In Part 1 of this post, we followed a fictional first-person path to picking a Business Solutions (CRM) platform. It appeared that Microsoft Dynamics 365 was under strong consideration, when the topic of a Microsoft Partner was introduced. Let’s continue this fictional journey, and see how this critical step plays out.
Let me introduce you
The last thing I heard from Microsoft Chat Support was that they were going to have a “partner” get in touch. Sure enough, here comes the email from Microsoft “Hello Customer, we have passed your information to Intergalactic Partners, someone from there will be contacting you soon“. Great! Maybe now I can figure out if Dynamics 365 is the right solution for me.
Hi, this is Jim
[ring] “Hello”, “Hi, this is Jim with Intergalactic Partners, Microsoft passed your information to me, we are the biggest Dynamics 365 Gold Partner in the galaxy, with over 1,000 employees, and I am the CEO”, “Wow Jim, I am impressed that you would handle my 10 seat deal personally”, “Did you say 10 seats?”, “Yes”, “The information I have from Microsoft says 1,000 seats”, “Nope, just 10”, “Hold please” [hold music] “Hi, this is Chip, an intern with Intergalactic Partners, how can I help you today?” UGH “What happened to Jim?”, “Jim who?”, “Never mind, I am thinking you guys might be too big for me”, “Not at all, I am part of a special group here at IP that handles all the way down to a single seat, how many subscriptions would you like to order today?”, “Well, I was hoping to get some information first about how Dynamics 365 might meet my needs”, “Absolutely, let me give you a link to our blog”, “Can’t you just tell me?”, “Sorry, I am just an intern, one of 300 here in our SMB department that we like to call the cattle chute”, “Good bye”.
Let’s Try Again
Let me go back to the Dynamics 365 site and see if I can figure this out on my own. [chat opens]“Hi, how can I help you today?”, “Yeah, I was on here yesterday and you connected me with a partner that was way to big for me”, “I’m sorry, let me look at my list of Gold Partners”, “What does Gold mean?”, “Gold is a designation for our biggest partners”, “Okay, maybe that’s the problem, can you connect with a smaller partner?” , “The only partners I have on my list are Gold, it’s a policy, you would probably be better served by a Silver Partner, you can try our Find a Partner search engine, I’ll paste the link in chat [https://partnercenter.microsoft.com/en-us/pcv/search]”, “Thanks”, [close chat].
Find a Partner
This is starting to require too much effort, but I have invested this much already, I’ll try this one last step. So that link was… https://partnercenter.microsoft.com/en-us/pcv/search. Okay, this looks promising. Let’s start with size, 10 Seats. Pages and pages of nothing but Gold Partners, and I already know I don’t want a Gold Partner. Why don’t I have an option to filter by Silver? UGH. Okay, how about if I pick the Product…hmm Dynamics 365 Enterprise or Dynamics 365 Business? I am going to assume that I am not Enterprise, so Business. Still, nothing but Gold Partners… wait a minute… all the way down at the bottom of the page, there are three Silver ones. Wait, is Microsoft telling me, that in the entire United States, there are only 3 partners for me? Is Microsoft really interested in SMB?
I’ll take a shot
Let me call one of these Silver partners and see if they can help me. [dial]”Hello, you have reached Little Partner Inc., how can I help you?”, “Before I waste my time, do you work on 10 seat Dynamics 365 customers?”, “You bet, that is mostly what we do here at Little Partner Inc”, “Great… finally, can you tell me how Dynamics 365 would work for my blah, blah scenario”, “Yes, it will blah, blah”, “Awesome, how much do you think it will cost for your help?”, “Well, that’s really hard to say”, “Because you are eating a sandwich, or you don’t know?”, “Well, (swallow), depending on what you want to do, the cost could be all over the map”, “I just want the basics”, “Well, we pride ourselves on doing much more than the basics”, “Umm, can you guess what that would cost?”, “I dunno, maybe $15K, that’s about typical.”, “That’s a lot of freaking cash, what will I get for that?”, “We work closely with you to get you everything you might need”, “But I don’t know what I need, I just want the basics.”, “We can start with a paid engagement to figure out what that is.”, “And how long would that take, the engagement and the work?”, “Hard to say at this stage”, “So you expect me to engage with your firm, for a project of unknown cost, duration and result?”, “That’s how it works”, “Good bye”[click].
Can I get there from here?
This will be my last effort, if I can’t get this figured out, I am going to either skip it, or go with one of those basic cloud CRM deals from Unknown Incorporated. Next partner, [dial],”Hello, this is SMB Partner, Inc, how can I help you?”, “Hi, I really don’t want to waste any more time on this, so tell me this, I am looking for the basics to get started with Dynamics 365, I want a low fixed price, I want to know what I am getting upfront, and I want it done in less than a week, can you help me, or not!”, “Yes, as a matter of fact, we are a Certified RapidStart CRM Partner, and that provides exactly what you said”, “No, I want Dynamics 365, not something else.”, “RapidStart CRM is a deployment model for Dynamics 365 that we offer, that provides everything you just asked for, here’s a link to a video.”, “Another video, do you have any idea how many damn videos I have watched”, “Sorry, hopefully, this will be your last”, “Thanks, I’ll check it out and call you back… maybe, Good bye” [click]
Coming soon, Part three – Picking a Dance Partner