Microsoft’s push to Dynamics 365 has been significant. Companies are upgrading from legacy environments at an ever-increasing rate, and we are also seeing an unprecedented number of greenfield implementations. In conjunction with this, we are finding an alarming increase in D365 implementation problems, stemming from a global shortage of certified D365 consultants.
To clarify this point, consider some recent case studies from our global client base:
These are not isolated incidents, and the list goes on. These are contributing factors in situations where we have helped clients recover from their lessons from D365 failure.
So, what is the root cause of Microsoft’s D365 implementation issues? Here are a few observations from our recent experience:
Popularity: The D365 platform is one of the leading cloud ERP platforms and has been developed seemingly better and quicker than comparable upper Tier 2 systems. The product competes well in D365 vs. NetSuite and other ERP comparisons. In fact, the technology is so good that so many companies are purchasing it and there is an over-demand for implementation resources.
Microsoft is mismanaging its partner channels: Specifically, with Microsoft’s partner tiers (Gold, Silver) and preferences, they are still sending the majority of referrals to the same group of resellers that cannot handle the business. It’s time for Microsoft to invest in building its partner channel, both deep and wide.
Lack of incentives: Of course, Microsoft is promoting certification in D365, but seems they may not be doing enough. Instead of viewing certification as an income stream, maybe Microsoft should be giving certifications away to keep their clients from moving away from Microsoft Dynamics.
Lack of direction or clarity: Microsoft has never had a terribly clear migration path for D365 certification. They should be knocking down their legacy platform resellers’ doors to explain the path and benefits of certifying their resources in D365. This is an area where the comparison between D365 vs. SAP S/4HANA and other products exposes a weakness for Microsoft.
The ISV network is an absolute cluster: One of the great things about Microsoft Dynamics is the flexibility of the platform and the ability for VARs to build their own IP alongside the core product. This is also a curse as it becomes very difficult to track and manage the associated variations of the product and what D365 can and cannot do. In this case, basic certification on D365 may not be enough.
Dynamics 365 is not receiving the needed level of focus from Microsoft: Microsoft is #1 on the Fortune 500, with estimated 2019 revenues approaching US$125 billion. Microsoft Dynamics, while a major player in the ERP arena, will just be approaching the US$2 billion mark (estimated). At roughly 1.5% of revenue, it’s not clear how much effort Microsoft will put in the direction of its Dynamics 365 revenue stream. The primary difference between Microsoft and other top ERP systems is that ERP is not Microsoft’s core business.
We are not recommending that companies stay away from selecting and trying to implement Microsoft D365 (yet) but beware of the hurdles you may be facing. Next week, we will share some recommendations on how to navigate your D365 implementation based on the global shortage of D365 resources.
In the meantime, feel free to contact us to discuss your D365 or ERP implementation in general. We are happy to be an informal sounding board as you continue your journey!