As you probably heard, in September 2005 Microsoft strategically renamed its ERP applications: Microsoft Great Plains into Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Navision into Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Axapta into Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft CRM into Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft Solomon into Microsoft Dynamics SL. As so-called Project Green is rolling out – you should expect more logic to be transferred into Microsoft Business Portal, and into Microsoft Outlook (currently Microsoft CRM has outlook client and Microsoft Small Business Accounting allows you to generate invoices in Outlook directly, plus promote contacts from Outlook to SBA).
As we see and expect new high-tech and business systems market trends – remote and offshore support will be taking substantial market share in 2006-2010. Microsoft event plans to have special partnership models for BPO (Business Processes Outsourcing) partners, who will enter your AP/AR documents into the system and prepare reporting for you.
In this small article we’ll consider the alternatives and directions of Microsoft Great Plains offshore remote support:
• Technical Feasibility. As we are watching the parade of remote internet-based technologies: Terminal Services, Citrix, Web Sessions, Skype, PCAnywhere, Vonage/VOIP (with US based phone numbers, physically located offshore), we think that this is just a matter of time (let’s give it five years – up to 2010) when consultant driving to the client physical location/office will go to history
• Time Zones. Well – yes – you are right. Other countries are located in different time zones, especially Great Plains gurus in Philippines (remember Match Data Great Plains Project Accounting?). Philippines and India are almost 12 hours away from USA. However South America is about at the same time belt – Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Mexico – these are probably smaller clusters of offshore & BPO companies, but the advantage of time zone is obvious
• Pure Offshore vs. Local Consulting. Again – the choice is yours – in our opinion pure offshore is not the best option – offshore consultants and developers should be also experienced in serving clients face-to-face, this means – they should have local consulting practice in their local countries.
• Dexterity, VBA, Web Services. Here we are coming down to IT people – in our opinion the best offshore project is Microsoft Dexterity (or Great Plain Dexterity) software development
• Lovely Islands. If you are in Bermuda, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Palau, Fiji, Tahiti – you are probably underserved and have to overpay to consultants flying from Miami, Manila, Paris, Chicago, NY, LA. The same should be told about USA/Canada rural communities
• ERP Historical Trend. Well, if you stake on Microsoft Business Solutions – you still might have legacy of products: IBM Lotus Notes Domino, Oracle Financials/Applications/E-Business Suite, SAP, PeopleSoft, JDEdwards, Accpac, Siebel, SalesLogix. You might need integration, data conversion, customization and heterogeneous reporting. Again – in our opinion you should consider budget offshore solution for these developers-time consuming projects
• Brazil – rising star of offshore software development. Usually offshore development is attributed to India – in our opinion Brazil has equal or better chances – in Brazil we have Microsoft Navision, CRM and Axapta clientele. From Brazil we can serve you Portuguese (mainland Portugal) and Spanish (Spain-Madrid-Barcelona-Malaga-Bilbao, Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, Chili, Argentina, Costa Rica, Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Panama, Beliz)
• BPO. Currently we offer these services from India. We have investments in our Indian subsidiary and it is strategic for BPO market

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Andrew Karasev is Chief Technology Officer at Alba Spectrum Technologies ( ) - Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains, Navision, Axapta MS CRM, Oracle Financials and IBM Lotus Domino Partner, serving corporate customers in the following industries: Aerospace & Defense, Medical & Healthcare, Distribution & Logistics, Hospitality, Banking & Finance, Wholesale & Retail, Chemicals, Oil & Gas, Placement & Recruiting, Advertising & Publishing, Textile, Pharmaceutical, Non-Profit, Beverages, Conglomerates, Apparels, Durables, Manufacturing and having locations in multiple states and internationally.
We are serving USA Nationwide: CA, IL, NY, FL, AZ, CO, TX, WI, WA, MI, MA, MO, LA, NM, MN, Europe: Germany, France, Belgium, Poland, Russia, Middle East (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, OAE, Bahrain), Asia: China, Australia, New Zealand, Oceania, South & Central America: Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Venezuela, Columbia, Ecuador, Chili, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico