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Microsoft Dynamics vendors provide comparisons and opinions to professionals in the ERP/Accounting software selection process

 
 

Anya Ciecierski, CAL Business Solutions

When Choosing The Right Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner, Size Does Matter


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Some are too small, some are too big and some are just right.  Here’s a tip on how to choose a Microsoft Dynamics GP partner or VAR  - make sure you ask 2 questions about size:

1)    What size companies do you typically work with as clients? 2)    What size organization are you?

 Neither question has just one right answer – it all depends on what is right for you as the client. For example, say you are a small distribution company in Connecticut looking to upgrade from an old proprietary system to Microsoft Dynamics GP.   It would probably not be in your best interests to choose a large national Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner who is squeezing you in as a small deal in between working with Fortune 500 clients.  Not only will they not give you their full attention, they likely just won’t know the best way to work with a company your size.  Employees at small companies have different roles, different concerns and different work styles.  You need to choose a VAR that understands this. Don’t just ask them if they have experience working with companies in your industry, ask them to prove they have experience working with companies your size.

How many employees does the software reseller/partner have? Again, there is no single right answer here.  A very small VAR organization with just one or two employees might focus on just one project at a time and give you VIP treatment, boutique style.  But then again, what happens when they move on to a new client?  Will you get the attention you want? Will there always be someone in the office to answer your Great Plains support calls?  I think it is better to look for a Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner that has enough employees to have dedicated project managers, an internal support team, and an onsite development team. But not too many people because then there is too much red tape and not enough personal attention. I think a VAR that has about, say, 18 employees (hey, just like CAL Business Solutions) sounds just right! We are small enough to still care about each and every new client, but large enough to support all your needs as the largest Microsoft GP Partner in Connecticut.

A point in this independent Nucleus Research report on the ROI of Microsoft Dynamics GP reinforces this:

“Most companies were very satisfied with the consulting partner they used to implement the solution; however, some companies found their needs would have been better met by an implementation partner that focused on working with customers more similar to them in size. For example, one customer using a large consulting organization found that although its consultants were able to effectively manage the deployment and deliver results, they weren’t “low end” enough to support ongoing questions or challenges that came up after the initial deployment – so the company switched to a smaller organizations for ongoing needs.

Organizations considering a Microsoft Dynamics GP deployment should keep in mind that their implementation partner requires careful consideration as well. Checking references with similar scale and scope of deployment and establishing how much ongoing support will be delivered before you begin will help you to manage expectations and consulting expenses appropriately.”

If you are a small to medium sized company (10-250 employees) located in Connecticut or Massachusetts, CAL Business Solutions is the right size partner for you.

Check out this post at my Fast Company Blog too!

 By CAL Business Solutions, Connecticut Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner.

2 Responses to “When Choosing The Right Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner, Size Does Matter”

  1. Ken Jacobsen says:

    There are very large multi-state and international companies that are using Microsoft Dynamics GP. We have a client which has offices throughout the US and in the UK that has 200+ users and is publically traded. There are also Fortune 500 companies running Microsoft Dynamics. See the Land O’Lakes case study at download.microsoft.com/documents/customerevidence/20540_Land_O_Lakes_final.doc.

    Like CAL Business Solutions, The TM Group is a moderately sized Microsoft Dynamics partner with 35 employees which we like to say is “big enough to serve you and small enough toknow you.” I would add that besides the size of the organization, companies evaluating a VAR should also look at the company’s product mix compared to the department staffing levels and pick a partner where the package you are evaluating is their core competency. Many IT and CPA firms will say they are providers for ERP and CRM applications such as Microsoft Dynamics, but it’s two people in some miscellaneous department. Not only do such firms periodically close these departments (we’ve absorbed several of these into our business), they also don’t reach a very deep knowledge of these products because they only serve a few clients. They don’t really understood all the functions and features of a complex, multifaceted ERP application like Microsoft Dynamics GP which mean clients aren’t using the application to the best of its capabilities or getting the highest ROI from their investment.

    Just the other day, one of our sales reps and our President were meeting with a prospective client that was evaluating Microsoft Dynamics GP with our company and two other inexperienced and non-core competency Dynamics GP partners. They have met with this prospect previous to our visited and quoted software and services to this client. The other partners had under scoped this project, missed the fact that they needed Advanced Intercompany module because they had 20+ legal companies, and been misinformed on several features and functions of the application which we could show them. “Why wouldn’t they have told us these things,” the prospect wondered. The simple truth is if this isn’t the partner’s core competency and they haven’t been working with the application for years, they just don’t know. (or they are lying to underprice the solution and drive the cost up after the client has purchased the software and is financially committed to the project) Of course at The TM Group (www.tmgroupinc.com), we’ve done Dynamics GP for 25 years, making us one of the oldest partners in the world for this application. We’ve worked in many industries and with many different organizations from a few users at a NFP to 100s of users at a manufacturing company. Size and experience definitely matters!

  2. Michele Juliana says:

    I’m sorry, but have to disagree with many of the comments in this post. Since there are virtually no (if any) Fortune 500 companies using Microsoft Dynamics GP, it is not the case that large national companies working with Dynamics GP are not used to working with smaller clients. In fact, since the software is designed for mid-sized companies, the majority of projects fall into this category which simply means that a larger firm with a wider geography does a higher volume of these projects, requiring the development of an appropriate implementation methodology, customer support mechanism, consulting team, etc. which is suited toward this customer base. Having a larger staff provides the ability to select consultants based on the project to provide the right skill set as needed for the job, as well as to manage availability so that customers receive all of the attention they deserve.