Lisa Malone is the Microsoft Dynamics Industry Market Development Manager for  the Government Contractor market. In this interview, she talks about Microsoft  and its strong commitment to the needs of government contractors and how its  annual research & development investment of hundreds of millions of dollars  ensures that government contractors get access to their superior ERP and  business software solutions they demand.worked for a Government Contractor prior to joining Microsoft 10 years ago. Her experiencein technology combined with 10 years in Microsoft’s Public Sector and Dynamics sales divisions contributed to Microsoft’s multi-faceted approach and investments in the Government Contractor market.

PVBS: As the Microsoft Industry Market Development Manager for Government Contracting, how would you characterize Microsoft’s commitment to the market with its Dynamics ERP offerings?

Great question. A number of years ago, Microsoft concluded that working with partners to develop strong vertical solutions and then marketing those solutions aggressively was the way to go with our Dynamics ERP product line. Although we’ve had thousands of customers across many different vertical markets, we selected a small number of markets to focus on and build “industry solutions” to support them. Industry communities brought together market-committed partners, such as Pleasant Valley, to bring complete solution sets to customers in the vertical. In the case of the government contracting market, PVBS had developed a strong offering built around Microsoft Dynamics NAV that fit the needs of the growing and emerging government contractor quite well. Over time, the Industry Community concept has been widely received, and has evolved into true “Industry Solutions.”

The government contractor market continues to embrace Dynamics solutions, such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV for Government Contractors from PVBS for a few reasons. First, government contractors have been saddled with obsolete financial management software for decades. For instance, a leading product being marketed to government contractors uses a flat file data structure and resembles products that were popular in the 1980s! Companies that are doing critical work with the US Government deserve better than that and should have access to modern, fresh, and effective software solutions to move their mission forward.

Another reason why the market continues to grow forMicrosoft Dynamics is the need government contractors have to better use all of their data to make smarter business decisions related to contract utilization and service to the customer. Dynamics solutionsprovide many reportingoptions so that users can now make better business decisions with the large amounts of data they are capturing.

PVBS: Microsoft was a major sponsor of the 9th annual GovCon awards hosted by Washington Technology and Fairfax Chamber of Commerce again this past fall. Why does Microsoft continue to sponsor this event?

First off, it’s a great event that attracts close to 1,000 attendees and we are always humbled by the success and missions of the government contractors that are recognized each year. They are doing great work for the government and provide exceptional technology and workforce solutions to their customer. They are the types of companies that we know would get great benefit from utilizing Microsoft Dynamics to meet their financial management growth challenges. Many of these companies are experiencing hyper growth and need vast capabilities to manage their contracts and financial growth. Solutions such as Microsoft Dynamics for Government Contractors help these companies manage their growth and profitability.

And, it’s great to see some of our long-time customers get recognized, as well as some of our industry partners.

PVBS: What are some of things Microsoft does to be part of the government contractor community?

With some of our leading partners, such as PVBS, we attend industry programs such as SECAF, AFCEA, and Fairfax GovCon events. We have also hosted an annual summit that has attracted hundreds of growing government contractors to meet and discuss their business needs with participants in the Industry Community, such as PVBS. At this past year’s Summit, we had a stellar list of speakers including former Congressman Tom Davis and Karen Evans, who did a great job laying strategies for contractors to consider as they pursue more business with the Federal Government.

We also meet with hundreds of government contractors each year either in one-on-one meetings and demonstrations or at some of our major customer events.

PVBS: Can you provide some additional information for government contractors about Microsoft Dynamics and your commitment to the market?

Sure. First off, many government contractors will be interested to note that Microsoft invests hundreds of millions each year in Dynamics research and development. This investment goes to ensure integration, usability, and product growth. As part of this investment, we strive for low total cost of ownership while maintaining high standards for ease of use, flexibility and familiar user experience.

Also, the Dynamics products product line has a tremendous number of users worldwide. For Dynamics NAV alone there are more than 80,000 global customers, with over 1.4 million licensed users!