Finding and utilizing the right business system is a great way to streamline a company’s operations, minimise miscommunication and disconnect amongst employees, and decrease the occurrence of errors, providing a thread that connects the entire process.
As an integral part of our Sales process, we implement Diagnostic phase as a part of Microsoft Sure Step Methodology. The aim of this phase is to assist customers with their decision-making process for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or Customer Relationship Management Solution (CRM). sa.global is careful to only propose solutions when confident about it being a good fit to the requirements of the customer.
The Diagnostic phase is a consultative, education process during which sa.global tries to gain as much understanding as possible of the customer’s current situation, business environment and requirements - both immediate and foreseeable. For this purpose, we use sets of services within the Diagnostic phase, called Decision Accelerators which provide a due-diligence process for diagnosing the right solution to meet your business requirements, and help you make better investment decisions.
Typically following the proposal stage, sa.global prepares for a presentation and demo of the proposed solution. The solution may be tailored to some extent, audiences do need to appreciate however that it will be quite generic, since it is not practical for us to highly reconfigure the software for every presentation.
During our presentation to the prospects, sa.global expects ALL key personnel that may be impacted by the proposed system to attend the consultation. We typically need 3-5 hours for such presentations, as we feel that such an investment of time is vital for organisations that have to work with the business system in the future. We ask of our prospects to provide us with scenarios in advance to help ensure a valuable, relevant and interactive delivery.
In some instances prior to large and complex implementations we run workshops. During these workshops, sa.global consultants spend time with users, mapping and documenting their key business processes. This process assists with educating both sides and helps to ensure that any proposed solution is a good match for the organisation's requirements.
sa.global uses the knowledge gained from workshops to develop specific and detailed demos of the proposed solution. As during normal sales process the amount of specific configuration and tailoring possible is limited; users need to make judgements based on generic type demos. Typically workshops are chargeable, this expense however helps towards a faster and smoother implementation should the customer progress to the next stage, which they usually do.
Trial /Pilot Systems
In some instances sa.global obtains trial software keys for use on proof of concept / trial systems. In most cases, it is challenging to properly assess a system’s unless it has been properly configured to meet the user’s requirements. To ensure fair evaluation; if we agree to a proof of concept we insist on significant consultancy. Going down this route will naturally result in a larger total cost and lengthened total time of implementation.
sa.global will have a reasonably good understanding of requirements following several consultations and meetings. Post these consultations, we typically prepare, free of charge, a comprehensive proposal document which will cover:
The document is intended for several audiences and to cover all major issues up front so that realistic expectations are set. This helps prevent misunderstandings and supports our goal of an excellent long-term relationship with all sa.global customers.
As a Gold Certified Microsoft Partner, sa.global typically follows the Microsoft Sure Step Implementation Methodology. Our team of certified Project Managers and Consultants are well versed with this approach.
sa.global’s well-defined and proven methodology is based upon Prince II principles, it has been modified by our own extensive experience and interaction with other implementation partners, and advice from Microsoft.
sa.global’s certified Practitioners within the team are used to working with clients to modify or adapt these methodologies to find and agree an approach which is acceptable to all parties involved.
Both Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM come with excellent online documentation which we always install with the system. sa.global consultants use internally developed checklists which is used in addition to the online resources. All our consultants have access to an extensive knowledge base and our customers also gain access to a similar knowledge base as part of their support contract.
sa.global generates a comprehensive system design document which is based upon a template developed by us over the years. Larger projects involve workshops and interviews with staff to ensure that we fully understand all the business processes and map these to the system’s method of operation and to the configurations that we may have used.
In most businesses, innovation is essential to sustain profitable activity in a changing environment. Good Project Management is the essential ingredient of a successful implementation. sa.global’s project managers work with you to establish the following:
sa.global invariably appoints a senior consultant as Project Manager. The customer’s internal project manager acts as the main point of contact for all important issues during the implementation. The Project Manager puts together a project team of sa.global consultants who will have the necessary mix of skills and experience to make a success of the project.
Microsoft SureStep defines 6 Main Phases and 2 additional phases for optimization and upgrade. First phase, Diagnostic phase, has been explained as a part of our Sales Advice process.
Co-operation between sa.global and customers is the key to a successful implementation. At the beginning, we address what preparation work we expect you to perform, to avoid any misunderstanding.
The Analysis phase
The Analyses phase marks the start of implementation. This phase defines the activities required to initiate and effectively plan the entire project. sa.global’s goal of the analysis phase is to understand customer’s business and processes performed.
The Operation phase
The Operation phase involves final activities required to close out the project and transition the solution and knowledge to the customer.
While a Phase is a view on the process between milestones, a cross phase process is a group of related activities that span multiple implementation phases in a specific project scenario. Sure Step Methodology involves nine cross phase processes, which have been further grouped into three areas.
The Organization cross phase processes include:
The Solution cross phase processes include:
The Technology cross phase processes include:
Overview sa.global’s experience and expertise span across customers that have dozens of systems feeding information to or extracting from their ERP systems. As Microsoft Dynamics is designed with connectivity in mind, we leverage the capabilities of this system through our dedicated development team to seamlessly integrate with line-of-business systems to streamline your business process.
Web Services Dynamics ERP and Dynamics CRM both have extensible web services throughout. Web Services are an incredibly exciting and powerful development for systems in general, making it easier and faster to develop real-time integrations between systems, than previous generation methods such as manual batch import or direct to table.
sa.global believes that the economics of using web-services for integrations are so compelling - that within 5 years, the bulk of business documents, such as orders and invoices will be exchanged as electronic XML format, instead of the highly inefficient, labour intensive, error prone, paper formats used today.
Microsoft has invested massively on R&D in the Dynamics solutions, currently US$ 1 billion - more than 12% of their overall R&D budget. Do you already have a Microsoft Dynamics solution and looking to upgrade to the latest version? sa.global’s upgrade service offers you cost-effective options to move from any earlier version of Dynamics to the newest version.
sa.global follows a structured upgrade procedure to minimise system downtime and protect the integrity of data and any security configurations in the transition process. Normally we recommend a system audit if we are not already familiar with the system set-up, including any report or form customisations, security settings and third party product integrations. We further recommend performing a test upgrade, usually performed remotely to reduce costs, using a copy of your data, before upgrading the live system. Throughout the upgrade process, from pre-upgrade system consultation through to post-upgrade services, including training on new features and system support, we aim at delivering a service that will respect your preferred methods of working and will accommodate your need to maximise business efficiency.
sa.global advises you on the upgrade path, database migration, latest hot fixes and service packs, as well as with questions related to licensing and enhancement plans. All customers on a current Microsoft Dynamics enhancement plan or Software Assurance plan will automatically be eligible to access the latest software version and service packs. In cases where customers have lapsed on their enhancement plan, we can help with the re-enrolment process and give you a full breakdown of costs, including re-enrolment fee, new enhancement plan rates as well as details and full transparency of our consultancy / upgrade charges.