Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains was historically designed to serve mid-market first and then with addition and acquisition of new modules – Great Plains Dynamics architects planned to enter into corporate market. When Microsoft SQL Server took its place as relatively reliable and stable database platform, Great Plains gained scalability. Let’s consider the questions, you need to be placed and answered for your IT department in ERP selection, implementation, modification and customization.

• Business System value. For large publicly traded enterprise ERM application needs to be tailored to serve unique business processes. In the case of traditional ERP system for big businesses, such as Oracle, SAP, PeopleSoft, the modules have very rich functionality and you can expect that majority of the required functionality is already present. In the case when the system is coming the way up from mid-size to large clientele – you expect more customization to be done. There are pluses and minuses of both approaches: in the case of traditional system you overpay for the functionality you do not need and probably consulting rates will be higher, in the case of Great Plains – you might need more customization hours with lower rates

• Implementation Partner Expertise. This is very important question. In the case of Great Plains you should be aware that typical Microsoft Business Solution partner/VAR serves local market and mid-size clients. Plus it might not have dedicated Great Plains developers – consultants may not segregate functional and technical consulting duties. Also look for your industry implementation expertise – if you are project organization – ask for Great Plains Project Accounting tailoring and integration expertise, if you are nation-wide placement agency and want to deploy payroll module for your temps – ask for US Payroll module customization and case studies

• Technology Diversity challenges. You should analyze your current technologies in use and cross-integration needs with Microsoft Great Plains – Lotus Notes/Domino, custom Oracle systems, Unix-based databases, such as DBII, Java/EJB oriented web systems, Siebel CRM solutions? If you have these so-called non-Microsoft platforms and systems and you need cross-integration – check if proposed Microsoft Business Solution partner has the expertise

• Do not be sold – select your provider proactively. It is not a secret that when VAR hears the name of your fortune 500 corporation – it deploys it’s sales heavy artillery. You need to find people who could do the job and you need to find them via independent objective research.
Good luck with selection, implementation and customization, if you have issues or concerns – we are here to help! If you want us to do the job - give us a call 1-866-528-0577!
Andrew Karasev is Chief Technology Officer in Alba Spectrum Technologies – USA nationwide Microsoft RMS, Great Plains, Microsoft CRM customization company, serving clients in Chicago, California, Texas, Florida, New York, Georgia, Arizona, Minnesota, UK, Australia and having locations in multiple states and internationally ( ), he is CMA, Great Plains Certified Master, Dexterity, SQL, C#.Net, Crystal Reports and Microsoft CRM SDK developer. You can contact Andrew: