“We’re growing twice as fast with Microsoft Dynamics 365 as we were before. Our customers get so much more for so much less with Dynamics 365 that we can win more business.”
– John Orrock, Chairman, Barhead
John Orrock and Ken Struthers know CRM. They founded Cloud Sherpas, grew it to one of the largest and most successful Salesforce partners, then sold it. That was then. This is now. And now the two have founded Barhead, which builds CRM exclusively on Microsoft Dynamics 365. They say customers get better, more feature-rich solutions, and they have found their business is growing twice as fast as what they experienced the first time around.
John Orrock started building technology provider companies around Salesforce back in 2003 because, he recalls, he saw it as the Next Big Thing in CRM. He was right, and the company he founded with Ken Struthers—Cloud Sherpas—became one of the world’s top Salesforce partners by the time it was acquired by Accenture in 2015.
So what’s the seer of Salesforce up to now? He and Struthers have founded another CRM technology partner company, called Barhead. But this time the CRM effort is focused completely on Microsoft Dynamics 365—which Orrock says is today’s Next Big Thing.
“Simply the better choice”
“When you look at the advantages of building a CRM solution with Dynamics 365, it’s simply the better choice,” says Orrock, Chairman of Barhead. “That wasn’t true 15 years ago. It is true today.”
And customers aren’t the only ones winning big by choosing Dynamics 365, according to Orrock—so is the Australia-based Barhead.
Growing twice as fast
“We’re growing twice as fast with Dynamics 365 as we were in the past,” he says. “That’s largely a function of pricing and value. Our customers see so much value with Dynamics 365 that we can win more business, build more of our services into the solution, and still come in at or below other CRM solutions with less functionality. We’re a systems integrator. We make money from services. And we have made more of it with Dynamics 365.”
Orrock says that the Salesforce solutions built by his former company cost about 30 percent more than comparable Dynamics 365 solutions he’s building now, after adding in licensing costs for components that are included with Dynamics 365, such as reporting, analytics, and collaboration. In his experience, solutions, such as portals could cost up to 150 percent more without Dynamics 365.
A “greater-value” solution
“Understand, we don’t sell Dynamics 365 as a less-expensive solution, we sell it as a greater-value solution, one that customers can afford, and can afford to extend to the full functionality they really need,” says Orrock.
The value of Dynamics 365-based solutions is a competitive advantage for systems integrators such as Barhead. The breadth of the platform and the possibilities it enables for customers are another.
“Look at the extensibility of the Microsoft stack,” says Struthers, General Manager at the company. “There’s Azure and more than 60 Azure services. There’s smart chatbot technology to provide innovative customer service. There’s Power BI to bring analytics to any user on any device. Microsoft provides an incredible range of options and the ability to integrate them seamlessly.”
Barhead also gains an advantage from Microsoft’s local datacenters, which help them meet data sovereignty needs for customers in public sector industries including financial services.