Risks of Microsoft Dynamics 365 System Integrators

Written By: Eric Kimberling
Date: March 22, 2019

Choosing a technical system integrator is an important decision for any digital transformation. But the risks of Microsoft Dynamics 365 system integrators are even greater than for other ERP solutions.

While SAP, Oracle, and other ERP vendors have tightly controlled their ecosystems, Microsoft Dynamics has traditionally taken a hands-off approach to their system integrators. This has led to a high degree of variation in the market and almost too many options to choose from. This can make it difficult for many organizations to select the best Dynamics 365 system integrator.

Here are some things to consider when searching for the best system integrator for your transformation:

The Microsoft Dynamics 365 system integrator space is extremely fragmented

The root cause of many problems in the space is fragmentation. Simply put, there are too many system integrators and resellers to choose from – with very little quality assurance or oversight. Some have historically focused on Great Plains, others on Navision, and others on Axapta. Now, they are all rushing to replicate their competencies in these legacy products in the D365 space as Microsoft sunsets these older products.

Many Dynamics 365 system integrators are ill-prepared to handle a transformation of your size and complexity

With fragmentation comes inconsistent capabilities. D365 system integrators that used to focus on Great Plains for small to mid-size organizations, for example, are now being thrust into larger and more complex companies supporting a more complex D365 product. Implementing a relatively narrow on-premise solution like Great Plains or Axapta is completely different than upgrading to D365, which is being adopted by some larger and more complex organizations.

Defining a realistic Dynamics 365 implementation timeframe and budget is a difficult task

Estimating D365 costs is a trick proposition as it is. It becomes even more difficult when your system integrator or reseller doesn’t have the big-picture focus and competencies to understand what it will really take to get the job done. This is one of the biggest challenges of Microsoft Dynamics 365 implementations today.

Just because they can doesn’t mean that Dynamics 365 integrators should customize the software

Most Dynamics 365 system integrators we run into are very technically savvy. They understand how the software works and how to make it do whatever you want. They are also working with a very flexible system that can be easy to customize. But just because they can doesn’t mean they should customize the software. This is one of the biggest lessons in my experience as a Microsoft Dynamics 365 expert witness.

How to mitigate the risks of Dynamics 365 system integrators

Don’t worry – all is not lost. You didn’t necessarily make a bad decision by choosing Dynamics 365 vs. NetSuite, D365 vs. SAP S/4HANA, or whatever other systems you may have considered.

The important thing is that you recognize that you have plenty of options and take your time to find the best system integrator as part of your Dynamics 365 implementation readiness process. This is one of the best practices to ensure a successful Dynamics 365 implementation project.

Feel free to contact me to brainstorm how to find the best system integrator for your D365 project. I am happy to be an informal sounding board as you continue your journey!

Eric Kimberling
Eric is known globally as a thought leader in the ERP consulting space. He has helped hundreds of high-profile enterprises worldwide with their technology initiatives, including Nucor Steel, Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, Kodak, Coors, Boeing, and Duke Energy. He has helped manage ERP implementations and reengineer global supply chains across the world.
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