All businesses differ, and many require unique and specific business processes. That is why there is no one ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution that can provide out-of-the-box coverage for every situation. Even top-of-the-line solutions such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Microsoft Dynamics 365BC (Business Central) may require additional functionality offered by add-on apps.
There is no shortage of third-party add-on providers, many of which are listed in Microsoft’s AppSource. But just as businesses differ, apps are not one size fits all. There are some important considerations you should be aware of before purchasing any add-on applications.
What to know about add-on apps
Before you download or purchase an app from a third-party provider, think about these five issues. It could save you time, money, and frustration down the road.
1. Check your licensing.
Because some apps are designed only for specific versions of Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Microsoft Dynamics 365BC, you must make sure they will run on your version. You have to understand the details about your system and the requirements of any applications you are considering. Use of the app might require that you update your licenses.
2. Beware of ‘free’ apps.
Free stuff is so tempting; how could you go wrong? But you need to be aware that any application installed into your system can affect other apps and can even interfere with your Dynamics NAV or Dynamics 365BC solution. Even if you are just trying out a free app to see what it will do, you should know that uninstalling a free app may be difficult or even impossible. What started as free might cost you in the long run.
3. Consider your other applications.
Every time you install a new application, you introduce new codes, data, and setups, that might adversely affect your system and any other apps have running. Even apps that seem straightforward to install could be a problem. Your Microsoft Dynamics partner understands your system and has the experience and expertise to know what will work best for you and how to install it safely.
4. Think about implementation, training, and support.
A third-party provider can sell you the app and instruct you on how to use it. But their support will probably be just for that app. What happens if you have problems between the application and your ERP solution or between that app and other apps? If you own Microsoft Dynamics NAV or Microsoft Dynamics 365BC, a Microsoft Certified ERP Partner can oversee the implementation of appropriate applications and supply the training and support you will need going forward. They will be able to identify and resolve any issues you may have with applications before they cause problems for your system.
5. Don’t forget about maintenance.
Your add-on applications will require maintenance. When figuring the total cost of the application, be sure to take that into account. And be sure you understand who is responsible for maintaining it. Will the vendor be available if you need help, or will you be on your own?
Finding add-on applications is not a problem; there are many hundreds available on Microsoft’s AppSource. Choosing the right ones for your business and your ERP solution can be challenging, but there is help available. Do your homework, and then