Microsoft Great Plains/Dynamics GP outsourcing options for mid-size and large companies.
Microsoft Business Solutions, for its Axapta – Dynamics AX product line, introduced version upgrade (including customization) option through 10 strategic partners, located offshore in India and China. At this point of time, Axapta is targeting larger clients in general, where GP with its broad legacy customer base in US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK, Middle East, South Africa and Latin America is usually associated with mid-market or smaller corporate clients (however there are multiple cases where large accounts implemented GP successfully Worldwide, integrating it with local ERPs in the countries, where GP is not supported or not localized). Following globalization tendency, Microsoft Great Plains partners have to outsource their call centers to India, however Philippines is probably also very good option, considering the historical fact of MatchData Project accounting acquisition by Great Plains Software and turning it into its subdivision in late 1990th, prior to being in turn acquired by Microsoft. Let’s look at the options and challenges for you, potential customer and your MBS servicing partner
o Centralized Call Center. Yes, this is what is usually meant, when MBS partner has to switch away from group-of-consultants-cowboys type of model to CRM driven servicing organization. Imagine – you can call your MBS partner anytime, when you have an urgent or regular issue and always get somebody technically and functionally trained and experienced on the phone the same minute, who can pull your records and begin serve you right away. Such a call center might not always be economically feasible to be hosted in USA, but with the current technological advances in VOIP and IP telephony – incoming calls might be reasonably easily redirected to the offshore or nearshore location as needed.
o Remote Support Technologies. Remote teleconferencing is supplemented with Websessioning: gotomeeting.com, remote desktop connections, VPN technologies to name a few. You should also be ready to adopt such cost efficient worldwide calling solutions as skype to make your life as IT manager easier.
o Great Plains Technologies. Microsoft Dexterity or former name for the GP shell is Great Plains Dexterity – being architectured more then 10 years ago – still has very good options to be supported remotely: Dexterity chunks, DYNAMICS.DIC with customization code to enable customization upgrade, etc. Latest trend to enable MS Office and Sharepoint integration is also the opportunity to entrust your customization, integration and reporting needs to the partner, deploying offshore developers
o US Partner with Offshore development facility. This is in our opinion the optimal scenario, which gives your centralized call center benefits and secures local face-to-face high level functional consultants visits.
o Step-by-step. When we are talking about outsourcing switching and innovation – we should be reasonably conservative. Customers should not be shocked by sudden change – it should be step-by-step. Try to think about the fact that Microsoft itself is using outsourcing technology and kind of in the process of beginning to recommend it to its customers.
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