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Is it more cost-effective to hire a Microsoft Dynamics GP implementation consultant, or rely on our own small IT department to manage it?


Stephen Wolford
Title: Technology Solutions Partner
Company: Frank, Rimerman + Co. LLP
(Technology Solutions Partner, Frank, Rimerman + Co. LLP) |

The type of resource that is most cost-effective depends on the type of support that you need. Some of the variables to be defined are: 1) Is the solution deployed on-premise or hosted? 2) How many users are accessing the solution? 3) What modules have been deployed? 4) Is the initial implementation completed and are there any additional phases to be executed?

Dynamics GP is a very low-maintenance solution from an IT perspective. Rarely, and typically only in very large organizations, will a company elect to hire a dedicated Dynamics GP person. The most cost-effective approach to maintaining and enhancing the solution (reporting, forms modifications, etc) is to use your GP consulting firm and a structured service request protocol. Although different situations can sometimes call for a different approach, most companies how found great success in partnering iwth a strong firm.

Topic Expert
Bob Scarborough
Title: CEO
Company: Tensoft, Inc.
(CEO, Tensoft, Inc.) |

Steve’s comments really address the question well. To add to Steve’s comments I would say:
1) It is often helpful to have an internal project owner or manager even when you have external help. The internal resource focuses on tracking the internal tasks and coordinating schedules with the internal and external resources.
2) At the same time if you are implementing a new system you need to consider three general variables: quality, budget, and time. Your team will gain knowledge more quickly and leverage the system better if you have some contribution from a knowledgeable expert.

Finally – it may be helpful to think about IT’s role in your business systems. This tends to gain importance as your company grows. Most emerging companies build the systems knowledge into the operating teams (finance, manufacturing) with IT providing infrastructure type support (or not if you leverage a cloud model). It is not the same for all companies – but as a general rule by the time your company hits $50M in revenue you should re-evaluate the types of personnel in your IT team. At that point it may be helpful to have a business analyst to move the systems knowledge to someone focused on that task instead of leveraging the power user model leveraged by smaller companies.

Topic Expert
Barrett Peterson
Title: Senior Manager, Actg Stnds & Analysis
Company: TTX
(Senior Manager, Actg Stnds & Analysis, TTX) |

The critical choice is to do both. Expertise is essential to result in a capable implementaion. Your company's future depends on the company developing a core level of competence. The company will often not need the maximum expertise of a consultant, but the company must know what its implementation does, how it does it, and how to adapt it as needs grow. The company representative should be the project owner and manager. There are a number of functions within an entreprise needing core competence, which regularly, if infrequently, use 3rd part expertise for incremental development.

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