How to select a Microsoft Partner for Dynamics NAV

The purpose of this white paper is to provide general advice on how to find a suitable partner for your Microsoft Dynamics ERP project using Dynamics NAV.  It explores how to decide, what to look for (i.e. who best suits you), where to look and what the various rankings and Microsoft competencies mean.

Choosing a partner should be just that – entering a partnership – so it is important that the partner understands your business.  Some useful areas to consider are

Does the partner:

  • Understand the fiscal requirements relating to ERP in your location(s), this is particularly important if the implementation is across different jurisdictions/tax regimes
  • Have expertise in working with the local version of the Dynamics ERP solution you are interested in.
  • Have experience in your industry
  • Have experience of similar projects (size, scope and complexity)
  • Speak the language of your users – especially if an implementation is across different countries and languages
  • Have support hours that cover your hours of operation

The list above is in no particular order. You will need to decide which are important to you and the order and weighting of each area along with any other considerations. If you select the wrong partner, the good news is you can switch. Unlike some proprietary solutions, the Microsoft partner channel means you have the security of multiple organisations willing and able to support your solution. However, it is always preferable and more cost-effective to get it right first time.

Understand the fiscal requirements relating to ERP in your location

Your Microsoft partner is not a substitute for your internal finance teams and your auditors. However, the partner needs to understand your business model including the fundamentals of accounting conventions in your location.  If this is not an area the partner is familiar with then it will be entirely your responsibility to provide that knowledge.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV is configured to meet the fiscal requirements of 40+ countries and supported in over 140.  Silver and Gold certified ERP partners must demonstrate an understanding of the implementation of the finance modules for their own country version.

Have expertise in working with the local version of the Dynamics ERP solution you are interested in

Some partners are part of larger organisations, offering a range of products within and beyond the Microsoft set. This can lead to confusion as to whether the branch, and personnel, you are engaged with has the skillset you require.

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"Sane Project Management" manifesto

Have experience of similar projects (size, scope and complexity)

Key to understanding how successful your project will be is the implementation methodology used. Is it suitable for your organisation? Often prospective customers are more interested in product capability than the details of project management; no matter how super-whizzy the features, you need to work with a partner who can successfully deploy them for your organisation.

Have experience in your industry

Microsoft generally recommends that you look for a partner with expertise in your industry.  Implementations are almost always more successful and run more smoothly when the partner understands the customer’s market, its processes and its language and jargon.  Beyond that it will depend on the scope of your project as to whether you require a partner who has pre-configured or enhanced the solution to meet your industry’s operational processes.  For example TVision has developed specific solutions for the Wine and Drinks distribution industry and for Recruitment Agencies.

Speak the language of your users

This is partly the language of your industry but also if your project is international, who will manage the roll out and will they be able to converse with the users?  If the project is being driven centrally for a variety of locations then local training/consultancy should be addressed either by your team or by engaging a local partner as part of the delivery team.

Have support hours that cover your hours of operation

Traditionally support desk covers office hours. With flexible working and ease of remote access, you may require a more flexible support model. Often our clients provide a first line of support in form of super-users and this reduces the number of out of hours calls. You need to consider what your strategy will be.

Finally, it is a truism that you need to like the people you’re working with so it’s important that you feel you have selected a partner who will share the ups and downs of project implementation with good heart and humour.

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Call: 01483 751 888