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The MSDynamicsWorld.com (MSDW) podcast explores news, ideas, and events in the Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM community.
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Now displaying: May, 2021
May 19, 2021

Businesses set different thresholds for successful ERP projects, and the reasons can be complicated. With budgets that range from thousands to millions of dollars and often little room for delay or rework, it should be no surprise that some organizations end up going live with critical financial and operational business systems that an outside observer might consider sub-par.

Microsoft has taken an interesting strategy with Dynamics 365 Business Central, the company's SMB ERP cloud offering, urging partners to pursue highly repeatable, fixed price deployments wherever possible. That model serves some interests, like accelerating the growth of the customer base, but it has also created tension with ERP professionals who say their years of experience and dedication to customer success have taught them to pursue other approaches to achieve the best outcomes.

Alex Chow, founder of AP Commerce, is one of those ERP veterans who has charted his own path in the Microsoft channel. He says he started his own firm in 2005 to allow him to work with clients in the way he preferred. And while the firm is not the biggest or fastest growing, he says the company's philosophy has held the team on a steady path even as the product and channel trends have shifted around them.

Alex recently wrote about his experiences meeting Business Central customers post-go-live that were living with problematic deployments and the concerns these cases have raised. We discuss some of those observations and more about his broader experiences with Business Central and NAV.

Show Notes

  • 2:00 - Alex's early experiences in the ERP consulting profession and how that led to him starting his own firm
  • 6:00 - Finding other consulting models beyond billable hours, and how to make it a reality for NAV professionals
  • 13:00 - Does traditional billable consulting still make sense for Business Central today as a SaaS offering? And how Microsoft is managing partners today.
  • 17:00  - What makes an organization unique - or just like everyone else
  • 19:30 - What can go wrong on a BC deployment, and what led Alex to write about it.
  • 23:30 - The nature of fixed-price BC implementations and why it can lead to less-than-ideal outcomes
  • 25:30 - What's unique about these companies' issues compared to ERP failures of the past
  • 27:00 - How to improve sub-par implementations and why BC customers might be wary after go-live
  • 31:30 - What differentiates a worker doing repeatable deployments vs specialized service
  • 39:45 - Where to find professional help for BC
  • 41:30 - Response to Alex's article
  • 43:00 - If and how selling and servicing BC has changed AP Commerce
  • 45:30 - Can customers install solutions from AppSource themselves?
May 12, 2021

Editor's Note: This episode is sponsored by Enavate.

 

Across Microsoft's broad base of legacy ERP customers running Dynamics GP, NAV, and SL, there is a range of reasons why any organization might consider a cloud migration project. But until they assess the current state and future options, business leaders will be challenged to justify a decision on how to move forward with ERP modernization.

 

Our guests on this episode, Jennifer Ranz and Chad Sogge of Enavate, discuss the guidance and tools they have developed for organizations considering a move to Dynamics 365 Business Central in the cloud. Jennifer and Chad are veterans of Microsoft's ERP product teams and they have carried that experience in the SMB market with them to Enavate where their team has been developing new assessment tools and guidance around migrations based on Dynamics products and Enavate's own experience with many organizations that have already deployed Business Central.

 

We discuss various types of ERP journeys today, some of the ways Microsoft partners are collaborating on ERP projects today to benefit their clients, and how to handle challenges like industry-specific needs and historical data. We also look ahead to the future of migrations and how Business Central will  evolve to support more customers moving to the cloud.

 

To learn more about cloud migration, technology and options visit the Enavate blog.

 

Show Notes:

  • 3:00 - Advice Chad and Jennifer are offering legacy ERP customers today
  • 6:00 - How adoption of other modern business technology like Office 365 is spurring thinking on modernizing ERP
  • 7:30 - Benefits of Business Central after a transition
  • 11:00 - How to assess and select the right transition path, and about Enavate's assessment tool
  • 14:30 - How to explain the scope of a BC project to a customer
  • 16 :30 - Know your ERP project priorities
  • 21:45 - Why legacy ERP customers are going with SaaS transitions
  • 23:00 - ISV discovery and mapping from legacy to BC
  • 26:45 - What partners need to know about migration factories
  • 28:15 - Migration tooling available now
  • 32:00 - The importance of historical data and what to do with it after the transition to BC
  • 35:00 - How to make BC a better solution than the legacy system
  • 38:30 - The growth of assessments for ERP customers as the solutions evolve
May 5, 2021

Editor's Note: This episode is sponsored by Sana Commerce.

 

Many manufacturers still struggle to understand and meet B2B buyers’ expectations for online customer experience. In reality, business buyers are just consumers at their jobs. They know that Amazon-level experiences and capabilities are possible, and now their expectations of B2B experiences are rising.

On this episode we talk with Sana Commerce’s Customer Success Team Lead, Roberto Najera, as he shares his viewson the past, present, and future of e-commerce in the context of manufacturer's needs and Dynamics 365 integration. We also discuss findings from Sana Commerce's new State of Manufacturing and E-Commerce Benchmark Report and how some of the findings around levels of investment and addressing current challenges are reflected in Roberto's experience working one-on-one with manufacturers.

 

Show Notes:

  • 2:00 - A historic perspective of e-commerce in manufacturing and the changing trends today
  • 4:30 - Investments in B2B e-commerce in the wake of the pandemic, both technology and skills
  • 8:15 - Managing the growth of digital channels
  • 12:30 - Deciding if and how to enhance more customer interactions from traditional to online
  • 13:30 - Maturity levels that businesses go through in e-commerce adoption
  • 18:15 - E-commerce planning in the context of ERP data analysis
  • 19:30 - Surprising findings from of e-commerce initiatives
  • 21:45 - New challenges that B2B firms are facing today that e-commerce solutions are helping them overcome
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