Today's enterprise ERP opportunities suit Microsoft product strengths, says Avanade ERP practice lead
In the enterprise ERP market, Microsoft partners have historically had to fight an uphill battle against entrenched vendors, most notably SAP and Oracle. But software investment decisions in large organizations are different today, says Barr Snyderwine, North America ERP business lead at Avanade, and he believes Microsoft has gained a new edge in areas that executives really care about like flexible deployment options, cost controls for ERP deployment at the subsidiary tier, rapid mobile application development, and flexible options for analytics.
Snyderwine joined Avanade's center of excellence for Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations (D365FO) about 18 months ago after many years in the Microsoft channel and, most recently, working for a project-based firm that ran their business with Dynamics AX. In an interview at last week's User Group Summit 2019, Snyderwine discussed customer trends and new partner opportunities that Avanade is seeing in ERP deployments and upgrades today.
"We're getting invited to more opportunities that we wouldn't have before," said Snyderwine. "[D365FO] is definitely moving upscale. The companies that would have only looked at Oracle and SAP are pulling in D365. And it's a real competition. Sometimes it is cloud-driven, but we can also do the entire implementation in a year's worth of SAP support dollars."
He also noted that Avanade is seeing a mix of different types of D365FO projects today. Some are companies that outgrew SMB ERP solutions like Dynamics GP. Another segment is looking for rapid deployment in subsidiaries and new corporate entities. Interestingly, Snyderwine observes that core financials is less of a focus in new engagements than it has been historically.
We're seeing companies with global growth. Companies that are making acquisitions are all of a sudden open in France, Germany, Russia, and so on. And we're almost not seeing just core financials anymore, even when we're brought in for it. We're talking to a large accounting firm and they are also looking at time and billing. So people are taking that Microsoft vision, the end to end that includes field service and delivery and they're looking at that vision that includes talent, field service, aligning the Project Service Automation [with D365FO], and aligning around Power BI. The Power Platform is really gaining a lot of traction.
And he continued:
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