Key Considerations When Picking a Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Partner

Selecting a new ERP system is a big decision on its own, so you want to be confident that the partner you choose to work with is the right fit for you and your business. The expertise, communication, and support of a potential partner will play a crucial role in the overall success of your ERP system and how Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central can be tailored to fit your business needs.

It is important to select a partner who understands your organization, people, expectations, and goals. The long-term success of your project and investment in technology depends heavily on choosing the right partner.

This article will discuss criteria for selecting the right Dynamics 365 Business Central partner and provide tips and questions to ask during your evaluation process.

Table of Contents

Does Microsoft Trust Them?

To help businesses easily identify partners who have earned special endorsement, Microsoft has developed six Solutions Partner designations within their Partner Program.

The significance of these designations should not be understated and should be your first indication whether you are evaluating a Microsoft partner that has the right skills, capabilities and demonstrated experience to meet your needs. There are six designations, and your Dynamics 365 Business Central partner should at minimum have achieved the Solutions Partner designation for Business Applications.

A smaller subset of Business Central Partners who have an active Solution Partner Designation for Business Applications, can also achieve what Microsoft calls an Advanced Specialization for Small and Midsize Business Management. This additional endorsement from Microsoft is given to Business Central partners who have deeper technical knowledge, expertise, and capabilities to deliver specialized services to clients. Only partners who meet the comprehensive requirements to earn a specialization receive the following badge to display.

Micrsoft Solutions Partner designation badge, Specialist in Small and Midsize Business Management.

Experience and Expertise

Whether you are choosing an ERP for the first time or are moving off an existing ERP, your Dynamics 365 Business Central partner should be there to understand what is driving you to make the change to a new ERP system. It is important to choose a partner with a proven track record and history of successful Dynamics 365 Business Central implementations and referenceable clients.

One of Microsoft’s standout features is the comprehensive technology stack. Whether your organization has existing Microsoft platforms such as Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (CRM), Outlook, Excel, Teams, or Power BI, there are compelling advantages to choosing a partner that is well versed in the Microsoft stack. A partner with proven experience in Microsoft platform integration can offer significant advantages to your business both presently and for future growth.

Questions to ask your partner:

  • What projects have you completed that are similar to ours?
  • What does your company do particularly well?
  • How can we leverage other areas of our existing Microsoft products with Dynamics 365 Business Central?

Familiarity with your Business Needs

A Dynamics 365 Business Central partner with industry experience will be able to give advice on specific processes, ask questions to determine your underlying business needs and identify features available in the system.

Selecting a partner who is familiar with your industry will allow your project to be seamless from initial discovery to training and ensure that the solution and processes are configured to fit your industry best practices and needs. They will be able to provide solutions to your pain points and identify technical solutions that could help streamline your business processes.

Questions to ask your partner:

  • Have you worked with other businesses in our industry?
  • What kinds of solutions have you built for similar projects?

Skilled Resources

Having a clear understanding of how your partner will approach your business needs and goals is another key consideration. It is not just the core functionalities of Dynamics 365 Business Central that will ensure the technical success of your ERP; how your partner will configure these built-in functionalities, identify integration opportunities, and customize solutions where needed will create the unique functions your business needs. Your solutions, processes, and goals will need to be considered when developing your Dynamics 365 Business Central environment.

Questions to ask your partner:

  • What areas of the Microsoft stack are you most skilled in?
  • How will you make Dynamics 365 Business Central work with our other systems?
  • How can your team configure built-in functionalities?
  • Will we need customized solutions?

Project Management and Methodology

An experienced partner will serve your business as an extension of your team. Choosing a Dynamics 365 Business Central partner who has developed a well-defined process for implementing or migrating your business onto a new ERP is critical to protecting your investment in new technology.

It is important to know how your project will be managed and how the partner approaches projects like yours. Understanding the partner’s project management methodology can help set expectations for how your team and their team will work together.

Questions to ask your partner:

  • How often will we be meeting during the project?
  • How involved will your team be during the process?
  • Will there be a project manager?
  • When can the project get started? What is the average timeline for a go-live?
  • How can our team prepare for the project?

Training

The overall success of these solutions relies on user adoption. While anyone can configure the solutions, the differentiator lies in how your partner will train your team to adopt the solution. Working with a partner that trains users not only on the new technology but with your business processes will empower the systems’ end users.

Continued training from your partner should extend to various resources, including live webinars and a consistent stream of informational articles. Having access to up-to-date training materials such as how-to articles and instructional videos ensures that your business will benefit from the latest system updates and information to support your ongoing business growth and development.

Questions to ask your partner:

  • How will you help with user adoption?
  • Will training be performed in our configured solution, or in a demo environment?
  • How involved in the implementation process will you be?
  • Is Dynamics 365 Business Central training and documentation part of this project?
  • Aside from formal training, what kind of learning resources do you have available?

At Encore, we are dedicated to going beyond features and functions, with a central focus on the users, their specific use cases, and the business processes around the software. This commitment is reflected in the diverse training options we offer.

Support

A partner should offer a dedicated support program designed to assist you and your team in navigating applications, services, and technologies going forward. It is important to consider the approach the support team uses for guiding and coaching users. Additionally, evaluating the pricing structure of the support program to ensure it aligns with your business requirements, offering the flexibility for on-demand or unlimited support depending on your business needs is important.

Questions to ask your partner:

  • What type of support options are available?
  • What are your support teams’ service hours?
  • How would we get in touch with the support team?

Communication

The right partner will effectively communicate with your team to set expectations for the project timelines and outcomes, as well as communicate how you will work together going forward in the relationship. Knowing how often you will be in contact with the partner throughout the project and what methods of communication will be used will help set proper expectations from the start. Your partner should not always tell you what you want to hear, they are there to tell you what you need to hear.

Questions to ask your partner:

  • What is the initial introduction and discovery like?
  • Will we be working in the same time zone?
  • How often will we have meetings with your team?
  • How many people will be involved in our project?
  • Will we be assigned an Account Manager?

You want a partner who will not only manage your project but be part of your business during the entire process and beyond. At Encore, we have dedicated resources that are assigned to each project and are committed to building a long-term relationship with your business and your team.

Cost Factors

Pricing with Dynamics 365 Business Central can be complex, it is important to find a partner who understands and can explain the depth, use, and scope of functionality of the various licenses. Licensing in Dynamics 365 Business Central depends on the number of users, license type, and if promotional pricing is available. For more information on Dynamics 365 Business Central pricing and licensing, read this article.

Cost factors beyond licensing depend on the project or engagement type your business needs.

Questions to ask your partner:

  • What professional services are available for Dynamics 365 Business Central projects?
  • Are there any license promotions available?
  • Are payments, biweekly, monthly, annually?

Next Steps

Finding the right Dynamics 365 Business Central partner requires thoughtful consideration. Outline your requirements and ensure that you have developed a list of expectations and needs for your organization. Learn more about success factors for your ERP implementation.

How Encore Can Help

Our team at Encore has extensive experience with Dynamics 365 Business Central. We offer comprehensive training that empowers your organization to utilize the system efficiently. Our expertise extends beyond Dynamics 365 Business Central; we have a deep understanding of the entire Microsoft ecosystem.

Whether it is a new implementation, or a transition from an existing system like Microsoft Dynamics GP or Dynamics NAV, or you have outgrown QuickBooks, NetSuite, Sage, etc., our team of experts are here to help.

To start the conversation with our experts and learn more about how Encore can help you achieve your business goals, please contact us.

 

 

Tips & Tricks for AP Checks and EFT/ACH Transactions in Dynamics 365 Business Central

In this webinar, we’ll begin with an overview of AP checks and EFT/ACH transactions in D365 Business Central, and then demonstrate how to address common problems and error messages within the system.

March 26
10:00 am – 10:30 am PST

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Webinar - AP Checks and EFT Transactions

Mar. 26
10:00 am – 10:30 am PST

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