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Tom Rogers, Intellitec Solutions

Important Questions To Ask If You Are Considering SAP Business One


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In the interests of full disclosure, I’ll state right off the bat that I am a little biased. Our company was a SAP Business One reseller for 2 years, and we did not particularly enjoy the experience – we found the product to be lacking, and we found SAP itself to be an enormous headache to deal with. So like I said, I am a little biased. However, SAP Business One is a growing product, and if you are considering purchasing Dynamics GP, you may also be considering B1. If that is the case, here are a few questions you should ask:

  • What is SAP's future solution roadmap for Business One? Can you provide documentation supporting that?

Microsoft has a solid history of investing in industry functionality, ease of installation, and customization for Dynamics GP. Additionally, Microsoft’s Statement of Direction for Dynamics GP is clearly stated – to offer a personalized user experience, deep integration with the applications people use every day, and functionality and deployment options that fit customers’ specific organizational needs 

  • How many references can you provide of existing SAP Business One users of my size in this area?

My guess? Not many! Sure, perhaps SAP will find a user of your size and industry 3,000 miles away, but does that really add value to your installation with your partner? Once you are live, will your partner be able to provide regular User Group meetings, where you can learn from other users of the product?

  • What are my choices if I outgrow Business One?

If you are evaluating SAP Business One, you probably have been assured a migration path to SAP All in One. But Business One and SAP All-in-One have entirely different architectures and underlying technologies. A migration is likely to add cost. Make sure you ask for a detailed migration path

  • How much of the functionality being demonstrated is native, "out-of-the-box" functionality versus functionality developed by a partner or through a third-party developer? How will this add-on functionality affect upgrades?

SAP Business One was designed to be a general platform for business, not a solution that has rich functionality on day one. You need to consider the amount of customization that will be needed, and how that customization will be impacted by future upgrades.

By Intellitec Solutions, Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner serving Pennsylvania

2 Responses to “Important Questions To Ask If You Are Considering SAP Business One”

  1. Tom,

    As you know, 2 years is a long time in this industry and SAP Business One is now in its 8th year as a product in the SAP family and the product has come a long way in that 8 year period.

    When Microsoft first published these “questions to ask if you are considering SAP Business One”, around 3 years ago I think, we certainly were able to effectively address those questions – even more so today.

    We released version 8.8 of SAP Business One around 2 months ago and we now have more than 30 000 customers using SAP Business One so I guess its fair to say that we are addressing a market need and customers continue to invest in SAP Business One solutions

    I would love to post a reply blog entry on your site but I get the impression this may be for Dynamics resellers only so I may not get that opportunity :).

    Any way, I can be reached at my email address [email protected] if any of your readers would like to hear how SAP can answer those questions – or as I said, I am happy to do a blog post answering those questions for your site.

    Cheers

    Richard Duffy
    SAP Business One Evangelist (and former MBS Employee and Dynamics GP reseller)

  2. Hi Richard,

    Thanks for reading, and thank you for your reply.

    I must say I was expecting a reply much sooner in the day – 11 visits this morning to Intellitec Solutions web site from SAP in 4 different countries, all in the span of 90 minutes! I seem to have touched a nerve ;)

    (P.S. going forward, I respectfully ask that when searching “Intellitec Solutions”, your folks click on an organic result rather than a Cost Per Click result).

    I did say at the outset I am biased in this comparison, as I think it is fair to say you are as well. And I did note that B1 is a growing product, regardless of my thoughts

    The questions I posed are currently on Microsoft’s site – I don’t know the precise age, but I will take your word for it they are 3 years old. That said, I don’t see what the age or source of the questions has to do with anything – they are valid points to consider, and I blogged my thoughts on those points.

    As for the install base, you know as well as I that the B1 install base in the U.S. is much smaller then Dynamics GP’s install base, and that was my point. With GP, you will join a large community of other users right in your back yard. Our last user group had 70 attendees – that’s just OUR clients, and we are local to the Philly area. With GP, you will also deal with a partner more likely to have experience in customizing the software to your industry.

    Anyway, thanks for your interest – and SAP’s worldwide interest – in my little ol’ blog post

    Tom

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