What to Do When You’ve Outgrown Your Business Management Software Solution Partner

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In today’s market space of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions, like Dynamics GP and AX, you’re only as good as the vendor you partner with to ensure you reap all the benefits that the solution offers. Many growing businesses face the challenge that their business solutions partner hasn’t kept pace with their own growth.

Even though it’s easy to see the value of transitioning to a new solution partner, the actual thought of making the move might seem complicated and disruptive. As time passes the capabilities of your partner may drift into misalignment with your organization's goals and strategies. The partner that you trusted in the beginning can actually hinder your ability to operate at the level of efficiency that is required to move your company to that next level.

While many partners offer strong basic support and training abilities to get you started and up and running with your solution, they may lack the capabilities, contacts, experience, depth and breadth to allow you to take advantage of the robust features of your business management solution. To reach your company’s vision and goals, you need not only a software solution but also a partner that can remain two steps ahead so that can support changing demands along the way.

We spoke to a company that recently changed their Microsoft Dynamics Partner and asked some questions regarding their experience. Here’s what Brent, IS Manager had to say:

What were you looking for in a new Dynamics Partner?

We felt we had outgrown the capacity of our previous provider. Our previous partner had only a few people on staff. For the most part everything was fine, they did great work, but when we needed someone to go to bat for us with Microsoft it wasn’t there in the way I expected. We also didn’t have a dedicated Account Manager which made things difficult. I feel that for a company of our size and spend, the voice representing us should be strong. We had grown 500% over 12 years and we felt it was just time to move on.

How did you find your new Partner?

I asked some contacts within the Microsoft Dynamics community who they would recommend as a reputable partner. I was able to compile a list of 3 potential partners. I then got approval from my contacts to reach out to the customers of these partners because I wanted a non-biased reference. In addition to fees, what I looked for most of all was size of the service department and quality of service. I positioned a “try before you buy” idea with the first partner in order to ensure I was completely happy before changing partners. I actually didn’t use this test on any other companies as we were very happy with what the first option provided us.

Did you find the process of formally changing service providers complex or difficult?

Not at all. We signed a paper and it was a done deal.

What value has your new Dynamics Partner been able to bring to your organization that your prior provider did not?

Flexibility. Our previous partner had only a few people which could make it tough to get things scheduled. Our new partner has a much larger staff so it has been easy getting training and demos scheduled. Also having a dedicated Account Manager has made things easier – she has been invaluable as a sounding board!

Do you have any advice for other company’s thinking about making a transition to a new Partner?

Don’t be afraid. We were overly committed to our previous partner because they were local and we were convinced we needed someone that could be on-site in a short amount of time. When we looked back and analyzed our prior years – the “localness” never really came into play.

Not all partners are created equal. If you suspect that it might be time to branch out and evaluate other Partners who are better equipped to support the growth of your company, there’s no better time to start doing your research than right now.

If you want to work with an experienced Microsoft Gold Certified Partner who can answer the tough questions and deliver improvements that matter, our team is ready to help.

By Encore Business Solutions, a specialized team of professionals experienced in servicing and supporting Microsoft Dynamics ERP.

 

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