This article appeared in the August issue of CRN magazine as part of the main feature "How the channel is cracking code"
Greg Mills took some convincing that Cincom Systems, the 45-year-old software vendor he was leading, should throw itself on to Microsoft’s Dynamics platform three years ago.
“We were a true, independent software vendor marketing our own products,” says Mills. Cincom has competed with the likes of Mincom in the manufacturing enterprise resource planning sector.
Microsoft assured Cincom that it could benefit by filling in gaps in the Dynamics software, he says. “Internally, we talked a lot about the risk – there was a lot of discussion about moving away from having control of our own solution.
“We were hesitant at the time, but they came back to convince us. We moved from being a software developer producing our own solution to embrace [Microsoft’s platform].”
Cincom’s role is now to educate channel partners about the opportunities of implementing Cincom on Dynamics, he says. And although Cincom could resell Microsoft’s products, that is not its role.
“We’re differentiating ourselves very clearly by saying we’re purely an ISV. We’re not trying to be an implementer of Microsoft solutions – we are supporting the VARs and SIs to implement their solution to their customers.”
Mills says Cincom will consult to channel partners “right through the process” from pre-sales to implementation and beyond.
“One of the biggest challenges is getting the partner community onboard, understanding who we are and why we operate, how we’re different from other ISVs, and our close relationship with Microsoft,” Mills says.