Preparing for Microsoft Dynamics 365: What CRM partners can expect from eXtreme365

posted in: Cloud/SAAS, Microsoft Dynamics | 0

By:  Guus Krabbenborg

Being a Microsoft Dynamics CRM partner today is like dancing on a volcano – far from boring. And the recent announcements around the Dynamics 365 solution suite makes this effect even stronger!

eXtreme365, formerly eXtremeCRM is the annual event for Microsoft Dynamics CRM partners, and the EMEA edition this year will be in Lisbon from March 13th till 15th for partners and on March 16th and 17th for end-users.

This article aims to give you an overview on what Dynamics CRM partners can expect of this EMEA event, and where they should put their focus regarding the sessions.

  • According to Microsoft, all Dynamics CRM partners need to transform their businesses in order to stay relevant. However, many partners did not start this transformation process at all! Paul White, general manager for Microsoft Dynamics in the worldwide SMB market, predicted during WPC 2016 that only 20 percent of the CRM partner community will eventually make this transition. So, partners who did not start yet should really focus on the sessions that can help them to transform as soon as possible!
  • To be successful with Dynamics 365 in the Cloud First, Mobile First world, CRM partners must expand their CRM-only based portfolio with solutions like Office 365, Dynamics ERP, Power BI, Flow and Cortana. On top of that they need to differentiate their offerings more than ever before. And finally, they need to market, sell, deliver and support digitally. These are all huge changes for most the partner channel! So it makes sense to attend the specific sessions in Lisbon on these topics and learn fast.
  • Rather than just focusing on the functions and features of Dynamics 365, partners should also pay attention to the business side of this new solution. What does it take to make a success out of Dynamics 365? Are CRM partners able to sell Dynamics 365 at an affordable Customer Acquisition Cost level? To be successful, most partners will need to see Dynamics 365 as a new chapter in their businesses. With less license margin, faster delivery, smaller services revenues and cheaper delivery people with a different mindset. Partners should look for guidance on how to organize this.
  • For a successful delivery of Dynamics 365 projects, the current CRM partners need knowledge and experiences in the ERP and Office domains. There are of course different scenarios to get these capabilities on board. Like building these capabilities yourself. Or co-operate with specialized partners. Visitors to eXtreme 365 need to look out for sessions that give them advice and inspiration.
  • Dynamics 365 is not part of the Microsoft Dynamics pricelist. Instead, this solution will only be sold via the CSP model – the Cloud Solution Provider program. Partners have a choice between becoming CSP themselves (so called ‘Direct’ or ‘Tier 1′ model) or work together with a Value-Added Distributor (‘Indirect’ or ‘Tier 2′). Dynamics CRM partners should not leave the event before they have a good understanding of these programs and an idea for their best future choice.
  • There are many questions around pricing and licensing. How can partners leverage the new reality of the Dynamics 365 launch? And what migration scenarios can they use to get their sales professionals provide their customers with the best deals? That includes a better understanding of the Enterprise offerings, but also to learn what’s in store for the Business editions.
  • Of course, lots of changes are to be expected on the product side. A few examples here. Microsoft Dynamics portals are included in every Dynamics 365 Enterprise P1/P2 tenant. But how do you get the most out of it, how to customize, how to provide your own services and how to deploy? How to work with Flow and Power apps? What are the ways to integrate systems and open your data for mobile use? How does Microsoft see the opportunities with Internet of Things and Field Service Management? How to build your practice? And what are the typical customer scenarios?
  • Now that Microsoft decided to finally integrate her different workloads into this new Dynamics 365 offering, the question comes up what this all means for formerly single product oriented events like eXtreme and DIRECTIONS (Dynamics NAV). Should they integrate as well? Partners can expect some indications on the future of these events as well.

The QBS team will be there, presenting on a range of partner topics. See you in Lisbon!

About Guus Krabbenborg

Guus Krabbenborg (1961) has been active in the world of business software for more than 25 years. He has held various sales and management positions at Philips, Digital Equipment and Navision Software successively. He was also co-founder and co-owner of the Dutch Dynamics partner DBS Business Solutions. From 2000 till 2007 Guus has worked as a consultant and trainer at TerDege Training & Consultancy, an independent agency focused on the international market for business software.

Since 2007 Guus is co-founder and partner in the firm Partner Master Class, the Dutch PDC. In a growing number of countries in Europe and Asia Pacific this company offers training and coaching in the five business areas that are part of the Dynamics Partner Academy.

His newest venture is called Quattro Business Solutions. This company acts as the Master VAR (better: Value Added Distributor) in the Microsoft Dynamics channel in a number of countries in Western Europe. Guus is co-founder and co-owner in QBS and has responsibility for the training and coaching activities.