Navigating the ERP landscape as a project-based business

March 17 2020

Many project-based businesses have ERP systems, technically speaking. But, unlike other industries with more repeatable processes and systematized operations, a traditional ERP probably serves only a fraction of the requirements for organizations in industries like construction, engineering and energy. Instead, these firms end up with a patchwork of off-the-shelf systems (ERP among them), custom apps, and brute-force processes for monitoring and management.

"With data and information spread everywhere … there is no way for them to know what is going on, especially not in real time," says Daniel Bévort, CEO and founder of Microsoft ISV Adeaca, maker of business management solutions for project-based industries, built on Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations.

Bévort is a real veteran of the Dynamics AX and F&O space. As he explains in the interview below, his roots as an architect for Axapta at Navision Damgaard led to his continued career in the Microsoft channel, where Adeaca still operates. Project-based businesses have unique needs when deploying systems to manage operations and finance, he argues. He also explains how an ISV solution can still compete alongside Microsoft's new Dynamics 365 Project Operations, the replacement for Project Service Automation that aims to meet requirements for both front- and back-office.

MSDW: You were an architect of Axapta at Navision Damgaard but you’ve stayed in this product's ecosystem for many years since. What has Microsoft done well enough to keep you (and the larger ecosystem) engaged with the product over all this time? 

Daniel Bévort: I think there are a few reasons why I stayed in the Microsoft ecosystem. First, I do think of Dynamics AX and 365 Finance as "my baby" in some sense. Of course, I was not the only one at Navision Damgaard, we had an incredible talented engineering team. I spearheaded the flexible UI design and application tool architecture of the platform that we called MorphX, meaning the platform and tools that build the ERP solution. Most still survives to this day in the current D365F.

We had this grand vision to be the first cloud ERP back in 1996. We were quite ahead of the times. However, web browsers and HTML standards were not ready for such a rich UI, not that we didn’t try. Then Microsoft came along and brought that vision to fruition with D365FO, which I was really happy to see. Bottom line, I loved doing it and I am excited about its future.

Second, out of the big ERPs, Dynamics is the youngest and strongest platform out there. It is the most flexible and I believe it has the most potential out of any of them. It is a great platform to make enterprise level applications on, as we do at Adeaca. So, I want to stick with it to help and be a part of that growth.

And lastly, it is a very close-knit community. Many of the people I knew at Damgaard are still around in the ecosystem. Some of them are at Microsoft building the next version of D365F or working at other partners. It is great to be a part of the ecosystem to support that community and grow the solution I helped build.

You've written that “Most project industries are stuck in a pre-ERP world.” What steps are your clients taking to get into the present?

About Jason Gumpert

As the editor of MSDynamicsWorld.com, Jason oversees all editorial content on the site and at our events, as well as providing site management and strategy. He can be reached at jgumpert@msdynamicsworld.com.

Prior to co-founding MSDynamicsWorld.com, Jason was a Principal Software Consultant at Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC), where he implemented solutions, trained customers, managed software development, and spent some time in the pre-sales engineering organization. He has also held consulting positions at CSC Consulting and Monitor Group.

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