ERP Implementation

ERP Implementation

Good ERP software can only be truly great if it is implemented successfully. The Greentree4 solution is no exception. Fortunately, MYOB Greentree has an outstanding partner network that are not only highly experienced and knowledgeable with the product, but they also work to a clear methodology of communication, goal setting and accountability. GT Business is a multi-award winning MYOB Greentree partner that prides itself on successful implementations.

The following article outlines the central drivers for success, including keeping people informed, setting them up to succeed, and making sure they follow through.

Get everyone on the same page

Miscommunication, crossed wires and key people being left out of the loop can cause chaos and confusion, and almost certainly set the project up for failure. Here’s how to make sure everyone knows what’s going on:

  1. Appoint an internal project manager or owner to interact with the technical project manager and implementation team. It seems obvious, but having a go-to person acts as a funnel. They filter the issues and direct them to the relevant people, while keeping the technical team up to date with anything that directly involves them.
  2. Set some time aside for workshops and one-on-one sessions prior to implementation. Time invested in users and stakeholders at this stage ensures they know what’s required of them and are better prepared for the changes the project brings.
  3. Establish a centralised site specifically for all project information. Shared access means everyone sees the same information, like the project plan, calendar, weekly meeting notes and tracking of tasks.
  4. Hold regular project meetings. For best results, stick to a schedule and keep detailed minutes to record any identified actions or decisions made during the meeting. Make sure you reinforce the meetings with regular progress reports. Keep them simple and visual for best results.

Set realistic goals

One way to kill a project is to set unattainable goals. Teams can quickly become disillusioned and stressed – not ideal for implementation.

So start with a very clear project scope. Include everyone who’ll be using the software in this process. Get their input on the priorities and timeline, so they’re set and agreed on by everyone from the start. And once you’re under way make sure you follow up with thorough reporting and tracking to measure against the project goals.

One strategy to help staff cope with change is a “layering” approach. As the name suggests, this involves splitting the project into layers, or different areas, and implementing them separately. As staff get comfortable with one new area, another is introduced. This method might make implementation take a bit longer, but it minimises disruption.

Of course, things don’t always go according to plan, but if you have strategies in place to deal with the unexpected (and these can be positive rather than problematic changes) then you’ll be able to get back on track quickly. Part of goal-setting is deciding on the processes to deal with any unexpected scope changes before the project starts – that way, these can be handled without a fuss.

Action and accountability

A big part of any project going well is people doing things when they say they’re going to do them. When you’re setting up the project scope and timeline, make sure to include role responsibilities and an acceptable response time. You don’t want the project held up for weeks waiting for someone to get round to doing their bit. You need clear accountability for everyone on the project team, internally and externally.

A willingness to be flexible is very important. Doing things right takes time and patience and sometimes that can require the team to work outside of business hours or even over the weekend to ensure minimal disruption. You might have to deal with unexpected illness or staff changes and adjust roles and responsibilities accordingly.

GT Business will ensure the implementation finishes on time, on budget and with the tools and software to help businesses are primed to do better. Contact GT Business for more information.

“GT Business took the time to understand what we do and wanted to do. They were very focused, what they showed was very relevant to us and they took a lot of time to ensure we understood how Greentree would give us an advantage.”

Arawa Driscoll, General Manager, Engineering and Sales, ATI

 

 

Service Essentials for ERP SaaS Providers

Service Essentials for ERP SaaS Providers

Any business looking to engage with SaaS, should be aware that they are entering into a service relationship.

Our solution partner Greentree have provided the following helpful outline of the scenario. The original article is available here.

SaaS generally comes with maintenance, support and upgrades built in, so you need to be looking hard at what a company promises.

That’s why we took the business of what services to provide with Greentree as a Service (GaaS) pretty seriously. This isn’t a marketing piece; it’s an undertaking we make to our customers that we know we can keep. It’s a way to make it clear to them what they can expect so they know the software will always be there when they need it.

As part of the research we looked around at what others were saying to create a definitive list of ‘must haves’.

To help you understand where Greentree fits, we’ve taken each recommendation to see how we stack up.

System availability

When you have downtime it costs you. That’s why your SaaS provider should be guaranteeing your system will be online and ready to use at least 99% of the time.

How we stack up

Greentree goes one step further – we promise 99.9% SaaS availability, so if we don’t, it costs us too. We’ll give you rebates if the availability drops below 99.9%.

We measure downtime to the minute, from when the potential fault is first reported to a Greentree partner, to when it is fixed. There are some disclaimers to cover things that are out of our control, including maintenance time, but keeping your business up and running is a commitment we work hard to keep.

Disaster recovery

The difference between a disaster and a hiccup? It’s all in how you prepare. Your SaaS provider should be committed to backups and recovery as a standard part of your cloud services.

How we stack up

With Greentree as a Service you get Greentree Secure, one of the most advanced data recovery capabilities on the market. Depending on your plan, based on the level of protection your business needs, you choose from a range of recovery options right through to an instant hot-switch option. But no matter which option you choose, you get full recovery to the point of failure and in the end, that is what really matters.

Data integrity and ownership

Your data is one of your most valuable assets. There’s no way you would want to hand it over to a third party. Your SaaS provider will need access to your data, but you should still own your data and be able to claim it back at any time.

How we stack up

Your data is your data – we’ll take every step to protect it and make it as easy as possible to hand it back, whenever you choose.

Support response

It’s important to know there will be someone available to give you a hand when issues come up.

How we stack up

You’ll get technical support for GaaS through your Greentree Partner. Any system or software issues with GaaS must be notified to your partner immediately.

You can also report a GaaS outage via a link on our website, 24 hours, 7 days a week. The outage notification goes to Greentree support, your Greentree Partner and our SaaS platform provider and is a constantly monitored service.

Escalation procedures

If you’re not completely happy with the way we’ve sorted things out, there should always be someone else you can talk to. Your SaaS provider should provide you with a clear escalation path for issues and more than one point of contact.

How we stack up

As above, your first port of call should always be your Greentree Partner. In the rare event of them not being available there is a link on our website to report any GaaS outage that may require immediate response. In the advent of a GaaS related issue not being resolved, as for any Greentree customer, the spirit of We3 kicks in and we work with you and your partner to ensure a satisfactory solution is reached.

Maintenance communication

Your system needs maintaining to keep it up to date and running smoothly. Maintenance comes with downtime, so you’ll want to know before it happens. When considering SaaS providers, consider how this maintenance schedule will be communicated. How will anomalies (anything other than a standard update) be managed?

How we stack up

With Greentree you’ll know about any maintenance well ahead of time – standard maintenance is flagged at least three days ahead, critical maintenance a day ahead, and emergency maintenance two hours beforehand. We do any major upgrades in collaboration with your administrator, so all of your users know when these are happening. With GaaS we would aim to complete at least one upgrade every six months – these are an important part of our service.

Product communication

How will new product features and product release notes be communicated?

You’ll want to know about the latest products on offer to make sure the service you offer your clients is the best it can be.

How we stack up

Greentree4Campus is our online training portal that is freely available to every Greentree user. As the name suggests it delivers comprehensive training and resources including the very latest product releases and features. You can take a free tour of what is currently on campus, here.

Beyond the bottom line

When you’re considering a SaaS provider, looking at whether their software offering fits your budget should be only your first consideration. The services, support and communication they offer as part of the package can make all the difference between software that adds to your business, and one that ends up costing you more – in time, in money and in headaches. In short, asking the tough questions about the services being delivered as part of the package will save you from having the tough conversations later.

For more information please contact GT business Solutions.

Customer and ERP Integration

Customer and ERP Integration

GT Business is proudly built on the skills, knowledge and expertise of its employees. Being a technology services and solution business, our consultants represent the vital key interface with our customers. Great ERP software can only be truly great if it is communicated, planned, implemented and updated successfully. Much of this process falls on the shoulders of the GT Business team of consultants.

GT Business specialises in the Greentree4 solution. GT Business are not only highly experienced and knowledgeable with the product, but they also work to a clear methodology of communication, goal setting and accountability. GT Business is a multi-award winning Greentree partner that prides itself on mutually valuable client relations. Our consultants represent the key to excellent customer relationships and successful ERP Integration.

Visit our solution partner Greentree’s website to view the full version of the following abridged article that outlines the value of the technology solution consultant.

Deciding to invest in ERP is the first step. Deciding who to work with is the second – and the most critical. The right consultant is a translator and guide to the world of ERP software. They help you make decisions, streamline implementation, and most importantly, stick around to answer questions and support you as you start to use your new system.

“GT Business took the time to understand what we do and wanted to do. They were very focused, what they showed was very relevant to us and they took a lot of time to ensure we understood how Greentree would give us an advantage.”

Arawa Driscoll, General Manager, Engineering and Sales, ATI

A good consultant is a font of knowledge about your new software. They should not only understand the system inside and out, but they should be able to translate that knowledge to your business situation. They will help you to understand both the technical and practical implications of the decisions you need to make. But the real advantage of a dedicated consultant is their growing knowledge of your business. A great consultant will work hard to understand get to know the way you work, your unique needs and challenges – so they can help you make the most of your new system.

A good consultant isn’t afraid to use their knowledge, either. They’re happy to offer advice when you need it – even if you haven’t asked. You’ll know you have a good one when you follow their advice without a second thought.

A good consultant understands that answering your questions and troubleshooting any issues is essential. They do their best to be available when you need them.

They’re not constantly on call – but they’re responsive to your needs, and they’ll go out of their way to meet them. They’ll follow up too; if they say they’re going to do something, it gets done. They will do the testing and check-ups, no matter how repetitive and tiresome, to make sure that everything is working as it should be.

ERP software can be quite technically complex, so a great consultant needs to be able to communicate with all your stakeholders no matter what role in the company they might hold. They’re half technical expert, half translator. And if someone doesn’t ‘get it’ they will work out how to help them understand.

Of course, communication also means keeping you in the loop. A great consultant will make sure you have all the information you need, when you need it, so your implementation runs as smoothly as possible.

Many of our customers tell us that they see their Greentree Partner and consulting team as an integral part of their business. They’re involved in strategic business decisions, the development of different business processes and long-term planning.

GT Business prides itself on its customer focus and productive client relationships built on trust and business insight. GT Business is committed to helping its customers better manage its business, enhance productivity and grow revenue. GT Business will supply the people and the software tools to help businesses become primed to succeed. Contact GT Business for more information.

 

Delivering Customer Service

Delivering Customer Service

Business should never forget that its customers come first. In today’s hyper-connected world, your product is only as good as the service you back it up with. It follows then, that providing excellent customer service should be foremost in the market delivery remit for any organisation. It’s easy for companies to be comfortable and think of customer service as just a checkbox item, but to be truly competitive and provide a demanded product, you need to offer a seamless experience as you grow. The secret is you need to build and implement a service roadmap.

Planning how to evolve your customer service in advance is becoming as critical to your business as setting your product roadmap. Here are six reasons you need to build a service roadmap so you can be sure to offer amazing service, no matter how fast you grow.

1. You plan to support multiple channels.

Most small businesses start out by supporting customers exclusively with email, and maybe Twitter, but as their company and customer base grows, they may need to add real­-time support via phone or live chat to keep up with requests.

Making the transition is a big step. Not only do you need the tools to support this effort, but you may need a different type of agent. Phone agents need a good phone presence. Chat agents need to be able to multi­task as they typically work more than one case at a time. For different types of agents you need different training materials. And you need a different version of your knowledge base for agents to pull answers from (the answers typically used on email will be too long for chat).

2. You may tier your support team as you grow.

Small businesses typically start out with one or two customer-service agents that answer all inquiries, but as you grow you need to segment that out. This is especially important for complex products and technology.

Most businesses will have a first-response tier who will figure out what the problem is and route customers to the right agents. As a company gets even bigger there might be a third layer of engineering experts who handle the really gnarly calls.

Deciding in advance how you will tier your support team will enable to you to put the right systems and people in place to divide and conquer support requests without disruption.

3. Your business will expand geographically.

If you start to support customers in different time zones, you may need to expand the hours that you offer support or look to hire local support agents in those regions. You may need to rethink how you route cases to let agents just starting their days easily pick up cases from agents that are ending theirs.

Language is another consideration. Not only do you need a support solution that is multi­lingual but you need to be sure that your knowledge articles are translated into multiple languages and that you have a plan for maintenance so that agents and customers can get up-to-date answers in every language.

4. You may outsource some of your service.

It’s typical for growing companies to outsource some of their support operations (usually the tier one front lines) to a third party, especially if they expand across the globe or start offering service-level agreements that require a rapid response. This isn’t something that can happen overnight.

You need to look at the best ways to share information, route cases and seamlessly pass cases back and forth. Training is also important. It can take longer than you ever thought possible to work with an outsourced call centre to make them sound smart and represent your brand correctly, but to offer customers a quality experience you need to invest the time.

5. You need to integrate with other business systems.

When you put a customer-service solution in place, you need to consider what the most important systems powering your business are, and if and how you will need to integrate with them. There are typically two ways to integrate systems.

The first is via data, so that you can visualize one system within another, for example making it easy for you agents to view shipping data in your support solution so that they can quickly and accurately respond to delivery questions.

The second kind of integration is when an action in one system triggers an action in another. For example, if an agent identifies a bug in a product it can be automatically logged in Jira so that it can be fixed quickly and everyone stays in sync.

6. You’re hoping to grow really fast.

Consider whether you will be supporting multiple brands and products over time and whether your customer support solution can scale as you grow.

Can you accommodate call centres around the globe? Can you customize it as your needs change? Can you integrate with complex back-­office and ERP systems if needed?

Rapid growth is every small business’s dream. To make sure your company easily scales, be sure to think ahead about every aspect of your business including customer service. With the right advanced planning, fast growth will be a reason to celebrate.

Contact GT Business to find out how we can help with Customer Service Delivery

MYOB acquires Greentree

MYOB acquires Greentree

GT Business is delighted to announce that its solutions business partner Greentree, has been acquired by MYOB. With over 1.2 million clients across Australia and New Zealand, MYOB is a force to be reckoned with. MYOB is positioned as the fastest growing cloud ERP solution for the mid-market. The Greentree acquisition will facilitate further growth opportunities, not just for ANZ but also globally.

IDC analyst Sabharinath Bala said “MYOB’s acquisition of Greentree will definitely help the company to expand its footprint in the mid-market space, but the capabilities from the combined entity puts in a much stronger position to offer end-to-end ERP for large enterprises as well.”

Departing Greentree CEO Peter Dickinson said “This is exciting for our team and a great opportunity to work closely with MYOB to develop and deliver the leading online and on-premise ERP solutions that our clients need to successfully stay ahead in a rapidly changing world. It’s a compelling partnership which allows Greentree to leverage MYOB’s significant scale and resource and tap into new markets.”

Andrew Birch General Manager of Industry Solutions for MYOB said that the Greentree solution was really still a server based product and while it was available under a hosting model and some mobility functions had been added, “It’s not a real cloud based solution,” he told iStart.

Tim Reed MYOB CEO said “We’re thrilled with the growing prominence of MYOB in the ERP space.”

MYOB Chief Financial Officer Richard Moore said “We have a 90-day integration plan and then we’ll start to focus on how to get some growth into the current Greentree channel and then we’ll develop more cloud products that we think will be relevant.”

Mark Gould Director of Greentree Partner GT Business said “The reach, penetration and problem solving capabilities of the solution and brand would be amplified”. Mark added that “the MYOB acquisition and vision for growth meant great things for our current and new customers.”

The acquisition of Greentree by MYOB completed on August 1st 2016.

Download the MYOB Press release

Contact GT Business for more information.

 

How would you describe your business software…

How would you describe your business software…

…a set of spanners or a complete ERP toolkit?

For the purposes of this article we are likening ‘Apps’ to the set of spanners and browser based ERP software to the multifunctional toolkit. The hammer is good for one job, but lacks flexibility, sophistication and ability to be customized. In reality, some business’s stitch together a variety of ‘Apps’ in an attempt at enterprise-wide business system problem solving. The result, is unfortunately, seldom successful, with clumsy connections, lack of integration and no real in-depth functionality being reported.

The following is a related article from our Software Solution Partner Greentree

In business, as in life, it’s great to have options. We put a lot of thought into how to offer mobile access to our software and chose to take a browser-based approach. While there are now a number of systems with native apps being bolted together to act as mobile ERP suites, these present a number of challenges for both developers and users alike. We didn’t go there; we thought you might be interested in our reasoning as to why not.

It’s not that easy

Native apps aren’t that easy. For every functional business role you would need to develop a specific app; then develop a version of that app for each platform OIS, Android etc) and then a different app for every different device (phone, tablet, laptop). That’s a lot of apps.

The user would need to download the app for their specific role from a store or website to every device they’re using. For most of us that would be a minimum of two devices. Multiply that across five or six different apps and you can start seeing where management and updating issues might arise for an organisation.

Getting browser-based access to Greentree is simple, once you’ve set up your domain address it only takes 10 seconds to get mobile. You don’t have to download anything (let alone multiple apps) and there is no installation required on individual devices. Once you’ve been granted access you’re ready to go no matter what device you’re using, the platform it’s operating on or how you’ve configured it.

Update one app at a time

In the native app world you’re reliant on the individual employees in your organization to keep the apps across their devices up to date. Hands up if you’ve got an out of date app on your iPad or tablet? Hopefully it’s not one that’s mission critical to your business.

In using a browser-based approach we can deliver continual improvement and upgrades to all our mobile users at the same time. Once the browser-based access has been switched on updates are tied to your standard system upgrades, no user intervention required.

Speed to market is also part of this. When we are ready to deliver new functionality, all we need to do is make it available within our Greentree mobile browser-based options. We don’t need to create multiple versions of the new app for every platform and device we want to deploy it on. So long as you’ve got access to the core system you can switch on the related browser app as and when it becomes available. Faster for us, simpler for you.

Works your way

And it gets even easier: with native apps, there’s almost no ability to configure the software. Your business has to work with what the app does.

Greentree’s browser-based approach, however, is fully configurable. The configurations and customisations are delivered seamlessly via the browser-based interface. You still get to view the data in a way that makes sense in the mobile world but all of your personalisations are maintained. It gives you the most consistent and productive view of your business management tools as well as ensuring everyone in the organisation can still “work it their way” no matter what device they’re on.

The Greentree ERP Suite is full of options including browser based. So, when it comes to ease of use, flexibility, ability to customize and keep everybody up to date, the multifunctional toolkit wins hands down over the native ‘Apps’.

Contact GT Business for more information.

 

BYOD or even better – BYOG!

BYOD or even better – BYOG!

It’s liberating and empowering to know that Greentree is truly portable and accessible anywhere on any device. This means wherever you are, you can lever the power of Greentree to unlock your business needs. So go on, BYOG…Bring Your Own Greentree.

Our solution partner Greentree have created a related article as follows:

Not long ago, the idea of employees using their own equipment for work was revolutionary.

Greentree has a ‘UrU’ (or ‘you are you’) philosophy. That means its system recognises users, rather than devices.

With cloud computing, employees could access work servers quickly, from anywhere they could get on the internet. In an increasingly fragmented working world, freeing workers from their desks – and from particular devices – gave businesses an edge.

Like many disruptive shifts in the market, BYOD was so unstoppable that these days it’s no longer a trend – it’s part of how everyone does business.

Really forward-thinking companies got on board early, recognising the flexibility and cost-savings of BYOD. They started planning for the future, working with, rather than against the new trend. Some software providers were right there alongside, helping make the disruptive trend work better for business.

Making BYOD work – anywhere, anytime

BYOD is now part of everyday life and so too are the hundreds of brands of tablets, desktops, laptops and smart phones. Think about your friends, colleagues and acquaintances – how many devices do each of them have? A smart phone, definitely, certainly a PC or laptop (possibly two) and probably a tablet – not to mention those extras, like a smart watch or TV.

And what kind of tech are they? Running what operating system? Do you know there are over 24,000 Android devices that can download an app today? According to the study by Open Signal, the number of devices has more than doubled since it first started reporting back in 2013. Plus, no-one uses just one device any more. Employees are often switching between devices – or operating on more than one at once.

So if a business wants to harness the power of BYOD, how do you make sure all those devices can access your system, without disruption, risking data, or threatening their hard-earned integration?

Understanding UrU

Greentree has a ‘UrU’ (or ‘you are you’) philosophy. That means its system recognises users, rather than devices. Instead of native apps, users access Greentree through their internet browser. This means they can access the system from any device that connects to the internet, and on more than one at a time if need be.

For example, a sales rep might open the company’s business system on a desktop. Leaving the browser still running, the sales rep goes out to a meeting, and uses a tablet to access info from the same system. This is the reality of the way people work – without a business system that allows for their multi-screen life you’re missing out on the business benefits it can bring.

Australian medical research giant The Florey Institute struggled with exactly that. Their HR department had software that worked for everyone – everyone who used a PC, that is. Their all-important contract scientists almost universally worked from Mac computers, which couldn’t be used to access the payroll system.

HR had two extra staff members whose only job was to run around all the science labs collecting hard-copy timesheets and re-enter the data into the payroll system. The Florey’s Group Director of Finance Peter Plecher says on top of the extra cost, the hassle was huge – it was a bad experience, with timesheets going missing or incorrectly filled out.

The Florey Institute credits its Greentree Partner with providing the answers to its multiple needs and devices. From purchasing to payroll, the not-for-profit functions much more efficiently now, and scientists can get back to the research they do best, leaving the admin to administrators.

Multi-device access at no extra charge

Like any change in business, those that have the flexibility to shift with the times are the ones who reap the benefit. Plenty of Software as a Service systems allow multiple device access, but they usually charge for the privilege. The ‘UrU’ philosophy at Greentree means we want ‘U’sers to have the best experience possible – and that means shifting to meet their changing needs, not expecting them to conform to outdated ways of working. That’s why a multi-device feature is just part of the GaaS package, with no hidden charges – it’s just the way people are working these days, and it’s the way we work too.

Contact GT Business Solutions for more information