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Deployment methodologies, Part 1: The promise of a proprietary approach to your Microsoft Dynamics project

by Alan R. Earls
Contributing Writer, a
July 25 2017

Following is the first in a four-part exploration of deployment methodologies used by Microsoft Dynamics partners. You can jump to part two on specific methodologies or part three on defining project success.

The idea of “out of the box” enterprise software can be a double-edged sword for firms that sell and deploy it. Customers are drawn to the promise of low-risk and low-cost implementations, but the reality of deploying software like ERP or CRM means that implementation projects remain complex and carry risk. 

Consultants offer a range of proprietary implementation methods for packaged solutions like Dynamics 365, with the aim of both differentiating themselves relative to other firms and improving the chances of a successful deployment. But are the bells and whistles of a proprietary methodology worthwhile? What do companies in the business of implementing solutions say about what they and their competitors do? 

"Rather than methodology, I prefer the word approach," says Elliot Fishman, CEO of Catapult ERP Systems in Vancouver, BC. Whether for ERP or CRM, virtually all types of system integrators like to follow an approach that starts with some kind of visioning or planning, then gets into design, development, and configuration, followed by testing, deployment, training, and, ultimately, stabilization. Those phases span activities from forming of ideas to a live solution.

"I haven't come across a methodology that is vastly different except in a few cases, particularly on the CRM side, where you are building more robust relationship ...

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About Alan R. Earls
Alan R. Earls is a technology writer based near Boston. He has covered all facets of IT, including ERP and CRM for many years and wrote regularly on Dynamics for Microsoft's 'Momentum' midsize business website. He is the author of several books on tech and business history, including Digital Equipment Corporation and Route 128 and the Birth of the Age of High Tech.
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