Integrating your Microsoft Dynamics system can be a big undertaking, but crucial to taking your multichannel retail business to the next step. The first thing you should do is find the right partner for the job. This is the type of project that you want to do right the first time around. Integration projects managed by the wrong vendor can end up being too complicated, time consuming, and waste thousands of your dollars, without delivering a solution that works.
The best way to ensure you find the right integration partner for your Microsoft Dynamics system is to diligently research your options. We put together a list of the top things to look for in an integration partner and their integration practice to aid your search process.
How to Choose a Microsoft Dynamics Integration Partner
When looking at different Microsoft Dynamics integration providers, look for characteristics like these as they will set vendors apart from others. Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions!
Experience with both Microsoft Dynamics and Other Systems
The first question you should ask is whether the partner has integrated any Microsoft Dynamics systems before. Integration is a complicated practice that requires detailed knowledge of the endpoint systems you’re working with. There’s more nuances that you can imagine when taking an order from an eCommerce platform and syncing it to a Microsoft Dynamics system like Dynamics Navision or Dynamics GP to automate your fulfillment process.
You’ll feel more confident with a partner that already has worked on integration projects with the systems you own.
Designed for eCommerce and Retail
While there are many integration providers available, not all of them have extensive experience in retail and eCommerce selling. You want to work with a vendor that understands multichannel selling inside and out. There are unique requirements and best practices when integrating Microsoft Dynamics for retail to enable capabilities like drop ship, cross channel inventory visibility and multi-store location fulfillment. Your integration partner should help define a solution that creates a competitive shopping experience for your customers.
Proven Integration Practice for Microsoft Dynamics
When evaluating vendors, you don’t want to work with a vendor that delegates a single developer to write a one-time, custom integration for you. The problem with this approach is that one developer builds, maintain, and supports your entire project.
In reality, this type of integration can’t support your business in the long-run. What if a problem occurs and that developer isn’t around to fix it? You’ll end up with a hardcoded solution that ties you to this vendor forever.
Instead, you want to work with a company with a proven integration practice that’s the core of their business and can offer an off-the-shelf solution for Microsoft Dynamics. Integration providers with a practice are able to take an in-depth look at your Microsoft Dynamics data requirements and always apply best practices when connecting them.
Utilizes Pre-built Connectors for Microsoft Dynamics
Look for an integration partner that can leverage pre-built connectors for Microsoft Dynamics systems like NAV, GP, 365 and RMS. This ensures that they aren’t custom building a solution for you and have already worked with the systems you own.
Real-Time Data Processing
Another important question to ask is how often does the solution sync your data. Is it synced once a day, every hour or real-time? Don’t settle for anything other than real-time processing. Real-time data processing gives you confidence that your data is accurate and timely, no matter when you look at it so you can make the right decisions for your customers like when to move inventory to one location to another.
Configurable Connectors and Self-help Tools
Just because a connector for your Microsoft Dynamics system is pre-built that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be configurable to your unique needs. Your partner should be able to look at your business processes and tailor the integration to them. It’s even better when there are self-help tools for processes like data mapping so you can make changes yourself. You won’t have to wait on the integration provider to always make a change to your processes, if you have enough resources in-house.
Last, but not least, make sure to inquire about the level of support you’ll receive for your integration solution. For example, if a lone developer is all your support, what happens when they go on vacation and you have an issue? There might not be anyone to help you if your integration breaks for any problem, no matter how small.
Pick an integration partner that can proactively monitor your data and alert you of any issues. The faster the support team can help you, the faster you can solve problems for your own customers.
Start Your Research Today for a Microsoft Dynamics Integration Partner
Here at nChannel, we care a lot about what solution merchants use for multichannel integration of their Microsoft Dynamics systems like NAV, GP, RMS and more. We’ve seen too many merchants pick the wrong integration solution that leads to frustration and wasted time and money – and have to watch their customers suffer for it.
We want you to choose the right partner for your business the first time around! If you stick to the principles above when evaluating your partner options, you’ll be better equipped to choose a solution and partner that works for your business.