A creative approach to NCE changes
Drawing on years of partnership, Crayon examined Cegid’s business model. Cegid was a Microsoft direct bill CSP partner, meaning they purchased and resold products directly from Microsoft. An indirect reseller, by contrast, would purchase and resell products through a CSP indirect provider, such as Crayon.
On one hand, Cegid could keep their direct bill CSP partner status by allocating the time and finances needed to unlock the full potential of the NCE. But Crayon put forth a different idea: Cegid could alter their status altogether, moving from a direct bill partner to an indirect reseller.
By becoming an indirect reseller and working through Crayon to purchase and resell Microsoft products, as well as allowing Crayon to support their transition to the NCE, Cegid would save time and money by leveraging Crayon’s CSP platform. They would also be able to focus more closely on their top priority: providing best-in-class business solutions for their customers.
Initially, the idea gave Cegid pause. Why would they, a large ISV and key Microsoft partner, not want to be a direct bill CSP partner?
Nicholas Waxman, Vice President of Microsoft Alliances and Programs at Crayon, said, “When you have a new change, people are, by nature, afraid. They sometimes have the initial thought that they’re losing some of the control because they no longer have the direct connection to Microsoft, because now they’re no longer a direct partner. And of course, that’s not true at all.”
Cegid would continue to deliver their applications on Azure as an ISV partner and maintain their key Microsoft relationships and access to programs; they would simply shift the management of their CSP business to Crayon.
“Cegid’s core business is not to be a Microsoft reseller,” said Poitier, referencing the company’s excellent HR and retail solutions. By contrast, Crayon had invested in building their proprietary CSP platform, complete with the tools and processes needed to seamlessly manage Cegid’s transition to the NCE.
“The smoothest experience for end customers”
Both Crayon and Cegid are managed partners, and their Microsoft Partner Direct Managers (PDMs) played a central role in managing the shift. Crayon contacted their PDM and explained the idea, detailing their reasoning and the business benefits of the Cegid shift. Then, the Crayon PDM coordinated with the Cegid PDM to align on the plan.
“Once again, we have really great people in front of us at Microsoft that really understood the challenges and helped us convince Cegid that it was the right move for them,” said Poitier.
Once the plan was set, Crayon worked with Cegid to prepare communications that alerted customers to Crayon’s role in transitioning them to the NCE.
Then, Crayon built a script that enabled bulk migration. They removed legacy licenses and created new ones within the NCE. Though the process could technically be completed in a few short weeks, Crayon worked at Cegid’s desired pace, moving over 15,000 tenants in a matter of months based on customers’ renewal times.
“It was really building the right automation and, beyond the automation, putting in place the right governance to check on a daily and weekly basis that it was the smoothest and absolutely transparent experience for their end customers,” said Poitier.
Improved profits, new opportunities
The transition was seamless. Cegid’s customers were successfully moved to the NCE without operational disruptions, the shift increased Cegid’s profitability, and the company could fully dedicate themselves to providing their business solutions.
“The transition to Microsoft’s new commerce experience was a complex task, and we knew that we needed a partner with a very strong expertise,” said Pierre Dianteill, Director of Partnerships at Cegid. “That’s why we turned to Crayon. We were impressed by how well Crayon’s teams executed the operation within the designated timeframe, despite the large volume of licenses to be processed. We are extremely satisfied with the results.”
“At the end of the day, from the Cegid point of view, from a financial point of view, this is a very good deal,” said Poitier. “They spend much less, they have a seamless experience, they dedicate less resources to what is not their core business.”
There is a growing market for indirect CSP partners who can help other CSP partners shift their business to better capture opportunity within the NCE. Because Cegid moved the management of their CSP business to Crayon, Cegid also benefits from additional incentives from the NCE, as well as Crayon’s ongoing support.
Reflecting on the success of the transition, Poitier expressed pride in Crayon’s range of capabilities, saying, “We have the best mix of technical, licensing, and Microsoft experts to support our partners focusing on growing their business.”