Fundamentals of AIM for Microsoft SMB Partners

In this article, learn the fundamentals of Microsoft's AIM program and how it benefits both partners and their clients.

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    Microsoft unveiled an innovative incentive program for partners and resellers during its Inspire virtual event earlier this year. The Accelerate, Innovate, and Move (AIM) initiative propels enterprises operating Dynamics ERP and CRM software on-premises toward cloud adoption. Microsoft partners who saw this news quickly sat up and took notice.

    AIM presents a new avenue of support for partners to migrate their clients who are still stubbornly tied to legacy on-premises CRM and ERP systems. But while AIM sounds promising to many, it also sounds potentially complicated.

    This article lays out the fundamentals of the AIM program for interested partners. We will explore exactly what the program includes, how it benefits both partners and their clients, and how you can accelerate your clients’ Dynamics digital transformations even faster with the help of an experienced indirect cloud provider.

    What is AIM from Microsoft?

    Microsoft’s AIM program—or Accelerate, Innovate, Move—is designed for MSPs to help their clients bridge the gap between traditional on-premises applications and cloud-based solutions. It focuses on motivating Microsoft users to shift their critical business processes—like customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP)—to the cloud.

    The program pillars include incentives to:

    Accelerate your partner business

    Before moving your clients’ applications to the cloud, understanding the business value, expected outcomes, and technical aspects of the migration process is crucial. MSPs must consider these processes transformative business changes, not just software upgrades. AIM helps partners comprehensively understand this transformation and its impact on client operations.

    Innovate to stay ahead

    AIM provides access to expert implementation guidance through Microsoft’s Success by Design program, offering prescriptive guidance for seamless cloud deployment. Tools like the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Implementation Portal and collaboration opportunities with cloud solution architects ensure validated architectures, risk mitigation, and smooth deployment.

    Move your clients to the cloud in the best way possible

    Cloud transformations are not overnight changes but incremental processes. AIM optimizes migration processes, offers the expanded Bridge to the Cloud 2 (BTC2) promotional offer, and offers discounted subscription pricing for on-premises clients transitioning to the cloud.

    AIM focuses on migrating clients with on-prem CRM and ERP software, like Microsoft Dynamics NAV, GP, and SL, to Dynamics 365 Business Central. Partners aiming for quick wins should prioritize these clients under the AIM program.

    What do partners need to know about the AIM initiative?

    Microsoft clearly sees an opportunity to maintain an advantage in the market. To incentivize this shift, Microsoft AIM offers funded pre-sales assessments and post-sales subscription incentives for partners to encourage more on-premises clients to transition to Dynamics 365 Business Central. But they are not the only ones.

    Microsoft’s ERP and CRM competitors—and, more importantly, their own partners—are also vying for on-premises Microsoft customers. That means if Microsoft partners do not engage their clients in migrating to Microsoft Dynamics 365, those competitor partners will certainly seize the opportunity.

    Why did Microsoft announce AIM now?

    The greatest driver is demand. According to estimates from industry experts, up to 90 percent of Microsoft’s Dynamics user organizations still rely on on-premises software. Many of them are primed to make the switch to cloud-based services.

    With AIM, Microsoft is making a dedicated team of migration advisors, expert assessments, specialized tools, and migration support available. Their goal is to spotlight the opportunity presented by Dynamics 365.

    Microsoft’s commitment within this program includes providing tools such as the Dynamics 365 Implementation Portal. Additionally, AIM provides discounted subscription pricing through the expanded Bridge to the Cloud 2 (BTTC2) promotional offer.

    Recent AI advances

    While demand for CRM and ERP migration among business users is high, the greatest driver for Microsoft itself is the new competitive advantage that Microsoft Copilot offers. Copilot is an AI-powered agent designed to revolutionize workflows, unveil insights, recommend actions, and streamline administrative tasks within Microsoft Dynamics and other cloud-based services. Embracing these AI-powered services in the cloud is no longer just an option but a necessity for organizations who want to stay competitive in today’s digital business landscape.

    How does the AIM program help MSPs?

    There are many advantages for Dynamics business customers in the AIM program, but what about for MSPs? Well, there are plenty.

    AIM accelerates on-prem to cloud migrations

    The AIM program provides a structured framework that helps MSPs streamline the digital transformation process for their clients, ensuring a smooth shift from legacy on-premises systems to the more dynamic and scalable cloud environment provided by Dynamics 365.

    AIM can help SMB partners drive strategic growth

    The AIM initiative is a powerful enabler for small and medium-sized business (SMB) partners, facilitating operational and strategic changes to customer organizations that drive meaningful growth. AIM presents a unique opportunity for SMBs to leverage innovative cloud-based solutions that can impact every business unit within an organization. All of them can adopt innovative technologies without the extensive resources typically associated with such transitions.

    AIM facilitates affordable, easy-to-manage migrations for Dynamics 365 Business Central in the cloud

    One of the standout advantages of the AIM program lies in its ability to make on-premises to cloud migrations more accessible and cost-effective for SMBs. By offering a suite of tools, resources, and expert guidance, AIM simplifies what can be a complex and daunting process for organizations that historically have had limited IT resources and ability to access larger-scale cloud services. SMB-focused MSPs can now leverage these resources through AIM to execute seamless migrations for their clients, ensuring a hassle-free transition that minimizes disruptions.

    Enables faster, more flexible, and secure deployments

    AIM is not just about migrations. More broadly, it is about enabling faster, more flexible cloud-based deployments. The program equips MSPs with the tools and support necessary to expedite deployment timelines while maintaining the flexibility to tailor solutions to unique client requirements.

    Access to cloud-specific features

    AIM provides Microsoft partners and their clients easier access to exclusive cloud features like Dynamics 365 Copilot. This AI-powered tool leverages generative AI to provide interactive support in various tasks, from meeting summaries to drafting marketing strategies, and addressing customer service inquiries.

    Partner with Stratos Cloud Alliance if you want to accelerate your clients’ cloud migrations

    We are the Microsoft Indirect Provider of the Year with extensive experience in helping organizations move to the cloud. Partnering with us, a proven indirect cloud provider who understands the Microsoft ecosystem end-to-end can help you move your clients to Dynamics 365 Business Central in the cloud more easily and effectively.

    Schedule a quick call today to learn how Stratos Cloud Alliance can help you move your clients to Dynamics 365 BC.

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