Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations – Finding the Right PartnerShyam Jandhyala
What is Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations?
Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations is Microsoft’s premier enterprise solution (ERP) designed to address the business information requirements of medium to large companies (250+ employees). Microsoft operates through a network of premium partners who are eminently qualified to re-sell and implement this solution.
Why Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations?
Enterprises invest in Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations for a variety of reasons:
- Use of a single software across all key functions in the enterprise gives Management control over key business processes and consistency in their execution
- Data entered only once at the point of origination provides management with a ‘single version of the truth’ and immediate availability of information across locations and countries.
- Familiar look and feel that ensures that even complex functionality in the software is easily understood by business users and increases adoption of the system.
- Integration with familiar productivity software increases employee productivity by orders of magnitude
- Multiple deployment options (Cloud, on-premises, hybrid) provide controllers much more options on how they can structure their IT investments and provide IT managers the right mix of options to balance internal capabilities and need for outsourced services.
What does Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations comprise?
Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations is modular software that comprehensively addresses the business process and information requirements of various business functions within an enterprise in an integrated fashion. Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations leverages Microsoft’s ubiquitous Azure cloud network and makes available powerful computing capabilities usually not available in ERP systems. Partners in this space are well versed in helping enterprises realize business benefits by leveraging these capabilities.
Business functions served
Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations serves the following business functions:
Powerful interoperability with Microsoft Excel® enables export of historical demand data into a user-friendly interface, where users can perform their simulations to create new forecasts and import the forecast back into Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations. Partners can help with the Azure Machine Learning Cloud service for optimal forecast model selection to create KPIs.
Partners can help implement comprehensive orchestration of business process in an integrated fashion through the use of advanced planning features in Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations. The system can help enterprises plan for procurement, production, and movement of material between locations based on forecast or actual sales order book.
Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations support multiple production models – discrete, process and lean. Partners can help enterprises model their production process in the most optimal manner to control the production process and monitor events at the shop floor.
Trading and service enterprises can deploy the powerful and user-friendly features in Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations relating to Procurement, Inventory, Warehousing, Transportation, Sales and Project management to help optimize their business processes
Other than the mainline functions above, Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations comes with a host of support functions – procurement, financial accounting including project accounting, product costing, expense management and human resources.
Deploying Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations
Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations comes with multiple deployment options that can help financial and IT planners balance in-house resources with external providers. Microsoft’s Azure cloud provides a complete turn-key, hosted environment for Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations for companies that do not want to manage an enterprise-class IT solution in-house. For others, Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations is available fully on-premises or in hybrid mode, depending on business functionality chosen.
The state of the art technical design of Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations makes the same solution available on desktops, laptops and other mobile devices across technology platforms, without any loss of features.
Finding the right partner
Finding the right partner for Dynamics 365 solution or deployment can be a difficult task. There are a lot of Business solution providers in the market and you need to find the one with a deep implementation experience combined with a strong knack of product expertise. Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations is relatively new in the market, the partner’s speed of skill building is also an important parameter.
FAQ’s – Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations
1. What industries would find Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations useful?
Ans– Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations fits the requirements of the manufacturing (discrete, process and lean), service (project-based services, professional services, field services), trading and logistics businesses.
2. How does Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations support a multi-locational business like mine?
Ans– Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations is a cloud technology based solution (whether deployed publicly or privately) and can be made accessible via the internet backbone across locations
3. My business is present in multiple countries. Can Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations help?
Ans– Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations is localized (compliant with local direct and indirect tax requirements) for 36 countries and a single instance of this application can support these requirements simultaneously. Likewise, Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations is available in many languages and users can view the application in a language that is familiar to them
4. How much does the implementation of Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations cost?
Ans– Costs vary by enterprise size, the functionality to be implemented, number of locations and other factors. These can be, however, classified into:
1. Software license/subscription costs
2. Implementation fees
3. Infrastructure costs (sometimes bundled with a software license for cloud deployments)
While these are one-time investment costs, every ERP needs certain running costs to be incurred, depending on the mode of deployment:
1. Support costs for the application (and infrastructure for on-premises deployments)
2. Software assurance for on-premises licenses
3. Subscriptions for cloud-based licenses
A competent partner would walk you through these options and recommend what is optimal for your business
5. How long does it take to implement a solution in Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations?
Ans– Implementation timeframes vary based on:
1. Functionality and scope to be implemented
2. Amount of customization required on the standard product
3. Data quality and availability for legacy data cutover.