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Thursday, 01 September 2011 06:45

Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step

The truth that most consultants won’t tell you is that the majority of technology projects fail.  The reasons for these failures can vary dramatically.  In order to minimizes & mitigates these varied risks, Microsoft has developed a proven methodology for Microsoft Dynamics implementations based on industry best practices.

This project management methodology is systematic & phase based as well as scalable to the size of projects.  It applies to project big & small, enterprise to standard, complex to standard upgrades.  Further, it encompasses all phases of any implementation.  This repeatable process helps consultants better meet customer expectations by properly managing organizational change.  Customer decision making is further streamlined through decision accelerators.  This leads to low-risk, successful implementations.

All Microsoft Dynamics Partners are required to have staff certified in Sure Step.

[caption id="attachment_421" align="aligncenter" width="404" caption="Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step"]Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step[/caption]

Published in Dynamics GP
Wednesday, 16 September 2009 12:03

Mobilize Your ERP Part Two

Everyone is connected!  And companies can now gain access to their ERP system through mobile devices securely.  Our previous discussion focused on the benefits found by sales personnel who can remotely access ERP & CRM data.  In part two of our discussion, we will focus on industry specific benefits that can be gained.

While we all know that mobile devices have allowed employees to become much more efficient.  However, many companies still require employees to be sitting at a work centre to access & input data.  By mobilizing your ERP system, one can differentiate themselves from competitors & reduce costs.

Mail carriers have been recording your signature upon receipt for years, but what other uses can be found by mobilizing your ERP?

Consultants or engineers can assign their time to projects or input travel expenses all while waiting to catch a flight.  Busy logistics professionals can supervise deliveries & shipments without being close to the warehouse.  Maintenance staff in the utilities sector can be remotely tracked & that data directly visible in system reporting.  Those working with chemicals would have instant access to quality & safety processes.

WebSan has found that companies that effectively implement mobilized solutions realized significant cost savings. Contact WebSan today to arrange an evaluation of your industry specific needs.

Adam MacIntosh is the Senior Implementation Lead with WebSan Solutions Inc., a professional services consulting firm specializing in helping companies get the most out of their ERP systems and Supply Chains. You can contact Adam at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 416-499-1235 ext. 213.

Published in Uncategorized
Wednesday, 16 September 2009 12:01

Getting Started with a Virtualized Testbed

An often-used buzzword over the last few years in the IT sector has been virtualization - the process of turning one server that hosts a single operating system into a super-system that can potentially host 10 or more operating systems. By now most large corporations and agencies have some sort of virtualized infrastructure in place, and for good reason. The benefits to using this technology are numerous: hardware and operation costs are drastically reduced, virtualization provides enhanced flexibility with the allocation of resources, and production environment’s mission critical applications have been noticing improvements of up time. But how can a virtualized server improve your organizations testing and development cycles?

One of the major benefits of a virtualized test server is the ability to swiftly bring new resources online and create new development environments. Cloning a standard template that has been authored with the fundamental tools required by the development team can create these new environments. Procuring, configuring and installing hardware used to take weeks - but all of the sudden your development team’s new environment is up and running in less than the amount of time it takes to get a cup of coffee.

Another true benefit to a virtualized test server is that there is less risk of cross-contamination between environments. There is no longer an issue when development team A modifies core system files that could possibly interrupt development team B from using that code library. Why? Because both teams have completely separate environments using completely different virtual hard drives connected to completely different virtual networks.

So what about the cost? The common perception is that you need a really powerful and expensive server - but this is not the case. Taking into account the timesavings you will experience, you will also find that there is there is not much investment needed to get a virtualized test server online, especially now that VMWare’s ESXi Hypervisor is available as a free download. Perhaps that server sitting in the basement can be used to get your foot in the virtualization doorstep.

Mike Jantz is a Senior Technical Consultant with WebSan Solutions Inc., a professional services consulting firm specializing in helping companies get the most out of their ERP systems and Supply Chains. You can contact Mike at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 416-499-1235 ext. 210.

Published in Uncategorized

I've been involved in IT and Supply Chain projects all over the world. I've seen projects achieve all of the objectives, come in under budget and ahead of schedule. I've also seen projects fail to achieve the benefits they set out to, or even outright fail to even work.

And what's the #1 difference between success and failure?

Executive Sponsorship

When I am contacted by a prospective client to discuss a new ERP system, I always make sure that the first meeting includes key decision makers. You may say, "well of course! You don't want to sell to someone who isn't authorized to make the purchase." And you'd only be 1/2 right...

The real reason that the key decision maker needs to be in the very first meeting is because if they aren't "driving the bus", then everyone will end up under it. What I mean is that technology projects are complicated and fraught with challenges just by their very nature. If someone at the top of the organization isn't driving the success of the project, then it will not work. It may finish, albeit over budget and over schedule, but I can almost guarantee that it won't meet the business objectives set at the beginning.

Sometimes a CFO or CEO looks at me funny during the first sales meeting because I've refused to meet with the "IT guy" and insist on meeting with them as well. After I explain the reasoning behind it and start the Q&A session that is outlined in the "Unlock Your Potential" program, they are always heavily engaged and demand to be significant contributors along the way. This is because we create value right at the very first meeting and if there is no significant ROI demonstrated right at the beginning for them, then it ends right there. No one is wasting time.

When the senior leadership is engaged at the beginning of the sales process, they can have a vision of the solution and understand the objectives right at the outset. We always make sure that when we publish the Project Charter, it states clearly what the objectives of the project are; not in "subjective terms", but in real, tangible benefits.

This way, when the project hits a couple of bumps along the way (they always do), the senior management team is aligned to the goals and objectives and the project is put right back on the tracks.

Depending on the complexity of the project, I also sometimes recommend a steering committee or program office be formed to manage the project along the way.

I'll get into those details in the next post...

Published in Dynamics GP

The truth about large-scale technology projects is that the majority of them actually fail. In fact, studies show that 65% of them fail!

If IT projects were airplanes, no one would ever get on one! So why do so many companies venture down that road and why do so many fail?

Here's the answer to the first part of that question : because, to remain competitive in today's market, you have to leverage the benefits of technology. Performing every function of the company manually, or with Excel, is just too time-consuming and costly to be competitive.

The problem is that as companies grow, employees literally invent processes in order to accomplish tasks. These processes are mainly work-arounds to "get around" inefficiencies in the current ERP system or other people in the company. The fundamental issue occurs when a new ERP system is installed and merely automates inefficient, manual, processes.

So how do we ensure that projects are successful?

WebSan consultants have years of experience implementing ERP solutions all over the world and this is exactly why we've created the "Unlock your Potential™" program. We align strategic business objectives and growth drivers with the real purpose of the project: increase profits and/or revenue. Our comprehensive process starts right from the first sales meeting that we have with a client/prospect.

In my next post I'll go into more detail on our process and the benefits of it...

Published in Uncategorized