Speaker

AJ Ansari

AJ Ansari

COO at DSWi, Microsoft MVP

Houston, Texas, United States

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AJ is a business leader and prolific public speaker who has delivered presentations and workshops at over 35 conferences worldwide since 2012. His expertise in business software systems paired with his passion for technology and knowledge sharing have earned him widespread recognition in the Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem, including the prestigious Microsoft MVP award, the Community Summit Legend award, the Business Central / NAV UG All-Star award, and the Directions North America Under-40 Excellence award.

Prior to stepping into his C-Suite executive role in 2018, AJ held practice leadership, presales and ERP consulting roles across prominent US-based Microsoft partner firms. He currently serves as the Vice President of the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP) Americas Board, and on the national Board of Advisors for Dynamic Communities' Business Central User Group.

Awards

Area of Expertise

  • Information & Communications Technology
  • Business & Management

Topics

  • Process Improvement
  • Business Leadership
  • Presales
  • Business Productivity
  • Sales Process Improvement
  • Services Delivery Improvement
  • Digital Transformation
  • ERP Implementation
  • Sales Enablement
  • Practice Management
  • Manufacturing & Production
  • Teaching Best Practices
  • Technology Evangelism
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central
  • Business Central
  • NAV
  • Navision
  • Business Central Implementation
  • Microsoft Power BI
  • Copilot
  • Power Platform
  • Power Apps
  • Power Automate
  • Power Platform Copilot
  • Power Pages
  • GenAI
  • Copilot/AI
  • Copilot Studio
  • M365 Copilot

Source Code Management (SCM) for Dummies. And Smart developers who haven't started using it yet.

If your idea of source code management (SCM) is adding inline comments, I have news for you. That’s not really SCM. It may have been the common way to do it for some, but there is a better, more effective way of doing it in Visual Studio Code. I will teach you in a way that is simple and straight-forward so that you can put it to use right away on your projects. Where you are a single developer or work in a team of developers, it will make your life easier and it will save you and your customers a lot of time, tears, and money over the long run. This will be especially useful for Dynamics NAV developers who are now developing for Dynamics 365 Business Central.

BC Telemetry: Accurate, Data driven performance insights.

For years, you've trusted your eyes, your gut, and maybe even the voices in your head to tell you when Business Central (or NAV) wasn't performing the way it should. Now there's a better way. Simple to deploy, easy to read, and accurate to boot. Join my session for a quick walkthrough of deployment and configuration, and guidance on how to make sense of the telemetry data coming from your Business Central tenant.

What's better than a Microsoft Copilot? Making one of your own with Copilot Studio

At long last, Microsoft has announced commercial availability of Copilot, Copilot Pro, and Copilot for M365. This opens the door for Copilot Studio to be used by consultants and power users alike. Let's talk about the underlying platform on which Copilot Studio is built, how it can shortcut the process of building an interactive chatbot, and most importantly, how you can enable your Copilot to not just answer your questions but act on your behalf.

Power BI factboxes in your BC Lists - Relevant KPIs at your fingertips!

Imagine how much time you could save if you could see KPIs for a Customer, Vendor, Item, or Job record as soon as you select it on a list page in BC. Imagine no more, because it can be done and I'll show you how. How to create the right sized report, what visuals work best, how to include more information on supporting report pages, and most importantly, how to mount them to a factbox in BC and get it filtering on the selected record.

Business Central, Teams, and Copilot: A utopian dream for accessibility

“Some men see things as they are, and ask why. I dream of things that never were, and ask why not.” Those were Robert F. Kennedy's words, and they're just as true today as they were then. Join me as I share a vision for how BC, Teams and Copilot can come together in a way that makes the collective more accessible to people of different abilities.

Flushing: Implementing Good Manufacturing Hygiene in Business Central

When you are implementing Manufacturing (Production Management) in Business Central are you helping them maximize efficiency and lower costs today? Effective configuration of Flushing Methods can go a long way in helping businesses realize greater profitability and shorten production times. In this session, I start with the basics and build up to best practices that you can put to use on your next implementation!

5 KPIs to measure the performance of your Dynamics 365 practice

If you are a Dynamics 365 practice leader, a business manager or owner, this is a must-attend session. There's an old saying that you can only improve what you can measure. I will show you five KPIs to gauge individual and team-level performance of your ERP/CRM practice with details on how you can calculate each KPI. Once you implement these metrics within your organization, you will be able to spot your team's strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement and increased profitability. The insights will help you identify trends and canaries in the coalmine so you can do what good leaders do: stay ahead of the curve!

BC Partner Readiness in this Era of Constant Change

It seems like every few months, Microsoft changes one more thing about how you as a Partner administer and help your Business Central customers. Whether it is security best practices, managing notifications on app compatibility, accessing a BC environment as a delegated administrator, or even changing an environment's experience from Essentials to Premium, change is the only constant. Come to this session to learn about all of these changes so you and your BC team are adequately prepared to provide the best service to your customers.

Connecting Business Central On-Premises to Power BI: Step by Step

When you’re using BC online, connecting to Power BI is a breeze. On-Premises? Not so much. The devil is in the details, and it can stump even the best BC or BI consultant. I will show you step-by-painful-step how to prepare your Business Central environment to connect not just to Power BI Desktop and the service. Welcome to the world of SSL certificates, FQDNs and more.

Business Central online vs. On-Premises: Telling the Twins Apart

Users may not be able to tell the differences between the Online and On-Premises version of Business Central, but can you? While it is essentially the same product, it is far from identical. You, as the BC Partner and Consultant, have to guide them towards making the right decision for their business, and it starts with knowing what is different about each version and how it impacts your customer. With each new release, the differences change – whether it is in the application area, the platform, or the licensing. Make sure you are armed with the most current knowledge and not just something you heard from a friend or read on the internet. This session is updated with the latest information to reflect all the changes made through Business Central 2022 Release Wave 2.

Demo to Win. What Do Prospects Really Want from you in a Presale Demo?

A common mistake that organizations make is tasking the consultant with the deepest product knowledge to perform demos for new prospective clients. Demonstrating knowledge of the product is only one part of the equation. How well you understand the prospect's business needs, the motivating factors driving the purchasing decision, understanding the audience in the room - these can be far more critical. Between 2008 and 2018, I have led hundreds of presale efforts and demonstrations for prospective clients across organizations of different sizes and focus, and both as a VAR and an ISV. I am trained in the ways of Bob Riefstahl's "Demonstrating to Win" philosophy and enlightened by Matt Dixon's "The Challenger Sale", and I have seen firsthand how the lessons from these have impacted our presale success rate. Join my session to learn how you too can improve your odds of winning by focusing on the things that matter most to your prospect.

Hiring Young Talent? Here are 10 Things You Must Do to Succeed: Lessons from the Field

In 2019, we at DSWi embarked on an aggressive growth plan, with recruitment being one of the cornerstones of our strategy. More specifically, recruiting talent straight from local colleges and universities and mentoring them to grow into productive employees and superstar consultants. It was a rough start, but we are now beginning to reap the rewards of this initiative. In this session, I will start with WHY we see this as a cornerstone for growth and success, and then share 10 tips you that we've learned from our successes and our failures. If you're looking to hire young, this is a must-attend session.

How Efficient is Your Business Central Practice? And how do you even measure it?

As the old saying goes, "you can improve only what you can measure." Your team and company spends all of its time improving business processes and performance for your clients, but have you implemented any KPIs to measure your Business Central Practice's performance? Whether you are a small practice of 5 people or a large practice of 50, join my session to learn 5 effective ways to measure and track the health of your practice. Whether you are the practice leader of your BC team, or a business manager / owner, this will put you in a better position to make both tactical and strategic decisions regarding your team such as whether you are overstaffed or understaffed, do you need to increase your billing rate, how much more work your team can take on without adding headcount. There are just a few examples. You won't want to miss this session!

Source Code Management for Dummies (and Smart BC Consultants / Developers who aren’t using Git yet

If your idea of source code management (SCM) is adding comments with two // in your code, I have news for you. That’s not really SCM. It may have been the common way to do it in NAV, but there is a better, more effective way of doing it in AL with Visual Studio Code. I will teach you in a way that is simple and straight-forward so that you can put it to use right away on your projects. Where you are a single developer or work in a team of developers, it will make your life easier and it will save you and your customers a lot of time, tears, and money over the long run.

Power BI Cookbook: 5 Recipes for the Business Central Consultant

Are you a BC Consultant / Business Analyst who is great at creating reports in BC or Excel, but struggling to get the most of Power BI? In this session, I will teach you how to use Columns, Measures, and the Power Query Editor to get the outcomes you need to meet your customers’ needs. This session will follow a cookbook style approach and show you 5 practical recipes that you can apply to help you with any Power BI report you create from now on!

5 Things Every BC Functional Consultant Should Know in AL

Are you a functional consultant who was able to make simple changes in NAV C/SIDE, but struggle to do the same in Visual Studio Code and AL? I am one of you and I have lived through this exact pain. In this workshop, you will learn the basics that AL boot camps and workshops targeted at developers do not teach you. You will learn how to download and set up your environment to create extensions, work with fields, tables, pages, add actions to the ribbon, create processing reports and how to avoid common mistakes. And you will also get some helpful theory on the basics before we start the exercises!

This session can be done in different length formats, as a workshop, a 90 minute session, or a 45 minute session.
I also have a sequel to this session. While it would be great to have both sessions accepted, each session is fully independent and the audience will get great value even if they just one of the two sessions in the series.

5 Best Practices for Data Migration

When it's time to move from your old ERP or accounting system to Microsoft Dynamics 365, don't be a digital hoarder. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need every last byte of historical data from your old system to work effectively. Join us as we go over best practices for data migration so you can be strategic and save your organization a lot of time, effort and money!

Session Objectives
1. Which areas of historical data should you migrate during an implementation?
2. How much historical data should you migrate?
3. At what point(s) in the implementation should you migrate historical data?
4. What happens to the data that didn't make the cut?

Part 2: The Next 5 Things Every BC Functional Consultant Should Know in AL

This is the long-awaited second part in my “AL for BC Functional Consultants” series. Are you a functional consultant who was able to make simple changes in NAV C/SIDE, but struggle to do the same in Visual Studio Code and AL? I am one of you and I have lived through this exact pain. My goal is to help you do more for your clients, and more importantly, help you do it the right way so that both your clients and your development team are happy. Join me to learn 5 more important things in AL - and as always, all code examples will be available for you through GitHub.

I have done the “5 Things Every BC Functional Consultant Should Know in AL” at previous Directions EMEA, Directions North America, Community Summit and DOK NORDIC conferences. This is the next session in that series and shows functional consultants how to do some more advanced things in AL.
While it would be great to have both sessions accepted, each session is fully independent and the audience will get great value even if they just one of the two sessions in the series.

It’s a Date! How to make sense of all the dates on Sales (and Purchase) Orders in Business Central

Ever wonder how a Posting Date is different from an Order Date or a Document Date? And how does Business Central calculate a Promised Delivery Date? And how do all of these dates flow on Sales and Purchase documents? Come to this session and I’ll help you make sense of it all. The concepts and information you’ll learn here will also come in handy when you’re trying to understand how date calculations work in Business Central’s MRP and Order Promising functionality.

This session applies both to Business Central as well as NAV (Navision).

Creating Power Automate flows for Business Central that actually matter!

Ever searched YouTube for "Power Automate flows"? There are 100s of videos, maybe more! Try searching for "Power Automate flows for Business Central" and you'll find about a dozen. And most of them focus on the simple demo examples of Workflow approval or create flows using out-of-the-box BC API pages. Great for some demo magic, but it doesn't get you very far when you need to create flows for the real world. Here's where I can help. I'll teach you how to use data from your custom tables and pages, and call bound actions to run code in Business Central from your Power Automate flow. And best of all, it's not really that hard once you learn how it's done. No fluff, no kool-aid, just real talk and real examples.

This session can be presented in a 45-60 minute format, or as a 4-8 hour hands-on-lab / workshop format.

Copilot Studio: Build your own Copilot (no rocket-science degree needed!)

All anyone talks about these days is Generative AI, ChatGPT and Copilot. It's everywhere and it's not going anywhere. What if you could build your own copilot to help your customers, co-workers or community to quickly find relevant information and perform actions on your behalf? You can! And I can show you how. You don't need to be a rocket scientist or even a developer.

Business Central for Manufacturers: Strengths and Weaknesses (No Kool-Aid)

Is Business Central a viable solution for Manufacturers out-of-the-box? Of course, it is! Sometimes it's the perfect fit. Except for when it isn't. Do your homework so you know where Business Central is strong, where the weaknesses lie, which gaps you can bridge the gaps with AppSource, and how it compares to its SaaS competitors like NetSuite, Acumatica and Intacct. I spent nearly a decade of my career in presales and have seen almost every kind of manufacturer. I've won many deals and lost many, and I'll share lessons from my experience so you can be prepared and increase your win rate!

What's better than a pinky promise? Order Promising in Business Central

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is full of under-utilized features and Order Promising is right at the top of that list. If you want your sales team to make commitments that you can keep and build greater credibility with your customers, you need to implement order promising ASAP. Powered by lead times, handling times, shipping and delivery times, and your shop calendar, Business Central can paint a very accurate picture of order fulfilment. Sticking a finger in the air and shaking the crystal ball is no way to run a business, and manually calculating dates on the back of a napkin is so 1994. Let me show how to take control of your destiny and increase your sales department's efficiency.

This session is a part of my "Business Central's Best Kept Secrets" series.

Everything you need to know about selling Copilot to your customers today!

On January 15, 2024, Microsoft finally announced the commercial availability and pricing for Copilot, Copilot Pro, and Copilot for M365. Do you know which SKU is right for your customers? What are the prerequisites? Will it work with their existing Office 365 licenses? How can you - or your customers - extend Copilot functionality? And what does this mean for other SKUs like Teams Premium that also offer AI functionality? If you're planning to sell Copilot to your customers and prospects, this is a must-attend session. Learn the details beyond the marketing talk, then sell with confidence!

Say Goodbye to Commitment Anxiety: Order Promising with Business Central

Have you wondered what all the date fields on Sales Orders, Purchase Orders and their respective lines are, and how they tie to each other? Or what those Available to Promise and Capable to Promise actions on orders do? Join this session to learn about date relationships and Order Promising functionality, one of the best-kept secrets in Business Central's supply chain treasure chest.

BC TechDays 2024 Sessionize Event

June 2024 Antwerpen, Belgium

Days of Knowledge Central 2024 Sessionize Event

June 2024 Darmstadt, Germany

DynamicsMinds 2024

May 2024 Portorož, Slovenia

DynamicsCon LIVE Sessionize Event

May 2024 Denver, Colorado, United States

Directions North America 2024 Sessionize Event

April 2024 San Diego, California, United States

Summit NA Roadshow - Dallas Sessionize Event

March 2024 Irving, Texas, United States

Power Platform 24 Sessionize Event

March 2024

Techday Pakistan 2024 Sessionize Event

March 2024

WWMSTUG Engage 2023

December 2023

Community Summit NA 2023

October 2023 Charlotte, North Carolina, United States

DUG Business Central Meetup 2023

June 2023 Waco, Texas, United States

Days Of Knowledge Nordic 2023 Sessionize Event

May 2023 Odense, Denmark

DynamicsMinds 2023

May 2023 Portorož, Slovenia

Directions North America 2023

April 2023 Orlando, Florida, United States

Directions EMEA 2022 Hamburg Sessionize Event

November 2022 Hamburg, Germany

Community Summit NA 2022

October 2022 Orlando, Florida, United States

DynamicsCon LIVE 2022

September 2022 San Antonio, Texas, United States

BCUG SolveMyERP Conference 2022

June 2022 San Francisco, California, United States

Days Of Knowledge Nordic 2022 Sessionize Event

June 2022 Odense, Denmark

Directions North America 2022

April 2022 Orlando, Florida, United States

DynamicsCon LIVE 2021

November 2021 Anaheim, California, United States

Directions EMEA 2021

October 2021 Milan, Italy

Community Summit 2021

October 2021 Houston, Texas, United States

NAVUG Summit 2019

October 2019 Orlando, Florida, United States

Directions EMEA 2019

October 2019 Vienna, Austria

Directions North America 2019

May 2019 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States

NAVUG Focus 2019

March 2019 Houston, Texas, United States

NAVUG Summit 2018

October 2018 Phoenix, Arizona, United States

Directions North America 2018

September 2018 San Diego, California, United States

NAVUG Focus 2018

May 2018 Indianapolis, Indiana, United States

NAVUG Summit 2017

October 2017 Nashville, Tennessee, United States

Directions North America 2017

September 2017 Orlando, Florida, United States

NAVUG Focus 2017

May 2017 St. Louis, Missouri, United States

NAVUG Summit 2016

October 2016 Tampa, Florida, United States

Directions North America 2016

September 2016 Phoenix, Arizona, United States

NAVUG Focus 2016

June 2016 Chicago, Illinois, United States

Directions North America 2015

October 2015 Orlando, Florida, United States

NAVUG Summit 2015

October 2015 Reno, Nevada, United States

NAVUG Summit 2014

October 2014 St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Directions 2014

September 2014 San Diego, California, United States

NAVUG Forum 2013

October 2013 Tampa, Florida, United States

Directions 2013

October 2013 Nashville, Tennessee, United States

NAVUG Forum 2012

October 2012 Seattle, Washington, United States

AJ Ansari

COO at DSWi, Microsoft MVP

Houston, Texas, United States

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