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Are Microsoft Dynamics SMB partners ready for life in the SaaS era?

by AJ Ansari
March 19 2018

Cloud race

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is coming on April 2, 2018 and it will be Microsoft's first serious SaaS contender aimed at the SMB market. Until now, Dynamics VARs and ISVs had the luxury of ignoring that pesky $40-a-user experiment from Vedbæk and Redmond called Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Business Edition. You went about selling Dynamics NAV or GP (maybe even SL - I hear it's still around), avoiding subscription sales unless the customer insisted upon it.

But as the reality of Business Central approaches, you have to contemplate some important questions. Is your business vision SaaS-ready and prepared for a subscription and cloud dominated world? If it isn't, are you willing to re-align your vision? And if you don't, what are the consequences?

In a follow-up article, I will discuss related concerns, such as: Should you start selling Dynamics 365 Business Central, or continue to sell only NAV / GP / SL? If you do, how do you decide when to sell which product?

If you are a business owner or an executive at a VAR (or an ISV), I hope you have already started thinking about how your business will fare in a post-Perpetual licensing world, and are actively having discussions in your boardrooms around ways to remain viable and profitable. It's not too late to start now, but if you wait any longer, you risk becoming the metaphorical boiling frog.

Perpetual licensing has helped many a technology services business survive and thrive, alleviating short term cash flow issues until receivables are collected and vendor payments come due. And for decades, margins on perpetual licensing have shaped how salespeople have been ...

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About AJ Ansari

AJ is a 'recovering consultant' with 15 years of experience working with Business Central and its predecessor NAV and is a Microsoft MVP since 2018. He is a prolific public speaker and has been presenting sessions on Business Central, Power BI, sales and leadership topics at Partner and User-Group conferences since 2012.

Before joining DSWi as a Partner and COO in 2018, he served as a practice leader, presales specialist and product evangelist at well-known NAV partners in North America. AJ is a member of the Business Journals Leadership Trust and a recipient of multiple accolades, most notably the BCUG / NAVUG All-Star and the Directions North America Under 40 Excellence awards.

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Submitted by TallMikey on Tue, 03/20/2018 - 06:39 Permalink

Hey AJ great to see you are contributing for have a wealth of experience, thanks for sharing. Michael Anderson

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Submitted by Gunther Coppens on Wed, 05/02/2018 - 15:59 Permalink

Funny comment about sales being not interested in small recurring payouts. How do you expect business owners to pay that if the reseller gets 0 margin? What can you give sales on 0 margin?

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)