Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is an all-in-one intelligent business management solution that is starting to gain massive traction in South Africa. Although the product set has been available globally for the past four years, local small to medium enterprises (SMEs) are only now seriously considering its benefits for their operations.
Craig Garrett, head of sales at Decision Inc, believes part of this can be attributed to how enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions has been positioned in the country.
“For many, ERP translates to something that is incredibly expensive, massively disruptive to existing system and does not deliver a return on investment. This has seen ERP become a virtual non-starter when it comes to the price-sensitive SME market,” he says.
This has resulted in service providers focusing their efforts on larger organisations, effectively saturating the market. Additionally, SMEs have been left frustrated by a lack of solutions that address the challenges they face at a price point they can afford and delivers a long-term platform for growth.
“Those SMEs who have ventured into testing the ERP waters might typically only use 2% of its capabilities, wasting a lot of resources that could have been better spent elsewhere. With Microsoft changing its business strategy in recent years to focus on smaller enterprises, Dynamics 365 Business Central is the exciting result. For us, it allows us to move away from traditional ERP into providing SMEs with intelligence business solutions.”
With Dynamics 365 Business Central, Microsoft is delivering a solution that is not only affordable, but easy to use and adapt, and something that provides SMEs with true analytical capabilities equipped to position them for business growth.
“Dynamics 365 Business Central must be positioned in a way that appeals to entrepreneurs and small business owners. SMEs do not understand the traditional technology-focused jargon when it comes to ERP and its benefits. They need guidance on what it means for their business. This is where our approach comes in. We move away from IT terminology and focus on how to facilitate organisational strategy with intelligent business operations.”
He says that by illustrating the advantages of implementing the solution in a phased approach, the SME can see how it can scale according to its needs. And because Microsoft has made it easy to integrate Dynamics 365 Business Central, the business owner does not have to feel stuck in a tool set that does not deliver value. This allows the owner to integrate into Microsoft’s eco system and which gives access to the cloud, office 365 (outlook, SharePoint teams etc), LinkedIn, Power BI to name a few.
“This provides decision-makers with an agile solution which they can use to leverage the benefits of the cloud as opposed to only remaining on-site with their management offerings. The beauty of the Microsoft product for any SME is the ability to implement a standard deployment or go the highly feature/functionality route.”
If it is the former, Garrett says Decision Inc can implement Dynamics 365 Business Central in an average of 28 days with no disruption to existing operations.
“Obviously, the more complex the requirements, the longer it will take. However, the return on investment to the more traditional ERP systems is chalk and cheese. Critical to this success, is for the SME to work with a trusted partner such as us who do not focus on technology for its own sake. Instead, it is about understanding their unique business requirements and delivering a highly customer centric solution such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central,” he concludes.