In the Field with Microsoft Dynamics ERP RapidStart Services – First Impressions

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Creating exceptional client experiences and helping organizations perform at their best is in our corporate DNA at Catapult ERP Services, and is at the heart of what our team is most passionate about.  To us, building and supporting relationships is at the core of delivering exceptional results.

We are always looking out for innovative tools and approaches to streamline ERP implementations, reduce risk and keep costs down.

When we heard about Dynamics ERP RapidStart Services last December in the Microsoft’s NAV Statement of Direction, we were eager to give the new capabilities a try to see how effectively they would improve the ERP implementation experience, both for the client and for the consulting team. The Statement of Direction promised that “Microsoft Dynamics ERP RapidStart Services significantly accelerate the configuration of Microsoft Dynamics NAV. By using RapidStart, you can drive down the number of days that it takes to deploy the product and make it easier to engage the right people and different teams in your business in the implementation process.”

In the past, preconfigured solutions and approaches designed to reduce time and create greater efficiency for ERP implementation didn’t quite meet the expectations of the hype and missed the mark when it came to delivering on the promise.  Ultimately they were really only useful for very specific types of implementations, usually the most straightforward and simplistic ones.

With the latest development of Microsoft Dynamics ERP RapidStart Services, we are pleased to report that the new version offers:

  • greater flexibility,
  • an intuitive interface, and
  • an optimized process through the project lifecycle.

Catapult’s team of Rob Fontaine and Liz Dobson, are working closely with Inventys Thermal Technologies to implement Dynamics NAV finance. For Inventys, NAV’s dimensions capability is instrumental in tracking expenses against multiple funding sources – research grants that Inventys is accountable for using in accordance with specific funder guidelines. Using Jet Express features that are bundled into NAV 2013 in conjunction with these dimensions, Inventys is easily able to produce the reports it needs to demonstrate compliance. Another super interesting aspect of this project was the use of new “copy and paste from Excel” features to enter data into time journals to track against specific projects.

When it comes to the RapidStart capabilities, Liz and Rob bring very different lenses to the experience:

New to Microsoft Dynamics ERP RapidStart, Rob knew of earlier tools to help set up company profiles, but had never actually used one for implementation.  Though Microsoft Dynamic NAV 2013 online training and videos, he was able to set up company templates, functional areas and identify the right questions to get the project underway.

For new consultants coming from different ERP backgrounds, Microsoft Dynamics ERP RapidStart offers a really efficient and accurate way to set up features and functions to manage and import data.  It provides the right set of questions to improve data validity and accuracy during the implementation phase.”

Liz, on the other hand, had used an earlier version of the RapidStart tools.  When asked about the difference between the old and the new systems, her response was clear:

The new version of Microsoft Dynamics ERP RapidStart is more powerful - delivering a flexible and intuitive user interface that is simple to use.  In earlier versions, it was difficult to import consistency across the data, now with RapidStart, you can.”

For organizations with multiple NAV companies, it can offer significant time savings.  Once created, the company template can be duplicated and adjusted for each of the other companies, reducing frustration, costs and time.”

Similarly, for our client Inventys, the results speak for themselves. VP Finance, Karen Miller explains:

Overall, it’s been a very smooth process. Although we are still in the early stages, working collaboratively with Catapult team has improved the efficiency of the “onboarding” process - reducing the time to address task related questions”.

As ERP practitioners, we listen.  We are with our clients every step of the way to uncover needs and do what it takes to deliver exceptional service.  Using Microsoft Dynamics ERP RapidStart is another tool to help deliver the resources and knowledge to drive transformation and growth.

We’re looking forward to getting more experience with RapidStart and sharing our experiences with the NAV product team. It’s great to see real innovation on the implementation side coming from Microsoft right alongside a host of cool new product features. If you are a NAV implementer with a RapidStart experience, we’d love to swap stories with you.

Written by Lars AggerCatapult ERP
Reposted from Catapult ERP Blog

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