What does it mean to you?

Microsoft Dynamics NAV users are well aware of the importance of the Partner channel. A ‘good partner’ can be the difference between a successful implementation and a costly disaster.

For food manufacturers and distributors utilizing Microsoft Dynamics NAV, there is an expansive list of partners offering industry knowledge, a tailored solution and food specific functionality.

However, as on-prem favored deployments move to the cloud and the preference for a ‘customized’ solution transitions to a ‘tailored vanilla approach’ the partner channel is getting condensed and clients have fewer choices. The value of industry knowledge becomes paramount when making a partner selection and the partner’s ability to demonstrate repeated successful implementations and high client retention becomes key decision criteria.

As consolidations occur, like the recent acquisition of Industry Built Ltd., the creator of JustFood, by Aptean, a Ross solution provider, clients need to consider how it will impact their business and the service and support their partner provides.

A Dynamics focused partner

Ideally, partner consolidation will mean more adept, focused providers for Dynamics end users. When Columbus acquired Tridea Partners, in 2017, we strengthened our process manufacturing and food and beverage offerings with the addition of craft beverage and life sciences expertise. Unlike Aptean, Tridea was within the Microsoft Dynamics channel allowing our two companies to quickly work together to find synergies with product knowledge and valuable Microsoft and ISV relationships. Clients gained the benefits of enhanced product and industry knowledge and our ability to further leverage our Microsoft relationships. While Aptean has ERP knowledge, they have no experience working with the Microsoft Dynamics products; there is no common foundation to build and further grow Microsoft relationships. Clients should closely watch where time and development is spent especially with potential future expansion of the Dynamics 365 functionality.

Enhanced Service Offerings

Additionally, consolidation should be between two complimentary organizations and result in strengthening a partner’s ability to provide an upgraded implementation and post go live experience. Columbus’ acquisition of Client Strategy Group (CSG), in 2016, brought an enhanced focus on providing superior post go live support and richer complimentary service offerings in the areas of BI and database management. Our Application Management Services, including our ColumbusCare offering, allows us to provide clients hyper care support in the period directly post implementation and ongoing support tailored to meet each client’s exact needs in the months and years following implementation. Little is known about Aptean’s ability to deliver but JustFood is widely known to struggle with completing successful implementations. Further, neither company has published information on their support offerings making it challenging for clients to understand how the consolidations of these two organizations is going to help them further leverage the investment they have made.

Continuing to Evaluate Your Fit

Selecting the right partner at the start of an implementation is critical to the success of your go live and continuing to reap value from your investment. However, throughout the life of your solution you need to continue to evaluate your partner and their ability to support your business especially as it grows and changes. Changes to yours and your partner’s business may not make them the ideal fit they once were perceived to be. This misalignment may hinder your ability to realize ongoing value from your technology investment or harness its ability to bring your business to the next level.

Considering a Change

If you are considering a new Microsoft Dynamics NAV partner, consider Columbus. For more than 25 years, Columbus has focused our business solely on the Microsoft Dynamics solution stack. As a publicly traded company with global reach, but a local feel, we are one of the most awarded and stable businesses within the Microsoft ecosystem.

Our large, tenured team of consultants have in depth food industry experience and have been widely recognized as leaders within the Microsoft Dynamics NAV community. We have developed tailored food industry IP built within NAV to support food specific functionality and have microvertical solutions for: dairy, produce, meat, bakeries, confectioneries and craft brewers.

Our dedicated ColumbusCare support team can provide 24/7 support via web and voice and we can tailor support packages to fit your business’s unique needs including seasonality. Our other dedicated practice areas can provide complimentary services including food specific business intelligence solutions, digital transformation guidance, Managed Services including Azure, and Microsoft Dynamics365 for Sales.

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