1 2008 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. This document is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY. Microsoft, Excel, Microsoft Dynamics, the Microsoft Dynamics logo, Outlook, SharePoint, Visio, Windows, and Windows Server are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. IT & Management Consulting Services Microsoft Dynamics is a line of integrated, adaptable business management solutions that enables you and your people to make business decisions with greater confidence. Microsoft Dynamics works like familiar Microsoft software such as Microsoft Office, which means less of a learning curve for your people, so they can get up and running quickly and focus on what s most important. Built to work with Microsoft technologies, it works easily with the systems your company already has implemented. By automating and streamlining financial, customer relationship, and supply chain processes, Microsoft Dynamics brings together people, processes, and technologies, helping increase the productivity and effectiveness of your business, and helping you drive business success. Worldwide (1) (701) U.S./Canada Toll Free (1) (888) A solid foundation for business growth
2 Managing and growing a successful IT or management consulting organization is equal parts art and science. Left and right brain. Creativity and structure. Your product is largely intangible, created and delivered by the minds of the people who work for you. Your clients have an ever-changing, open-ended variety of needs, which creates a number of challenges for you as you balance staff allocation, optimize skill development and acquisition, and manage the profitability of individual engagements, client relationships, and the firm as a whole. With such an open-ended business, your ability to deliver creative solutions will always be your most important asset. But equally important will be the systems that support your organization, allowing you to efficiently manage projects, standardize practices, optimize resource allocation, reduce overhead, maximize profitability, and gain a crystal clear picture of your business position. By choosing the right systems to help you manage the operating infrastructure for your practice, you can dramatically improve your day-to-day operations, which in turn will allow you to do what you do best serve your clients. Smooth project management Accurate but flexible project management from the initial proposal through invoicing is absolutely essential to the success of every project. Creating a proposal that accurately reflects the demands of the project is the first challenge. Project management and accounting applications can provide detailed, multidimensional project histories, helping project managers deliver better initial project estimates on tight deadlines without resorting to guessing. Measuring project success, optimizing project resources, enhancing the consistent application of best practices, and improving responsiveness to change are just some of the key benefits of implementing a strong project and financial management foundation for your organization. An IT/management consulting organization needs to structure projects for accurate and effective utilization of internal resources and be able to provide a platform for cost information and reporting. Information technology supports critical path scheduling that helps ensure that the highest priority work gets done first. The customer front and center Creating strong client relationships that provide repeat business is a critical success factor in today s highly competitive IT/management consulting environment. Each project provides the opportunity to add to a knowledge base that can be leveraged for future projects. This client- or industry-specific knowledge is a valuable asset it provides the opportunity to improve profitability and customer service, and provides an edge in a competitive market. Robust software applications offer sophisticated functionality to take client relationships and turn them into a profitable business. Many IT/management consulting organizations depend on customer relationship management (CRM) software to build a first-class service organization by managing and tracking all customer-facing activities. Starting at the initial contact stage, these software products can assist in managing leads through a guided sales process with defined rules, automation of routing, notifications, approvals, and escalations. Once the customer is engaged, ongoing collaboration can be facilitated by a flexible IT infrastructure that provides customer interaction with advanced electronic document and transaction exchange capabilities. Shared project document repositories greatly improve the quality and efficiency of developing and organizing project-related teams, meetings, and document deliverables. Document version controls are especially useful for an approval workflow, offering check-in and check-out, document profiling, and publishing. Web-based access and robust security ensure that both the client and the firm can interact safely while protecting critical client and firm information. Taking care of your human resources Your consultants and everyone else who works in your organization are the most important component of your ability to serve your clients and succeed in business. That s why so much of your focus is concentrated on their competence, compensation, and productivity.
4 As your organization grows it becomes even more crucial to develop systems to help you hire the right people, manage compensation, track certification progress, encourage advancement, and maximize each individual s potential. Human resource applications can help you organize, track, manage, and improve your employees relationship with your organization. The information and practice management systems you offer to your employees must be able to help them work as effectively as possible, with minimal training, and in a best-case scenario, taking advantage of applications they are already deeply familiar with. Using applications with a consistent user interface that offers the flexibility to adapt to your processes can help both increase user adoption and decrease overhead for your organization. Since much of your billable activity will be taking place away from the home office, it is vital that your employees access to information and business management systems can follow them wherever they go, and be available whenever they need it. Being able to deploy solutions that inherently take advantage of Web services will enable you to seamlessly extend the reach of your organization to wherever you need to go. The perfect delivery Early in the project plan, the project manager can configure workflow-driven approval processes, critical path schedules, and exception-driven alerts so key decision-makers can see and respond to issues quickly and not lose them among less important details. More efficient operation The business lifecycle is complex and ever-changing. As a service offering matures, the nature of the service-delivery work changes. The mix of professionals appropriate for completing the work will change, the rate structure and salary structure will fluctuate, and the leverage model the ratio of junior personnel to senior personnel will also need to adjust to preserve profitability.
5 Financial tools to enhance the visibility and control of an IT or management consulting organization are available, resulting in confident and smart decisions. From Web-based time and expense entry systems to automated billing and customized invoicing, business tools can help make operations healthy and profitable. These tools enable practice leaders within the organization to monitor day-to-day and month-to-month metrics across all personnel and projects. Armed with this information, management can make incremental improvements across the business. Firms can encourage greater productivity by setting goals for billable time, utilization percentages, and revenues. Software can help management track against those goals and reward employees through automated incentive systems. Then, when particular service offerings mature, management can quickly modify rate and salary structures to reflect the reality of the market. A flexible IT infrastructure is especially helpful when managing partners and subcontractors. In today s environment, clients often demand deeply knowledgeable specialists, which often require assembling outside experts to win the business. Software solutions can help track agreements, documents, and change orders with these partnerships. Automated payment capabilities will assist in protecting cash flow, tracking outstanding liabilities, and making payments contingent on deliverables to handle payment retention and pay-when-paid scenarios. Optimal performance with Microsoft Dynamics Microsoft Dynamics offers a set of strong applications that deliver a compelling suite of technologies for IT/management consulting organizations. Our integrated tools give your organization the critical capabilities you need to manage every aspect of services, from customer relationships and projects to business process outsourcing and financials. Our technology platform will enable your organization to assemble a complete, integrated set of leading-edge business applications. These integrated applications can be deployed quickly and inexpensively without complicated customizations and drawn-out implementation projects. Integrated components of the Microsoft Dynamics solution you can choose to implement include: Project Management and Accounting: Manage your resources, forecast your costs and budgets, track time and expenses, and organize contracts and billing. Integration with the Microsoft Office Enterprise Project Management Solution can offer significant benefits, including automatic flow of data between these systems to reduce manual data entry errors, increase project visibility for executive oversight, and drive a number of improvements to financial benchmarks. Financial Management: Control your general ledger, payables, receivables, inventory, sales, purchasing, fixed assets, and cash flow. Human Resource Management: Manage your human resources from mapping, recruitment, and employee registration to skills development and processing of payroll and benefits. Customer Resource Management: Manage customer groups, create and launch marketing campaigns, track customer activity, and organize sales and after-sales. Analytics: Manage budgets, create and consolidate reports, and look for trends and relationships in any part of your business. Other offerings include Field Service Management, Reporting, Business Web Portals, and E-Commerce, as well as specific industry solutions for manufacturing, retail, online business services, and much more. In short, Microsoft Dynamics can help professional service firms streamline operations while increasing value, improve interactions with customers, and make faster, smarter decisions. Innovative integration Microsoft Dynamics is built with the goal of delivering a flexible set of solutions that can be easily adapted to your business needs. Built on the Microsoft Windows ServerTM platform, Microsoft Dynamics FLEXIBLE
6 allows you to take advantage of technologies such as Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services for knowledge management and collaboration, Windows Terminal Services for extending access to data and processes, and Web services for even greater extension and integration with customers and business partners systems. Microsoft SQL ServerTM delivers a solid foundation for collecting, analyzing, and reporting data across your organization s information management systems. And a deep integration with Microsoft Office System applications such as Microsoft Excel, Word, Outlook, Internet Explorer, SharePoint, and Visio allow you to design the forms and delivery systems that best suit your consultants and your practices. As we move forward we will continue to focus heavily on designing and delivering the integrated systems that will give your organization the greatest flexibility and efficiency to increase the value of your offering to clients. Partners with industry expertise Microsoft Dynamics solutions are delivered by a network of partners with expertise in IT and management consulting services. They can provide local, personalized service from planning and implementation, to customization, to ongoing support and education. That means you get world-class business solutions from professionals who understand your business and will be there as your business conditions change. Plan for growth Organizations need systems that can deliver a strong return on investment (ROI) in meeting current needs, while providing for the opportunity to scale dramatically to account for organic growth, acquisitions, changes in business focus, and other foreseeable future changes to the business. Microsoft Dynamics, along with Microsoft server technologies and productivity solutions, offers tremendous flexibility and scalability to implement the solution to meet today s requirements and to allow for substantial future growth and change. Stay ahead of the competition Affordable and easy to use, Microsoft Dynamics gives IT and management consulting organizations control across the entire project lifecycle generating proposals, managing resources, scheduling deliverables, creating reports, and, finally, invoicing. With our tightly integrated tools, firms can track and manage all their resources to help improve utilization and allocation of their valuable professionals time. We offer an outstanding portfolio of solutions combined with first-rate financial resources and the technical expertise to improve those systems over time. Plus, we offer an outstanding and cost-effective implementation channel to deliver solutions for professional services firms. To learn more about how affordable, integrated Microsoft Dynamics solutions can help your organization keep ahead, visit
7 2008 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. This document is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY. Microsoft, Excel, Microsoft Dynamics, the Microsoft Dynamics logo, Outlook, SharePoint, Visio, Windows, and Windows Server are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. IT & Management Consulting Services Microsoft Dynamics is a line of integrated, adaptable business management solutions that enables you and your people to make business decisions with greater confidence. Microsoft Dynamics works like familiar Microsoft software such as Microsoft Office, which means less of a learning curve for your people, so they can get up and running quickly and focus on what s most important. Built to work with Microsoft technologies, it works easily with the systems your company already has implemented. By automating and streamlining financial, customer relationship, and supply chain processes, Microsoft Dynamics brings together people, processes, and technologies, helping increase the productivity and effectiveness of your business, and helping you drive business success. Worldwide (1) (701) U.S./Canada Toll Free (1) (888) A solid foundation for business growth