In this small article we will review Chicago ERP market: Chicago with suburbs, Northwest Indiana, downstate Illinois and St. Luis. Let us begin with small introduction.
Microsoft Business Solutions has recently renamed its products – new unifying brand name will be Microsoft Dynamics. Project Green should end up in interface unification and probably database merging for all former products (Great Plains, Navision, Axapta, Solomon) – but obviously at this point nobody knows the details. So, we will be dealing with Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics SL and Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
Let’s go to the topic and consider the specifics of Chicago Mid-West regional market:
• Downtown Chicago businesses: Here we see Financial, Hospitality, Recruiting & Payroll outsourcing, Retail headquarters, Distributors, Non-for-profit, Government (Cook county offices), Exchange & Brokerage. All these businesses and organizations are very good prospects for Microsoft Great Plains, we will talk about implementation challenges below
• Chicago Suburbs, St. Luis, Northwest Indiana businesses. This region specializes in distribution: metals, recycling, transportation & logistics, light final assembly & manufacturing. St. Luis region has Oil & Gas facilities: Oil Refineries, Power Plants, etc. Downstate Illinois has manufacturing plants: machinery, chemicals, auto assembly (Rockford area)
• Springfield. Government offices plus non-profit organizations: loan processing for farmers, rural communities, agriculture, etc.
• Great Plains ERP. As you should expect, nowadays ERP requires customization and altering to fit unique business needs and considering the specific of Chicagoland you should expect Services, Finance & Distribution modules and custom pieces for Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains: Service Management Suite, integration with Microsoft CRM Sales & Service, Transportation & Logistics custom pieces: settlement report, bill of ladings
• Legacy Applications Integration. Chicago area businesses should be considered as traditional and established ones, this is not a California high-tech area (however Rockford is trying to attract high-tech businesses). You might need Microsoft Access, Unix, Linux, Java/EJB, Oracle, SAP, Siebel, IBM Lotus Notes/Domino, DBII applications integration and heterogeneous reporting
• Dexterity Customizations. This is very painful question – we know that many businesses had kind of renaissance time at the end of XX century and this was time when you were sold a lot of Great Plains customizations: Dexterity, VBA/Modifier, ReportWriter, VB, ASP. In order to recover and upgrade these custom pieces you need to find Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains Partner who has access to Great Plains Source Code (DYNAMICS.DIC with Dexterity scripts)
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