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Choosing the right partner for your ERP modernisation project

When you’re looking to modernise your ERP platform, the last thing you need is a partner that you can’t work with or one that doesn’t really understand what you’re trying to achieve. In fact, the quality of your partnership will be key to your ability to get maximum value from your ERP solution.

Choosing the right partner for your ERP modernisation project

Choosing the right partner upfront is crucial because they can help you make sure you get the right solution in place sooner, so you can start seeing benefits faster. A good partner can reduce costs while helping you get exactly the right solution for your business.

Why best-of-breed is no longer the best approach

For a time, organisations were following a best-of-breed approach, where they implemented so-called point solutions from myriad different vendors, potentially working with just as many different partners. The idea was that this would give the organisation the best possible solution for each of its challenges.

However, the best-of-breed approach had a few downsides. One of these was complexity. The more vendors and partners you introduce to your environment, the more complex it becomes to manage them effectively. Furthermore, there wasn’t always a guarantee that best-of-breed solutions would integrate smoothly with each other. This often left businesses with disparate systems that caused more workflow hassles than they solved.

And, of course, there’s the issue of cost. Investing in separate solutions for each challenge, then implementing them and supporting them, was an expensive way to run an IT environment. It didn’t let businesses achieve economies of scale or effectively leverage value-add offerings from their vendors.

The value of a platform approach

Implementing a platform such as the Microsoft stack overcomes all of these issues in one neat package. It reduces complexity and cost, while providing functionality based on the experience gained from working with so many customers over so many years. If you have a business challenge, chances are, Microsoft has seen it, solved it, and released an update on it.

Microsoft also has an extensive partner network with partners that are verified experts in the technology. This means you can work with one partner who can help you get maximum value from your investment in Microsoft technology. This partner can help you uncover ‘hidden’ opportunities that can vastly increase your functionality without significantly increasing your costs.

Once you have a strong Microsoft partner in place, the question is no longer “what solution do we need to buy to solve this challenge” but “how can we use this existing solution to solve this challenge”. This approach saves time and money, and lowers risk.

Understanding total cost of ownership

Importantly, the right partner will help you understand the total cost of ownership (TCO) of your solution. Often, traditional ERP implementations are priced according to the implementation alone. Ongoing costs like support and upgrades are hidden, so you end up making a decision without all the information.

A good partner will demonstrate how cloud ERP licensing delivers easier commercial planning. It lets you flex users up or down at any time and includes a range of options to extend the value of ERP across your business.

It’s important to note that the cost structure has changed with modern, cloud-based ERP systems. In the past, ERP projects required a significant upfront investment, then minimal investment in the ensuring years; just enough to cover maintenance and support or break-fix. Then there would be a second significant investment every three to five years to upgrade the system.

Now, the upfront investment is often less, especially for businesses that elect to start small. Then, you can drive ongoing value in a steady-state, month-by-month investment according to a multi-year roadmap. That roadmap is where the high return on investment opportunities lie, especially as you take advantage of six-monthly releases of new functionality.

How the right partner brings it all together

The right partner thrives on your success. When you have a clear view of what you need to achieve and you share it with the partner, you’re far more likely to achieve these outcomes.

The right partner will know your business intimately so they can help you find new opportunities to expand your ROI. A good partner should be constantly looking for ways to drive new benefits, whether that includes opening up new channels to market, developing new processes, or automation, for example.

Intergen is an award-winning Microsoft partner with cross-platform teams that can help you use your technology to enhance your business. Our extensive expertise means you can dream big and we can help you get there. Not by boiling the ocean, but by starting small and letting the wins add up.

 

Find out more

This blog is part of a series on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. To find out more about how Intergen can help you realise the benefits of a modern ERP solution, contact us today.

Posted by: Steve Scarbrough, General Manager Dynamics Solutions | 08 October 2018

Tags: ERP, Microsoft Dynamics, Business Central, Dynamics 365 Business Central, Enteprise Resource Planning


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