Zelly, a Microsoft Gold Partner focused on delivering IT services for the SMB market, was launched in 2015 by three young entrepreneurs in Sweden who saw the potential of cloud technology to solve business challenges for companies of all sizes. For its first four years in business, the company focused on building solutions using Azure and Office 365. But over time, the team began fielding more and more requests from customers who needed help with CRM and ERP projects. To address this demand, Zelly reached out to Microsoft to investigate what it would take to build a Dynamics 365 practice.
“We are a very young, agile company, and so it’s very easy for us to transform to meet customer needs,” said Rickard Rosén, CEO at Zelly. “We ask ourselves all the time, how can we be more relevant for our customers? How can we add more value and increase our growth? We were able to see how Dynamics 365 and Power Platform could quickly become a valuable extension to our business.”
Because Dynamics 365 and Power Platform integrate with Azure and Office 365, it didn’t take long for the born-in-the-cloud company to develop the right skillset for CRM implementations. Zelly appointed internal champions who took three months to learn about the opportunity, attain the right competencies, and define a sales strategy. For the ERP side of the business, the company determined that given all the niche industry knowledge required to deploy Dynamics 365 Business Central, it would leverage partner-to-partner (P2P) connections for implementations.
The new Dynamics 365 practice took off quickly. Two years later, Zelly is averaging two new customers every month, and Dynamics 365 is a significant portion of the company’s revenue stream. Its fixed-cost offerings, such as CRM Speedstart, which gets customers up and running in as little as two weeks, are very popular with SMB customers who have more price and staffing pressures than large enterprises. “When the first customers came, our business moved quite fast. Many times we start an engagement with customers on Office 365 or Azure and then expand to conversations about business applications. SMB customers like having a one-stop shop for all of their cloud solutions,” explained Rosén.
Integrated cloud ecosystem and P2P drive success at Sortera
Sortera Group, a Nordic environmental company that collects and recycles construction and civil engineering waste, is one of the many Microsoft cloud customers that Zelly has helped with Dynamics 365 implementation. Zelly was a trusted partner of Sortera, having already helped it with its Office 365 implementation as well as with a lift and shift of its IT infrastructure to Azure. So when Sortera needed to replace legacy CRM and ERP systems, the business was very interested in accomplishing this within its Microsoft cloud ecosystem.
The company’s inability to access customer and operations information remotely was one of the main drivers for moving off its legacy on-premises systems. Now, using Dynamics 365 Business Central and Dynamics 365 Sales Professional, Sortera can access customer and financial details on mobile devices in a very secure, controlled manner. Another factor was that the siloed systems were a hurdle to productivity, something that was resolved by native integration between Office 365 and Dynamics 365. “Because it is all one cloud ecosystem now, their sales representatives can take actions like adding a new opportunity directly from Outlook,” said Rosén. “They save so much time with the built-in integration.” Finally, Sortera wanted a more streamlined reporting process, since its manual, Excel-based process took days. So Zelly also implemented Power BI to provide new insights into the sales pipeline across departments with a few clicks on a dashboard.
While Zelly implemented Dynamics 365 Sales Professional and Power BI, it pulled in NAB Solutions for the Dynamics 365 Business Central deployment. Working side-by-side, the two partners were able to get the complete solution up and running for Sortera in just three months. Sortera is already exploring additional projects around Power Apps and Power Automate to help automate manual processes and provide mobile apps for truck drivers and field workers on job sites.
“Using Zelly to help implement comprehensive CRM and ERP as part of our existing cloud ecosystem has enabled our employees to be more productive, ensured the security of our customer information, and given us a platform for future transformation,” said Alexander Sunnanvik, CIO at Sortera Group. “The fact that everything runs in a new 100% sustainable Microsoft data center here in Sweden also helps us further our environmental goals as an organization.”
SMB demand strong for foreseeable future
Six years since opening its doors, Zelly has grown to 31 employees and is enjoying 35%+ revenue growth year over year. The company was named Microsoft SMB Partner of the Year for Sweden in both 2019 and 2020, as well as Microsoft Dynamics P2P Partner of the Year in 2020. And it doesn’t foresee things slowing down anytime soon.
Zelly’s pure cloud focus and strategic use of P2P to augment its delivery capacity has helped it achieve customer success at a much more rapid pace than competitors. “When Microsoft releases something new, we jump on it,” said Rosén. “While competitors can take two years or more to come up to speed, our strategy is to immediately leverage all new technology that benefits the SMB market and then determine what we can handle and where we will work with partners.”
As one of the few partners in the region with such a broad cloud portfolio for SMBs, Zelly gets many of its leads and referrals directly from Microsoft. “Taking on all the solutions in the Microsoft cloud maybe sounds quite easy, but there are not a lot of partners locally in Sweden that develop Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics 365 services for the SMB space,” said Rosén. “It’s not rocket science, but it’s worked for us. We have a lot of growth, a lot of new customers, and there is definitely room for more partners to succeed with this model. If you’re open to the opportunity, the sky’s the limit.”