Leading a technology company sometimes feels like an impossible task.
It is like entering an Olympic shooting event where multiple targets are continuously moving in a random pattern at varying distances. You are told coming in that you need to hit the large targets at 100 feet. You spend all your time preparing and training for this event. Then, when you arrive to warm up, they say they changed the rules— you are now hitting flying targets at 200 feet and you can use any gun you choose. So you quickly set up for that and get all the gear and sights calibrated for these targets. Just before start time you are told that they made a mistake and it really was the first set of big targets. They then continually change the rules every 20 minutes to leave you totally unprepared and confused! That is how I feel most weeks with the speed at which the tech industry moves, lurches and changes direction.
At eOne we regularly have internal product planning meetings and decide on a development path and determine where our energy will be spent over the next 2 months, 6 months and 2 years. The next week some external event occurs, which makes us rethink those priorities, we revise our direction, plan the investment and start in that new direction. The target is always moving. Priorities are always changing.
It was not all that long ago when Microsoft announced their plans for Project Madeira. Microsoft was taking SMB ERP to the cloud. That was awesome and not before time. The questions for eOne were obvious: “What does that mean for us?”, “What do we need to do?”, “Is this going to impact our revenue?”, and “Do we need to get onboard?”.
The short answer to all those questions was yes. Microsoft was onto a good idea. We needed to build SmartConnect, our ‘no code’ data integration solution, to work with Dynamics 365 – Sales and Financials! So we reset some priorities and got to work.
Yesterday we handed our new build to the QA team for one final round of testing, and fully expect that in less than 7 days from now we will have a public release of SmartConnect that fully supports Dynamics 365. It is a great testament to the agility of our development teams that we have been able to turn this around quickly and make SmartConnect available to the early adopters of Dynamics 365.
What this means is that everyone implementing Dynamics 365 Financials or Dynamics 365 Sales, Field Service or Project Service is equipped with a powerful integration tool to help them. Microsoft has not yet provided any useful non-developer tools to assist with complex migrations or ongoing integrations.
When you move to a new system it is vital that the migration of data is handled very carefully. There is nothing that will kill user adoption faster than not having the data you need at your fingertips. New customers to Dynamics 365 Financials or Sales will be moving from an existing solution and have business critical data that is required in the new system. SmartConnect provides the easiest and most flexible way to move all the data you need into Dynamics 365 from whatever system is storing that data currently.
SmartConnect can connect to almost all existing systems directly so there is no need to export everything to Excel and then import from there, greatly reducing the migration timeframe and complexity. For reselling partners that are implementing Dynamics 365, SmartConnect supports the building of template migration maps that can be used over and over for each new customer. If you are building a business, migrating QuickBooks or Sage customers to Dynamics 365 Financials then you have the chance to differentiate your offering by building templates within a fully configurable migration platform. This same template functionality is available to CRM partners migrating from on premise CRM, or from any other CRM application, to Dynamics 365 Sales.
An ERP is not really an ERP unless it is integrated. A CRM cannot be a CRM unless it is integrated with all the places you interact with your customer.
Neither Dynamics 365 Financials or Sales are such awesome all-encompassing products that they are the only software tools your business needs. Dynamics 365 provides great financials and powerful CRM capabilities but there is much more to running a business. Small and medium businesses use a wide range of business productivity tools to help run their business. This might be a really cool time sheeting solution like Timelyapp.com, it might be Zendesk for help desk management, it could be Concur for expense claims, Amex for credit cards, Drip for nurture marketing or a local on premise solution that your IT team built that does exactly what you need it to do. You need these tools integrated to your Dynamics 365 all day, every day. The only solution Microsoft is offering you is not attractive. “Hire a developer and make it all work!”
SmartConnect is the only smart choice here. A low cost, no code, totally configurable data integration platform for Dynamics 365. If you want to know more about migrating and integrating to Dynamics 365 contact us today.