ISV solutions are essential to the Microsoft Dynamics strategy. More and more customers choose a solution because of the value that an ISV has added to a Microsoft Dynamics product by developing a packaged software that fits their specific industry or business needs.

Top ten tips on getting started. If you are an ISV (Independent Software Vendor) new to Microsoft, here are some ideas that have been helpful to others as they engaged with Microsoft. (this is an abbreviated version, check PartnerSource for the complete details).

Some guidance on the first steps:

  1. Focus on completing your product. You need to quickly and efficiently get your product to market.
  2. Build your business. This illustrates the strength of your company, your product and your winning approach to the commercial software business.
  3. Think vertically. This is also how your customers think. For example a customer would be looking for a retail management solution for his retail business and not for an ERP solution. Build industry-focused solutions leveraging your industry expertise.
  4. Develop repeatable, packaged, "out of the box" solutions for faster implementation vs. starting from scratch each time. It will allow your resellers to focus on selling solutions, instead of customizing them for each customer. As an ISV your software business needs to be a volume business. The easier the implementation the more customers you can sell to.
  5. Develop solutions on the right Microsoft Dynamics product platform targeting mid-sized organizations. You need to look at the entire Microsoft product offering and determine what products add the most value to your solutions.
  6. Certify your solution to provide a proof for customers and to attract the best resellers.
  7. Build a business plan with Microsoft to show how our companies provide the most value to our customers.
  8. Find reselling partners in other countries and own that vertical in several regions. You can also think of working with other ISV partners to aggregate solutions, for example connecting a vertical (such as a chemical industry solution) with a horizontal software (such as payroll) for a more complete solution.

    Microsoft's commitment to ISVs:
  9. Strategic marketing support for high-value partners.
  10. Providing a Partner Account Manager if you are a managed partner to help with opportunities and business development.

--Kevin