Celebrating the 10 Year Anniversary of the ERP Software Blog

Back in 2009 Dave Foreman and I had an idea. I am very proud that this year we can celebrate the ten year anniversary of the success of that idea. We are grateful to all the Microsoft Dynamics ERP Partners that have supported the site over the years. Our members are the real reason the site has been so successful. All of us, together, are truly “using the power of the group.” The ERP Software Blog proves that one good idea has the power to change your life! So just keeping brainstorming.

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Why is Anya Emailing Me at 3am?

The next time we are on a webinar, if tell you where I am sitting, I bet you’ll be surprised. Until recently, you could have safely guessed that I was sitting in my home office in a small town in Massachusetts. But now, even though the webinar looks the same, I am actually half way across the world. Same work, different desk.

This year my husband and I decided to finally act on an idea that we’ve been talking about for a long time. We moved to Europe. No, we are not living in a villa in Tuscany. It’s a bit rougher than that. We moved to......

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Why I Hope I Never Stop Apologizing

A business colleague told me, “Never Apologize!” I know he just meant, “No harm done, no need to be sorry.”  But it got me thinking. I don’t think people apologize enough.  

Some people say that women apologize way too often. Don’t believe me? Watch this “Sorry Not Sorry” video. Out of habit we say, “I’m sorry, I have a question” or “I’m sorry, did you say something?”. We have nothing to apologize for. In those scenarios, it does border on weakness and not knowing your own value. But I believe many people, mostly men, but women too, take it too far. They don’t think to ever say the words, “I’m sorry” even when they should. 

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22 Interesting Baby Traditions Around the World

Let me just say right away, this post has nothing to do with marketing. But gosh darn, I spent a lot of time on this so I wanted to share it.

I was asked to come up with a baby shower game that showed different baby traditions around the world. Based on extensive internet research these are the “facts” I found. I can’t actually prove that any of them true, but they certainly do start some fun conversations.

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Why I Believe Every Woman Deserves a Professional Headshot Photo

“I like the way I look in every photo” – said no woman ever. At least no woman I know. Every time someone asked me to provide a headshot photo, for an event program or online profile, I got this queasy feeling in my stomach. I knew a professional headshot would boost my confidence but I kept putting it off. I’ll get my headshots done when….. I finally realized that there was never going to be a “perfect time”. I just needed to do it. And I did. Now I I think every woman owes it to herself to get a professional headshot that makes her feel confident and beautiful.  Whether she needs to use it on LinkedIn or not.

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The Importance Of Putting Value On What Is Easy

Just because it is easy for you does not make it easy. I have come to realize that many things that come naturally to me, other people find quite difficult. All of us have unique talents. The key is to recognize which ones you have that the other person doesn’t have. There are two areas where I think this is especially important - Billing and Delegating.  


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That Moment You Realize You Are One of THOSE People

I admit it. I silently judge people. You know, THOSE people. The ones that drive as if wherever they have to go is obviously more important than your plans.  They are in their own world, totally oblivious to their surroundings; they slow down shopping lines and transactions for everyone. People who answer their cell phones at inappropriate moments without concern for others. And the ones that look like they just rolled out of bed and couldn’t even be bothered to take a shower before coming out in public. This month I was one of THOSE people. I am not saying this to solicit pity. I am saying it because it taught me a valuable lesson in empathy. 


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From Front Desk to Back Office to Center Spotlight: The Making of a GPUG All Star

I met Amber Bell in 1999 at a San Diego based company that sold a product then known as Great Plains software. I worked in sales; she worked at the front desk. Today she is a GPUG All Star. Everyone loves a “rags to riches”, “pulled themselves up by the bootstraps”, “American Dream” type story. Amber Bell proves that with enough hard work, goals and personality anyone can be an All Star. And I am honored to have watched her journey, from front desk to back office to center stage spotlight.  This is her story....or at least my version of it.

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True or False: 12 Things You Should Know About Traveling to Iceland in Winter

Why would you go to Iceland in the winter?

Because it is an amazing adventure.

I went to Iceland in January with two of my closest friends to celebrate the 20th anniversary of our first adventure together, when we backpacked through Europe as young single girls. Although we live on opposite sides of the country, and have chosen different paths in life, we left husbands and children at home this year to experience another adventure together.

Here are a 10 things you should know before you plan a winter adventure in Iceland.

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The History of How the ERP Software Blog Actually Got Started

“Can you imagine if we actually got one member in every state?”

I clearly remember sitting in our kitchen and asking my husband that question just before the ERP Software Blog launched in June 2009. Fast forward 6 years later and we have over 150 members across several sites that are the most popular ERP and CRM group blogs, not just in our channel, but on the web.

But let’s go back to when it all began.

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Lessons I Learned In the Press Room at Microsoft Convergence

The first time I was invited to attend Microsoft Convergence as a member of “The Press” in 2012 I was scared to death. 

 I found myself in a room of about 50 very seasoned, mostly male, journalists firing tough questions at Microsoft’s top executives. I remember wondering, “How in the world did I get in here and when is someone going to realize I don’t belong?” 

 But nobody called my bluff and in fact, they continued to invite me back year after year.

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14 Life Lessons I Learned from Strong Women in the Dynamics Channel

You have the ability to inspire others; and often you don’t even realize you are doing it.

During my time in the Dynamics channel I have crossed career paths with many strong, intelligent women who have inspired me. Because of them I am a better marketer, a better mentor and, dare I say, a better person.

Here are a few of the lessons I have learned from memorable women:

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What I Miss About the Good Old Days of Outbound Marketing

I love to cross items off my to-do list. Sometimes I will write something down after it is done, just so that I can have the satisfaction of crossing it off. When I started marketing Microsoft Dynamics back in 2000 the emphasis was on direct mail, telemarketing campaigns and other types of outbound marketing activities. Kids these days don’t realize the time we spent printing labels, stuffing envelopes and walking to the post office....uphill both ways.

In almost every way I much prefer this new age of inbound marketing focused on content creation and social media. However there is one thing I miss about the good old days of outbound marketing: at least I knew when it was finished!

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When I Grow Up I Want to Be a Writer, Mrs. Whitney.

Most of us can think back and remember a favorite teacher, someone who truly believed in us even at a young age.  I remember Mrs. Whitney, my 5th grade English teacher. I wrote short stories and poetry and declared my intention to become a writer.  Mrs. Whitney believed in me!  I think if I looked hard enough I could find a middle school yearbook collecting dust somewhere with an encouraging note from Mrs. Whitney telling me she looked forward to reading my first book.

Sometime during high school and beyond, the idea of becoming a writer faded into the background and a career in sales and marketing seemed entirely more sensible. 

In my mind, if I was going to be a writer, I would be writing interesting historical fiction epics like my favorites M.M Kaye and Margaret George. It did not occur to me until just recently that I actually am a writer now, just a different kind of writer than I ever expected.  I am a content marketing writer focused on Microsoft Dynamics products. The majority of my time as a marketer is spent writing blog posts, web pages and case studies. While I can delegate many marketing functions to others if needed, I am the one responsible for creating content.  

I never dreamed that the topic I would be writing about would be something as specific as accounting software.  But the fact remains, I am a writer.

Thank you for believing in me Mrs. Whitney. You might not get to read my first book but I can send you some interesting blog posts.

by Anya Ciecierski, Collaboration Works Marketing


 Twitter: @AnyaCWmktg