There are two kinds of Chaos, that which results from a complete lack of organization and purpose, or that which results from fear, due to a lack of understanding of significant change. Fortunately, the Dynamics 365 Chaos is of the latter type.
The Rise of Chaos
I have had several Office 365, CRM and ERP partners, reach out to me over the last few weeks asking me “WTF is going on?”… like I actually know. Even in the September initial partner call, a leader of one of the biggest CRM partners in the world, said something like “We have already made all of our upcoming fiscal budgets for next year based on the status quo, how can you dump this on us at the last minute like this?” or words to that effect. When you realize that even they were not clued in, it makes you very nervous, and Chaos naturally ensues. I was quick to write about my own fears, but in the back of my mind… I was smiling.
Chaos from 10,000 feet
If you have followed my blog, then you know that I went from “OMG” to “This is Awesome”. I want to tell you why. Looking down at the Chaos from 10,000 feet you can clearly see a group of CRM partners running in circles with their hair on fire. You can also see a similar group of ERP partners, imagining that they see a cliff in front of them. Outside of these two circles there is a huge ring of Office 365 partners that are mostly oblivious. Also in that outer ring are quite a few CRM and ERP partners still. You can chose to join one of these camps, or you can choose to climb up the ladder and join the few of us that are licking our lips as we watch the Chaos below.
The Beauty of Chaos
In this case, Chaos was the act of taking things that we know, and smashing them into a bunch of pieces that we don’t. I have already written about why this needed to happen. But that does not change the fact that your familiar old toy car, looks like it just got run-over by a truck on the street; and you have no idea how to put it back together. In fact, two toy cars got run-over, CRM and ERP. Suddenly as a partner you are seeing the parts of both cars all mixed together on the pavement. You recognize some parts, but others are completely foreign. But if you stare at the pile of parts long enough, and resist your “fight or flight” instinct, you might start seeing that… hmm… I might be able to build an even better car if I use some parts from each. So while most partners will drop down and start picking up only the parts they recognize… some of us are thinking about whole new car designs.
From Chaos comes Opportunity
It might not seem that way to you at the moment, but Microsoft actually did us all a huge favor; regardless of their motivations. By ripping off the band-aid so abruptly, they are forcing you to change… or get left behind… right freaking now. Just like how the launch of Office 365 reshuffled the list of Microsoft’s most valuable partners, to those that embraced that model quickly, so too will this reshuffle the deck. Titans will fall, and others will rise. So instead of walking around this week in Tampa, attending the launch sessions like a scared bug seeking a familiar place to light, consider being a windshield.
I say “Carpe diem”.