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Tracking down the right partner to support your ERP implementation can seem like a challenge, but can be made easier by narrowing what to look for according to your needs. Every business has different demands that few solutions can meet perfectly out of the box, but working with a value-added reseller (VAR) will help you build the system that generates the best ROI. More than just a consultant, the right VAR will work closely with your team to ensure your software integrates seamlessly with your technology stack and solves your biggest pain points to enable your success.
Here are the signs to look for when choosing the right ERP implementation partner for you:
Choose the Right Type of Software First
You may get lucky and uncover a VAR that provides the perfect solution for you that fulfills every one of you needs now and as you grow in the future. Realistically, however, it is better to do some of your own research and seek out referrals in your industry before narrowing down the top ERP partner choices in those spaces. Software products are divided by function and market, and not every feature will necessarily return value – a reseller worth their price will take your selections and compare their functionality against what your business really needs to help you make the best choice.
Establish Project Scope and Assemble Your Team
Horror stories of failed ERP implementations always carry a trend of miscommunication, for a variety of reasons. Before you can even determine how to find the right partner, you must be able to truly understand the scope of your project yourself and ensure that your entire company is on the same page, including having a clearly-designated team involved. This can make the difference in determining whether any VAR you engage is actually meeting your objectives, or if they are unable – or unwilling – to complete your deployment.
What to Look for in Your ERP Implementation Partner
There are several background factors that will impact the success or failure of your ERP implementation beyond just the viability of the product itself, and choosing the right partner means taking these dynamics into consideration. Everything from the size of your business to your industry to where and how you do business will affect how much value you capture from deploying an enterprise system. When selecting a VAR, make sure they fit the right criteria for what your project will need to avoid having to commit to a recovery.
Choose a Right-Sized VAR
Many VARs occupy their own limited corner of their products’ reseller space, acting as “mom and pop” consultants and support resources for SMBs trying to keep their technology budget controlled. The problem with this approach becomes apparent when a business can no longer obtain that support, either because the partner does not have the resources to handle it – or they went out of business. Just as it happens with makeshift internal IT teams, once your organization hits a certain size it becomes harder and harder to scale support to meet demand.
Experience with Your Needs
ERP systems are often standardized around a core of accounting features with additional industry-specific functionality that varies with the product and bundle, but this can create “devil in the details” situation when your business is looking to solve specific pain points. No matter your particular sector, the VAR you choose should have experience working with your type of processes and be able to demonstrate solutions to improve their output.
Knowledge of the Solution
While it should go without saying that your implementation partner must have a working knowledge of the ERP you plan to deploy, the level of familiarity they have with the product – and where it fits in with your needs – will have a huge impact on the project. Because not every solution is “one size fits all,” your VAR’s understanding of its architecture will make the difference in being able to customize your software for unique functions as well as for integrating with third-party applications.
Ability to Handle to Integration and Customization
ERP is often just a part of a functioning technology stack, and while it can provide a centralized database, your ROI will depend heavily on how your enterprise system fits in with your other software. If you have any existing solutions in place, or plan to add integrations in the future, your partner must be able to handle the connectors between applications to ensure your project is ultimately successful.
Ability to Support Your ERP Implementation
Even with all the planning in the world, very rarely does an implementation completely avoid disruption. When this happens, you will need a VAR that demonstrates the ability to adapt, the resources and people needed to provide solutions, and the professionalism required to stick through it and provide close support for your project team.
Ability to Host Your Software
As technology continues to both advance in function and become immutably interconnected, ERP will progressively move from a standard of on-premise deployments to cloud-hosted environments. VARs that are able to host your software will fundamentally transform your implementation, with the ability to streamline how you access your applications. Without the need for physical hardware, hosting partners can help you deploy your IT systems and infrastructure much faster – some within hours – and with much less pain.
Managed IT Services for ERP
With ERP moving to the cloud, it is becoming increasingly important to have both managed IT and cloud services for your hosted applications. Networks are growing and becoming more dynamic, requiring more proactive support to ensure you get the best ROI on your modern systems, as well as protect your data from all manner of cyber threats.
SWK is the Right ERP Implementation Partner for You
SWK Technologies is an award-winning VAR, managed service provider (MSP), cloud service provider (CSP) and consultant resource with decades of experience in Sage products from 100 to X3, and a top partner for Acumatica as well for dozens of independent add-on solutions like Avalara, ADP Workforce Now and BigCommerce. Reach out to us ASAP to get in touch with our ERP implementation and customization experts, and discover how we can help you optimize your deployment to provide the best ROI.
Contact SWK today to learn more about our ERP implementation services and why we are the best partner to move your technology forward.
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