Last week I talked about the thriving choices of third party enhancements for Dynamics GP versus the limited ‘Extensions’ available for Dynamics 365. Given time, there will be some catch up, however Microsoft needs to provide a roadmap and business case for third party developers. At last years, GPUG conference, as the Tron Costumed performers marched through the exhibit hall waving Dynamics 365 flags, I heard more than a few developers ask ‘What is Dynamics 365?’.
Dynamics ERP partners have made a living by providing local, generally high touch, support for accounting solutions. As things move to the cloud, there is more ‘portal’ support and less ‘personal’ support. For mission critical products like accounting systems, that personal touch is still vital (IMJ). And customers will demand it, versus getting some vague pointer to a knowledge base. In short, the manufacturers and partners who do ‘touch’ support well will thrive.
At the price point for Dynamics 365, Microsoft is betting that it can do what it did for Office – expand demand by driving price lower and providing great features. If my word documents aren’t perfect, there isn’t much pain. Email problems? The temperature goes up. Problems sending out invoices, collecting payments or producing financial reports and a meltdown can occur.
And that’s the difference a strong partner channel makes. Great Plains (now Microsoft Dynamics GP) built the number one accounting software product in North American through a fantastic partner channel. Dynamics 365 can be sold by any Microsoft partner that sells office or other cloud products. They don’t have to know anything about accounting implementation and support. Seems like a missing link in the chain, but time will tell.
My advice if you are considering Dynamics 365 and have critical business processes that have to be supported by your accounting and operational staff – find a good partner to help train, implement and support it.
Bill Aiton, President