Selecting the right ERP implementation partner for your business
Azzure IT

Selecting the right ERP implementation partner for your business

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When it’s time to replace or upgrade your legacy business ERP system, the importance of choosing the right solution is critical. The system should not only support your current needs but provide you with the flexibility to scale, grow and adapt. No doubt your search has led you to industry leader Microsoft Dynamics 365, but there is another equally important decision to be made, and that is your choice of ERP implementation partner.

All ERP implementation partners are not equal

Choosing an ERP implementation partner should be just that, entering a partnership, this decision will make the difference between success and failure. When you work with people who you trust, that understand your business, and talk the same language you can avoid bad decisions, reduce implementation timescales and costs.

The Microsoft Dynamics 365 solution will provide the foundation of your business operations for the future and a great ERP implementation partner will help you make the most of your investment, helping your organisation thrive in the digital world. The partner you choose should help you take full advantage of technology to improve your business processes for a long-term return on investment (ROI).

Some useful areas to consider are:

Don’t ignore the human factor – communication and style

You may sometime have been forced to work with someone you didn’t see eye-to-eye with or even with someone you didn’t particularly like or respect. So minimise stress and possible complications by choosing a partner who is on the your wave-length.

Pay attention to how they respond from the start, if you have trouble getting quick response during the sales-cycle, that’s a clear warning sign. Talk about your current processes honestly, they should be interested in how your business currently operates and be looking for opportunities to streamline processes. Ask them about their relationship with Microsoft, remember that not all partners have a first-degree connection with Microsoft, so ensure your partner is well connected with Microsoft experts, it will save you pain in the future.

Size isn’t everything – bigger isn’t always in your interests

You might assume that bigger companies have the most experience and reliability, but be aware that size comes with its pros and cons. Larger companies often have more bureaucracy, and often it takes longer to get anything done. A simple request can slow down the whole process while they pursue everyone’s approval. Look for a partner that is large enough to support your needs, but small enough to be efficient.

Larger partners often have standardised solutions and don’t allow for thinking outside the box. You may be pressured to do things their way or be charged extra for a customised solution. Look for a partner that embraces your vision and thinks creatively to give you the exact solution you want.

Smaller partners often have more flexibility when determining cost. A nimble partner can work with you on meeting your budget, and they can make strategic decisions about their people and their clients. Look for a partner that is focused on doing what’s right for you and within your budget and for whom your success is a priority.

Are they aligned to your values?

Choosing the right partner is vital to maximising your investment in your business system (ERP | CRM). Ensuring the provider is aligned to your values and business goals will insure your maximum return. You’ll want your culture and business approach to align with those of your partner, if not, you risk the success of your entire project. A partner that fully understands your needs will enhance the functionality and performance of your final solution. They should also boast a selective but appropriate add-on collection, either through their own Intellectual Property (IP) or their technology partners, which you can implement as your business requires.

Know what’s being delivered – scoping it out

Perception is 90% of the truth. What you think you’re getting maybe far from the reality. We advise substantial scoping initially to ensure you’re getting what you need, in the time frame you need it, for the price you agreed. Avoid any nasty surprises at the end, systems that fall short, or great functionality you wish you’d had bespoke, by ensuring your partner scopes out your requirements thoroughly. Understand the partners process, they should be able to clearly define their implementation processes, backed up by project plans and time-frame estimates.

It’s not all about the software – training & Support

Discuss what the training program will look like. Find out exactly what kind of training they will provide to your team, how long it will take, and if there will be ongoing options. Also discuss with them their post-implementation aftercare, many partners offer different levels of support to meet the unique requirements of clients. You might also want to ask them what percentage of their clients have worked with them for more than three years.

Are they recognised by their peers – accreditation

Ask about the industry certifications, awards and training of the consultants that will be working on your project. Find out what qualifications were needed to receive that certification and how often those skills need to be updated. Ask to speak with their “Partner Account Manager” to discuss the re-seller’s reputation and track record.

In summary
Above all, the partner you choose should be invested in your success. They should be eager to answer all your questions and demonstrate their expertise and professionalism. Ask the hard questions and demand straight answers, from the beginning.

Remember, the choice of partner can make the difference between success and failure of your software replacement or upgrade. Know what to look for and choose a partner for success.

If you require help understanding the right implementation approach for your business, either as a SaaS or on-premise solution, or simply understanding which solution would be best for you business, please contact enquiries@azzure-it.com

CONTACT

Azzure IT
10 Europa View, Sheffield Business Park, Sheffield, S9 1XH, UK

t. 0345 467 9950
e. enquiries@azzure-it.com

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