Make Velosio Your ERP Migration and Implementation Partner

With a considerable number of successful ERP implementations, here at Velosio, we have the tools and experience you’re looking for. 

Table of Content

    This post is the first in a series that will help you understand why you should consider Velosio as your ERP migration and implementation partner.

    In this post, we’ll discuss how to identify VARs and evaluate them based on important implementation criteria.

    Subsequent posts will discuss various ERP implementation topics and explain how Velosio can help ensure a quality outcome.

    Considering the Change to a New ERP

    Considering the migration to a new ERP is a crucial decision. ERPs control all the company’s financial transactions. Additionally, today’s ERPs are so feature rich, that they can also control nonfinancial transactions such as CRM, sales and marketing management.

    Business Leaders Guide to the New Digital AgeBusiness Leaders Guide to the New Digital Age

    Purchasing an ERP is a lot like buying a car. The purchase is infrequent, and a company usually has little experience in the process. On the other hand, a VAR is familiar with the ERP sales process, understands what it takes to migrate to a new ERP, and as a result, can play a significant role in your purchase decision and the associated ERP implementation.

    If your company already owns an accounting system, you may already have a VAR relationship in place. The issue is, do you have confidence that your current VAR can effectively handle the project?

    By following a few commonsense tips and best practices, such as thoughtful VAR identification, due diligence and a comprehensive review and selection process can help ensure that you evaluate and choose the correct VAR.

    VAR Search

    A successful ERP implementation starts at the beginning of the sales process, with selecting a VAR that best meets your needs. Identify the software products that you’re considering migrating to. There are a lot of options, and you can narrow down the VAR field considerably by evaluating VARs experienced in implementing the product you’re considering.

    Reach out to your contacts to gain some perspective. Select contacts whose opinions you respect and find out if they’ve been through this process in the recent past. If they haven’t personally, they may be able to refer you to someone who has.  Set up a call or a lunch. Discuss their implementation and how happy they were with the VAR they used and any issues they experienced. These contacts are usually honest and will give you the “straight scoop”.

    Directly, contact the software publisher of the product of interest. Many times, they will refer you to a partner that they trust. For example, Microsoft maintains strong relationships with certain preferred partners based on a positive track record of successful implementations and will connect you with these VARs. Velosio receives a large number of Microsoft referrals each year. If Microsoft trusts Velosio to deliver a quality implementation, you can too.

    Another way would be to ask your accounting firm. Your accounting firm has a vested interest in your company’s success as they have a relationship to manage. As a result, they’ll be careful in their recommendations.

    Finally, if needed, attend a tradeshow or search for VARs on the internet. Be careful here, as you have no real idea who many of these companies are. If you need to go down this path, due diligence is key to selection success.

    Evaluating VARs

    Before a VAR is selected, it’s vital to evaluate each VAR in terms of the value that they’ll bring to the table during the implementation. The topics below describe some of the attributes that you should evaluate.

    Strategic Plan Support

    Whether formally documented, or in everyone’s collective memory, somewhere there is a set of company strategies that are used to help set company direction. Company strategy awareness plays a vital role in purchasing an ERP. The purchase should align with and support company strategies.

    For example, if the company is considering expansion through opening new locations, or through acquisitions, be sure that the ERP purchased is strong in multi-entity transaction processing and provides the ability to track transactions, then easily report them, at the level of detail needed.

    Defining and communicating strategies is not an effortless process. Doing it correctly requires a lot of thought and planning. There are several tools that can be used to assist in strategy development. These tools offer easy to use software that assists in streamlining strategy creation, revisions and updates and can help you get your strategic planning started on the right foot.

    The Right Microsoft Partner Can Drive Business SuccessThe Right Microsoft Partner Can Drive Business Success

    Velosio has extensive experience working with companies to help them define and understand their strategic goals. Velosio internally uses strategic planning tools in setting their goals and strategies. We understand the importance of strategic planning and are happy to help our clients when needed.

    Question potential VARs and determine if they have experience implementing an ERP in companies with strategies and goals like yours. As in the example above, if your company is considering expansion and acquisitions, be sure the VAR you select has the experience, staffing and resources to effectively implement an ERP in that environment.

    Project Control and Methodology

    A successful ERP implementation is controlled using a specific methodology. Many software publishers provide some type of implementation methodology for use by their VARs.

    An example implementation methodology appears below. The example illustrates five implementation phases.

    change of VAR flow chart

    At Velosio, we use an implementation methodology designed to keep the project on track, and ensure repeatable, quality results.

    Using a project methodology does not equate to inflexibility. We understand projects don’t always go according to plan. That’s why we’ve built flexibility into our methodology design. Our staff is completely trained in our methodology, and they know how to be flexible when needed and seamlessly move between project steps to streamline the process as much as possible.

    Company Culture and “Fit”

    Set up some introductory meetings with the VARs you’re interested in. Have them meet with a few of your project team members. Go over some of your important requirements and see how the VAR responds.

    If the response to everything you discuss is “out of the box, or no problem” be wary. Probe a bit and make sure to get thoughtful feedback, maybe with some general information as to how major requirements will be addressed. Don’t forget to document important statements or promises.

    See how the VAR team fits into your company culture and how your team interacts with them. Get the VARs down to a short list (2 or 3 tops) based on these initial meetings.

    Convene project team meetings with the VARs on the short list. Don’t let the VAR include only their management and sales team members in the meetings. Have them include the staff members, who will be involved in the project. Face to face contact is the best indicator to determine a VAR’s “fit” with your company culture.

    If they don’t feel right during the initial meetings, you probably won’t like them at all once the implementation starts, especially if things start to “heat up” a bit. Finding the VAR that you’re comfortable with is very important so don’t shortcut this.

    The Pre-Sale Process

    Once the VAR has been selected, the actual pre-sale process begins. Before you “sign on the bottom line” you need to be sure that the VAR understands and responds to your ERP requirements.

    ERP general accounting functionality is reasonably consistent. To get the “biggest bang for your buck”, focus on critical revenue support areas. These are the areas that set ERP’s apart, and the associated functionalities are critical to the company’s profitability.

    Rank your requirements and focus on key functionality. ERP Accounting, Account Payable, Accounts Receivable and Cash functionality is a structured and very controlled process. There is little room for creativity here, and most ERP’s adequately handle basic needs out of the box. Unless your company has some unique accounting requirements such as complicated corporate and GL account structures, inter-company activity or multiple currencies, I wouldn’t spend a lot of time in the accounting areas. Instead, focus on critical operational functionality such as sales order processing or project accounting.

    Enabling the Modern Worker with the Microsoft PlatformEnabling the Modern Worker with the Microsoft Platform

    Velosio’s sales team and business analysts are very experienced in gathering requirements. We know how to ask important questions and drill down where needed to gain a full understanding of your company’s needs.

    We generate an organized set of requirements documentation, which is used in the product demo process to ensure that critical functionality is understood.

    Remember, requirements include not only system functionality, but reporting as well. In some companies robust, easy to use reporting tools may be more important than system functionality itself.

    Show your current reports to the VAR and resolve potential issues. If you need the VAR to assist in report building, be sure to get an estimate included in the sales document.

    So, Why Velosio for Your ERP Implementation?

    Velosio brings 30+ years of experience helping companies modernize applications, migrate to new applications, simplify operations, and leverage their data to make better decisions.

    Over 3000 clients trust our consulting, migration, and support teams to reduce risk, empower innovation and create a foundation for reshaping the employee and client experience.

    There are hundreds of VARs that sell and install ERPs. VARs come in all shapes and sizes. Some are small, (five or ten person shops), many are larger. Velosio is a team of 450 business professionals, application consultants and industry experts aligned with our clients’ best interests and dedicated to ensuring exceptional outcomes.

    Many of our team members are experienced accountants, some are CPA’s. Our business professionals have come to us from other companies and have deep expert knowledge of their respective industries.

    Our team has worked with clients of all sizes over thousands of projects, allowing us to spot potential issues quickly, offer sage advice when needed, suggest best practices and drill down on issues important to your company.

    With a considerable number of successful ERP implementations under our belt, you can be confident that we have the tools and experience you’re looking for.

    Business Leaders Guide to Dynamics 365Business Leaders Guide to Dynamics 365