When I joined QBS group a year back, it became clear, that we have to invest in 2 directions in order to stay competitive in the post Dynamics 365 environment.
One big change with Dynamics 365 proposition is to get from distinct products to an integrated experience, very much like Office did vs. single apps in productivity. As QBS group we have built expertise and IP around NAV. So we needed to quickly get access to CRM related knowledge and also get IP that can provide additional value not just to ERP related scenarios for our partners, but also to Sales and Marketing. While we could have chosen to start building these assets from scratch, it would have taken way too long. So we were looking out for a partnership. We found a great fit of objectives with MindsUnited. They were coming from the exact opposite side, focusing on CRM related workloads only. Yet same approach as QBS group – target SMB market and have clear focus on partners. So that drove our decision to invest in MindsUnited and eventually integrate them into our holding The IT Channel Company.
Also brought in talent and expertise on the CRM side, which we already made good use, in the interest of our partners.
As direct consequence, we were able to offer their CRM Online Jumpstart product to our partners. Jumpstart is a wizard based enabling tool, that let’s you configure and implement the relative complex CRM Online environment, even with little CRM expertise. So partners that wanted to also serve customers on CRM Online, but with a simplified implementation, were provided with that immediate opportunity. Also MindsUnited Cloud-Chain service was great addition to our partners portfolio, as it helps them to integrate data and process from different business application and productivity platforms. As intended, the acquisition also brought in talent and expertise on the CRM side, which we already made good use, in the interest of our partners. MindsUnited experts gave technical trainings and consultancy as well as direct support in customer negotiations. Their Jumpstart product is supporting D365 Sales Enterprise Edition right out of the gate and therefore keeps our partners connected to latest technology from Microsoft Dynamics.
They are very successful in providing outsourcing capacity on migrations for NAV solutions and other development workloads.
Next we knew that we need to differentiate ourselves through services we provide to partners. Doing license transaction will become a commodity in context of SaaS services like Dynamics 365 in long-term. Hence it will be harder for us to provide unique value to partners. While we already developed comprehensive service platform for lead generation (Take-the-Lead) or enablement (our D365 accelerate program), we saw one common challenge our partners had, that we could hardly address: Create more capacity by offloading IT work. On one hand side, we work very closely with Dynasource as a marketplace for our partners to offer and take in IT talent, yet when it comes to concrete outsourcing projects, we had to point to 3rd parties. That was decision point to have strategic alliance with 1ClickFactory and also invest in that partnership. They are very successful in providing outsourcing capacity on migrations for NAV solutions and other development workloads. In fact they are one of the few ISV development centers for Microsoft Dynamics. So we are confident that this partnership can help us to further deliver against our promise, to increase revenue of our partners and reduce costs.
We will continue to listen carefully to our partners in terms of their pain points and the market opportunities they want to pursue. We will continue to invest inside our company, but also through partnerships and acquisitions to make sure we provide the best value to our partners moving forward. But at same time, we are very clear that we do not want to compete with our partners at any time. We continue to be a partner led organization that has clear mission: Help our partners to increase revenue and decrease cost. So if you have any suggestions or comments, I am eager to hear it.