What is the Best Way to Research Dynamics GP Accounting Software? Ask 100 Users!

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When you are researching accounting software products and accounting software partners, who are the best people to ask to find out how the software really works?  The salesperson?  Maybe, if you find an honest one.  References?  Maybe, although you know these are hand picked (while any disgruntled customers are hidden away in a closet).  I think the best plan is to ask current users their honest opinions, in an open informal environment. But where can you find these elusive accounting software users?  At user groups of course!

For example, next week on Wednesday October 13th, CAL Business Solutions is hosting CAL Connect2010 – New England’s largest Dynamics GP user event. Our annual customer event has grown from a backyard BBQ with a handful of clients to a full scale event with over 100 clients attending.  This year we are offering 16 Dynamics GP training sessions plus an ISV Partner Expo, showcasing 20 of our favorite add on ISV products for Microsoft Dynamics GP. Other Dynamics GP partners offer similar existing customer events all across the country.

But don’t let the term “existing customer event” or “user group” fool you – these events are open to you as a prospective user too. In fact, we encourage all the “future clients” we know to attend CAL Connect2010 for 4 very important reasons:

1) You have the opportunity to see Dynamics GP in action, presented by the trainers and consultants who would be working on your project.

2) You can talk to other local IT/Finance executives and business owners about their experience with the product.

3) You get the chance to meet the entire CAL team.  (For a consulting company, having your entire team in one place is rare). This helps you to evaluate who you will be working with both for project management and behind the scenes support. When choosing a business partner I feel it is very important to make sure their “style” and company philosophy matches yours in order to have a productive working relationship.

4) You will meet members of the local Microsoft team – these are the people who have access to other Microsoft resources to assist you, and control all the pricing promotions. Good people to know.

Last year we had five local Connecticut companies attend our customer event who were still in the accounting software selection process.  They were evaluating both Microsoft Dynamics and CAL Business Solutions.  All five of those companies are now CAL Business Solutions clients (using Microsoft Dynamics GP of course).  This event helped them answer the question, “Why should I choose CAL Business Solutions as my Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner?

This year we are offering a special session just for our “future users” called “5 Ways the Right Accounting Software Can Help You Save Time in a Busy Company”. It will give an overview and highlights of Microsoft Dynamics GP.  If you are a Connecticut company evaluating an ERP/accounting software upgrade now, or even in the distant future, I invite you to attend as my guest, at no charge.

If you can’t make it to our event in Cromwell, Connecticut another option is to attend a much larger event – Microsoft Convergence 2011. This event had more than 8,000 people this year.  In 2011 it will be held in Atlanta, Georgia the week of April 10th. You might not necessarily get the chance to evaluate local Dynamics GP partners, but you will find thousands of current users to talk to.

So my advice to everyone who is looking for the best way to evaluate accounting/ERP software - find yourself a user group!

By CAL Business Solutions, Connecticut Microsoft Dynamics GP (Great Plains) Partner

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