This page features blog posts relevant to Dynamics 365 Partners.

UG Summit and Role Based Intelligence

Digital transformation of the business technology channel is accelerating and financial leaders and operations officers are asking for more business intelligence features in their enterprise resource planning solutions than ever. A session at UG Summit Conference in Nashville offered a presentation slide that does a good job of illustrating what this change looks like from the perspective of financial and operations leadership roles. Stratos Cloud Alliance’s Jeffrey DeMaria was there to snap the photo below. You can see some of the upcoming 2018 A.I. features for Dynamics 365 in this Dynamics 365 A.I. blog post »

In essence the digital transformation enables proactive applications to help officers and managers do their jobs better. For example: In addition to traditional financial management through budgeting and spending constraints, intelligent financial systems forecast revenue and allocate resources for growth. Where apps were only expected to report on profit and performance, they are now expected to drive shareholder value through growth and cash flow.

Here is a breakdown of the above slide and key considerations by role for financials and operations apps:

CFO

  • Close my books faster
  • Optimize my assets and create new revenue
  • Maximize our compliance growth and profitability

COO/VP Mfg

  • Deliver ontime, in full and on target
  • Optimizize supply chain
  • Anticipate and avoid maintenance related disruption

VP Retail

  • Create personalized shopping experiences
  • Engage customers seamlessly across every channel
  • Have the right merchandise at the right place and the right time

Chief People Office

  • Find and attract top talent
  • Engage people and teams to deliver best results
  • Develop effective leadership succession

Learn about how to Move to Modern and kick start your Dynamics 365 practice in 30 days or less »

 

See more slides from UG Summit

Web Cast: Dynamics 365 Opportunity for MSPs & IT Solution Providers

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Dynamics 365 A.I. – Customer Insights and Relationship Insights

Microsoft recently announced new artificial intelligence (AI) solutions for Dynamics 365 customer service functionality.

With rapid change in the consumer technology space, artificial intelligence capabilities like machine learning are becoming a competitive differentiator in enterprise IT. There is an increasing demand for intelligent data insights across departments and lines of business, especially when it comes to customer service and sales.

To help its customers meet this challenge Microsoft recently announced the availability of AI solutions for Dynamics 365—“Customer Insights” and “Relationship Insights”. Learn more about starting a Dynamics 365 practice »

Customer Insights is designed to bring together data from across systems to drive automated customer service actions and better manage complex customer service scenarios.

Relationships Insights is built on Cortana Intelligence technology and designed to help users understand their business relationships, evaluate activities in relation to previous successes, and close more deals through actionable insights from real time data and A.I. analysis.

D365 A.I. solutions include:

  • AI Authoring to move beyond manually scripted dialogues;
  • Specialized Knowledge Graph blending insights from Bing data with specific business ontology;
  • Industry leading machine reading comprehension with a proprietary FusionNet engine; and
  • Reinforcement Learning to create a continuously learning customer care solution.

How to Start Offering D365

In order to jump start loyal ERP and CRM resellers in the D365 space, Microsoft as created the Indirect Cloud Service Provider (CSP) program. Stratos Cloud Alliance (SCA) is Mirosoft’s only CSP exclusively focused on D365. To ensure VARs, consultants and managed service providers successfully capitalize on the D365 opportunity, SCA provides cloud expertise and technology so resellers can focus on vertical IP and innovation.

Benefits of leveraging the expertise of a CSP who specializes in D365:

  • SCA supports partners while they develop their own Dynamics 365 practice
  • After their D365 practice is established, resellers can continue to leverage their SCA membership to augment their resources with SCA’s online services
  • SCA partners can leverage SCA to bundle expertise and IP assets with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Cloud Services
  • Dynamics 365 sales and marketing enablement
  • Direct access to the Microsoft Product Group for additional expertise and resources
  • Exclusive Distributor of Dynamics 365 Enterprise Edition for Operations (formerly known as AX)
  • D365 Operations implementation, training and support services,
  • More than 300 Dynamics professionals across all product lines

Whether you want to go all in on your D365 practice or you want to offer D365 to supplement your core Dynamics offering and grow your cloud offering slowly, SCA can help get your D365 practice up and running in 30 days.

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Dynamics 365 2018 Repackage – Simplified Purchasing Experience

Dynamics 365 will be re-positioned Spring 2018 to help both SMB customers and Enterprise customers with simplified processes for procuring and launching Dynamics 365, according to Microsoft.

In order to simplify the Dynamics 365 offering and improve ease of selection, Microsoft will offer D365 as a single collection of applications, including marketing, sales, service, finance, operations, and talent .

“Instead of offering separate editions (e.g. ‘Business edition’ and ‘Enterprise edition’), we will focus on enabling any organization to choose from different price points for each line of business application, based on the level of capabilities and capacity they need to meet their specific needs,” said Alysa Taylor, General Manager, Business Apps & Strategy for Microsoft in a recent blog post. “For example, in Spring 2018, Dynamics 365 for Sales will offer additional price point(s) with different level(s) of functionality.”

Learn more about options for selling Dynamics 365 »

For the SMB space, Microsoft will deliver a single end-to-end Dynamics 365 solution that combines Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations Business Editions with the full capabilities of Dynamics NAV.

As the Dynamics 365 offering matures, opportunity is knocking louder for Dynamics VARs to start capitalizing on D365. The Microsoft Cloud Service Provider (CSP) program has been launched in order to help Microsoft VARs deliver D365 to customers. Stratos Cloud Alliance is Microsoft’s only CSP specializing in Dynamics 365, enabling Dynamics VARs, consultants and MSPs to start selling Dynamics 365 in 30 days or less.

Check out these five steps to selling Dynamics 365 with your CSP:

1. Meet your dedicated account manager

SCA is the only Microsoft Cloud Distributor specializing in Dynamics 365 and our dedicated account managers are focused on cloud business solutions.

2. Establish your marketplace

Your partnership includes a best in class ecommerce marketplace for Dynamics 365, custom branded for your company.

3. Get to know the Stratos success knowledge base

The Stratos Success Knowledge base allows partners and their employees to quickly and effectively sell Dynamics 365.

4. Get into the Partner Portal

Every resource you need to sell D365 is in the SCA Partner Portal.

5. Start Selling Dynamics 365

SCA provides turnkey sales and marketing enablement resources that your salespeople can leverage and close deals.

Learn more about Stratos Cloud Alliance Parnter »

 

Transform to Digital at your Own Pace

The traditional Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) market has been completely transformed by the maturation of cloud computing, but that doesn’t mean ERP and CRM software and service providers have jump into building a cloud practice with both feet. Dynamics 365 is the next evolution of Microsoft’s ERP in everything from user interface and add-on applications to development, delivery and more. In order to help trusted community of Partners, consultants and service providers transform to digital, Microsoft’s indirect cloud service provider Stratos Cloud Alliance (SCA) enables partners to move to modern and grow there D365 practice at their own pace. Learn about Dynamics 365 levels of entry for partners »

Provide Cloud as an add-on service to your core on premise practice

Of course there is still an active market for on-premise ERP solutions, so there’s no wonder why many Dynamics consultants and providers are not going all-in on Dynamics 365 just yet. But that doesn’t mean those providers want to turn their back on the D365 opportunity. SCA let’s you enter as and “Agent” level partner so you can capitalize on opportunities as they come, build your cloud expertise, and deliver add-on cloud capabilities to your existing customer base.

Build a cloud practice based on Microsoft Solutions

Weather you start slowly with SCA or have already been offering Dynamics cloud as a sideline, SCA will enable providers to grow their cloud practice generate recurring revenue, open new revenue streams and deliver a suite of Microsoft applications to accompany ERP and CRM software. SCA’s “Partner” level will allow providers to instantly expand their portfolio of applications with their own online eCommerce marketplace supported and maintained by SCA.

 

Invest in cloud based Microsoft business solutions as a core focus

For managed service providers and Microsoft Dynamics solutions partners who are ready to focus on cloud as a core offering, SCA offers turnkey Dynamics 365 solutions to start a D365 practice with built in end-user invoicing, branded D365 marketplace and more. With SCA’s “Merchant” level partnership, SCA does the heavy cloud lifting so organizations can differentiate themselves through vertical IP and expertise.

Space Princess and Droid To Join Stratos Cloud Alliance At Directions North America 2017

Stratos Cloud Alliance will be giving away a programmable R2D2 replica to one lucky winner at Directions North America 2017 partner conference and they will be talking about the latest partner opportunities in D365 on the expo floor.

Stratos Cloud Alliance (SCA), the only Microsoft Cloud Service Provider specializing in Microsoft Dynamics 365, will host Booth A-1 alongside a costumed Space Princess at the Directions North America conference being held September 17th-20th at the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes in Orlando, Florida. They will be raffling away a working R2D2 replica and talking to Partners about starting a Dynamics 365 practice, announced SCA today.

SCA is a unique Microsoft Indirect Cloud Solution Provider (ICSP) offering a comprehensive portfolio of Microsoft Cloud Business and Productivity Solutions, ISV Products and Tools, and Partner and Customer Services but focused on the ERP and CRM capabilities of Dynamics 365. The organization enables Dynamics ERP & CRM Partners and Managed Service Providers to start selling a robust suite D365 in 30 days without hassle and at low cost.

“We are thrilled to be going to Directions conference this year because, like the Stratos Cloud Alliance, Directions was designed for Dynamics Partners,” said Scott May, SCA’s Director of Channel Programs. “Partners who haven’t heard about SCA yet are going to be very impressed by the D365 opportunity, and we thought having our own space princess and R2D2 would be a fun way to get people excited about the D365 conversation.”

The experts from the SCA team will be available at Booth A-1 to answer questions about anything Dynamics cloud or Dynamics 365 related. The winner of the R2D2 raffle will be announced after the conference.

The Directions North America conference brings together Microsoft Dynamics developers, implementers, technical experts, sales people and executives from SMB partners, ISVs, Service Providers, and Microsoft to learn and network with other members of the Dynamics Channel.

ABOUT STRATOS CLOUD ALLIANCE
Stratos Cloud Alliance was created in 2017 by SBS Group, a leader in Microsoft business solutions for over 30 years. SCA enables Dynamics Partners to successfully enter the D365 market, offering infrastructure, training, sales enablement and e-commerce resources to Dynamics software and services providers. Our team members are passionate in our commitment to Microsoft Corporation, the Microsoft Partner community, and our joint customers. We are committed to delivering the best in cloud services with world-class customer experience and support. For more information visit dynamics365partner.com

4 Keys to a Successful D365 Practice

It is no secret that Microsoft Dynamics 365 will continue to disrupt the traditional model for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) within the Microsoft Dynamics channel and beyond. More than ever before, customers expect their providers to deliver business value and functionality through vertical IP and expertise.  Traditional ERP providers and managed service providers will have to adapt to stay relevant through the digital transformation of the market.

Did you know you can get your Dynamics 365 practice started in 30 days or less with little upfront costs? See how »

Of course opening a new line of business in the cloud requires careful consideration. With that in mind, we offer these 4 key considerations for maintaining a successful D365 practice.

1. Client Relationships

Moving from a project oriented ERP practice to one that is based on cloud subscriptions requires a more service oriented approach to customer relationships. The ability to tailor a software portfolio that meets the needs of the customer at the time of the sale as well as providing on-going and comprehensive customer service as needs change is critical to driving growth and profit in the cloud. This goes hand in hand with our next key to success…

2. Customer Retention

High customer retention rates are mission-critical to a monthly recurring revenue model. Customer requirements are shifting toward needing a trusted technology advisor who can provide new and innovative solutions that deliver business value over time and high churn could stand between your business and long-term revenue. This brings us to our next key point…

3. Revenue Generation

As IT requirements become more complex and business applications move to modern cloud platforms, it has become easier than ever for your customers to scale solutions and expand their portfolio as they grow. Customers expect to be able to easily switch on new applications and users licenses as they need and providers who aren’t able to offer a comprehensive app marketplace will lose out on major revenue opportunities.  We’ll finish up this thought with our final key factor to a successful D365 practice…

4. New Revenue Streams

To capitalize on the digital transformation of the market, Partners and MSPs will have to transform their business with innovative new revenue streams. Providers who are able to market and deliver a suite of high-margin Microsoft cloud products to augment the core Dynamics solution will be able maintain a healthy revenue stream in the D365 channel.

How Microsoft’s Indirect CSP Gets You Started

Building a Dynamics 365 practice from scratch or reorganizing your traditional ERP practice comes with its risks, costs and strain to your business. Microsoft is working with an Indirect Cloud Solution Provider to enable partners and MSPs to capitalize on the opportunity that D365 provides without putting that strain and risk on the business. Stratos Cloud Alliance is an exclusive Microsoft Indirect Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) providing Dynamics partners and MSPs with a turnkey Dynamics 365 practice in 30 days – with no up-front investment in training or hiring of additional staff. Let’s look at how Stratos Cloud Alliance can help you succeed in the D365 channel.

  • Strengthen Client Relationships – Stratos Cloud Alliance delivers the tools and resources you need to better manage your customer relationships and capture growth and profit opportunities.
  • Increase Client Retention Rate – Stratos first helps your capture cloud opportunity and then helps you grow. Stratos Cloud Alliance has the resources you need to become a trusted partner to clients and provide increased services and value-added support.
  • Drive Increased Revenue – Stratos Cloud Alliance helps you Sell high-margin Microsoft cloud products along with your own offerings and services so you can drive sales, grow your business and go to market faster.
  • Open New Revenue Streams – With Stratos Cloud alliance it is less risky and requires fewer resources for you to capitalize on digital transformation and open innovative, new revenue streams and realize with faster ROI.

Stratos Cloud Alliance was created in 2017 by SBS Group, a leader in Microsoft business solutions for over 30 years, a pioneer of the Master VAR program, and an innovator in cloud services. Our team members are passionate in our commitment to Microsoft Corporation, the Microsoft Partner community, and our joint customers. We are committed to delivering the best in cloud services and support and providing all our stakeholders with a world-class customer experience.

VIDEO: How SCA Helps You Start Your Dynamics 365 Practice

Welcome to the SCA Dynamics 365 Blog

Welcome to the SCA Dynamics 365 Blog. We are excited to be a part of the digital transformation of the Microsoft Dynamics Channel. We are committed to keeping Dynamics Parnters, MSPs and ISVs informed about Dynamics 365.

Please check back soon for regular updates on Microsoft Dynamics 365!