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Executive Q&A: MindsUnited on standing up a 'CRM for SMB' practice

by Dann Anthony Maurno
Assistant Editor, MSDW
Arjen Jansen

There is much opportunity for a services firm to capitalize on CRM investment in the SMB space, but also much inertia to overcome. Microsoft partners who serve an SMB clientele may be well versed in Dynamics ERP, Office 365, or SharePoint implementations, but not in CRM; customers eager for rich, customized CRM have neither the time nor the capital to invest in a misfire.

MindsUnited believes it has both challenges solved. The company offers a wizard-based Microsoft Dynamics 365 implementation tool called JumpStart 365, which it licenses only to Dynamics partners. The tool enables customers to "try before they buy," via the MindsUnited licensing scheme.

"The decision is entirely yours how much work you want to outsource," MindsUnited promises partners. In addition to JumpStart 365, MindsUnited offers partners managed services through a shared service center, implementation consulting, and online training that partners in turn deliver to customers.

In February of this year, The IT Channel Company (TICC), which runs subsidiaries including QBS Group, OneBizz, and Partner Master Class, announced a strategic partnership with MindsUnited to make use of the firm's CRM knowledge, tools and services. MindsUnited CEO Arjen Jansen said at the time "In this way we will be well positioned to lead the ‘Digitalization of SMEs' and drive forward our market leadership in the Dynamics 365 area."

The Dynamics 365 landscape has already shifted since the companies agreed on their partnership and investment. Microsoft has since scuppered ...

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About Dann Anthony Maurno

Dann Anthony Maurno is a seasoned business journalist who began his career as International Marketing Manager with Lilly Software, then moved on as a freelancer to write for such prestigious clients as CFO Magazine; Compliance Week;Manufacturing Business Technology; Decision Resources, Inc.; The Economist Intelligence Unit; and corporate clients such as Iron Mountain, Microsoft and SAP. He is the co-author of Thin Air: How Wireless Technology Supports Lean Initiatives(CRC/Productivity Press, 2010).