There is a lot of excitement but also question marks around Dynamics 365 Business Edition. In fact, there are many aspects that Dynamics 365 promises, like simpler pricing, simple licensing model, integration into Cloud Solution Program and others. I wanted to take opportunity to share what I believe is the biggest opportunity for us Dynamics partners with Dynamics 365.
Simply put, it is (finally) the opportunity to drastically reduce sales cycles and deployment cycles for a business application that covers most important business processes like financials, sales and marketing. Yet one might argue, that this is contra-productive to how most of Dynamics partners monetize, consulting customers though the sales cycle and invoice consultants that configure, customize and implement a Dynamics Business Solution. This conflict gets solved, if we look at it through two strategies that can complement our current business.
The Starting Point: Building Dynamics 365 Apps that give industry context
First of all I am convinced, that SMB’s that have 10-99 employees, which is main target group for Dynamics 365 Business Edition, will make faster decision for a business application if it is being presented in the industry context. This does not necessarily mean that the business application has to have deep vertical functionality, but it should immediately advertise that this solution is targeted to solve customers’ challenges. And these challenges typically happen in context of industry. Also worth while to note, that most SMB’s now tend to inform themselves through the web before they even speak to a partner. So the more a solution is presented in the industry context, the more likely a prospect takes next step and contacts the vendor.
Again, this is not same verticalization we typically need in mid market space. It can be templates that uses a certain industry terminology while using functionality that is common across all SMB customers. Given the lower degree of complexity this approach will require, you can even go into micro-verticals, e.g. not only provide solution for professional services, but for marketing agencies, event agencies, web agencies etc..
OPPORTUNITY 1: SELL DYNAMICS 365 AT SCALE
If you combine this “light” verticalization with the Dynamics 365 Business Edition simplified setup and implementation and include further IP to shorten the activation of the solution, like OneBizz, then you can really start to sell and activate Business Application at scale. And given the shorter, simplified sales cycle you can also engage sales channels that so far, could not handle a rather complex proposition with NAV or CRM Online.
OPPORTUNITY 2: UPSELL TO YOUR ESTABLISHED BUSINESS MODEL
In past 2 years I heard consistent feedback that typically customer start with set of functionality with NAV or CRM Online and doesn’t take long before they want to add functionality, integrate more business processes or connect to other systems. Which then propels the consumption of consultancy hours that you can invoice. This certainly will hold true for customers that take advantage of Dynamics 365 in future as well. Once they start with a more simplified Dynamics 365 solution, they will also explore additional opportunities that will not come “out of the box”, but where they need consultancy and support from a partner that understands how to optimize and integrate business processes.
Probably the best outcome is if you combine both opportunities, i.e. sell Dynamics 365 at scale and then take opportunity to upsell to your services.
The advantage of the Business Application Channel
If you agree that selling a business application in an industry context, helps driving volume, then questions is who is best positioned to provide this industry expertise. I have no doubt that especially our QBS partners are in “pole positions”. They have built deep knowledge about certain industries over the years. Not only do they speak the language of that vertical or industry, they also know what processes and what functionality is most critical to customers and hence they can also determine what benefits need to be highlighted to a given prospect. So I would place a big bet on our partners to enable both strategies and drive positive impact for entire eco-system.
How can we get practical?
At QBS group we are already preparing services for both scenarios, the verticalization and volume sales of Dynamics 365 as well as the upsell approach. These services as well as products such as OneBizz are all focused to enable you as partner to take advantage of the Dynamics opportunity, regardless if you are coming with a Microsoft Dynamics NAV, a Dynamics CRM Online background, with your self-developed solution, from one of Microsoft’s competitors or simply from productivity background with Office 365. We would love to have a dialogue with you and see how we can make above scenarios become reality for your business. So if you find that dialogue interesting, please contact QBS group one of our QBS subsidiaries.