With a technology blueprint designed for small and mid-sized businesses
When you've outgrown your entry-level accounting software, a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) or business management solution will shape the future of your business in important ways. You can modify an agile solution quickly and cost-effectively when your business needs change and as new technologies emerge. Others could cost you time and money as it ages, and distract you from running your business.
We've created a 7-point checklist to help you avoid pitfalls in your search for a new business management solution.
This week, we stress the value of a business solution powered by a continuous stream of technology innovation, so that it will meet your needs down the road as well as it did the day you bought it.
Look for ongoing innovation to keep your business management solution up to date
Plenty of vendors offer solutions that look good today. These competitively-priced products seem to fit your current needs and look like they could help you run your current business smoothly. But will that still be true two years from now? Or five? Your business will have changed by then. And who can predict economic conditions, competitive developments, or legislative changes with certainty? What new technologies will emerge to make today’s state-of-the-art tools and capabilities feel old-school?
Do the vendors you’re talking to have a long-term technology vision? Can they show you their detailed roadmap for incorporating new technology and rolling out new releases? If not, they risk being overtaken by the future. And choosing your new business management solution from a vendor like this could jeopardize your company's future too. Look for a vendor with a history of consistent product releases and technology advancements. Ask to see their technology roadmap and challenge them on how they will deliver it. In particular, see if their roadmap:
- Embraces new technologies, like cloud computing, that offer you flexibility and choice.
- Continually improves interoperability with customer relationship management (CRM) and other business productivity applications. Progress here can boost productivity and reduce operating costs.
- Enhances the underlying technology platform. This helps simplify application integration, so you can use and upgrade line-of-business software created by other vendors.
The take-away for this week: work with an innovation leader that creates, refreshes, and reliably executes a technology roadmap.
A business solution from Microsoft delivers innovation you can count on and plan for
Microsoft invests billions of dollars each year on R&D to drive advancements in cloud and mobile computing and continuous refinement of the Microsoft platform (Windows and Microsoft .NET); and ongoing advances in the interoperability of products like Microsoft Office, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and Microsoft SQL Server. And you can count on extended support for the business solution version you purchase for up to 10 years from its release date (for more information, visit http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle).
Microsoft customers also enjoy visibility into product lifecycles and roadmaps, and Statements of Direction that describe how solutions will evolve twelve to eighteen months in advance of the next version releases. A strong and upfront product roadmap enables you to undertake your own IT planning with greater confidence. It offers visibility into the future that puts you in control of your technology plan and helps you to budget accordingly.
Customer success story
Small and mid-sized organizations around the world trust Microsoft for business solutions that are continuously updated to capitalize on new technologies. For example, a manufacturer chose its business solution from Microsoft to gain cloud technology that helps hold down costs, and a technology roadmap that enables the company to plan its own future with confidence.
Faribault Woolen Mill Co.
“The ability to have an ERP solution based in the cloud was critical for us, as it allowed us to deploy the software very quickly. And we were confident knowing that it was a proven product from Microsoft…. Microsoft Dynamics will be there to support us.” Paul Mooty, Chief Financial Officer
Learn more about a business solution from Microsoft, take a product test drive, or register for an upcoming webcast.