In Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step for ISV, the ISVs provide solutions that can be broadly characterized into three areas, as follows:
- Vertical solutions
- Horizontal solutions
- Complementary solutions
A vertical solution in Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem is a subcategory of an industry, characterized by enterprises with similar products or services. Eg: automotive, chemicals, and electronics are subcategories or verticals of the manufacturing industry. A vertical solution in Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem generally covers end-to-end processes, and it is accordingly designed to meet the specific needs of a vertical-oriented business.
In contrast to a vertical solution, a horizontal solution in Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem is designed to meet a broad business process or need, and may need a little variation to cover multiple verticals or industries.
The third category, complementary solutions in Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem, can also be viewed as horizontal solutions because these solutions can also be used in multiple verticals or industries.
But while horizontal solutions in Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem can address multiple processes for multiple verticals or industries, a complementary solution is a “point solution” that addresses a specific function for vertical market or horizontal market.
Sure Step Program
As an ISV, regardless of which of the three classifications you develop solutions in, you can benefit from aligning your solution’s documentation to Sure Step methodology. Because of the inherent scope of the solution, if you are a vertical or horizontal solution provider, this alignment can especially help you.
- Sure Step is designed to help with requirement gathering for the customer’s solution. This leads up to a Fit Gap exercise to determine how much of the standard solution fits with the customer’s requirements and whether any gaps exist that must be solved by other means.
- During the Fit Gap exercise, the Value-Added Reseller (VAR) and/or service provider may determine that a subset of the requirements can be best met by an ISV Sure Step solution.
- By chance this determination occurs in the diagnostic presales phase, having appropriate documentation such as requirements questionnaires and Fit Gap worksheets would assist the VAR or service provider with selecting the right ISV Sure Step solution.
- The other inherent benefits of the Sure Step alignment are alleviating project risks and improving solution delivery times.
- The customer user base goes through enough churn as it is during the course of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution implementation.
Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step for ISV Artifacts
- Product overview: This is self-explanatory as a product requires a strong overview document that describes the solution capabilities.
- Requirements questionnaires and Fit Gap worksheets: These documents can be used with the Requirements and Process Review Decision Accelerator Offering and the Fit Gap and Solution Blueprint Decision Accelerator (DA) Offering, respectively.
- Infrastructure and third-party software requirements: These specifications will be used in the Architecture Assessment DA, by the technical consultants, to determine the infrastructure needs for the add-on solution.
- Cost Estimation worksheets: Use these worksheets to guide the service provider with developing the budgetary estimates, timelines, and resource needs for the ISV Sure Step component as part of the overall solution deployment during the Scoping Assessment exercise.
- Demonstration data: This is an important need for presales if the sales team, during the Proof of Concept DA or at any other point in the sales cycle, has to demonstrate the solution add-on to the customer.
- Program Management cross phase: If your ISV Sure Step solution may need additional activities during deployment, consider providing a project plan addendum.
- Training cross phase: If applicable, include guidance on training for your ISV Sure Step solution.
- Business Process Analysis: Use case scenarios provide examples of real-life usage of the product, which can be very helpful to the solution architects developing the overall solution vision.
- Requirements and Configuration cross phase: Providing templates for setup/configuration will be of great help to the implementation team.
- Custom Coding cross phase: Templates such as Functional Design Document (FDD) for customization’s and Technical Design Documents (TDD)
- Quality and Testing cross phase: Scripts for User Acceptance Testing (UAT) and other related tests for testing your ISV Sure Step solution are very important.
- Infrastructure cross phase: Key documentation in this area is in the form of installation guides describing how the Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step for ISV application should be installed in tandem with the core Microsoft Dynamics solution.
- Integration and Interfaces: Use this area to explain how your product integrates with the core solution.
- Data Migration: If applicable, provide guidance on data migration scripting and specific mapping templates for migrating data from other third-party solutions into your product.
Sure Step and CfMD Program
The CfMD program applies high quality and testing rigor to partner-developed business management solutions. CfMD solutions are tested by an independent organization and also go through verification by customers. By committing to the quality requirements of the CfMD program, the ISV solutions are provided higher visibility and afforded increased marketability to the resellers and customers.
These solutions offer customers and resellers a lower risk profile in that they are used and recommended by other companies in the industry, are thoroughly tested and proven to meet Microsoft’s highest standards for partner solutions, and very importantly, are tested as being compatible and integrated with Microsoft Dynamics and Microsoft technology solutions.
One of the main objectives of the certified solutions is to provide trusted, lower-risk solutions that can be implemented faster and maintained more easily when the solution is in production.
The CfMD program also created a Certified for Microsoft Dynamics Partner-to-Partner Connections site as an added benefit, allowing resellers to directly contact the certified solution provider. This gives the ISV an additional forum to showcase their solutions, and an opportunity to recruit the best reselling partners.
Microsoft provides a very feature-rich and flexible ERP solution for countless companies around the globe and it backs this up with Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step to streamline processes from beginning to the end and to enhance productivity while meeting customer needs. We at Locus IT provide various ERP solutions for all business needs. For more information please contact us.