There are many reasons why customers commission our expertise, but there are some common themes we’re seeing with enquiries at the moment. We’ve spoken to a number of organisations whose service has been affected or disrupted as a result of changes in their current technology consultancy and the new relationship isn’t working as successfully as before. Also, there are those who are using a software solution which is coming to (or already past) its end-of-product life, and need help with migrating to a futureproof solution to eradicate the associated risks; from cybersecurity to compliance.
Sound familiar? Read on to find out more about our solutions and approach.
If your technology partner has been acquired, don’t let your business become collateral damage
Mergers and acquisitions have become a commonplace occurrence as firms look to find ways for fast growth that is hard to achieve organically. Buying a similar sized or smaller firm helps an organisation grow market share overnight, and reduces competition. However, when you’re a customer of the firm that has been acquired, it’s not always plain sailing.
Problems can arise as a result of conflicting motives – different objectives of the acquiring company can impact your relationship with your provider and your Service Level Agreement (SLA). The contacts you have built a great relationship with may not be happy in their new home or broader company changes can result in new teams and service processes. The increased operational overheads of the acquiring business can lead to price increases to your service too. And in a world where economic turbulence is causing some organisations to prioritise profits over customer requirements and service, you may have seen a difference and perhaps you’re not getting the personalised service you want, and once had.
If so, you’re not alone – we’re increasingly hearing this kind of story from people who have become disillusioned with the service being offered by their current technology partner.
If you’re currently using a service such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 – one of the solutions we hold expertise on – you can at least be assured that the product isn’t likely to be discontinued as a result of the acquisition. For customers choosing to switch to our services to continue receiving software support, our knowledge of the solution, its capabilities and applications for different organisations across varying sectors – from not-for-profit or membership organisations through to leisure businesses – should give total peace of mind. Let’s chat, and see? Our personalised service means customers have a main point of contact for all communication, and dedicated support channels to follow all customer cases through to resolution.
We will even carry out a detailed review of your current solution to ensure your previous provider hasn’t left you in a state of stagnation. Our software experts will be able to find solutions for issues you may not have even thought you had, through our business discovery and analysis period. We believe getting under the skin and into every corner of your business is crucial to ensure you’re optimising the software for your business needs. If you’re using Microsoft Dynamics 365, we want to ensure you’re fully utilising everything it has to offer. And we don’t believe that your journey ends there – we’ll continually review your solution and configure them in line with evolving needs. If you feel you haven’t been getting this kind of attention from your current provider, it could be worth considering your options.
Don’t wait until your software solution is out-of-date before taking action
One of the other main reasons we’re being approached is as a result of their software product coming to an end. Microsoft AX 2009 SP1, 2012 and 2012 R2 are all now out of the extended support period that Microsoft offered to cover those firms still using the solutions following the announcement that they were to cease. As that extended support period ended in April this year, we had an influx of enquiries from organisations who had taken an eleventh-hour approach to considering other options. The Microsoft Dynamics 365 solution is cloud-based – so can be accessed from anywhere on any device – don’t require server and hardware maintenance and is highly secure. It is automatically updated twice a year and infinitely more intuitive to use in an era where digital transformation is recognised as the key to success.
While it’s of course always better to plan ahead, firms still using these systems that now have no support, security or legislative updates need not panic. Switching to Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the way to go, and something we can certainly help firms get up and running with. Microsoft Dynamics 365 better serves organisations of all sizes and provides the flexibility to facilitate scaling up or down in line with business demand fluctuations – vital in an increasingly volatile business landscape.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers Power BI (Business Intelligence) for enhanced reporting and customer insights, while its Finance app capabilities enable accurate cash flow projection, customer payment prediction and identifies current and future trends. The Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system provides unrivalled functionality, allowing businesses to offer their customers vital, and expected, services such as self-serve – as well as providing the ability to automate time-consuming processes that can yield errors when done manually and lead to customer dissatisfaction. Seamless communications and on-point, personalised marketing efforts can mean the difference between losing or retaining customers in a very competitive business arena.
In short, using an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 will give a 360 degree view of the business and the automation capability facilitates endless efficiencies. When such an efficient solution that automates so many of the time-hungry tasks a business needs to perform on a day-to-day basis, the resource that would have been tied up in those tasks can be challenged into meaningful business strategy activities.
Many firms have held off for so long as sticking with their old software seems like the comfortable option, while migration conjures the perception of cost and hassle. In fact, the reality is that when you work with an experienced solutions partner – one that has both solutions and sector expertise – the transition is both seamless and affordable, particularly when the cost of sticking with legacy software can be so much more.
The BrightBridge approach
We know that when either embarking on a new digital journey, migrating to a new product or switching technology partners, a ‘one size fits all’ approach to an ERP solution won’t be successful. At BrightBridge, our approach aims to minimise disruption to the business while ensuring that the solution architecture is being designed to benefit the business now and in the future. This means we also champion a phased approach, resulting in a faster implementation of the ‘must-haves’ and therefore a more immediate return on investment. Our expertise allows us to design the architecture in stages, aligned to an organisation’s priorities, whereby cost and input from internal resources is spread over an agreed period of time.
Below is an example of the approach we take and the process steps:
- BrightBridge will execute a business discovery and analysis period – our solution experts will liaise with your teams to understand current processes, ask questions and find solutions for any issues, even if you weren’t aware you had any.
- Any processes within your business that can be automated will be, to create efficiencies in your business and make life simple for staff. We can set parameters tailored to your requirements, which could relate to elements such as quality assurance processes, access to data for specific job roles, inventory levels, processing orders or customer relationship management (CRM).
- Existing operational data such as financials, customer records, stock and order processing will be extracted, cleansed and migrated into the new system. If there are any software solutions you have which you want integrating into the new solution, we can do this using an API.
- System build will be an agile process of development, training, testing and back to development – until everyone is happy and any issues are ironed out. Company-wide training is provided for a smooth transition and maximum buy-in.
- All relevant business employees such as leaders and senior management will have the opportunity to explore the dashboards – which are the portals into the single 360 degree view of the business – so they can make informed decisions based on real-time data, on any device.
- Generally, when the project has passed system and user testing, go-live will happen after business hours, so it’s business as usual the next morning. Your BrightBridge team will be on hand in the first couple of weeks with hyper support to help with the usual queries and snags.
Having modern, compliant, cloud software in place that supports business operations is critical in today’s climate, and implementing a futureproof solution that will evolve in line with your business is something no firm can afford to discount. The new customers we’re speaking to are testament to the fact that software migration is a growing trend and recognised as necessary.
At BrightBridge, we implement business solutions for a variety of organisations across a wide breadth of sectors – working on projects large and small; from helping customers upgrade to more functional solutions to suit their evolving business needs, through to full implementation of business architecture tailored to requirements. If you’d like to have an initial chat about the benefits of Microsoft Dynamics 365, or indeed becoming a BrightBridge customer, get in touch now and one of our Microsoft experts will be happy to help.