Case Study: How Kopis Better Serves Their Customers

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    Kopis partnered with Stratos Cloud Alliance for a 90-day Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central onboarding, including consulting training, sales and demo training, marketing resources, licensing support and a marketplace portal.

    Who is Kopis?

    Doing business for over 20 years, Kopis is the largest custom software development company in Greenville, SC. Kopis does a lot of different things well. But their sweet spot is helping rapid-growth companies update or replace their legacy systems so that business operations don’t stall. A Microsoft partner, Kopis has achieved Microsoft’s Gold Competency in Application Development, and the company’s growth has helped them be named to the INC 5000 list. More than its industry recognitions, though, the Kopis team is excited and honored by the trust its customers put in its services. Kopis has developed deep-rooted relationships with its customers, serving organizations such as ScanSource, Trinity Healthcare, and BMW Manufacturing, Mungo Homes, Infor and Proterra.

    For Kopis, every project begins with a conversation to understand its customers’ business thoroughly.  When conversations started moving in the direction of cloud business applications, the Kopis team wanted to make sure they had an offering to better serve their customers. A long time Microsoft partner working with Azure development, Kopis was drawn to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. Additionally, Kopis had recently added 70 Microsoft Dynamics GP customers through an acquisition. “We saw the investment that Microsoft was making around Dynamics Business Central and believed it would be successful,” comments Adam Drewes, Chief Marketing Officer and GM of ERP division for Kopis. “For us, the picture of an ideal partner to best serve its customers included Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, so we knew we needed to get there,” continues Drewes. Kopis considered Microsoft’s Master VAR program and looked at other traditional cloud distributors but wanted to maintain its longstanding brand. Ultimately, “Stratos Cloud Alliance offered us the best of both worlds…the ability to transact on the cloud solutions provider side, and to partner with a company that has deep domain expertise on Microsoft solutions, while maintaining our brand,” Drewes comments.

    A Balance of Autonomy and Partnership

    Kopis utilized the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central 90-day onboarding process from Stratos Cloud Alliance (SCA), and took advantage of consulting training, sales and demo training, marketing resources, licensing support and a marketplace portal. “We utilized the sales resources, and SCA was super helpful on licensing questions, which gave us the ability to speak with authority to prospects and clients,” says Drewes. “This program offered us the right balance of autonomy and partnership. Stratos introduced us to other members with different skillsets, which was a surprising benefit of the partnership. We are now connected with other SCA member organizations which helps us expand our solution,” continues Drewes.

    With SCA, Kopis has been able to lay the foundation for accelerated growth on the cloud ERP side of the business. “Everyone at SCA is extremely approachable in helping to offer advice and guide our business decisions…the CEO even gives us his time,” says Drewes. “If we tried to build a Dynamics practice from scratch, we would have run into major challenges…partnering with SCA helped us round out our solutions offerings and do it quickly. Additionally, SCA events are beneficial because we can listen and learn from a network of partners’ past experiences. Their Yammer site has a great deal of information, and is very organized,” continues Drewes.

    Customer Care is a Big Deal At Kopis, customer care is a big deal. “One of our core values is impact,” explains Kopis President and CEO, Andrew Kurtz. “We want to fully understand what our customers’ business objective is, and sometimes it isn’t what they think it is. We just keep asking why until we get to the real business issue, and not just the solution that they think they need. For us it’s not just about one transaction, it’s a customer for life strategy. The best place to find the next customer is a referral from the implementation you just finished,” continues Kurtz. Paying it Forward Having experienced success with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, Kopis has developed custom intellectual property, (IP), for companies looking to upgrade from simple accounting systems to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, in a way that makes the transition easier, making it still feel familiar so that they can be productive right away. SCA has been helping Kopis with guidance on how to market, price, and engage with Microsoft as they release this IP. “We’ve been extremely impressed with the level of involvement from SCA as we prepare for product launch,” says Kurtz. “SCA has put together focus groups for us, given us feedback on the product itself, recommendations on product bundling, and advice on how to get our product on Microsoft AppSource,” continues Kurtz. For Kopis, this is also a way to pay forward the successful partnership they’ve had with SCA, by selling this custom IP through other Microsoft partners. “This will allow other partners who may not have as much experience with Business Central to leverage the IP and build their own practice around helping customers upgrade from small accounting packages such as QuickBooks,” says Kurtz.

    For Kopis, adding Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central to its product offerings was an aspirational but very defined goal, and SCA helped them across the barriers to entry. “SCA helped us remove the fear of our first Dynamics engagement, and then in the second engagement we weren’t taking the risk – SCA took that for us,” says Drewes. “From there, you gain momentum, and you are on your way. Remove that fear and you’re good,” concludes Drewes.