How to responsibly change Microsoft Dynamic's NAV Partners
As much as any ERP reseller, partner or VAR (Value Added Reseller) hopes that they can keep every client happy, sometimes things just don’t work out. There is usually plenty of reasons to go around both at the client and at the partner although in many cases neither wants to admit or see it.
Whenever a new partner takes over support for an already implemented Dynamics NAV ERP system (Formally Navision), a number of things needs to be done to make sure things are handled in a responsible manner.
The new partner must do their own analysis… ( 5 – 10 days on site )
It is very dangerous to trust the work that has been done by another partner. It is natural to make assumptions about how things are supposed to work, but each developer might have his / her own way of doing things and this can creep up and cause major issues long term.
Do a comparison of database objects vs. a native database and know where the changes exist. ( 2 days using a compare tool / merge tool and then interpret results )
Do a business process review and understand how you handle everything from paying your bills to packing and shipping product out the door. Just because you know how the native software works, don’t assume that the new partner understands how you run your business.
Review any documentation created by the former partner. It is unusual to find that a significant amount of documentation exists… If it does, leverage it and learn from it. On a related note, this is something to ask of your proposed new partner. Have them show you examples of their documentation. Without it, long term maintenance of your system, both with the new partner, or any future partner are going to be that much more difficult.
Review the existing setup options in each functional area. It is so important that you validate the posting matrix, setup options, cost posting methodology, etc. If you don’t investigate this you run the risk of making recommendations that will cause problems in the future.
Gather the ultimate long term desires for your organization. You are changing partners for a reason… You are likely must be unhappy with some functionality or wish to have other areas deployed. Make sure the new partner can add real value.
Make sure the partner manages your expectations and that both parties agree to the ‘lines of demarcation’ as to what you expect to handle in house and what roles you desire of your ERP partner. Make sure the new partner:
Educates you on how to get support
Educates you on how to report software bugs
Educates you on how to request customizations
Communicates on a regular basis when there are active projects going on
Corresponds semi-annually (at minimum) after the your projects are completed to assure there are no areas of inefficiency.
Make sure the new partner isn’t making promises they can’t keep. Unfortunately being an ERP VAR doesn’t make a company above overselling their abilities
Make sure the new partner doesn’t just say they can fulfill the former partner’s promises without truly understanding what they are.
Don’t expect the new partner to necessarily be less expensive than the prior. There is an old saying, you can have it cheap, fast, or high quality but you can only pick two.
Don’t insist the partner skip their normal methodology in the quest for a faster or less expensive project. It’s that kind of micro-managing the VAR that is supposed to be expert that probably had something to do with the situation you currently find yourself in. Doing this will likely result in both parties being disappointed and you searching for another partner yet again.
Make sure that you settle your debts with the former partner.
The ERP channel is a small one. Partners frequently cross paths and trade clients looking for greener pastures. What does it say about your new partner who is willing to take you on right before going live without regarding to you leaving the former partner with an uncollectable debt? In addition, few of the reputable partners, the ones likely to be successful with you, will take on a new client who has a reputation of stiffing VARs.
And Most Important... Look in the mirror. As a top Dynamics NAV (Dynamics 365 for Business) VAR, Clients First Business Solutions regularly gets inquiries from companies who are looking to change partners. As much as we like to think its because we are great and the other partner isn't, more often than we care to admit, it often has something to do with the client and their misconception over what a healthy client/VAR relationship should look like and the fact that the client has many responsibilities as well for a successfully running ERP solution.
You never desired to be in a situation where you felt you needed to change Dynamic’s NAV partners but things happen. First try and do everything you can to work things out with your existing partner and take a good look in the mirror to see how much of the problem lies in your own organization. If you are single and meet a divorced person, you’ll usually hear a lot about their former spouse, but rarely will they tell you what traits are wrong with them that might have some bearing on the failed relationship. The same is true with Dynamics NAV ERP VARs, odds are good that your current problems are at least partly because of your own organization.
Once you have decided you have ‘irreconcilable differences’ with them, then use the points here to ensure you go through the transition process as smoothly as possible.
If you still haven’t identified that new partner to work with, Clients First Business Solutions is here to help. As one of the largest, oldest and most reputable Microsoft Gold Certified partners we have over 20 years of Dynamics NAV experience. You can see our expertise on display at our industry leading free Dynamics NAV Video Training portal. You can also reach out to us via chat there to talk about your situation or call us at 866.677.6290.
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