When it comes to Microsoft ERP competency levels, we believe there are times when Silver is even better than Gold.
Dexpro Dynamics is proud to have earned the Microsoft Enterprise Resource Planning Silver competency from Microsoft. We feel this is a huge achievement for a small, woman-owned business. But the important question is, how does a Silver competency actually benefit our Dynamics GP customers, and how does it compare to Gold competency?
According to Microsoft, Silver status “demonstrates your consistent capability, expertise, and commitment.” The benefit to a client is that they can feel confident that the Partner they work with is legitimate, dependable, and recognized by Microsoft. It is not just an isolated consultant calling themselves a Partner; the designation has been earned. Also, a company with Silver or Gold competency has a closer relationship with Microsoft and more direct channels of communication. These channels provide the means to escalate tough issues with quicker response times. But there is more to it than that.
Skill Level versus Sales Level
You might think that Microsoft’s recognition with a Gold or Silver designation is a reflection of the company’s skill level. But that is not true. In reality, the competency level is more about the company’s ability to sell to new customers. Someone could have an extremely high skill level, but if they only work with existing customers and not new clients, they will never earn the higher competency rankings.
So the question is: if you are evaluating a
You can have a single consultant support your Dynamics GP system. There are many out there that are extremely knowledgeable. Typically, these solo consultants will not sell to new customers. Instead, they will have plenty of work from what we call “
A company with Silver competency has a relationship with Microsoft; they can escalate tough issues and get the support they need with a faster response time. Silver Partners have advisory hours every year from Microsoft that they can use as they wish. When a particularly complex system issue arises, they can offer this additional Microsoft support to a client that needs it, and they can choose to do this at no extra charge to the client.
To earn Silver competency, a Partner has to sell a certain amount of new Dynamics GP deals each year. Even though we could keep our Dexpro Dynamics team busy just serving existing Dynamics GP users, we know there is value in selling new deals. Our knowledge of the product has to remain up to date. We are more aware of the competitive landscape, the other technology available to companies, and how it compares to what we sell. We cannot just remain stuck in the past.
Personally, I am a technical engineer, not a salesperson. As a Silver Partner, the sales levels we have to meet are manageable. We can still focus our attention on supporting our existing clients. At Dexpro Dynamics, we are still primarily a group of technical and functional consultants who have at least 15 years of hands-on experience supporting this product.
To have a Gold Microsoft competency, a Partner has to be bigger and has to be even more sales focused. Gold Partners are larger companies with sales teams, sales processes, and quotas.
I worked at a large Gold Partner, and as a consultant, I was somewhat limited even to suggest an add-on solution I thought would benefit a customer because that was the job of the sales team. I was the only resource that crossed between the functional consulting team and the technical consulting team. Most of the functional consultants would not assist clients with technical needs. And the client had to pay for the internal communication time of the sales, functional, and technical teams, even if they were just asking for simple system advice.
Gold Partners may have slightly faster support and even more personal attention from Microsoft. But we still have very fast support time with Microsoft, and we can charge less because we don’t have to talk to several separate internal teams and bill the client for that time.
The Silver Partner Advantage
As a Silver Partner, we can run leaner and keep our costs lower. Yet, we still have a team with an impressive skill set. And I believe that we can give more personal attention to our clients than any Gold Partner can deliver.
Of course, it depends on your company’s needs and what you want from the Partner relationship. But when it comes to Microsoft ERP competencies, I don’t believe that Gold is always better.
As an introduction to our business, we offer a
By Marlena Stark, President, Dexpro Dynamics, Microsoft Dynamics GP Silver Competency Partner,