Dynamics 365 – Does RapidStart CRM still fit?

I have had several of our partners and friends ask me how the new Dynamics 365 will effect our RapidStart CRM ISV offering. I think they feared I may slit my wrists, but actually, we got lucky. RapidStart CRM was always focused on the new CRM customer who was looking for Sales capabilities, as 90% of the new ones are.

What did we have to do?

In order to continue to provide our RapidStart CRM solution, we really only had to do one thing, that took less than an hour. We removed the question about whether the customer wanted to have Service and/or Marketing exposed in their navigation. For Dynamics 365 customers buying the new Sales SKU, our solutions and Wizards are already in alignment.

What are we doing, that we did not have to do?

RapidStart CRM has proven to be an extremely successful tool for enabling partners to deploy CRM quickly, without risk. I am happy to say that over half of our active partners are actually CRM Practices… even though we designed for the non-CRM Partner. While the tool has done exactly what we wanted it to do, that does not mean there is not room to add more capabilities. We are currently working on several enhancements to take advantage of some of the new capabilities that Dynamics 365 will be bringing. We plan to announce them by November 1st, when the new SKUs are available.

Is a RapidStart ERP Wizard on the List?

Not yet, but you can bet we are looking at that closely as the final Dynamics 365 product rolls out. As I mentioned in a previous post, Partners will be expected to sell ERP and CRM together, as an end-to-end solution, and we are in the best position of anybody to enable that, from whichever side the partner is coming from: Office 365, ERP or CRM.

Isn’t RapidStart CRM a SMB Solution?

Well, that’s what who aimed for when we were building it. But, as it turns out, seat count is not the primary factor for a customer wanting to go the RapidStart CRM route with their deployment. The core approach to our product is to achieve adoption first, which we enable by providing for a simple deployment that is easy to use. We push the advanced stuff and complicated features into the background, to be brought back into the picture down the road, post-adoption. We have had some pretty big deployments, where the customer suffered from CRM adoption issues in the past, who liked the RapidStart CRM approach. We have also had quite a few customers who had already deployed CRM, and failed to get adoption, who decided to wipe their CRM tenant and start over with RapidStart CRM.

How is the competition doing?

We were indeed the first ones to market with a “Packaged Deployment” model. In fact, the term “Packaged Deployment” was created by Microsoft to describe RapidStart CRM. I would have preferred that they just used our name, but they felt that would limit others from jumping in (I guess they weren’t prepared to commit the global market to us alone). Of the many others who have crawled under the Packaged Deployment umbrella… many with similar names to ours… I don’t see any that are actually what I think of as “Packaged Deployments”. Most appear to be what I would consider, “Limited Engagements”. While they did not have to invest the seven figures that we have in an actual solution, I think of them as just forms of the P2P model that we advanced from. The P2P model did not, will not, and cannot achieve real scale, for a bunch of reasons… and Microsoft wants needs scale.

So that’s my update on RapidStart CRM, if you are not yet a partner with us, please go to https://rapidstartcrm.com and join us!


Steve Mordue MVP

Steve Mordue, a Microsoft Business Applications MVP, is the CEO of Forceworks, a 2014 Microsoft Partner of the Year. Steve started his business applications consulting career in 2001, originally supporting Salesforce.com as a Certified Consultant. Steve transitioned his consulting practice to Dynamics CRM, (now Dynamics 365) in 2011. Steve has been engaged in hundreds of deployments over the course of his career. As one of the leading Microsoft Business Application Consultants, recognized by Microsoft as an expert, Steve has provided training, on behalf of Microsoft, to other Microsoft Partners globally on how to launch and build successful practices. Steve is a member of the Worldwide Dynamics Partner Advisory Council, and is a frequent presenter and panelist at global Microsoft events. The opinions shared in this blog are Steve's alone. If you are looking for Microsoft confidential information, you will not find any here.

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