Kati Unplugged: The State of ERP Cloud Partners, Convergence 2012 Perspective

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A Blog Series for Microsoft Dynamics Partners by Kati Hvidtfeldt, US Microsoft Dynamics ERP Cloud Lead.

Kati color 2004This year’s Convergence experience made it clear that these are exciting times as Microsoft Dynamics products move further along the path to the cloud. Just as exciting is the increased movement of Microsoft Dynamics partners to the cloud model. Partners recognize that they are an essential piece of the solution, and are stepping up to the task of transitioning:

  • With 16 percent (31 percent in West Region!) of all US customer adds coming from ERP Subscription Provider License Agreements (SPLA), we are showing 150 percent ERP SPLA revenue growth year-over-year.
  • More than 120 people participated in this year’s high-energy Convergence ERP Cloud Structured Networking Event. That’s more than the event cut-off number but hey, we’ll take it!
  • The next morning, more than 120 people participated in the Volume Partner Breakfast, networking with program owners for the Microsoft Dynamics Volume business including Cloud, Master VAR and Road to Repeatability.
  • Of the eight partners who received awards at the breakfast event, two were cloud related: Rose Business Solutions was awarded Cloud Partner of the Year (most cloud customer adds YTD) and Data Resolution was awarded Hoster of the Year (most seat adds YTD)

The Structured Networking Event was all about building community and enabling partners to connect with cloud service providers face-to-face. The room was buzzing with interaction and ideas. For those who weren’t able to join us, here are key takeaways:

  • Due to the subscription model and thinner margins, the cloud model puts pressure on partners to lower marketing and sales costs.
  • The time is now to start the transition to the cloud: If you wait until Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics NAV ship on Azure you will be late to the game.
  • Start thinking deeply on social, inbound marketing ‘to be found’ instead of the more intrusive, traditional marketing tactics.
  • When you move to social marketing, sales can have a leaner touch since marketing can be key in self- qualification and services delivery.
  • When customers are not willing to pay premium set up, they will focus on the value add piece, so it’s important to be a change agent and get your cloud practice started.
  • Partner Account Managers (PAMs) are there to reference their playbooks and work with you on the transitions.

We understand our Microsoft Dynamics ERP partners need to be front and center, and we will move forward with our partner centric strategy. For those of you who have already started your cloud transition, thank you for joining us on this journey. For those who have not, to ensure profitability we recommend that you work with a cloud services provider rather than investing in your own data center, unless it is your core competency.

Change is inevitable, change is sometimes scary, but with change comes opportunity. To learn more about how to incorporate cloud-based solutions into your business plans visit the Microsoft Dynamics Countdown to the Cloud page on PartnerSource. Go to www.microsoft.com/dynamics/growyourbusiness for resources that demonstrate to customers how Microsoft Dynamics ERP cloud, hybrid and on-premise solutions can benefit their businesses.

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