Microsoft Great Plains Partner Selection: Overview
Microsoft Great Plains, Navision, Solomon and Axapta are Microsoft Business Solutions ERP applications, serving to the whole spectrum of vertical and horizontal markets. Assuming that you already have one of these systems installed and implemented we would like to give you - IT director, Database Administrator, Programmer, Software Developer, Controller your options in supporting/upgrading Microsoft Great Plains for your company
It is always good idea to install everything on your own - however Great Plains requires combination of computer networking, some programming, good accounting/distribution/logistics/reporting background - so it is not a surprise that Microsoft Business Solutions requires their customers to have specially assigner Microsoft Great Plains Partner/VAR/Reseller to serve the account.
First Scenario. Due to the recession your former MBS partner went out of business, leaving you without support and you lapsed in payment annual enhancement fee. This is very common scenario - in fact Microsoft Business Solutions introduced direct quoting to the companies like yours - just to insure that you have an option to pay this required maintenance fee. In this situation - you can not get new version/migration tool, etc. until you get your company reinstated in MBS enhancement program. What you need to do is these:
1. Find reasonably inexpensive MBS partner and switch to it as your MBS VAR - it is very easy to change your VAR - you compose the letter stating that you would like to switch to company ABC as your MBS VAR, sign it and fax to your new VAR.
2. MBS Promotions - Microsoft has promotion programs for orphans like your company to be re-enrolled into annual enhancement program, usually with small additional charge, for example in October 2004 you could get your reinstatement for 20% of the software list price (normal price is 16%)
Second Scenario. You need to migrate from Pervasive SQL/ctree to Microsoft SQL Server/MSDE. It is known fact that Microsoft decided to breach contract with Pervasive Software and stop supporting Microsoft Great Plains 7.5 and earlier versions on Pervasive SQL 2000. You need to migrate to MS SQL Server ASAP - or you will be out of support
1. As in the first scenario - select your MBS partner or ask you old partner to give you the quote on Migration tool (k$1.5-k$2)
2. Migrate on your own - or send your data to migration specialist - your partner may provide these services - normal price is 8 hours of consulting fee
Third Scenario. You have bunch of Great Plains Dexterity, VBA, SQL customizations and need upgrade and your former GP reseller is not providing customization upgrade services (due to the fact that all developers were laid off several years ago)
1. Locate customization partner. Usually you have to find small nation-wide VAR, who serves you via remote support. Switch to this partner
2. Ask for customization analysis - most of the old customization pieces should be migrated to new technologies, like Dexterity to SQL and Crystal Reports, web publishing, eConnect, etc. Don't pay for upgrade "as is" - you will lock yourself with the problems
Also couple of hints about how do you switch the partner. It is actually more easy than you may think - you just send to your new proposed partner the letter in free format saying that you would like to switch to you as my Microsoft Business Solutions partner - and this is it.
About The Author
Andrew Karasev is Chief Technology Officer in Alba Spectrum Technologies - USA nationwide Great Plains, Microsoft CRM customization company, based in Chicago, Arizona, Georgia, California, Texas, New York, Florida and having locations in multiple states and internationally ( www.albaspectrum.com ), he is Dexterity, SQL, C#.Net, Crystal Reports and Microsoft CRM SDK developer. Andrew can be reached: 1-866-528-0577, 1-630-961-5918, firstname.lastname@example.org