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Microsoft Global ISVs Lead Enterprise Strategy for Dynamics

During last week's Worldwide Partner Conference, the Microsoft Dynamics group announced the addition of four new global independent software vendors (GISVs) to the exclusive program: distribution and manufacturing provider I.B.I.S. Inc., automotive software maker Incadea, food supply-chain consultancy Anglia Business Solutions, and retail automation vendor Escher Group.

Started three years ago, the GISV program's goal is to build a portfolio of vertical enterprise-level solutions built on the Dynamics AX and CRM platforms. Thirteen partners have joined the GISV corps to date, with another half-dozen expected to join this year.

Vertical Approach to Enterprise
GISVs are chosen from the thousands of ISVs in the Dynamics ecosystem based on their extensive industry knowledge, according to Doug Kennedy, vice president of Microsoft Dynamics Partners and Support Services.

"We look at the roadmap and identify the white space for enterprise," Kennedy said. "For us to win in that industry we need a complete vertical solution. If we are not going to build it, our strategy is to work with a partner whose solution is deeply compliant architecturally."

In addition to the solution itself, GISVs are expected to have the presales and sales resources to effectively sell into the industry. Their expertise is brought to the table through the Microsoft EPG team, as well as global and regional systems integrators (SIs).

Channel Impact
While there is clearly a win for the partners who are chosen as GISVs, the opportunity for Microsoft and Global SIs to offer viable Dynamics ERP and CRM into enterprise accounts helps the entire partner community. Establishing a foothold in an industry at the top validates Dynamics as a viable solution for that entire vertical -- opening up opportunities to all Dynamics partners.

As for those chosen, becoming a Microsoft GISV is a game changer, according to Andy Vabulas, CEO of I.B.I.S. Participation in the program has allowed the company to build direct relationships within Microsoft and the partner community, greatly expanding I.B.I.S.'s reach and creating opportunities for new business that would not otherwise be possible.

"It's probably the best business opportunity that we've ever been presented from any partner, including Microsoft," Vabulas said. "I can see where we will double or triple our business over the next five years."

Establishing a Model for the Future
While the GISV program is limited, Kennedy encourages ISVs to keep doing what they are doing. "This is a new model. We are starting with a few key white spaces that we think will have the biggest payback and then we will expand," Kennedy said. "ISVs shouldn't feel like they are missing out today. They should keep doing what they are doing because there is a lot of business that we can't cover with these ISVs...tons of business."

Over the past decade, Dynamics ERP solutions have struggled to gain a foothold in the enterprise. The GISV strategy is a big bet to build respect and presence in global organizations. While the exclusivity of the club will surely cause some hard feelings in the Dynamics ISV community, the strategy is reasonable and will benefit all partners if successful.

How are you gaining access to new markets for Dynamics solutions? Add a comment below or send me an e-mail and let's share your story.         

Posted by Barb Levisay on July 17, 2013 at 11:58 AM


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