In a previous blog, we wrote about the importance of attention (or, in cases where clients move to another partner, lack of attention) for client satisfaction and partner retention. See – “Ever felt ignored by your partner?” – Brightpoint Infotech . We followed that up talking about value having a numerator and denominator to be assessed and then calculated – Is the value of the work you’re receiving declining? – Brightpoint Infotech .
Now, we’ll tackle, “Experience.” Some industries are inherently more complex than others. Some companies are in seemingly straightforward industries but have more complex processes or functional requirements. It is not completely straightforward since some Partners feel the need to do everything in a completely structured way. Other Partners use more of a Pareto approach but are careful to touch upon some of the other 20% that might include more risk. Industry experience does count and here are some of the Experience examples:
- Manufacturing – Discrete and process are quite different since one (discrete) involves putting together distinct parts that can be disassembled and reused. The other (process) is like baking a cake (sorry, this is almost always the example used) or making concrete.
- Project-based – Construction is a great example of a project-based industry where cost allocation and comparative financials plays a key role. Selecting a partner familiar with nuances and compliance reporting are important elements to the projects success or in the partner’s ability to support and enhance the system as your company evolves and grows (either organically or through acquisition).
- Higher Education. Normally, Dynamics 365 institutions require a separate Student Information System integrated with D365 Financials (and, potentially a number of other modules). The integration and setup are important to ensure both student and institution data are often mashed up to provide relevant reports and visualizations related to profitability by student, course, etc.
- Functional and Industry experience. Both are important as foundational knowledge and experience will guide the Discovery and subsequent Fit/Gap to develop a sound short and long term business requirements document and project plan.
- Common Business Sense and experience. Good partners blend an approach that avoids pitfalls and painting oneself into a corner while also not being overbearing or attempting to demonstrate what an expert they are (and, what a layperson you are). It’s both art and science and the best consultants provide quality work and inject their expertise when necessary but also seem very humble in the process. Good partners also align risk with their clients and communicate risk along the way to ensure they are in lockstep and avoid misinterpretation or assumptions.
- Pareto Plus – I’m not sure you’ll find this expression anywhere but I think it fits well. Finding the 80% of the value in 20% of the application (or, effort in implementation) is important since this is core to the overall value. The key is to identify other elements and the incremental effort (along with the probability of need, riskiness, etc. to determine the actual requirement of it). A one year project can easily extend to two years or more if a company is not careful in researching and then implementing “rainy-day” functionality that might better be served by a simple work around. The more features and controls that are configured or customized slows down processes and ultimately, the productivity and application satisfaction of your workforce.
- Analytics – While a system’s ability to ingest the right data and record it in your General Ledger under the best Chart of Accounts is an import first step, viewing what and why something has happened, help future direction and strategy. Then, the application platform can help guide future decisions and offer prescriptive actions that will help companies attain more and outpace their competitors.
- Microsoft realized this right away in Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations by creating an Operational Data Store – Entity Store in Azure Data Lake. The beauty of this is the extensibility of the data and the fact that this is a Column Indexed, in Memory database to optimize retrieval.
- Microsoft will continue to embed more analytics into their ERP platform because it will ultimately improve their client’s success while also driving Azure workloads (and, more $$ to Microsoft).
- BrightPoint has a dedicated group devoted to Analytics solutions and using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to “see the future better” for predictive and prescriptive outcomes.
Any of this familiar? We’d love to help and can demonstrate our blended industry/common sense approach to D365 and Analytics projects.