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Siloed and Legacy Business Systems Ring A Bell
By Dave Mayo, CIO, Partners in Health
Today Partners in Health leverages several different systems to support the core needs of our business. As you well know, the various products and platforms have the following consequences “just to mention a few”:
• Growing support and maintenance costs to hire internal and contract resources that are familiar with each of the products and platforms
• Different user experiences on which end-users must be trained and given time to become proficient
• Challenges reporting across solutions that are not well integrated resulting in decisions being made with incomplete or out of date information. We want to make “data” driven decisions not “gut” driven ones. My COO would refer to this as driving by looking in your rearview mirror.
At the heart of our business support systems is a legacy version of Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Dynamics has performed well over the years, however it’s time to migrate to Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations. Why change? It’s time to get under one roof and migrate to the Cloud for Business Applications.
• All current business support solutions can be consolidated to Dynamics 365; consolidating platforms will decrease the number of our third party vendors and contractors needed to support the current environment
FastTrack supplements a Microsoft Dynamics systems integration partner with resources from Microsoft
• Microsoft manages the solution infrastructure, upgrades, and provides tier I support and maintenance, thus lowering our long-term business support system maintenance costs and consolidating all software vendor contracts
• Consolidation of all business support systems onto one platform will also produce data and reporting efficiencies resulting in better information for faster and improved decision making
• A single solution and single user experience will result in users spending less time training and learning systems and getting more work done.
The journey to achieving the benefits listed above, and many other benefits, can only be accomplished with a successful migration from our current legacy systems to the new consolidated platform, Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations. In my experience, this journey is not without risk and challenges. Picking the correct partner is key!
Microsoft offers a FastTrack program for Dynamics 365 to support you on your journey. FastTrack supplements a Microsoft Dynamics systems integration partner with resources from Microsoft; FastTrack does not replace the need for a systems integration partner. Let’s be clear about this. The “FastTrack + systems integration partner” model helps mitigate key risk areas such as fit/gap assessment, customization versus configuration tradeoffs, integration and data migration, and change management. Don’t forget how important change management is folks.
Microsoft also offers Lifecycle Services (LCS), a tool and collaboration platform. LCS offers repeatable process templates and other capabilities that the FastTrack and systems integration partner resources can leverage. The incorporation of LCS into the project will thus further reduce delivery risk and challenges.
The journey is long and in my experience, it is best to deliver in logical, iterative phases. These phases allow the organization to focus on specific workloads such as accounting, supply chain management, and donor management, and to see and experience progress along with measuring the benefits that will be realized. It also helps mitigate the risk that an important requirement is not missed and issues are found early rather than late. What are we waiting for you ask? Be prepared for the sticker shock.