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Using Managed Services to Expand Competitive Advantages Using Microsoft Dynamics AX

by Jeff Onesto
Director of Business Development, ASi Inc.,

The concept of "Managed Services" is not new.  As a matter of fact, many companies have come to the stark reality that creating and maintaining an internal Center of Excellence (COE) is a bit like chasing your tail. 

And just when you think you have a handle on the application, out comes a new version and back to square one -- or maybe square two if you are lucky.  Also, don't forget about employee turnover and the fierce competition with larger companies and deeper pockets for attracting and holding any A-Grade talent.  Is this really the best use of company time and resources?  Yet on the flip side, ERP should be the backbone of your company and outsourcing that knowledge can't be good, right?

Having been on both the delivery side and the operational side throughout my career, I have become a strong believer in managed services.  True sustainable competitive advantages, in my opinion, are only achieved in the areas of domain expertise, intellectual property, product innovation, people, speed-to-market, integrated supply chains, customer service, and not necessarily from ERP maintenance.  The more difficult the business process is to copy, the more significant the advantage. 

The X++ code, in the case of Microsoft Dynamics AX (formerly Microsoft Business Solutions, Axapta), and application settings are easily duplicated and, therefore, will not solely keep out your competition.  In fact, many of the mid-market solutions from SAP/Oracle are nothing more than copies of larger enterprise deployments that have been allegedly certified by the publisher.  The reason why this works in some situations is that the product supply chain for a $1.0B consumer products distributor can and often may look very similar to the product ...

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About Jeff Onesto
Jeff Onesto is the Director of Business Development at Advanced Systems Integration. He is responsible for software sales and the development and management of strategic alliances. Jeff brings over 15 years of enterprise software sales and delivery experience with companies such as Price Waterhouse, Oracle and JD Edwards. Jeff holds a B.S. Business Administration- Accountancy from California State University, Northridge.

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