Microsoft writes off Nokia with $7.6 billion charge

nokia_brokenMicrosoft today announced a restructuring:


Microsoft will record a charge in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015 for the impairment of assets and goodwill in its Phone Hardware segment, related to the NDS business. This charge has no impact on cash flow from operations and is nondeductible for income tax purposes. Based on the new plans, the future prospects for the Phone Hardware segment are below original expectations. Accordingly, the company concluded that an impairment adjustment of its Phone Hardware segment assets and goodwill of approximately $7.6 billion is required.

Microsoft closed on the purchase of mobile phone maker Nokia in April 2014 paying $7.2 billion.

The write-off amount today equals the entire amount (and then some) of their purchase.

Wayne Schulz is a consultant who writes about the ERP industry and technology related news.

Microsoft ERP Customer Counts – 2015

microsoft_ERP_CRMUpdated customer numbers via Jim Desler, Director, Corporate Communications at Microsoft. These were reportedly shared at Microsoft Convergence 2015.

According to the customer count shared by Microsoft the company’s fastest grower is Dynamics NAV (formerly Navision) with 7.8% and the slowest grower is Dynamics SL (formerly Solomon).

Actual numbers for 2015 Microsoft Dynamics CRM were not provided other than the 2015 customer count was over 40,000.

Microsoft’s top growers were AX (fka Axapta) and NAV (fka Navision) , both global products. The North American centric products – GP (fka Great Plains) and SL (fka Solomon)  – appear stagnant.

There’s no information provided about whether  company counts are for active maintenance paying licenses or some other metric used by Microsoft.




Wayne Schulz is a consultant who writes about the ERP industry and technology related news.

The Transformation Of Microsoft Convergence: 2015+ Event To Target BDM

Word from the Enterprise Software Podcast that Microsoft Convergence 2015 will target BDM (aka Business Decision Makers). As explained on a recent group call to exhibitors Microsoft will be pulling in “the stack” of products (think Azure, Office, Office 365) and targeting the decision making end users.

This will apparently be the last Convergence with “deep technical content”. Future Convergence events will become “Microsoft Business Events”.  One of the keynotes this year is Seth Godin.



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Wayne Schulz is a consultant who writes about the ERP industry and technology related news.

Power BI – Another Step Toward Microsoft As Mostly An Enterprise Company


According to an article in The New York Times Microsoft has set a goal to bring Business Intelligence to one billion users. Presumably this is going to occur with their Power BI tool which begins rolling out today according to the same article.  The new Power BI is clearly aimed at the enterprise market (as evidenced by the confusing list of pricing and prerequisites shown above).  Supposedly this is Satya Nadella’s last big project before assuming the CEO role at Microsoft.

Power BI offers ways to move all kinds of data into and out of Excel’s rows and columns, both from corporate databases and from other data sources that Microsoft has gathered by crawling the web, and ways to clean it up so the numbers can work reliably. Public data is stored in Azure, which also serves as a link to proprietary data that corporate customers can look up from the field.

Microsoft is known for software whose primary purpose is to “sell the stack”.  In other words to use one additional new piece of Microsoft software there are one ore more prior pieces of Microsoft software or technology which must be used. This works great in the enterprise where most companies are already paying the heavy annual Microsoft tax for maintenance and support plans.  I’m not sure it plays so well in consumer land — or that Microsoft will ever be able to keep up with competitors in consumer.

Power BI

Wayne Schulz is a consultant who writes about the ERP industry and technology related news.

Microsoft Cloud Playbook Outlines Sad State Of The Traditional VAR Marketplace


An interesting Cloud Partner Profitability Guide from Microsoft. Pay especially close attention to page 10 as it nicely summarizes the current state of the VAR marketplace and the changes needed to remain profitable. Although technically I don’t believe all these changes are brought on solely by cloud use. In most cases they’re a symptom of a mature ERP market with users who are no longer afraid of technology.

In essence when most of us started as VARS we sold to the first generation technology user. Afraid of technology. Wanting to pay someone to install, train and take care of this strange new ERP technology.

Fast forward to 2014 and we’re now selling to the sons and daughters of the original customers. This new generation doesn’t have the apprehension about technology which was present when most VAR practices were founded. This means change is needed in order to maintain the same (or greater) level of VAR profitability.



Download the Microsoft Dynamics Cloud Partner Profitability Guide – October 2013

Wayne Schulz is a consultant who writes about the ERP industry and technology related news.

Microsoft Adds Google Talk to Windows Phone 8 Next?


Microsoft is in the midst of rolling out Google Talk (aka GTALK) integration to their email service. The significance of this for some is that you would have one location online where you can use a variety of instant messaging protocols:

  • MSN Messenger (now Skype)
  • Google Talk
  • Facebook Messenger (though not group chat)


Still unknown is whether Windows Phone 8 will inherit this capability and what will be unveiled at Google I/O for new chat capabilities when the conference starts tomorrow. now lets you chat with Google friends – one more reason to make the switch

Wayne Schulz is a consultant who writes about the ERP industry and technology related news.

Windows 8 Will Usher In The Potential for Another Y2K Like Opportunity For Partners

October 26, 2012 is the date Microsoft ships a long awaited upgrade to Windows.

When Windows 8 arrives it ushers in an unprecedented potential need for many users to upgrade their operating system – or face the loss of key Microsoft programs including MS Office.

Microsoft Office 2013 will only work with Windows 7 or Windows 8. The latest version of Internet Explorer v10 will only work with Windows 7 or Windows 8. There will probably be more Microsoft software which relies on an operating system upgrade.

PCs that aren’t running Windows 7 or Windows 8 are being left in the dust by Microsoft.

More than a few companies have yet to upgrade their offices to Windows 7. Those PCs are all stil happily working on Windows XP. In many cases the reason that they’ve not been upgraded is that legacy software might not be compatible with Windows 7+.

Starting with the release of Windows 8 companies will be upgrading their operating system in conjunction with the latest version of MS Office which will likely also link to Microsofts’ touted tablet and Windows Phone platforms.

Continue reading “Windows 8 Will Usher In The Potential for Another Y2K Like Opportunity For Partners”

Could Master VARS Be On Sage’s Roadmap?

On Friday Accounting Today reported that Sage partner Blytheco hired former Sage executive Lori Seal to become their new COO.

Seal replaces Ruth Menter who departed along with several other executives in early June 2012.

Blytheco is a perennial Sage partner-of-the-year award winner and was just listed at # 10 on the Accounting Today VAR 100.

Initially the buzz  has been that Lori Seal may be on board at Blytheco to beef up Blytheco’s SaaS capabilities. The company recently became a Netsuite authorized partner after many years of exclusively representing Sage products.

This is quite possibly her mission – however I’m wondering if this hire could signal a more strategic change in the Sage channel.
Continue reading “Could Master VARS Be On Sage’s Roadmap?”

Microsoft Convergence 2012 Keynote

I just noticed Microsoft will stream today’s Convergence 2012 keynote by COO Kevin Turner and Kirill Tatarinov, President, Microsoft Business Solutions. While the speeches will undoubtedly be more subdued than those of past (including Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s classics) the overall content can give a good hint as to Microsoft’s ERP direction for 2012-2013.

Not able to attend Convergence this year? We want you to be a part of the Microsoft Dynamics community anyway! Beginning at 9:00am CT on Monday, March 19, we’ll webcast the Opening Keynote with Kevin Turner, Chief Operating Officer, and Kirill Tatarinov, President, Microsoft Business Solutions, both Microsoft Corp. Join us as our company visionaries share a vision of connected, forward-looking organizations and how Microsoft delivers on the promise of enabling people to do their best work, driving data to insight to action – anytime, anywhere — as they seek to make a difference in moving the business forward. The keynote will be webcast from the main page of the Convergence website.

The streaming keynote fun starts at 9am CT – at the Convergence 2012 Web Site

Doug Burgum Is Back In The CEO Game

He’s back! Albeit probably only temporarily.

I just spied this press release issue January 31, 2011 announcing that Great Plains founder and former Microsoft Executive Doug Burgum has taken the Interim CEO position at one of his Arthur Ventures Growth Fund, LLC portfolio companies.

In a press release dated January 31, 2011 the company states that a search for a CEO is under way.  The company is located in Fargo, ND — and a former high level Sage Executive who reportedly didn’t want to leave Fargo for Orange County is available…

Full press release follows.

Continue reading “Doug Burgum Is Back In The CEO Game”