Does Microsoft really care about the SME business market?

September 27 2017

Over the last few months I've really started to wonder if Microsoft executives understand the small to medium business applications space. Is their attention and focus completely enterprise-focused? Is their obsession with matching up against the only competitor they think matters, Salesforce, skewing the thinking too much? Is it dominating their thoughts to the extent that they have become blind to the real competitive threats and priorities of SME-level decision makers?  

About James Crowter

I'm passionate about how businesses can improve their efficiency by getting process optimal more of the time. For the last twenty five years I've worked to help organisations of all sizes and types implement the ERP & CRM software that typically they decide they need when things are going wrong. I've seen that work unbelievably well and enabled those organisations to rapidly grow but I've also had some hard projects over that time where it's felt more like warfare at times.

Since 1996 (and version 1.01) I've been working with a small Danish product called Navision that's now become Microsoft's Dynamics NAV and I've also been using and consulting around Microsoft CRM since 2005. As managing Director of one of the longest established first Navision and now Microsoft Dynamics partners I've been involved in the complete history including numerous product councils and system design reviews. It's my privilege to know many of the key Microsoft executives and product designers and have insight into both where the products are now and their future direction.

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mpolino's picture

I had similar thoughts running through my head at Directions last week. NAV partners ultimately got what they wanted, but I'm left wondering how long that will last. Mark

billc's picture

I have been supporting Dynamics since Great Plains days - same 25 years and I could have written this same article - in fact when I started to read it I thought you had picked my mind. Your facts and examples make it all to clear that Microsoft executives focus on one thing - where is the biggest buck coming from - they seem to forget that long term relationships in the SMB market make a long term revenue stream - not big bang, but long slow burn. Thanks for your insights and confirmations James - I hope someone in Redmond reads and responds - in actions not simply words. Bill Campbell Dynamics GP

martin's picture

James you have hit the nail on the head. Microsoft do not understand mid market ERP. Period. They do not understand the VAR/Customer relationship. They do not produce any other software that is that 100% critical to the operation of a business. They have been wooed by a few $10,000,000 enterprise deals, understandably, and they thinking the battle is SF, Oracle and SAP. If you and I had control over NAV, GP and BE we know we could dominate the mid market - but right now they seem to see the Mid Market as an annoying mosquito. I have a faith that they will see the light soon and right the ship.

bryce2071's picture

exactely what we think, especially cause our solution is ready for dyn business edition, but this was cancelled. We wait and wait and wait. Last 9 months of work seens to get wasted. We ll get angry now!