The differences between running a partner business and working at one post-acquisition

January 24 2019

Founding a partner business (AbleBridge) and getting acquired by another (Crowe LLP) has given me a unique perspective on both leading and working within Microsoft Dynamics partner businesses. In this article, I'm going to share some of the key questions that other independent partners might wonder about when considering an acquisition offer. Based on my own experiences, being acquired doesn't have to mean the end of your independence or the loss of your entrepreneurial mindset. While it does change things, it can free up time to improve products and boost customer service.

Why was Crowe interested in acquiring AbleBridge?

AbleBridge was a successful Microsoft partner that had been one hundred percent focused on Dynamics CRM since 2007. We had both a professional service practice focused on CRM implementations and a product development group focused on building industry and add-on solutions, however our passion was rooted in product development. Since AbleBridge’s inception, our services revenue funded our product development efforts. At the start, our revenue was 99% services and at the time of the acquisition, it was 70% products and 30% services. Our success with building and selling turn key products is what caught Crowe’s attention. Crowe was interested in applying our packaged product methodology and creating IP across their key industries.

Were there any challenges the AbleBridge team faced during the Crowe onboarding process?

About Ryan Plourde

Ryan Plourde is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) executive and thought leader with a proven track record of helping businesses streamline operations across sales, marketing and customer service. Focused on envisioning and designing innovative industry solutions and packaged productivity tools, Ryan helps customers realize measurable business value in less time and at a lower cost.

Prior to joining Crowe, Ryan was the Founder and CEO of AbleBridge, a Microsoft Gold Partner that was acquired by Crowe in 2016. 

Serving in leadership positions both on the consulting and client-side, Ryan has an excellent perspective on helping organizations realize greater business agility by streamlining operations and optimizing performance to achieve better business results.

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