Partner Portal Helps Dynamics
Expert “Look Great”
Brian Begley used to dread the idea of making new software licensing sales.
That’s bad news for a business owner, but as Begley explained, a complicated partner portal was getting in his way.
“I was never happy (with that portal). I actually dreaded new sales because it was such a pain to add a new client. It was painful. The consulting work was so much easier because the process is under our control.”
Begley is the president and owner of enCloud9, a Nebraska-based group of Dynamics 365 experts. The company, which has been in business since 2008, specializes in helping its small business clients be more efficient with Dynamics 365. enCloud9 serves about 40 clients in the health care and financial sectors. Most of them are based in the U.S.
Last August, enCloud9 started selling Dynamics 365 with SherWeb under Microsoft’s Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program and never looked back. In a matter of months, the company has recorded a Monthly Recurring Revenue of about $15,000 on sales of Dynamics 365 and Office 365. enCloud9 has also taken advantage of SherWeb’s Market Development Fund, a pilot project that provides funding for partners to develop and execute customized marketing programs.
Didn’t Like the Portal
enCloud9 had been working with a larger cloud provider for Dynamics 365, but Begley said the portal just wasn’t working for him. It was set up to deploy Office 365 solutions and couldn’t be adapted for Dynamics.
“If I wanted to create a new client, I would have to fill out paper work, submit it to somebody there and have them manually do all the set up of the initial implementation. I finally got tired of it.”
Begley said he found SherWeb’s portal a lot easier to work with. Instead of waiting 3 or 4 days to add a client license, he can do the update in SherWeb’s portal in a matter of minutes.
“I can do it from my desktop, I can switch to a browser, add a couple of licenses and the client has those licenses in 5 or 10 minutes. I look great and my clients are happy.”
Transformed Their Business
As part of its customization work, enCloud9 developed various Dynamics 365 services called Accelerators. These are prepackaged Dynamics 365 deployment solutions designed to get clients up and running on Dynamics 365 in about 7 days. Begley said it often takes months to implement Dynamics and enCloud9 tries to shorten this cycle to give its clients a better return on their investment.
“We get them using CRM to manage leads and opportunities very quickly. After they’ve been using it for a few months, the client is more familiar with how Dynamics 365 works. We go in and start customizing it to fit their exact needs. Lately, we’ve had four clients come back to us and talk about how CRM has transformed their business.”
Begley is particularly proud of the work enCloud9 did with FormFox, a Utah-based company that sells software for employee drug and alcohol testing. Begley said FormFox was bogged down by paperwork and needed a quick way to help its clients deploy the software. Once enCloud9 automated the process with Dynamics 365, the paperwork was reduced and FormFox was able to double its deployments. In fact, Begley said FormFox is breaking its own personal record for deployments every month!
“More and more implementations are going live every month. Whereas previously they might have been able to get 20 or 30 clients live a month, they’re now getting 40 to 60. We expect these numbers will increase by hundreds or even thousands over the next couple of months.”
Start out Strong
Begley said the key to his company’s success is the long-term relationships it develops with its clients. He said a lot of big providers start out strong but tend to disappear once the initial work is done. The result? When a client calls several months later with a question, he ends up talking to someone who doesn’t know anything about his company.
“To have a successful CRM implementation, you need to have a partner like us who knows what they’re doing and can guide you and be an advisor. If I’ve been working on a project with a client, that client knows they can reach us a month from now, six months from now, or even a year from now, because we don’t have different groups working for support and implementation.”
Someone to Talk to
Begley said he was glad to see a similar philosophy at SherWeb.
“I feel I have somebody I can talk to at SherWeb. My Account Manager keeps me aware of what’s going on. At (my other provider), I never felt any connection to anybody. I never knew who to call for issues. You would have to call an 800-number and you would get a different person each time.”
Begley said Dynamics resellers who are still on the fence about selling with a CSP partner, should take a close look at what SherWeb has to offer.
“At enCloud9, we pride ourselves on being accessible to our clients. SherWeb does a great job of being accessible to us, their partners.”