Microsoft Business Solutions products: Microsoft Great Plains, Navision, Solomon, Microsoft CRM, Microsoft RMS are now serving not only to small and mid-size, but also large clients, plus they maybe reasonably priced solution for the branch of multi-national corporation. This raises question of supporting Microsoft Business Solutions product installation remotely and internationally. We do not question local Microsoft partners service quality, the question maybe different local partners may not be authorized to sell and service specific MBS product, the example in France MBS promotes Navision, but there are multiple cases when branch of the US-based company in France needs users training and support for Microsoft Great Plains system.
In this small article we are trying to give you the best system selection idea, depending on your country and business type.
Microsoft has two major mid-market ERP packages: Microsoft Great Plains and Navision (Solomon is the one to consider for Project oriented company this would deserve dedicated publication).
Microsoft Great Plains this application serves the markets, formerly targeted and gained by Great Plains Software (Great Plains Dynamics/eEnterprise or Great Plains Accounting), later on GPS was purchased by Microsoft. These markets are: USA, Canada, Spanish Speaking South and Central America (except Brazil), South Africa, Middle East, Australia, New Zealand and Oceania. If you are in these regions you should probably consider Microsoft Great Plains
Navision we believe that Microsoft bought Navision Software Denmark based software development company few years ago in order to get European market share. However Navision Software itself had long history of penetration to US market. This is why we see Navision clients in both Europe and US. Now Microsoft seems to appreciate Navision accommodation to former European tax and language specifics and it promotes Navision on emerging markets: Russia, East Europe, Africa, Asia. In Brazil situation is more complex Microsoft have not decided yet and you can have either Navision or Great Plains (our subdivision Enterlogix.com.br is exclusive Great Plains reseller in Brazil). It is very delicate question for MBS - but what you can see - Great Plains version 8.0 has fewer number of languages support and at the same time Navision has more with new releases.
Microsoft CRM Microsoft promotes its CRM worldwide and it is web based so it naturally automates your worldwide operations or serves you in your local country. Microsoft CRM has C# and VB.Net based SDK, BizTalk server based integration to Great Plains and Microsoft SQL Server database. Plus it deploys all the spectrum of Microsoft technologies: MS Exchange, Message Queuing, Active Directory.
Solomon - this ERP application was formerly bought by Great Plains Software (before GPS was bought it its turn by Microsoft) - Solomon is very good fit for project-driven organization.
Microsoft RMS you should probably stay with Navision Retail module if you are in the region where MBS promotes Navision. In all other places consider Microsoft Retail Management System: RMS Store Operations and POS. If you have multiple stores you may manage and control them via Microsoft RMS Headquarters. RMS has several integration options to Microsoft Great Plains.
Remote Support Technology it gives you cheaper consulting rates, because consultant doesnt have to travel to you and can serve several remote clients per day. Microsoft VPN and Remote desktop solution is usually free for the client and in the case of sophisticated firewall Web Session could be another way to serve. We do voice training, based on Internet telephony solutions, such as Skype enable you free voice over the internet.
Customization it is always better to avoid it however if you really need it, you should consider MBS customization partner who specializes in custom development and has experienced programmer. In such a case we do not recommend to stick to local programmers in our experience local markets may not provide enough clientele for local developers to specialize in your product customization. Also we do not recommend choosing generic offshore software developer. MBS products require dedication in their customizations and integrations.
You can always have us help you internationally, give us a call: 1-630-961-5918 or 1-866-528-0577, email@example.com
Andrew Karasev is consultant and CTO in Alba Spectrum Technologies ( http://www.albaspectrum.com ) Microsoft Business Solutions partner, serving clients in USA, Canada, UK, Europe, Australia, Asia, Russia, Oceania. He is Microsoft Great Plains certified master, Great Plains Dexterity, Microsoft CRM SDK C#.Net, Crystal Repots developer. You can reach Andrew: firstname.lastname@example.org