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Microsoft Dynamics Influencer Insights

Discussing the Importance of AI Integration with Business Central featuring Kennie Nybo Pontoppidan

Integrating AI with Dynamics Business Central has become increasingly important in today's rapidly evolving business landscape. By leveraging AI algorithms, Dynamics Business Central can provide predictive analysis, anomaly detection, and cognitive services to identify patterns and trends in large data sets.

At DynamicsSmartz, we invite leading industry professionals to speak on Microsoft Business Solutions and current technological trends for our segment, "Influencer Insights." To better grasp the latest updates in the Microsoft ecosystem, we interviewed Microsoft's Principal Program Manager, Kennie Nybo Pontoppidan.

Q & A with Kennie Nybo Pontoppidan

Who did we interview?

Kennie Nybo Pontoppidan works as a Program Manager at Microsoft. He works with performance tuning, team development, requirements, technical project management, and other odd jobs in the Dynamics 365 Business Central server backend team. He has worked in the dangerous field between developers and DBAs for many years and made his part of mistakes as a developer before that in his 20+ years in the IT industry.

Let Us Quickly Get To Our Expert’s Point Of View.

Question 1- How do you keep up with the latest updates and developments in the Microsoft ecosystem?

I work for Microsoft, and you might expect that I get my news about the latest updates and developments in the Microsoft ecosystem from some magic internal news stream or Yammer site. The truth is that there is so much innovation going on in this company that an attempt to stay current on all internal channels would leave me in total information overdrive mode.

I would need more time to do my day job as the program/product manager (PM) for the server and database in Dynamics Business Central. So this is what I do: over the last 10+ years, I have cultivated an excellent professional network on LinkedIn and Twitter. Every day, I browse these two social media sites and learn tons of news from other Microsoft employees, MVPs, and influencers. I am very open to serious networkers (but will immediately unfollow/block any salesperson doing cold calls on social media).

Question 2: What opportunities would you be looking at this year?

For the 2023 release wave 1 of Business Central, I was fortunate to be heading a new exciting feature, where we give end users the ability to directly analyze data (sort/filter/group/pivot) in the product.

As the PM for the Business Central server and database, I usually don't work on such end-user-focused features (our team typically develops the building blocks for such features), and I am so much looking forward to presenting the Data Analysis at conferences and interacting with users (and partners) on how it works for them.

Question 3: How do you see the future of Microsoft evolving, and how do you plan to stay ahead of the curve?

As a software company, I think Microsoft is in excellent shape today. We did a very successful transformation from a focus on developer tools and server products towards a focus also on the users on the cloud, and over the last years also on AI. Especially, AI is currently being built into many products (including Business Central), and that transformation is only here to stay and grow (as I see it).

To get time to focus on both delivering on current plans and strategies and staying current on new technologies, I try very hard to manage my working time and not spend time on time-eaters such as recurring meetings or meetings that should have been an email. I focus on a few select things that matter and then leave other things to those who own those areas.

In each of my half-year one-on-ones with my manager, I always try to define what I will try to learn over the next six to twelve months. At Microsoft, we regularly have hackathon days to spend time on things outside our core priorities. I use hackathons to learn and experiment with new things.

Question 4: What are your favorite Microsoft Dynamics 365 products or services, and why?

That will be Business Central. Both because I work on the product team and because this product, an ERP system in the small-medium business (SMB) market, significantly impacts businesses worldwide. I love the thought that Business Central drives business for so many companies.

Question 5: A piece of advice that you'd like to share with our readers?

Over the last year, I have worked a lot on how to help companies go from Data to Information/Insights to being able to take data-driven Actions. I know this is old news, but this transformation is one of the most important things any company needs to do over the following years (even the ones that are very mature in this area).

As a reader of DynamicsSmartz, I think you should invest some time in understanding and learning about this topic and maybe even use some of the tools within the Dynamics product area to experiment with data and data-driven processes.

It can be overwhelming to get started, and where do you get the time to learn? Consider spending ten to fifteen minutes every morning before you open your email to do this. Set a timer and be happy when you finish a ten to fifteen-minute timeslot. Do this for three to four weeks, then reflect on your progress. I think that you will be delightfully surprised.

Get to Know Our Influencer

What is the best event that you attended recently? What were your key takeaways?

The best event I attended was Directions EMEA 2022. I spent a ton of time talking with partners and learning about where they struggle, both with technology and transforming their businesses to be more data-driven (I think that all companies worldwide find this challenging).

What's your success mantra?

Save the world a little bit every day (this means the following for me: when I stumble over things that could be better, I spend 5-10 minutes just fixing them (within reason). If I see a documentation page with an error or missing information, I make the change immediately. If a slide in a deck has a typo or needs a little love, I do it right there. If someone reaches out for help asking a question, I immediately respond to unblock them.)