How to choose a Business Central Partner

How to choose a business central partner

There are many Microsoft Dynamics Business Central/NAV partners in the UK, ranging from the large international partners to the smaller local businesses . Each one has its own merits, for example if you are towards the medium to larger sized SMB companies (350+ employees) then it makes total sense to go with one of the large partners as they will have the resources to help train and support you. If you are a smaller company then the corresponding sized partner would be a better fit as they can be more personal.

Things to think about

Just because a partner is large and has lots of people, don’t expect them to send out their most experienced consultants. You will always start with an experienced sales team that show the product off well. However, due to the fact that Business Central consultants need to be highly trained and that they are relatively rare, the more experienced, the higher the wages. These consultants will go to the larger and more high-profile projects. If you’re not that project, you may end up with a less experienced consultant.

Smaller partners tend to be only experienced people who have set up their own business. This means you tend to get experience people for lower costs. The downside to this is that they might not be able to fit you in until they become free.

Make sure the person you are talking to is an actual registered Microsoft Dynamics NAV partner and have real support. For example OneNAV are a registered partner who are supported by QBS the largest Microsoft partner support team.

You need support. The larger partners tend to have higher support costs as they generally have a large team of dedicated helpdesk personnel. However, they may also have a correspondingly large amount of clients, which means your support call may take the same time as smaller partners. Make sure you have the conversation before you sign contracts. Ask what the available options are.

If you are looking for the personal touch and someone you can get to know, the two types bring different strengths. Larger partners will offer you an account manager, who will visit, call and manage you. They tend not to be consultants though so won’t necessarily be able to help you on site. Smaller partners will probably make the consultant who did your implementation your account manager. This means you will get to know them better. They may not be on site as often, but when they are they will know all about your system.

How important is your business to the partner? Dedication to your business is a tricky one as this really depends on the individual. Most Microsoft Business Central partner businesses and consultants want to do a great job for you (and their employer). For smaller partners, if your lucky sometimes the consultant might actually be the owner/employer and the welfare of the customer is vital to them so they will always be dedicated.

Does Quality Matter?

Microsoft have tried for many years to make ERP an “Out of the box” experience, however it has taken a long time to get anywhere near.  The reason for this is that every business is different, from the Chart of Accounts setup to the business processes, each has its way of doing things.  Business Central is a good attempt as it has defaults of some of these areas but it is a template rather than a tailored solution.

This is where the partner comes in. There are many partners now offering “5 days implementation” or other similar claims.  Be aware that in the terms of this it will be the default setup, not a tailored implementation. Check to see if these promises are just estimates.

In our long experience, for most businesses you would need a much more tailored implementation to make it fit with your processes (great if you don’t though). It is however a great way for partners to get there foot in the door of your business.

The old adage of “Quick, Cheap, Good – Pick any two” is still valid with any ERP implementation.

Tips on choosing a Business Central partner

One – Make sure they understand you and your needs. Match the partner to your needs, If you’re a medium to large SMB company you will probably have larger development changes, tighter timescales and more training. It makes sense to go for a large partner. If you’re a smaller SMB (under 350 employees) go for a smaller or medium partner such as OneNAV. If you’re in any doubt give us a call and we will point you in the right direction.

Two – Experience is worth more than anything else. When choosing your Microsoft dynamics NAV partner, ask who the specific consultant will be and what experience have they got. Irrespective of the size of partner, you want the most experienced in your area.

Three – Does the partner fit in well with your team. Make sure you talk to the consultants who will be doing your implementation, remember it’s not the nice salesperson you initially meet. The consultant may be on site quite a lot and you need to communicate with them a great deal without any reservations. If they don’t fit your culture, you don’t get on with them or they don’t talk to you, then they are not right for you. Remember that this is a long-term partnership.

The 3 best ways you can help yourself are:

One – Understand your business processes, you need to explain this in detail to your partner. Know what your issues are and how much they are costing you; if you don’t know then you can’t measure success or justify a new solution.

Two – Identify key personnel for the project and beyond. Which Director will be the sponsor? Who will be the internal PM; a good Project manager is essential. Who are your key users? Who will be the first line support? Ask your partner if you’re not sure what these jobs entail. These people will make the difference in your implementation time and cost. Basically, the more you know and can tell your Microsoft dynamics NAV partner the faster, cheaper and easier your project will be.

Three – Communication is the key, have regular catch up meetings to find out the next steps.  Be proactive, don’t wait for your partner to call.  The best way to make this easy is to choose a partner that makes time for you and you can have fun with.

Of course if you want the best then you could always give OneNAV a call on 01905 571010 🙂

If you are unsure about any of the above and want free advice just call us. We know many of the larger companies well, if they are a better fit for you, we will point this out and can even give you an introduction to them.

Unsure about any of the above? need free advice with no pushy sales?
Then call us on 01905 571010 or Contact Us here