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Dynamics GP Customization Managing in Sure Step

Customization department manager could be definitely involved in Fit Gap Analysis on the Diagnostic phase (Sales Cycle), and likely to participate in adding more details to this document on the phase of Analysis.

It is often the case, that GP customer is actually orphan and needs version upgrade, placing it back into Annual Contract with Microsoft Business Solutions, and what is critical – create custom business logic.  We recommend you to deploy Sure Step, where you can consider your Diagnostic phase to be your sales cycle with convincing the lead, that you are the right GP Technology Partner with experienced Dexterity, eConnect, Integration Manager, VBA, MS Visual Studio C# and VB developer.  If version update is also part of the work, consider combining Upgrade Decision Accelerator Offering with probably Requirements and Processes Review, Architecture Assessment and Fit Gap and Solution Blueprint (where emphasis is likely to be on modified or new custom business logic).  Project type selection is up to you.  Consider first Standard, Agile, maybe upgrade, if custom programming smaller scale (Enterprise is less likely, as that type of project is recommended for Ax and CRM):

1. Design Phase.  Here we assume that FDD Configuration (Fit section extension in Fit Gap and Blueprint) is not really on the radars, as Great Plains was implemented and works several years in production.  If you are chosen as Microsoft Dexterity Source Code Partner, your project manager should likely to concentrate on being the liaison between the customer and your Dexterity programming manager (or end software developer, if you are working in the small consulting firm).  Sure Step 2010 suggests you to follow this document creation route: from FRD (Functional Requirements Document) toward Gap Fit Spreadsheet, then toward FDD Customization and here you can assign programmer to prepare TDD (Technical Design Document)

2. Development Phase.  Here you have your eConnect, Dexterity, Visual Studio, VBA/Modifier, Integration Manager programmers to work long hours.  Software development has its own rules, which are partially reflected in Sure Step (this project methodology is designed to help you with Corporate ERP implementation project, based on Microsoft Dynamics ERP or CRM, it is also a good idea to apply your IT college bachelor or master degree in Software Product developing and support).  Steps recommended in Sure Step are testing activities: Sub-Process, Unit, Function, Process, Integration, Data Acceptance testing, Performance and User Acceptance Test Scripts

3. Deployment Phase.  Excellent idea to have Test Server, train trainers (where trainers are customer project team members/employees), project performance and status reports (prepared weekly by project manager, based on individual consultant weekly report), risk and issue management (as you, being project manager don’t want the customer to blame you in going over budget without letting them know, or important discussed feature to be not delivered due to the unexpected “issues”)

4. Operation Phase – here you typically allow minor changes and custom code deployments.  For example, if your customer expects consolidated report, where the data is pulled from custom tables, it is probably not realistic to expect this report to be accurate, until the customer doesn’t have enough data entered and collected in these custom tables.  From your company perspective it is a good idea to keep your newly acquired customer for the long future, especially when you did decent job in customizing its Corporate ERP system.  In Sure Step you can find recommendations on preparing and signing support contract, prove post go live support

5. Sure Step as the opportunity for Technology Partner to align it Project Management skills.  It is understandable, that technology oriented company attracts engineers, programmers, technical consultants, ecommerce developers, IT certified specialists.  However, it may lack the incentives for certified project managers to come on the board.  The author remembers how he was working for one of the regional VAR in Chicago metropolitan area.  I had numerous conversations with one of the business owners – why don’t we do complete project documentation, detailed specifications, executive demos?  The answer was simple – customer doesn’t want to pay for these services.  This might be a good excuse, but later on the same manager would come to me and ask me – why we are coming over budget?  My answer was simple – specs were not clear, I did my best as Dexterity programmer, but later on customer indicated that he actually wanted different business logic to be coded in Dexterity.  I also remember the case when we recommended eCommerce integration to be coded from scratch in eConnect, and later on through the series of discussions (could be categorized as scandals), the decision was made to replace hundreds of hours spent on eConnect Visual Studio programming with Integration Manager (quasi real time ecommerce integration approach)

6. Custom Programming for International Customers.  Here you have to understand the rules of the Corporate ERP localization.  Dynamics GP is available in English speaking countries, Spanish speaking Latin, Central, North America and Caribbean; in French it is available in Canadian Quebec.  If your business is functioning Worldwide and has offices in such countries as China, Brazil, Russia, Germany – we would rather recommend you to look at Dynamics AX (former Axapta) or NAV (if you have extensive operations in Europe).  Axapta has Morph X++ and Navision open its logic to the customization via C-Side.  Microsoft CRM is available worldwide and it is translated to the majority of international languages (and it doesn’t have to comply to targeted country tax code due to the specifics of CRM software scope)

7. Please call us 1-866-304-3265, 1-269-605-4904. help@efaru.com  We have local presence in Chicagoland, Southern California, West Michigan, Houston and Dallas areas of Texas.  We serve customers USA, Canada, Mexico nationwide and internationally via web sessions and phone conferences (Skype is welcomed).  Our consultants speak English, Spanish, Portuguese, RussianArticle Submission, Chinese

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Andrew Karasev is Great Plains Certified Master, MVP, help@efaru.com 1-866-304-3265, 1-269-605-4904.  He is also the initiator of eFaru project http://www.efaru.com and founder of Alba Spectrum information space



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