CFO Frankie Finance & Her ERP Software Journey
Day 1 – Frankie wakes up late! She had to get that extra 10 minutes of sleep in because the previous day completely tired her out. Now she hurries to get showered and dressed and on her way out the door she grabs a package of s’mores flavored PopTarts that she will eat without warming them in the toaster on the way to work. As she’s driving to work Frankie rolls a stop sign, receives a ticket, and is now even more short on time because she was in a daze thinking about:
The organization outgrowing their basic management software and a new need of more functionality, multiple companies, better reporting and analytics but not sure what to do next.
The need for an ERP solution but they are only for the big companies and are too complex or expensive.
An integrated solution to manage their entire business that is easy to use, deploy and maintain.
New IT systems take away from other investment areas and put even more strain on cash flow.
Cloud solutions but are not sure what’s right for their business.
The lack of flexibility and integration with their current software.
The ability to have real-time information flowing quickly across their organization to take advantage of rapid changing market conditions.
As Frankie walks into work, she realizes that today has to be the day to begin implementing change. The organization can no longer move forward with the software they have. She clears her schedule for the rest of the day and begins researching ERP software. With just a simple google search, Frankie discovers Microsoft Dynamics and the wonderful ERP products associated with it. There’s Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations Business Edition, Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations Enterprise Edition, Microsoft “Tenerife”, and Microsoft Dynamics NAV Subscription--but which one is correct for our business? After a little more research, Frankie discovers that Microsoft products are sold only through Microsoft Partners and that Microsoft Gold Partners such as Solution Systems have the best record of accomplishment for successful implementations and ongoing support. Frankie places the call to a local Microsoft Partner who confirms that they do indeed have solutions that would work for her organization. A face-to-face meeting is scheduled for the following week. “Wow, that was easy! I just hope they don’t come here and pitch me products and expect us to buy on the spot.” Frankie says to herself.
Week 2 – Today’s the face-to-face meeting with the Microsoft Partner. Just as before, Frankie has woken up tired and is pressed for time. She races to the office, forgets her morning PopTart, is not in the best of moods, and the thought of a Microsoft Partner coming in today to sales pitch her and her colleagues makes it even worse. However, upon meeting the Gold Certified Partner Frankie feels at ease and realizes this is not a sales call. In fact, the Microsoft Partner is there to gather information about her organization’s business processes so that they can put a custom demo together that shows her and her colleagues the efficiency, features, and capabilities of a Microsoft Dynamics ERP product.
By the end of the meeting, the Microsoft Partner has gathered all the requirements needed to put together a demo and now has enough information to recommend the correct product for Frankie and her organization which happens to be Microsoft Dynamics NAV hosted on Azure.
Week 3 – Demo Day. Frankie is impressed with how fast the Microsoft Gold Partner was able to put together a demo that is specific to their organization. Frankie’s colleagues are impressed with how knowledgeable the Microsoft Partner is because they took their time, were able to answer all of the questions, and effectively showed how their organization could prosper by using the ERP software along with Azure. By using Azure, Frankie’s organization avoids the upfront costs of having to replace their outdated servers. Frankie and her colleagues were even given the below recordings of demos to pass along to their colleagues and help with their decision.
Week 5 – Decision Day. After deliberating with her colleagues Frankie’s organization has decided to proceed with the purchase of Microsoft Dynamics NAV.
Week 6 – The Microsoft Gold Certified’s implementation team begins the stages of the implementation. A successful implementation not only depends on the Microsoft’s Partner to implement the software but it also hinges upon the users learning the software so they are able to use it properly. Partners such as Solution Systems have an online university which offer on-demand training classes, videos, and literature to help educate.
Months 1-9 – Go Live. No organization is the same and some require specific functionality for their business process therefore each organization will have a different implementation time. Most implementations are finished in under a year.
Day after Go Live – Frankie and her colleagues are surprised as to how smooth the transition was. Frankie’s organization followed all of the procedures laid out by their Microsoft Partner and because of this their business processes are already more efficient.
Two Days After Go Live - Frankie wakes up, drinks 20oz of water and proceeds to get dressed. Once dressed she makes a quick smoothie consisting of blueberries, 1 banana, 1 cup of almond milk, and a scoop of protein powder that she drinks on her way to work. Frankie walks in to work feeling great knowing that certain reports have been automated, their Microsoft Software such as Excel, Power BI, Word, NAV are all integrated and working seamlessly. Frankie now has more time to participate in key decisions as a member of the executive team, be more visible within the accounting, human resources, legal, tax, and treasury departments, report financial results to the board of directors, etc.