The market for Managed Service Providers is highly competitive. Any MSP looking to grow must find ways to stay ahead of the curve, power their clients’ growth, and deliver exceptional value.
The advent of business-ready artificial intelligence (AI) has been a game-changer in many industries, revolutionizing the way organizations operate and conduct strategic decision-making. Now, imagine the possibilities when we add AI to one of the most robust enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems available for small and mid-sized businesses: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.
In this article, we will explore the transformative potential of AI in Business Central and other Microsoft services. And we will discover how MSPs can leverage the power of AI to unlock new opportunities.
Understanding Microsoft Business Central
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform specially tailored for small and mid-sized businesses. In short, Business Central solves problems for your SMB customers. All the different processes that small to mid-sized businesses employ are there in Business Central.
It includes an integrated suite of applications for:
- Financial management
- Sales and service management
- Project management
- Supply chain management
- Operations management
- And reporting and analytics
Transforming SMB Business Operations with Microsoft Business Central
It is not really about the tech. Your clients are not looking for new bells and whistles. They are looking for new value and clear ROI.
Your goal going into any conversation with clients about Business Central is to transform their operations in a way that will translate into tangible results in the form of time saved, new revenue, growth, cost savings, and process optimizations. Your clients want to hear how life will be easier for their employees, how their business will run better, and how they will be more profitable after the transformation.
They will see day-to-day improvements, which you should emphasize, of course. But the greatest benefit of transforming their operations with Business Central is in the long term. You will enhance their decision-making with more data-driven insights. And you will give them a scalable, adaptable platform for future growth.
Dynamics 365 Business Central Marketing Trends and Growth
MSPs, resellers, and other service providers should take note. According to Market Research Future ↗, the global market for cloud ERP resources is expected to reach $63.2 billion by 2030. That represents a CAGR of 13.60 percent from 2020. Analysts at Sherweb see the greatest potential growth in the mid-sized business market, Business Central’s core audience.
But you can certainly find opportunities to onboard small businesses to Business Central and scale your business with them. Or you will find opportunities to work with organizations with more than two hundred employees, depending on their use cases.
AI-Powered Experiences in Microsoft Business Central
Microsoft aims to embed AI throughout their product and platform ecosystem, and first and foremost, that includes Business Central. Three of the most powerful new AI implementations are Business Central Copilot, Viva Sales Copilot, and Customer Service Copilot.
The name “Copilot” was chosen with care. It is not an AI autopilot that takes over everything. Your client’s users are still in the captain’s chair. They just have a Copilot now who makes recommendations, manages busywork, and points them in the right direction.
Business Central Copilot
Copilot includes generative AI tools ↗ that can create compelling product descriptions for your clients’ ecommerce sites. They can feed Copilot key product features, select the tone they wish to use, and modify the results as they see fit. And if you have them using the Shopify connector, they can automatically feed Copilot copy directly onto their site.
Copilot complements other existing AI in Business Central, including:
- Sales and Inventory Forecasting
- Late Payment Predictions
- Cash Flow Analysis
Viva Sales Copilot
Over in Viva, Copilot helps clients generate email campaigns and automatically notate meetings.
It helps clients generate email replies by analyzing the content that you receive. All you need to do is tell it to look at an email, let it generate a substantive reply, and then add a personal touch and send it out. It is not producing cookie-cutter content. The purpose is to help the client sales team save time and energy to focus on high-touch sales needs.
Copilot can also recap sales meetings in moments. You can tell it to automatically generate detailed summaries and flag actionable next steps after sales calls in Teams.
Customer service co-pilot
To assist in customer service, the Copilot AI in Business Central can create bots you can deploy in your clients’ apps and on their sites. You can build a bot easily without writing a single piece of code. Just point Copilot at your client’s website and have it analyze all the information and questions commonly asked and answered. Then it can quickly generate a basic customer service bot to answer the most common questions that your clients’ may be looking to address.
As you can see, Copilot works across all these different functions. It is not siloed. That is beneficial when it comes to working with SMBs, which often have small applications for different functions.
New AI is an Opportunity to Further Relationships with Clients
You have two main avenues when selling Business Central: license reselling and selling licenses plus services.
If you are just selling Microsoft licenses, you are still responsible for tiers one and two support for BC. The nice thing about licenses is that they provide a reliable recurring revenue stream. They also give points towards a solutions partner designation ↗ with Microsoft, which has many benefits. On the other hand, Sherweb research has shown that you can make up to thirteen times the revenue from selling licenses alone if you are selling licenses and services.
Remember, it is not about technology. When sounding your clients out for Business Central services, make sure you are asking business-oriented questions. For example, do they have ambitious sales targets? Are they unsure how to meet them? Do their customers have bad experiences? There is nothing more stressful than having angry customers and simultaneously being told you need to grow 50 percent year over year.
These situations go beyond “tech debt” pain and into real business pain where you can solve problems and allow them to grow profitably. Think about what they are still doing by hand. Find out what those are, and you will find opportunities to help them digitally transform.
Sherweb Helps Providers and Their Clients Grow
Sherweb can support you. We have a partner-to-partner network, and if you want to sell Business Central or are selling it and want to expand into other areas, this is a place where you can connect with other partners who can help you grow. As we discussed, a great deal of potential income is available selling services alongside licensing. Sherweb helps you find mutual wins for our customers and partners.
Ready to start offering Business Central to clients?
Sherweb is an award-winning Microsoft indirect CSP partner with years of experience helping MSPs grow their business using Microsoft Dynamics and many other cloud solutions.