A Spark of Thought by Pam Misialek (#IamDynGP)
I remember when there was a time where the Dynamics GP Community lived by a set of values, and that was what guided their decisions. Improving the lives and business success of partners and customers was a principle that drove us all.
Lately, I’ve seen several tweets, blogs and videos that troubled me. I grew more and more upset the more that I thought about it, but I didn’t know why. It finally occurred to me today why it bothered me so much. The values I’ve held near to my heart for many years don’t seem to mean very much to some people.
To think that a Dynamics GP customer can just simply upgrade to Dynamics 365 Business Central (BC) is plain incorrect. To lighten the effort by calling the move from GP to BC a migration is misleading at best. These processes involve a lot of risk, significant effort, and tons of time. The people trying to convince customers to move are not acting in the customer’s best interest. They are not trying to improve their customer’s lives and business. It goes against everything that I think GP stands for.
It was suggested by a well-known member of our community that people are using the word ‘upgrade’ and ‘migration’ because they don’t want the customer to look at other competing products. At first, I agreed. From a marketing perspective, it makes sense, but then my moral compass started spinning again. If it’s the best thing for a customer to move to a competing product, which is unlikely, as a community, we should encourage it and help them get there.
In my opinion, GP is the best software for midmarket companies in US, Canada and several other countries. There are some unique scenarios where a competing product is better, but it’s extremely rare, and again, in my opinion, BC doesn’t fit this unique situation. If a customer is unhappy, work with them to solve their problem. Don’t sell them into a product that is inferior because you think it’s profitable for you.
Here are some of the trends that I’ve seen lately that show that some people in our community may have lost their focus on our core values, doing what’s right for the customer, and some possible ways to implement that value in the workplace:
Cloud for IT: IT professionals are becoming more forward thinking. They don’t want to just manage hardware anymore. They want to focus on more strategic initiatives to help companies do more, but they also want to have more control over their overall infrastructure, but they need guidance. We can start by asking them questions:
- What are their strategic goals for cloud?
- How important is GP to their business?
- What is the right thing for them?
Depending on their answers, PowerGP Online is probably a better fit for them than BC, but it’s really about what’s best for the customer so we should be working with them to figure that out.
Better Reporting: A typical GP customer has years of valuable data in their system, and they have seen other companies use their data to predict future sales and other vital statistics. We need to help these companies that are struggling to organize their data in order to make the community more efficient. A good way to do this is to listen to what the customer really wants to accomplish. Don’t sell a $50K minimum buy-in Business Intelligence tool. Start them with Excel Reports, talk to them about Power BI. Experiment to find what’s best for the customer.
PowerGP Online offers powerful Excel-Based reporting tools for free, and we have six free Power BI Content Packs available for customers to download today. On our platform, customers can find the answers they need without having to buy anything else.
Cloud Apps: A very new trend I’ve seen is customers wanting to adopt new apps instead of traditional applications. Customers see small cloud apps as a way to get problems solved in a different way with less cost. They want to use them If it’s easy, but oftentimes, it’s not.
PowerGP Online has a set of Cloud-Friendly API’s built on eConnect so developers can easily and quickly build integrations to these new cloud apps. Eventually, we will have SmartConnect plugged in so it will be even easier to link multiple apps together that are already in market. We are building more apps because it’s what will really help customers have a better cloud experience all while making their business better. Better how?
Not every problem has the same solution, and I think that that is something people are losing sight of. As an IT community how do we get back to a place where values matter, where improving the lives and business of customers happens every single day? The destiny of GP is in our hands, and what happens next is up to us. I believe in our community. I believe in GP. I believe we can reinvent how we provide solutions in this cloud world. At Njevity,, we are doing it today with PowerGP Online and our professional services.
If you want to have a conversation about solving problems in our community and doing great business, I’d love to talk.
Director of Cloud Applications