How to Choose a Dynamics 365/AX Implementation Partner
Choosing the right implementation partner is just as important as choosing the right ERP software in the first place.
Adding new technology like Dynamics 365/AX to your digital strategy is a complicated process. Though this unique system can be an incredible way to boost the efficiency of your business, you’ll need a strategy in place to make sure you’re unlocking Microsoft’s true potential.
A reliable implementation strategy ensures that you have the resources, background, and insights required to minimise ERP adoption failures, and set your team up for long-term success. So, how do you find the perfect implementation partner?
1. Check the Competency Level of Each Team Member
When you’re trying to build a high-performing technology team, every candidate counts. In the same vein, when you want to ensure that you’re getting the right results from your Dynamics 365/AX implementation partner, it’s important to look at the skills and competencies of each person you’ll be working with.
For instance, you can check to find out whether each person working on the team has demonstrated their skills through the Microsoft Certification Program. Strong knowledge of the ERP software is essential when finding people to help with your implementation plan. You can host a “meet the potential team” event which allows you to meet the people you will be working closely with and gives you time to learn more about how many years of experience each member has, in what companies and when they last updated their training.
2. Look for Evidence of Their Abilities
When you search for Dynamics 365 talent with a specialist recruitment team, you look at the CV and cover letter of each candidate for evidence of what they can do. It’s important to take a similar approach when looking for your ideal implementation partner. The partner you work with needs a strong track record of successful implementations both in Dynamics 365/AX, in your specific industry and ideally implementing a project that has the same scope as your business situation.
Launching a Dynamics system in finance can be very different from starting one in manufacturing. Speak to your partner and ask for evidence of their performance in your field. Known as social proof, this could be in the form of a documented case study or video from projects they have completed in the past.
3. Make Sure They Understand Your Business
Once you’ve narrowed your list of potential partners to a handful of possible consultancy’s familiar with your industry, you’ll be able to start a more granular search. For instance, factors to consider include:
- How well the partner understands your business: Any ERP implementation needs to focus on making business processes more efficient. Your partner can only help you if they understand how your organisation works.
- Can they customise their service? Most implementation partners will be able to customise some elements of your Dynamics 365/AX solution to meet your needs. To accomplish this, your team will need a strong knowledge of interoperability and security measures.
- Will they offer support and training? Your end-users need to be able to use your ERP solution for it to be effective. Your consultant may be able to provide your business with training and long-term support to help with Dynamics 365/AX adoption.
4. Decide Whether You Need an External, or In-House Team
Implementation partners come in many different shapes and sizes. Some companies feel that their best option is to hand their project over to another group when they recognise that they lack the expertise internally.
Some prefer to work with a long-term in-house team, which means that there is a depth of internal knowledge to feed into the design of the project design, however, at times, the implementation programme gets delayed when specialist skills are missing in the team.
A third option is to have a small in-house team working collaboratively with an external consultancy.
An in-house team has a detailed understanding of their own business and have the relationships with colleagues that allows them to understand in detail the requirements of each department involved in the project. This allows them to bring a detailed brief back to their external implementation partners who then use their Dynamics expertise to design the bespoke solution that will meet their client’s needs.
5. Focus on Strong Communication
Finally, good communication is key to any implementation strategy.
During a Dynamics 365/AX implementation, there’s likely to be several complex procedures that can take time to support and manage properly. During this period of transformation, it’s important to have someone you feel comfortable communicating with.
A good in-house team will be able to provide answers to any questions you might have immediately. The right implementation group will listen to your concerns and provide you with structured solutions that support your goals. What’s more, they can adjust their terminology to translate complex information into insights that anyone can understand. This means you’ll be better positioned to track the success of your implementation plan.