“A few years ago, we heard rumours that Microsoft was developing a platform,” says Anthony Gentilcore.
As the CEO of Montreal -based Vendere Group, he’d been keeping his ear to the ground. “With that in mind, we started converting our standard SI practice into an ISV product-driven business.”
Vendere went from integrating Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM to selling its own product, a piece of membership management software named Membri. Gentilcore says that Vendere’s 16-person team wrote Membri in Power Apps, a low-code application development system Microsoft put out in 2016 and has been updating ever since. Power Apps’ intuitive but sophisticated functionality has allowed Gentilcore’s staff to continue working on Membri, building upon it to make it more accessible and more versatile.
“One of the major benefits of building on the (Power Apps) platform is that it comes fully integrated with Microsoft products like Outlook,” says Gentilcore. “We didn’t have to do anything to introduce that functionality.”
Much of Membri’s functionality is parameter-driven, Gentilcore says. As the software has evolved in the years since its inception, so have the number of choices Vendere’s customers have in its implementation.
Usually, Vendere has its clients up and running in 1-2 weeks. If Vendere’s customers were to implement Dynamics 365 CE out-ofthe-box, it would take them 3-6 months at the minimum.
“Of course, that’s the principle of being an ISV,” Gentilcore says. “If you look at (Vendere’s) customers, you’ll see that they’re all using the same software, the same base code, but implement it differently according to their needs.”
Moving forward, Gentilcore says that Vendere will expand Membri to include more enterprise-specific features.
“We’ve been focusing on the SMB market,” Gentilcore says. “Going forward, we’re going to work on expanding into enterprise-level companies, associations and colleges.”
He added that Vendere has, in fact, already started expanding into the space – they’ve closed a deal with an enterprise customer in Quebec.
“Stay tuned to see where we go in the future,” Gentilcore says.