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Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner Selection Recommendations

If your organization is in process of reviewing and selecting new Corporate ERP application and you are including Microsoft Business Solutions Dynamics GP, we would like to offer you this small article with advises, based on our consulting practice, successful and failed Corporate ERP implementation cases (based on Microsoft Dynamics GP, Great Plains Dynamics, Great Plains Accounting and also SAP Business One, Microsoft CRM, and others).

Dynamics GP is in general good fit for the majority of US and Canadian businesses and it could do perfect job even with customized business processes.  Please, take into consideration the fact that Dynamics GP is for mid-size businesses and having said that - you should expect deep exposure to Dynamics GP technology layers in implementation, data conversion, integration, reporting and custom programming: Dexterity, GP Integration Manager, eConnect SDK, Modifier with VBA, FRx Financial Reporting, Crystal Reports, Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS), Dynamics GP Report Writer.  It is not necessary or not always the case, that your local next door Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner has reasonable expertise in Dynamics GP technologies, plus has good knowledge or experience in your industry to tune Dynamics GP for your organization.  This article is recommended as orientation session for you to understand the criteria of Microsoft Dynamics GP Reseller selection:
1. Industry expertise.  This is required if your company is larger organization or when you have very innovative business processes (typically in high tech and start up environments).  Please, also be aware that such business processes as Manufacturing (both discrete and process), complex warehouse management with barcoding and advanced supply chain management, eCommerce, EDI integrations, membership services, not for profit organization, Analytical Accounting, Encumbrance Management, Consignment, Sea Shipping (with advanced requirements to Bill of Lading), Freight Forwarding (with complex requirements to Agent Settlement Report) and others - typically require industry expertise from your potential Microsoft Dynamics GP VAR
2. Local support versus industry expertise.  This is often real dilemma for your selection, as you would likely to prefer local people as your Dynamics GP consultants.  However if you are dominating large local business and you have complex business processes, local expertise might be not competitive and mostly small businesses oriented.  Plus, the idea to combine local and industry experienced nationwide consultants might be also risky as there is often competition between the two on the number of billable hours, plus who is your official Dynamics GP Reseller (this organization also gets software license sale margins).  We rather recommend you to hire local project manager, who is always or reasonably often onsite at you office or facility and who is coordinating your chosen experienced Dynamics GP Partner with industry expertise via web sessions, phone conferences, email communication and having your Dynamics GP consultants for short local visits, when required
3. Exposure to Dynamics GP Technology.  If you expect complex implementation, with integration to your legacy applications, such as Lotus Notes/Domino, Oracle based Sales Order Processing systems, Progress Database, partner channel dictated Electronic Document Interchange requirements, Linux/PHP/MySQL current eCommerce application with customer shopping cart and price list (B2B or B2C with ecommerce promotion campaigns) - then you should check if perspective Dynamics GP Technology Partner has these skills and resources available.  At this time, February 2010 technology exposure should be measured by the familiarity with the following technologies: Microsoft Dexterity (especially with Dynamics GP Source Code programming), eConnect (especially in eCommerce integrations), SQL Stored Procedures (advanced level is typically required in EDI integrations), Dynamics GP Integration Manager (with Advanced ODBC based integrations experience, VBA even driven scripts)
4. If you are involved in International business and you have foreign subsidiaries, where you need Accounting application and its integration to Headquarters Microsoft Dynamics GP.  Great Plains Dynamics GP is very flexible and robust, however it is only localized and available for English speaking countries: USA, Canada (including French Canadian version for Quebec/Montreal), UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Oceania, Spanish speaking Latin America, Caribbean (it is not available in Brazil, as Brazil is Portuguese speaking country).  There are Dynamics GP localizations for Arabic speaking countries in Persian Gulf, Egypt.  Dynamics GP is not localized for such important emerging markets, as China, Russia, East Europe.  If you are multinational corporation with Dynamics GP as Corporate ERP application in USA, we recommend you to consider Dynamics AX Axapta first (as it is coming from Microsoft Business Solutions) and if Axapta is outside of your budget boundaries, consider such international Small and Mid-market Corporate ERP application, as SAP Business One
5. Consulting Price and Budget Notes.  These topics are typically the most murky.  In our observation, leading nationwide and international Corporate ERP firms tend to charge the highest rates (sometimes hidden in unrealistic number of estimated consulting hours per project).  Firms operating in local metropolitan area are also are not really much cheaper, but probably more realistic in the whole project cost charges.  Local Dynamics GP consultants are typically the most enthusiastic to get or win your business, but they do not necessary have required industry and technology expertise
6. Local In-staff Project Manager.  As the last recommendation, but in our opinion very important in securing new Corporate ERP implementation success - if you are large business or publicly traded corporation, consider hiring experienced and certified project manager for large scale Microsoft Dynamics GP Implementation project.  The annual cost of this position is likely to comparable to Dynamics GP software license (or even to be less, if you are thirty Dynamics GP users or plus organization), but the savings in securing success should be priceless.  As we are analyzing our consulting practice case studies - the lack of dedicated Project Manager often causes Corporate ERP application implementation to fail.  Again, here we are recommending dedicated Corporate ERP implementation project manager for large firm, if you are smaller organization, you can assign internal IT professions to do the Project Management job
7. Well, you may feel some confusion at this point!  Feel free to call us 1-866-528-0577Article Submission, or email us help@albaspectrum.com outside of USA 1-630-961-5918 or visit website http://www.albaspectrum.com

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Andrew Karasev, Alba Spectrum http://www.albaspectrum.com  help@albaspectrum.com 1-866-528-0577 - Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains MS CRM Partner, Info Portal http://www.pegasplanet.com - serving corporate customers in the following industries: Aerospace & Defense, Medical & Healthcare, Distribution & Logistics, Hospitality, Banking & Finance, Wholesale & Retail, Chemicals, Oil & Gas, Placement & Recruiting, Advertising & Publishing, Textile, Pharmaceutical, Not-Profit, Beverages, Conglomerates, Apparels, Durables, Manufacturing and having locations in multiple states and internationally. We are serving USA Nationwide: CA, IL, NY, FL, AZ, CO, TX, WI, WA, MI, MA, MO, LA, NM, MN



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