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Founding a Microsoft Dynamics 365 vertical business ISV start-up? Some may call you crazy…

by Mohamed Mostafa
Microsoft Dynamics 365 MVP , TechLabs London
October 16 2018

When I decided to leave my role as the director of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM practice at a Big Four consultancy in London, some of my friends and colleagues in the industry were astonished by my decision. When I went further to tell them I was setting up a Microsoft ISV partner to build vertical business solutions on what is now known as the Microsoft Power platform (Dynamics 365, PowerApps, CDS, etc.), many of my friends, especially those who have been in the Microsoft channel for years, thought I was crazy for various reasons.

Some of the reasons I heard were:

“Vertical Business Solution ISVs don’t succeed in this channel.”

“Microsoft might say they want to help you, but it won’t happen.”

“Leaving your role as the head of a successful Big Four Practice and starting a business from scratch without funding is a big risk with high probability of failure.”

I took this feedback more as guidance about the risks and challenges I would face, then I used it in my business strategy and go-to-market approach. However, I didn’t let any negativity stop me from going on my adventure.

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About Mohamed Mostafa

Mohamed Mostafa is a Microsoft Dynamics 365 MVP who focuses on Architecting, Leading and Delivering Dynamics 365 Technology enabled Business Solutions and Digital Transformation programs. Mohamed is also the founder of TechLabs London a fast growing Microsoft Cloud Solutions Provider (featured Partner at Microsoft Inspire conference this year) and the firm behind iProperty Cloud Solutions for the Real Estate, Property and Housing Market. He has been delivering Microsoft Dynamics CRM Solutions for more than 12 years and has led some of the most complex Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement implementations in the US, UK and Europe across multiple Industries working with geographically dispersed teams.


Mohamed also writes about Regulatory and GDPR issues on his Dynamics and Power Platform Focused blog

Submitted by Michael.Harmelink on Wed, 10/31/2018 - 21:18 Permalink

Hi Mohammed, Thank you for sharing your inspiring D365 ISV journey. I set up our Dynamics CRM ISV practice exactly 10 years ago after having worked for Microsoft (MBS) as a Product Manager for Dynamics CRM and having set up several successful Dynamics practices for Microsoft partners in Australia amongst others Avanade. We are like your business a CSP Direct and ISV Embed partner. We currently have CSP direct as well as indirect and Private (Azure SPLA) Cloud and On Premise clients. We found however it to be most straightforward both from a billing as well as client user management point of view to focus on just selling our solution for deployment within our customer's managed cloud. I'd be happy to connect with you so we can share our experience. Kind regards, Michael Harmelink

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Submitted by jcorigliano on Thu, 11/29/2018 - 17:09 Permalink

Mohammed - nice summary of your story and for someone having rejoined MIcrosoft assisting Dynamics ISVs i can testify to the focus and resources available.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)