5 Tips on How to Succeed with Your ERP Implementation

By Devang Mehta, NAV Practice Director

Implementing a sophisticated ERP system, for the first time is a lot of work. It can also be complex for firms that are implementing many components and have a lot of entrenched processes they are trying to overhaul. We at interDyn BMI have successfully implemented hundreds of basic and complex ERP projects.

Obtain Support from Leadership

 It is critical that the project has executive support and commitment. Without this, the accounting department or IT department (usually the “owner” of the implementation process) will be fighting an uphill battle in getting firm-wide buy-in and adoption. When everyone in the firms recognizes that the executives are stakeholders in the outcome of the system implementation, they are much more likely to embrace the new system and comply with new policies and procedures.

Assemble a Strong Group of Subject Matter Experts

It is important to assemble a group of key stakeholders that will take ownership of the system implementation. This committee will determine the goals, manage the timeline for the project, and keep everyone accountable to getting their weekly “assignments” done on time. The committee should have at least one principal and a representative from each of the major divisions of the company: accounting, HR, project management, and marketing.

Change Management Processes

Changing a system can be stressful for some of your staff. Start early by explaining the reasons for the change and the goals the company has set for improving financial results is critical to success. You will see a much better attitude and approach by everyone if they fully understand why the firm is upgrading technology.

Processes

An ERP implementation will bring a change in your current processes. If you continue to use the same old processes that you have always used, you will get the same results. Take the time to understand how your current processes work and then try to document them. We can help you with suggestions to make the system more powerful and automate as many of new processes as possible better if we have a good understanding of your current process.

Data

Your current data is probably residing in multiple systems and platforms. Start reviewing these different platforms and initiating the data cleansing process.  This will reduce significant time during implementation.

Contact us if you would like help or have any questions.

Dynamics 365 for Financials: What Is It?

By Devang Mehta, NAV Practice Manager

What Is It?

Microsoft has been pouring a significant amount of resources into its latest ERP product, Dynamics 365, which was released in November of 2016. The product features Financials, Sales, Customer Service, Field Service, Operations, Project Service Automation and Marketing.

Dynamics 365 Financials is a complete cloud SAAS solution, based on the field-tested, mature Dynamics NAV platform and hosted using Microsoft Azure, all at a cost that’s less than what it would cost just to host another ERP solution.

The New Movement

Microsoft’s vision is a refreshing change as it offers a very tightly integrated environment that incorporates the best of each of the Microsoft products and makes them work together seamlessly. Back in the early 2000’s, Microsoft spent billions acquiring four leading ERP solutions: Navision (now NAV), Great Plains (now GP), Solomon (now SL), and Axapta (now AX).  After that, many people (including myself) assumed that Microsoft would blend the best of all these ERP solutions into one. For a time, Microsoft considered doing this (aka “Project Green”), but the task proved to be too large for a quick rollout. Instead, Microsoft initially just added some minor integrations between their ERPs and other Microsoft tools, but did not do anything that could be considered “revolutionary”. In fact, for many years, these various Dynamics ERP solutions actually competed with each other and did not always work well in the Microsoft stack.

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Getting started with Project “Madeira” Preview & First Impressions

If you are not familiar with Project “Madeira” or would like to learn more about the Preview, please take a few minutes to read my post titled: Project “Madeira” Preview has arrived & here’s everything you need to know! 

Microsoft’s Project “Madeira” Preview is available not just for Partners and ISVs, but also for end-users. Whether you are currently using Dynamics NAV today, or you are a prospect looking for your next ERP solution, you can sign up for the preview and start taking Madeira for a test drive in minutes!

02-Preparing and finishing setup

Thanks to the new “Getting Started” product tour functionality, it will be very easy even for first time users to learn how to use Project “Madeira”. From navigation, to working with transactions and reporting, to getting the Universal App configured, it’s all covered under the Getting Started features. Furthermore, Help is also at hand, should you need it. Simply click the ? icon near the top right of the Project “Madeira” window and a new tab (or window) will open up with the help site.

Managed Services for Dynamics NAV vs. Project “Madeira”

At NAV Directions last year, Microsoft announced its Managed Services offering for Dynamics NAV, and at first glance, it isn’t a far cry from what we’re seeing with Project “Madeira”: On Azure, managed by Microsoft, in a multi-tenant architecture.

But one critical difference between the two is that Partners can build their own customized, vertical solution and offer these with Managed Services for Dynamics NAV.

In Project “Madeira”, all clients are essentially running the same out-of-the-box database, but with extensions that can be enabled or disabled to deliver customized functionality.

Since Project “Madeira” will be in use by customers of many different VARs and will be continuously updated, traditional customizations will not be allowed.

First Things First: System Requirements

You can find the detailed minimum system requirements here, but here is a brief summary:

  • Browser: Latest version of Google Chrome for Windows, Firefox for Windows, Safari on OSX, Microsoft Edge, Microsoft Internet Explorer 10 and Internet Explorer 11
  • Mobile Devices: iOS 8.4 or later for iPads and iPhones; Android 4.4.3 or higher and at least 1GB of RAM; Windows (Desktop or Phone) 8.1 or newer and at least 1GB of RAM
    • Smartphones must have a minimum screen size of 4″ and tablets must have a minimum screen size of 7″
  • Outlook: See the minimum system requirements link at the top of this section for full details on Outlook applications, browsers and platform support
  • Office 365 is not required, but I would certainly recommend it so you can get improved productivity with Microsoft Office apps like Outlook, Excel, and Word.

Now let’s get you signed up…

Step 1: Set up your Project “Madeira” login

The Project “Madeira” Preview is only available in the United States at this time.

With that out of the way, let’s go to http://madeira.microsoft.com (http://www.projectmadeira.com also works).

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A “Case” in Point

By definition “Case Studies” offer an intensive description of a single individual or  organization and how they relate their operations to computer software. The advantages that the studies bring to someone researching not only a new ERP system, but perhaps a solution center are many. Case Studies as they relate to an ERP system provide for a good source of ideas about the behavior of a particular software,
theoretical assumptions organizations may have had going into the purchase
decision and possibly industry specific innovations resulting from the implementation
process. Precise company challenges and solutions are described but most
importantly case studies reflect the satisfaction with ERP and VAR choices made
by the organization. They are a good alternative to or even complement
professional references for both the software and the reseller.

InterDyn CFO Consulting is proud to release our Case Study on Belacon Enterprise, LLC and Dynamics NAV.

Belacon Case Study