What Microsoft Partners, Microsoft Itself, and ERP Competitors are Saying to Your Customers

With the right technical, consulting, sales, and marketing support, you can successfully move your on-premises customers to the cloud.

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    Here is the hard truth Microsoft Partner customers need to hear: The cloud is no longer cutting edge. It’s a necessity.

    Today, partner customers still holding onto their on-premises infrastructure probably thought cloud technology was a passing fad. Or maybe they just didn’t have the resources at the time to undertake a digital transformation. Whatever their reason, they must plan for their cloud migration before the business world leaves them behind. If you don’t reach out to them, your competitors will surely.

    You don’t need to do that alone. This article explores what Microsoft partners need to know about migrating their customers from legacy, on-premises software like Dynamics GP to Business Central before their competitors do.

    Why Microsoft and Microsoft Partners are Encouraging Businesses to Move to the Cloud

    You can’t snap your fingers and initiate a digital transformation. Effective cloud migrations take time and careful planning. The longer customers and their IT providers put them off, the greater the negative impact on their operations when they do need to rush and switch.

    Each industry and each business is unique. Computing needs among business customers are equally unique. They need tailored business solutions that support their workflows and can become a platform for consistent growth.

    Why Your On-Premises Customers are Being Targeted First

    Software moves in cycles, and many old, on-premises software lifecycles are ending. Unfortunately, many ended a while ago, and users only hang on through sheer force of will and the unwarranted optimism that they won’t suffer from a cyberattack against unpatched software.

    Many of those customers are very attached to their legacy applications, like Microsoft Dynamics GP. But with support for those applications sunsetting—or long past their sunset date—they’re on a deadline to make a major switch. Many of your customers don’t fully realize that fact. As a technology consultant expert, you are the one who needs to let your customers know about the importance of switching to the cloud before your competitors do.

    Microsoft’s Competitors are Already Reaching Out to Your On-Premises Customers

    The need for cloud migrations isn’t lost on Microsoft’s competitors, either. Service providers for NetSuite, Acumatica, SAP, and others are ready to swoop in and lock desperate customers into new services. They know the talking points:

    • The vulnerabilities of sticking with aging, on-premises ERP software (security concerns)
    • The advantages of shifting to cloud platforms
    • Why now is the best time to make the switch

    That means you must act fast before your customers are swayed by someone else’s compelling message.

    What to Tell Your On-Premises Customers about Dynamics 365 Business Central Cloud Migrations

    When you boil it right down, a Dynamics 365 on-premises to cloud migration is about keeping your customers competitive. If their own customers, competitors, and marketplace are shifting to the cloud, they need to keep up. An agile business is a successful business.

    Here are some key points you’ll want to mention about migrating to Dynamics 365 Business Central when talking to skeptical or nervous customers.

    Your customers will reduce overall costs

    For direct cost savings, migrating to the cloud removes the need to maintain costly on-premises infrastructure. According to Forrester’s Total Economic Impact report on migrating to Dynamics 365, organizations that made a move to the cloud were able to:

    • Cut deployment costs anywhere from 30 to 50 percent compared to on-premises customers.
    • Reduce their TCO on ERP software by an average of 10.25 percent.
    • Save approximately 40 percent on administrative expenses like server backups, storage use, restorations, and software updates.

    Then there are secondary savings in the form of operating efficiencies. Shifting to Dynamics 365 Business Central makes your customers’ operations more efficient. Those savings, in turn, free up funds and resources for other business initiatives. Ideally, for new projects with you.

    Optimize IT resources

    Your customers are thinking about digital transformations only because they want to optimize their IT spending. Everyone’s looking for growth opportunities and places to trim the fat. If, as a Microsoft partner, you can help your customers do more with less, you’ll be the hero. One of the simplest and most effective ways to optimize IT spending and resource allocation is innovative cloud deployments.

    That may require some education and support from partners. As a technology consultant you should help them see beyond the current IT frameworks within which they work. While it might be obvious to you, they may need to see the immediate benefits of migrating to Business Central. For example, you might need to show them the new accounting and requisition options, explain the benefits of mobile connectivity, and the power of maintaining a single source of truth with all of your financial data reliably in one location.

    Access anywhere

    This is often the simplest and most powerful advantage you can explain to your customers. Cloud services, like Dynamics 365 Business Central, are accessible everywhere. As a result, your customers’ users don’t need to be on their network or connected through a corporate VPN. Instead, they can have a secure connection to their ERP anywhere they have network service.

    Centralized data

    Your customers are more likely than ever to have a distributed workforce. As a result, they need ways to keep everyone in sync and working from a single source of truth (SSoT) data set. Cloud-based services give your customers’ users access to central, updated data no matter where they are in the world. That will improve the quality of their analyses, inform timely decision-making, and ensure they have access to important insights into their business operations, customers, market, and competitors.

    Enhanced security

    Your customers must understand that cloud security has improved significantly in the past few years. Even in regulated industries, like healthcare, financial services, or education, cloud-based services like Microsoft Dynamics keeps their data and workflows safe. Migrating to secure cloud infrastructure reduces the risk of data breaches, ransomware attacks, and other compromises.

    How Stratos Cloud Alliance Can Help Partners Move Their On-Premises Customers to the Cloud

    Cloud migrations are no longer optional. They are essential for businesses to remain competitive and innovative. If you still have customers on Dynamics GP, now is the time to talk to them about migrating to Dynamics 365 Business Central. If you don’t, other Microsoft partners surely will.

    At Stratos Cloud Alliance we can guide you on how to start the conversation with your clients about moving to the cloud. With the right technical, consulting, sales, and marketing support, you can successfully migrate your on-premises customers to the cloud. We can help you get it done and right no matter how big the lift.

    We are the only Indirect Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (ICSP) specializing in Dynamics 365 business solutions. We provide you with all the sales support, enablement, and services you need to build a profitable cloud solutions business.​ So whether you’re a new Partner just starting or a seasoned managed service provider with a big lift and shift Dynamics project to tackle, Stratos Cloud Alliance provide all the resources you need free of charge.

    Are you ready to start the digital transformation conversation with your clients? Let’s get started.