How to Find the Optimal Microsoft Power Platform/Dynamics 365
March 15, 2023
4 min read
Finding the right implementation partner is a necessary process that can significantly impact the success of your project or business.
It ensures timely project delivery, alignment with business goals, reasonable costs, and satisfies business owners and users. The wrong implementation partner, on the other hand, could lead to poor-quality products, missed deadlines, and costly mistakes.
During our 15 years of Dynamics 365 experience, we observed a variety of projects and would like to share some thoughts on the process of software implementation partner selection.
Before the Search
Before starting an actual search, assessing the project type and size makes sense. In general, Dynamics 365 projects can be assessed in the following categories:
- Dynamics 365 modules.
- Number of users.
- Number/complexity of processes.
You might look into different partner offerings and project schedules depending on the project type.
If you have 5-20 users and want to focus on one Dynamics 365 module (for example, Dynamics 365 for Sales or Dynamics 365 for Customer Service), it is recommended to go with Quick Start options from partners. Many partners now offer these packages, including configuring all basic module functionality, roll-out, and training. Expect the project budget to be around $10,000-$30,000, depending on the current scope and partner rate, and to last 1-2 months.
If you have specific needs on top of the basic module functionality, expect the project budget and duration to grow accordingly. However, we recommend starting from the implementation of the basic module to understand Dynamics 365 better before going into the complex project.
If you have more than 20 users, have some complicated business processes, or want to implement several modules at a time, you need to create an RFP (request for proposal) document to detail your expectations for the implementation partners. It will allow you to attract more partners and optimize the selection process. Which in the end will make it possible to choose the best one. The absence of such a document will lead to the need to spend more time explaining your goals and expectations to each partner.
Complex projects can vary in budget and duration, but you can expect a budget of $50,000 to $200,000 for services and a project duration of 3-12 months.
In the case of any project, it is recommended to have someone in the organization who will take Dynamics 365 courses and get hands-on experience with the product. This person can serve as the Product Owner to bridge the gap between company expectations and the implementation partner team.
Performing the Search
There are several ways to search for a Power Platform/Dynamics 365 vendor, and everyone chooses the one that is convenient for them. Someone asks for advice from Microsoft, someone uses search engines, and someone explores the Microsoft AppSource. The last one is beneficial as you can sort your request to your needs by location, customer size, industry, solution category, etc.
Once you`ve developed a list of partners you`d like to include in the selection process, share the RFP with them and schedule a Q&A session or two to go over the details and questions partners have when analyzing the RFP.
After the partner analyzes the RFP, they should come up with a solution, estimated project duration, budget, and team required to execute the project.
We recommend considering the following three criteria while selecting the proposal:
- How well does the partner understand your needs?
- How much it will cost?
- Is the partner trustworthy?
Let`s consider these criteria in a little more detail. If a partner understands your needs, he will be able to offer and explain solutions. Partners should also be able to demonstrate similar solutions they have provided for other customers.
The project`s cost can be fixed, or the project can be executed on a time and material basis. For time and materials, estimating daily/hourly rates makes sense. In any case, the partner must be able to predict the budget and timeline of the project with high accuracy. Change requests and some project nuances can affect the budget, but effective projects generally have similar characteristics.
Trustworthiness is a more complex characteristic. The perception of trustworthiness might vary from company to company and should be decided on one`s own criteria. But in general, it is worth looking at expertise (cases, certificates, and partnerships), focus, location and work geography, reviews, social networks, and recognizable clients of the company.
Therefore, it is essential to research potential software development partners, evaluate their capabilities and experience, and compare their offerings before deciding. By investing the time and effort to find the right vendor with our tips, you can save yourself many headaches and increase the likelihood of success for your project or business.
Got questions? Our team is ready to assist you. Don`t hesitate to ask!