft events. The opinions shared in this blog are Steve's alone. If you are looking for Microsoft confidential information, you will not find any here.

3 Responses

  1. Craig Robertson says:

    Steve, If you were in a position where you were going to launch a new Power Apps product by Q2 2021, would you hope that Transactable support was added to Power Apps on the Marketplace, or would you just start building out your own licensing and store front now? I see that you just recently made your product free, are you just throwing in the towel? Do you plan to focus your revenue on services rather than licensing? Do you see a future for a business model focused around license revenue built on the Power Platform?
    Thanks for the insights and the blog.
    Craig

    • Steve Mordue MVP says:

      Hi Craig,

      I think it might be optimistic to think transactability will be here by Q2.

      So far as us “throwing in the towel”, that’s not really what we’re doing. We’ve long since recovered our development costs and decided to go after scale with our base apps and offer addons and services. It’s just a different approach. I’ll keep everyone posted on how that goes.

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