Can you continue to be profitable as a Microsoft Dynamics ERP partner in a SaaS world?

IMG_Integrity Data Experience

Recently, Microsoft introduced Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft AppSource. Microsoft Dynamics 365 brings together CRM and ERP cloud offerings into one cloud service with specific, purpose built apps for key business processes – like Finance, Sales, Customer Service, etc.

The release of Microsoft Dynamics 365 has challenged some partners to stop and think about their existing business models and use of supporting resources. Historically, ERP solutions have been sold and supported through a partner channel. This channel has benefited from selling software with supporting consulting services for implementations, data migration, custom reporting, training, etc. Although the pricing for Microsoft Dynamics 365 has not been released yet, it raises the question of how much customers will be willing to spend on additional consulting services above and beyond the monthly SaaS payment.  How will this impact the bottom line for partners?  Especially when SaaS products like Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers onboarding, data migration and training out of the box. So, how do you continue to be profitable in a SaaS world as a Microsoft Dynamics ERP partner?

Light-Touch Consulting Services

Recently, we had the opportunity to visit with a partner who had spent over an hour going over the basics of using Microsoft Office 365 with a customer. He realized that if some organizations are struggling with the basic use of Microsoft Office, then to expect these same organizations to provision and migrate their own data is unrealistic. Additionally, if a customer is paying less than $100/month/user on a cloud-based ERP solution, then they are not going to be willing to spend a ton of money above and beyond on consulting services. Therefore, in order for partners to scale and be profitable in a SaaS world they need to transition to a light-touch consulting model with a focus on adopting low cost and high efficiency processes.

An example of an organization adopting light-touch consulting services is Integrity Data who is using Sky Blue Technology for automating repeatable processes such as implementations and onboarding (with a focus on improving user adoption rates). Customers are provided personalized online experiences which include step-by-step instructions, videos of Integrity Data’s top consultants walking through the process and surveys to capture immediate feedback. The Sky Blue platform includes a dashboard which provides analytics in regards to customer usage which enables consultants to monitor progress, provide support and yet scale to accommodate their growing customer base.

According to Patrick Doolin, CEO of Integrity Data, “As the leader in Affordable Care Act Compliance software for employers, market demand has required Integrity Data to quickly scale to a larger volume of customers. Using Sky Blue, we have developed an efficient onboarding process that allows us to deliver a consistent and rich customer experience, available on demand, at each customer’s individual pace. We have successfully reached more customers, faster and with fewer human resources than with previous onboarding processes.”

As a Microsoft partner, you are encouraged to sell and support multiple business applications to your customers – Microsoft Office, CRM, ERP, etc. You are a key part of how customers get the most from their technology investments. Leverage a platform, such as Sky Blue Technology to reimagine how you do business and you can be profitable as a Microsoft Dynamics ERP partner in a SaaS world.

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