4 types of partner any company needs to consider when implementing Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations

Let me start with saying that this article is not for or against using Microsoft partners. A Microsoft partner plays an essential role in a successful implementation and ongoing operation of #D365FO. Working on both side of the fence I identified that there are 4 types of partners any company needs to consider when partnering up. Selecting the right partner becomes even more important when implementing areas such as warehousing or lean
manufacturing.

‘Implementing advanced warehouse management is not the same
as the implementation of your overall ERP solution. It’s more than
configuration and switches, it requires an intelligent workflow and business
process design.’
‘Prepare for warehouse’ session @ #usergroupsummit Australia

Partner of Record

The partner of record is helping to deploy and build the solution foundation. In most cases this partner will provide the design of the solution by offering functional and technical consulting services on top of project management services. Typically this is a long term relationship. So, finding the right partner and establishing a good relationship is crucial and will avoid frustration and costly implementation. There are many blogs and advises available that discusses potential pitfalls for that process.

Accelerator

Although most implementation go under the slogan ‘ we implement as vanilla as possible’ certain companies require an entire new feature set tailored to their industry. Other businesses may ask for an extension or automation of selected business processes. Typically referred to as ISVs, I like to call those partners ‘Accelerators’. Their solution is Microsoft certified and seamlessly integrates into the #D365FO environment.
Instead of developing an individual solution this will accelerate the implementation and future maintenance. Going forward the partner is required to keep up with Microsoft’s release plan. The Accelerator is not necessarily the partner of record.

Enabler

Ideally all enhancement requirements can be resolved by either reconsidering a business process or are covered through a chosen Accelerator. Unfortunately this is not always the case though. As mention under ‘Partner of Record’ typically their services will help to design and develop upcoming enhancement requests. However, when it comes to specialized areas such as warehouse management, lean manufacturing or similar, a deep understanding of core code is required. I like to refer to those partners as ‘Enablers’. Choosing the right ‘Enabler’ will help to shorten the time to implement and will reduce the risk of transaction errors and performance hits by developing the right extensions. Again, this partner is not necessarily the partner of record.

Sparring partner

Perhaps this is not a partner in its own right. Implementing a new ERP solution is a big task where companies embrace a large number of changes along the way. However, 12 month down the road business process needs can change. Although the implementation was (hopefully) a success the team might not be hundred percent sure on how to accommodate new requirements. Regardless, the point is have a sparring partner to bounce off ideas and new concepts. This can be one of the three partners above or a specialized resource from the freelance market. With the right relationship the reply can be a simple ‘ Yes, good idea! Give it try!’

 

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