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How important is transparancy on user metrics for Microsoft?

Microsoft employs a 100 percent partner strategy for her Microsoft Dynamics 365 business software. Microsoft’s main role is the development of great set of software solutions. And that is something the company performs energetically!

Another important role is providing good, accurate information and relevant buying reasons to her partner channel. Including publishing the number of companies that use D365 and the growth of that number.

But here is something strange going on! At the recent Directions North America event, Mike Morton told the partner audience that “Microsoft has stopped sharing the customer count with the outside world for proprietary reasons." But taking away that metric means the company now sees the growth in D365 as a meaningful corporate data point, he said.

I have had fierce discussions on this theme with various Microsoft managers responsible for Dynamics NAV and D365 BC since 2016. Successively Paul White, Marko Perisic, Cecilia Flombaum and more recently Mike Morton. They all wanted to stop sharing this important metric. With reasons like “Corporate marketing forbids us to do this“, “We've never done that before” and “Headquarters wants to avoid undesired influence on our share price”.

My arguments to continue publication of this metric are clear:

  • Customers understand that size matters since it determines innovation and continuity
  • All competitors use their best statistics directly on their homepages, so “does Microsoft has something to hide?”
  • When every single partner start publishing their best guesses, it will lead to confusion among prospects and their advisors
  • Actively using the strong Microsoft statistics will further strengthen the partner’s pitches and lead to even more growth
Change is today’s only constant. And Microsoft never misses a moment to encourage its partners to adapt to all these changes. But shouldn't Microsoft itself also change?

I was curious about the opinion of my LinkedIn network on the importance of transparency. So I invited them to respond to my poll. At the top you can see the results of that poll, the number of views and votes. Pretty impressive, right?

#microsoft #microsoftpartner #dynamics365


Guus Krabbenborg


25 May 2022

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