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Special Guest Writer: What to Expect From Your Enterprise Partner


Kilimanjaro Consulting have put a resource together to help you select the right enterprise partner. Picking the right solution provider is just as important as selecting the right enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.Businesses should be aware of the “implementer risks” before making a large investment. With the right partner, ERP implementation should flow into ongoing assistance and Business Process Improvement (BPI).

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What to Expect From Your Enterprise Partner
A guide to selecting the right implementation partner for your busines

Author: Kilimanjaro Consulting

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Selecting the right enterprise partner is as important as selecting the right enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. Businesses should be aware of the “implementer risks” before making a large investment. With the right partner, ERP implementation should flow into ongoing assistance and Business Process Improvement (BPI). Outlined below are the key considerations businesses should look for in their enterprise partner.

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1. Experience

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Stick with the “tried-and-true” rule. Your enterprise partner should have rich experience, coupled with the right attitude. Experienced partners are usually better qualified to provide you with the knowledge and support. Newer, inexperienced partners are still cutting their teeth. You may be paying for their education. Experienced partners will know the strengths and the shortcomings of the ERP system, and won’t be shy to convey this to you.

As new partners compete to gain market share, they are tempted to quote low. You may gain a financial advantage by opting for newer, less savvy partners but it is often a case of “penny wise, pound foolish”. ERP implementations have a habit of blowing the budget, and this is more likely to happen with a less experienced partner than with an experienced one. Your investment includes the “insurance premium” you pay to reduce the risk of a blow-out.

It is always safer to select a partner with proven industry experience and a positive reputation, giving you peace of mind.

Kilimanjaro Consulting has over 15 years proven experience across a range of mid-sized companies. Our company operates nationally with offices in Sydney, Erina, Canberra, Melbourne and Perth. Our Testimonials indicate that we are a trusted and reliable enterprise partner.

At Kilimanjaro, our employees are equipped with the skills to guide you through the various phases of the lifecycle of MYOB implementation (see graph below). We have a combination of skills in business consulting, accounting and IT. We are in a stronger position than most to service businesses across Australia.

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2. Structured Methodology

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Some enterprise partners lack a structured implementation, support or BPI methodology. Good implementers will follow a systematic framework which will guide clients and the implementer step-by-step through the process. Without a structured methodology, the speed and sequence of steps will be confused. This results in confusion and dissatisfaction. A methodology incorporates the lessons learned from past experience, ensuring that the same mistakes cannot be made again.

At Kilimanjaro, we follow a systematic and structured framework developed over 10 years, to guide our current and prospective clients through the implementation phase and beyond.

 

Lifecycle of MYOB Enterprise Implementation

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3. Training and Support

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The right enterprise partner should provide you with continuous training and support. Make sure that trainers have adult education experience and are qualified. Using a technical person to do training does not always work. Even post implementation, when getting help-desk support, the person delivering the support should be teaching you. A teaching and training support network with refresher courses and continuous learning for your business is important.

Kilimanjaro offers comprehensive training courses in a variety of areas including:

Attendees are provided with with remote or classroom-style sessions presented by qualified trainers. This allows for face to face interaction and a practical learning experience. Remote training is also available. Up-to-date manuals are provided, and call-in support is easily available. Every interaction with the support team is used as an opportunity to train users. Our team is equipped with the skills and knowledge to improve efficiency and maximise user experience.

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4. Accounting Skills

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Due to the nature of most ERP systems, accounting skills and knowledge are essential of a good enterprise partner. Partners that lack accounting skills will struggle to provide even basic support to clients.

As the only Diamond partner in the MYOB partner channel, we at Kilimanjaro differentiate ourselves from other partners. Our experienced professionals are equipped with in-depth accounting knowledge and skills which can guide you through the most complex technical and accounting problems. We have access to both internal and external qualified accountants to advise when required.

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5. Business Process Improvement (BPI)

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Continuous improvement in any company is as important as a new system.

Companies that do not engage in BPI generally lag behind their competitors. Continuous Improvement means identifying, analysing and improving your own processes.

Not only will good partners understand the software, they will deliver the thought leadership needed to help improve your business. The right enterprise partner should deliver BPI to leverage the ERP solution. They should work to build employee skills to improve procedures and workflows. The adoption of BPI has a direct positive outcome for clients. Overall business processes and employee performance increase, and a better overall user experience is achieved.

At Kilimanjaro, we are forward thinkers. We utilise a phased approach to continuously learn about our clients’ business to optimise efficiency. We provide ongoing technical support from qualified experts. Kilimanjaro uses BPI to identify areas of improvement in your business and to show you new technologies that can benefit your overall strategy. This is particularly important in an ever-more-connected world.

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6. Relationship with Vendor

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One of the most important factors to look for in a partner is the long, ongoing relationship between a partner and its vendor (the Software house). An enduring relationship indicates trust and continuing communication.

As the only Diamond partner in MYOB’s partner channel, Kilimanjaro has a proven established relationship with MYOB. We are in constant contact with MYOB providing and receiving feedback , and updates on the latest software developments.

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7. Integration Skills

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The ability to integrate multiple systems is becoming as important as specialised technical knowledge. Your enterprise partner should be able to provide connected services by being able to integrate “best of breed” software to your core ERP system.

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8. Team Stability

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Businesses need to be aware of the risks posed by an implementer leaving mid-project. Look for a stable team when selecting your partner. There should be a high level of cohesion and low staff turnover.

Maintaining a positive workplace culture is a significant goal at Kilimanjaro. Our unique and tribal culture creates a positive team environment. Our employees value our clients, building long, ongoing relationships, in the spirit of a true alliance. Our team is stable. This ensures low risk. Our clients can contact their implementer, not only during the implementation process but post Go-Live as well.

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9. Hunters or Farmers

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Your software is a platform for growth for your business. Businesses do not change software often (maybe every 7-10 years), so a long-term partner is essential.

Those partners who merely provide implementation services and do not nurture their clients in growth and support are known as “hunters”.”

Farmers”, on the other hand, are those who support the growth of businesses over the length of a relationship.

At Kilimanjaro, we pride ourselves on being “farmers not hunters”. Having sown the seed of efficiency improvement, we are here for the long haul, nurturing through good and lean times as your needs evolve. We keep pace with new technology that can benefit your business.

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ENTERPRISE PARTNER CHECKLIST

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In addition to the characteristics discussed here, also look for the following:

  • Dedicated support desk
  • Business analyst on team
  • Training course portfolio
  • Information about new versions
  • Development and integration capabilities
  • Includes Payroll or Employer services in their portfolio
  • “Critical Mass” of qualified consultants

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LOOKING TO SWITCH PARTNERS?

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Switching to Kilimanjaro as your enterprise partner is simple. Our Inside Sales and Business Process Improvement department will guide you through every step of the way. Our people are our greatest asset. We’re sure they’ll be yours too.

For more information, do not hesitate to contact our Inside Sales and BPI team at sales@k-c.com.au or fill out the contact form below.