Any Microsoft Partner knows, providing value to clients is about more than great technology, it’s about the client relationship—building trust, staying in touch, knowing when to keep them in their comfort zone and when to nudge them out of it.
And these days—as the world moves to the cloud—it’s about soothing their worries as they face a major migration.
They know they need to move, you know how to take them there. But that doesn’t make it an easy sell. From their perspective, the road ahead is a long and hazardous one. Maybe they still use AX, or another ERP with terrestrial origins like SAP or Oracle. They may have a lot of applications that don’t feel ready to move, or internal IT investments the C-Suite doesn’t want to write off. They have heard that statistically about 75% of ERP rollouts do not deliver against the promise, and they don’t want to be part of that number.
At Mavim—as a Certified Gold Microsoft Partner ourselves—we see this all the time; clients who recognize the need but are worried about the resources. And while the answers aren’t simple, it is possible to start the journey on the right foot.
Here are six client problems that Mavim’s Intelligent Transformation Platform can help with. Prep yourself with this short checklist, and you’ll know how to answer them.
THEY SAY: “We’ve got too much data, it’ll take months!”
YOU SAY: “Move the data you need, not the data you have.”
A surprising find: a lot of clients don’t realize that a migration is also a chance to transform and leave behind terabytes of legacy data and streamline applications to focus on business processes that actually add value. It’s a job you can help with—and an interesting one.
A great start, perhaps with a cloud-based set of tools like Mavim’s Intelligent Transformation Platform, is to look at what’s happening in their business today; by modelling it process-by-process and seeing how the parts interact. It lets you show your client which processes are whirring like a dynamo—in daily use by hundreds or even thousands of people—and which are out in the long grass, forgotten and useless.
When clients see how much digital infrastructure they’re currently supporting that doesn’t add much value, they quickly become cheerleaders for a new way of working, like lightweight, streamlined applications on D365FO and Power Apps. It’s a great way to convert them to your cause early on.
THEY SAY: “Nobody agrees on what our processes are.”
YOU SAY: “Look at what people do—not what they say they do.”
It’s a rule of business that people find it hard to explain what it is they do every day. Yet many consultants rely on interviews and questionnaires to find out, practically guaranteeing the wrong answers. (Or, more commonly, a huge range of wrong answers, no two the same.)
Mavim’s process mining technology puts an end to that by building a map of your client’s processes from actual transactions in their information infrastructure, including every PO raised, every invoice entered, every payment made, or contract agreed to, as a series of data points within an application. A “single version of the truth” that captures the whole process from start to finish.
When you ask a hundred people about a process, you’ll get a hundred data points. But when you ask a hundred data points, you’ll get a true and complete picture of the process they make up, giving you the proof you need to convince a client to move forward.
THEY SAY: “I can’t picture my business processes.”
YOU SAY: “To build a picture, start by drawing one.”
Clients are visual. How often have you seen them going glassy-eyed when you presented slide after slide of text … only to come alive when you reached the explanatory diagram?
At Mavim, we believe the best way to model a client’s processes is to make it visual—in software they already know, like Visio, diagrams make the complex simple. Modelling a payment cycle may take hundreds of data connections, but it can be represented visually as a series of flow icons, with annotations (fully integrated with Dynamics 365 help) that explain each step and numbers that show how much traffic is involved. (And incidentally, how many variants fan out from the ideal case.)
Visual representations give you all the ammo you need to make your business case. A process isn’t efficient if there are 378 variants with each sales executive going their own way. This is your client’s operational model (OM): the base on which business transformation is built.
THEY SAY: “What if migration just shifts my problems to the cloud?”
YOU SAY: “It’s not about the platform. It’s about the processes.”
The question is legit. Moving a process to the cloud doesn’t mean much if it’s replicating the same blockages and bottlenecks it contained on Earth. But with your operational model built, you can take the next step: a target operational model (TOM), the job of Mavim’s Business Process Management (BPM) smarts.
Both OM and TOM are connected to the same sources of data, but your TOM is a Digital Twin of the organization, a playground where processes can be pushed and pulled and prodded until they’re smoother, faster, and cheaper. It’s how you demonstrate to your clients that their ERP migration can be a genuine transformation, not just a move.
THEY SAY: “Driving adoption took years last time. I don’t have years to spare.”
YOU SAY: “Adoption starts with what people already know.”
Great Microsoft Partners always recognize that people are a feature, not a bug. As an essential part of the client’s business process, they need to be integrated into the system as surely as any application. Mavim’s been big on the people factor since the 1990s.
People learn best when the starting point is familiar. That’s why Mavim’s Intelligent Transformation Platform—process mining, business process management, and tools like our ERP Implementation Accelerator—are both native to Azure and make use of desktop staples like Visio and PowerBI. For end users, the learning curve is shallower. And the adoption rate, higher.
Turn Migration Into Transformation and Pain into Profit
There are no easy answers, but some are easier than others. We hope this article provided a few. Tying it all together is Mavim’s ERP Implementation Accelerator: part of the Mavim ITP aimed specifically at Microsoft Partners migrating clients to Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations. Learn more to see how we can help you!