Dynamics 365: Everything Old is New Again

By Donald Hilton, AX Practice Manager

There is a great deal of chatter these days about Dynamics 365 and how it can be utilized for existing and developing companies.  I think that this is a game changer for those in the SMB enterprises space.  With the emergence of Dynamics 365 for Operations, a small company can utilize a platform of powerful software that was initially out of their reach.

The reason they can do this is the work Microsoft has done to integrate the technology of ERP, CRM and Office products into one seamless system that will grow and adapt to quickly changing business requirements.  Without the need to invest in expensive hardware and infrastructure, the Microsoft Cloud provides most of the components needed to manage your IT requirements. With the addition of a mobile platform, work can be transformed from desktop to tablet or phone, creating a seamless flow of work.

This has caused a change in the delivery of this product to customers by the VAR community that services them. No longer is there a “one-fits-all” model. When you have companies of 5-10 people who want to take advantage of the Dynamics 365 platform, you need to find a better way to delivery your implementation. Companies of this size have complex business requirements, but they are more flexible on meeting those requirements.

These smaller-sized companies are looking for a quicker ROI on their investment and want to find ways to leverage the software sooner.  How you bring up a company’s financials in 90 days vs 9 months will be the key to success in these situations. Once you have reached the goal of your 1st sprint, what is the goal for the next 90 days?  It is clear that today many businesses like these are moving away from bad habit, overly burdened accounting structures and complicated business process.  They are looking for a faster and more efficient method to delivery their services and record revenue.

How can you do that?

  1. Build a “Proof of Concept” environment
  2. Import a standard “best business practice” configuration instead of 20 days of configuration and documentation
  3. Load the company chart of accounts and dimension
  4. Turn your consultants into the Business Analyst
  5. Walk through standard business processes
  6. Negotiate changes to both business process and Dynamics 365.

This process will put you 30-60 days ahead of traditional implementation and you start getting buy-in from your users at the beginning to make adoption of the new system faster and easier.

I am not limiting this to just small to midsize companies who are looking to host all of this in the cloud for ease of management and limited investment of capital.  Companies of all sizes and complexity can take a page for this simplified approach to focus on the area where they can gain or have a competitive advantage and not on reengineering the whole business.

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