How to Choose the Right Microsoft Dynamics 365 Partner for a Successful Implementation
All Microsoft Dynamics 365 Partners are the same, right? It’s the same software, after all…
While such a statement may seem true on the surface, would you feel the same about entrusting your car to just any mechanic? Most would say no; they look for someone with experience and a history of successful work – someone they can trust whenever they need help.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 encompasses a broad range of powerful solutions that can help you truly organize and streamline your operations, but much of the benefit comes from the proper configuration of the solution to harmonize with your unique business processes, long-term plans, and company objectives.
Selecting a technology With Microsoft Dynamics 365 Partner that can help you accomplish these goals is vital.
A technology partner is your implementation specialist; they will be responsible for guiding you through the entire journey from licensing to go-live – and beyond. What are some things that a partner does for you?
- They analyze your business processes and help you develop an implementation plan so that your new ERP solution will streamline and automate as much as possible.
- They provide change management strategies, helping your user base migrate to the new solution in the most painless way possible. Expert training is a key component.
- They provide support after go-live, assisting your organization to resolve issues, answering questions, and adapting the system to your evolving needs.
So how can you find the right partner?
5 Essential Criteria to Help You Find the Right Microsoft Dynamics 365 Partner
Many feel the best advice is to “go with your gut.” While you shouldn’t ignore your feelings, the friendliest, or most cost-effective partner might not have what it takes to see your project through to completion. Consider these 5 areas of competency when choosing a partner:
Product Knowledge. It seems obvious, but you want a partner who has in-depth knowledge of Microsoft Dynamics 365. They should understand the full extent of its capabilities (as well as its limitations), as well as how to customize both the system and the user interface to suit your needs. They should also be able to communicate that knowledge in a way that is understandable to you, rather than in ‘techno-speak’.
Industry Experience. A manufacturing company is a great deal different than an e-commerce business. And the same could be said for many other industries. An ERP implementation is not a one-size-fits-all affair. You need a partner who has experience with your industry and your specific needs. Having already managed several successful projects, such a partner will be able to anticipate details and areas of concern you might not uncover alone in your discovery process.
Professional Team. This is a group you will be working closely with. Take time to meet them; learn about their experience and what special skills or passion they bring to the project. Make sure their goals and working style align well with your team.
Business Values. Some are straight-laced; others like to ‘color outside the lines.’ Be sure you select a partner that shares the same core values that you do. Make sure they have built a reputation for integrity, and that they are up-front about timelines, budgets, and additional costs.
Open Communication. How quickly do they respond to your communications? That can often be a sign of how quickly they’ll come to help when you need it. Open communication ensures a transparent relationship between partner and client.
7 Insightful Questions to Ask a Potential Partner
Need some help to know what to ask and how to dig beneath the sales rhetoric? Try these questions:
- Have you worked with companies like mine?
- What do you know about my industry?
- How will the implementation process proceed?
- What support will you provide during the process, and after go-live?
- What experience do you have in implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365?
- How many of your projects have failed, and why?
- Could you provide me with a short list of client references in my industry?
The Right Partner Will Set You Up For Success
Who doesn’t want less stress? Choosing the wrong partner can lead to much frustration, cost overruns, and even a failed implementation.
Having an experienced partner by your side will ensure your project runs smoothly, stays on time and budget, and finishes a success. What is more, that partner will be there for you to ensure the solution meets your needs and continues to adapt along with your evolving requirements.
Contact us today at CogentNext and we can help you determine the right path for your organization’s digital transformation.
By Chandra Subramanian, CogentNext Technologies