How Long Will It Take to Upgrade to a New Cloud ERP Solution?

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Have you reached the point where your legacy ERP is no longer providing the functionality you need? Perhaps you’ve finally decided to migrate to a fully integrated cloud ERP solution such as Microsoft Dynamics 365BC (Business Central). But what about the time it will take to implement a new system, and what about the disruption to your daily business?

Migrating to the cloud from an on-premises legacy ERP

Implementing a new or upgraded ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution is a big project, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. One of our clients, a worldwide apparel and accessories manufacturer headquartered in the US, asked for our help. Their on-premises legacy ERP solution was no longer meeting their needs. They wanted to replace it with more capability, but they worried about the disruption to their head office and their ten other international locations. And they had a deadline of just three weeks!

It was a tall order, but our Western Computer team devised a plan to complete the migration in just 19 days. Wondering how we did it? Check out this DynamicCon recorded session presented by Project Manager Maher Malki and Dynamics Practice Manager Greg Williams. And it’s impressive to note that because this all happened during the pandemic, we were able to manage and deliver the project remotely.

Task deadlines to keep on schedule

The video goes into detail about the project and also discusses some lessons we learned along the way. If you ever need an accelerated implementation of an enterprise application, you’ll want to consider these practices that led to success.

Success began with a firm commitment from the client’s internal leadership team. They needed to commit staff resources and to be available to make real-time decisions when required. With such a tight time frame, it was imperative that everyone from the CEO to the end-users was on board and fully committed to the project. That involved a willingness to work long hours and sometimes weekends.

To help keep to our schedule, we designated task deadlines measured in hours rather than weeks. For instance, when we needed data or tables, we asked that they be available within 2-6 hours. We assembled parallel work streams so that we could deploy various modules simultaneously. We arranged for data migration and training sessions to take place concurrently.

Training is crucial

The training and education were vital to the project’s success. First, we trained the management team. They, in turn, instructed the end-users. All users also had access to online learning resources. With e-learning, users moved at their own pace, watching and re-watching videos as needed. But they had to sick to the predetermined schedule.

Another valuable procedure was a measured practice approach. Rather than asking users to create test sales orders and perform other transactions, we dictated the number of transactions they must complete and the number of record fields they needed to update. That way, we could be sure they understood how Dynamics 365BC worked and see where individual users required help.

Avoid scope creep

Stated goals and the plans to reach them must be respected. Scope creep (deciding well along in the process to add more features than agreed on) can quickly derail any project. For this project, the scope included financials (GL, AP, AR, banking), sales order processing, purchase order processing, and inventory. The client agreed to lock the scope for the entire project to achieve the target deadline.

Any additional requests were politely but firmly rejected. We let them know that they could certainly consider additional functionality in a follow-up phase after going live. Other functions could include advanced financials (fixed assets, cash flow, budgets, automated bank reconciliations), warehouse management, third-party interfaces, custom extensions, and EDI.

The client wanted to add Power BI for reporting but agreed to wait until phase two. We assured them that the initial set-up of  Dynamics 365BC set the stage for a smooth second stage.

Watch the video with all the details Maher and Greg share to learn additional lessons and see how Western Computer achieved this 19-day implementation. There is also a follow-up session answering questions from business leaders considering a migration to cloud ERP.

And if you’re not in quite as much of a rush to deploy a new ERP solution, be sure to check out Western Computer’s Dynamics 365 Business Central 8-Week Implementation offering. We have experience across many industries in delivering ERP implementations that provide quick time-to-value and welcome the opportunity to help your company complete the journey. Contact our experts at Western Computer today.

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