These days it seems you can buy an accounting system from the neighborhood grocer, although it would probably be an entry level version in their Office Supplies aisle. You’d have to figure out installation, setup, and customization all by yourself. The problem is, this anecdote isn’t far from reality. Microsoft’s policies allow virtually anyone to sell Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, even if they don’t have a certified implementor, accountant, or business consultant on staff. This means that any IT services business that supports Microsoft can also sell Business Central.
The question is, should you buy Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central from them?
Many organizations have an existing relationship with an IT firm to support their infrastructure. With Business Central now in the cloud, not requiring servers, and only a click away, it can be tempting to buy your ERP system from the same place as your Office 365 and IT services. This might seem like a good budget conscious option, or a way to consolidate vendor management, but it’s not quite that simple. As an ERP software partner 100% committed to Business Central and having saved many implementations going down the wrong path, we can give you quite a few reasons to reconsider if that is good idea.
Setting Up Business Central is Not the Same as Setting up Office 365
Here is a good starting example: we worked with a company in a small city whose local IT shop also sells Business Central. When asked if they could implement the manufacturing module, the IT shop’s response was, “We could probably do that.”
‘Probably’ is NOT an answer you want, or can afford to gamble with, when you’re implementing a new enterprise-wide business management solution, much less a single module within it. Already, the success rate of implementing the manufacturing module is less than 50%. Those failures are most often attributed to the implementing parties’ lack of understanding both manufacturing and Business Central itself.
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Your IT people may be very good at what they do, but ask them about bills of materials, production orders, work centers, and material resource planning (MRP), and you will probably get some blank stares. And while many mid-market accounting system upgrade or replacement projects aren’t as complicated as a manufacturing installation, the average business management system implementation still takes three to six months, can often cost $100,000 or more, and involves hundreds of hours of work by both the internal and external teams. Do you want to trust someone who doesn’t specialize in the specific ERP solution, like Business Central, that you selected?
There are near unlimited setup and configuration options to get the most return from your Business Central investment, and that includes any customizations, reports, or industry add-ons you may require if you are an equipment rental or wholesale distribution business, for example. By and large, IT firms do not have the specialized skills to develop or build reports for a mid-market accounting or ERP system. Implementing Business Central successfully requires well-honed business analysis skills to match the system to the business processes, something that is not executed by or required from IT.
The flip side, Microsoft ERP partners are now able to sell Office 365 and other managed services products. These days, with cloud servers and integrated products, organizations can easily run any database in the cloud, including email, file sharing, and accounting. ERP software partners require staff with IT background knowledge, as well as specialized Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central knowledge, so it’s much simpler and more effective to get support for other cloud products you need from the same place.
Benefits of Buying Dynamics 365 Business Central From an ERP Partner
Not only does a recognized and certified Microsoft ERP Partner (also called a Value Added Reseller, or VAR) have the technical and business process capabilities to properly implement your Business Central solution, some partners can also easily provide the necessary configuration and support services for Office 365, Exchange, and SQL Azure in the cloud to ensure you’re effectively using the Microsoft Stack together. Best of all, you can have everything you need in one place.
At Open Door, we have over 30 years of business process planning and optimization experience with Microsoft Dynamics ERP. Our team can take care of your most complex requirements so that you can consolidate your entire business management to a single system. We know what to do with the databases and data you need to run your business for optimum growth and efficiency (there is no ‘probably’ about it), and we know how all of your operations can work within Business Central. Having everything simplified, streamlined, and centralized is entire aim of having an accounting/ERP system in the first place, so it just makes sense to also have all your software support from one place as well.
Contact us for more information on our combined offerings for Microsoft Dynamics, Equipment Rental Management, Office 365, and Managed IT Cloud Services. We can help you figure out just what you need for a successful implementation when buying Dynamics 365 Business Central!