Rolling out Dynamics 365 in an international organization

One system for all locations worldwide. This is the dream for many organizations operating internationally. And that’s hardly surprising, because using the same system such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 for all entities gives you more efficiency, better links between systems, and real-time reporting from all the countries or entities where your organization operates. The benefits are significant. But in realizing this dream, organizations sometimes lose sight of the extent to which local entities can actually connect when transitioning to Microsoft Dynamics 365. The result: the transition is in peril right from the get-go. So how do you ensure a solid foundation, good preparation and a smooth transition? Conclusion MBS consultants Niels Vringer and Matthijs Valentijn have the answers. 

May 12th, 2022   |   Publication   |   By: Conclusion MBS


Good preparation is half the battle, points out Niels. That certainly applies to an international implementation project where multiple locations are switching to the same Microsoft Dynamics 365 solution. That’s not something that just happens overnight. And that’s why you would do well to tackle it in several steps. We usually distinguish four.  

1. Establish a strategic guideline

It starts with formulating clear, strategic goals defining what you want the transition to achieve as an organization, Niels explains. “What’s the dot on the horizon? You can record these goals in a roadmap, for example. That gives you a foothold, and you can constantly fall back on it during the process.” 

2. Take a close look at the processes

“The next step is to examine what activities are needed to eventually reach that dot on the horizon,” Matthijs adds. “Consider not just the current and desired global infrastructure, but also all the business processes that Microsoft Dynamics 365 needs to support. And don’t forget your data. In practice people often underestimate just how much data needs to be migrated from current systems. So give this very careful thought as well.” 

Matthijs has another important tip: “Involve the organization’s key stakeholders in this step, and  make sure the group reflects the international organization. With interactive sessions, take these stakeholders through how Microsoft Dynamics 365 works for a specific business process, so that you generate understanding, trust and enthusiasm about the process right from the beginning.” 

Finally, assemble local project teams during this preparatory phase. “Here you must make crystal-clear exactly what’s expected from each person during the process. Who bears responsibility for which part?” 

Involve the organization’s key stakeholders in this step.

Matthijs Valentijn, Delivery Manager, Conclusion MBS

3. Roll out the core in the organization

We roll up our sleeves in this step. “If you have prepared the process well, the time has come to realize the Microsoft Dynamics 365 standard solution within your organization, the so-called core,” explains Niels. “Ideally, here you immediately include the functionalities that each local entity needs for its business. This lets you focus more on change management, rather than on the technology when you connect the local entities later.” 

Nevertheless it’s wise to give brief consideration to the solution’s connection to each local identity’s business. Do the applications and configuration match the local situation well? Are there any anomalies needing adjustment in the core solution? And are there locations that may still require customization? “An example might be cases where legal requirements deviate,” Niels explains. “Particularly for this last issue, our advice is to keep it simple. Too many exceptions might lead to longer lead times, or to frictions with and between local entities.” 

Finally, scheduling the rollout. “On the one hand, from a financial perspective you want to complete a process as quickly as possible,” concedes Niels. “But on the other, you have to give the local entities enough time to get used to the new solution. That’s just not possible in a day. To quote an example: at mateco we opted for a step-by-step approach to the international rollout. What can be useful here is a parallel rollout strategy: rolling out multiple local entities at the same time. But beware: this does create more complexity at your end in managing the project.” 

4. Don’t make it a solo project

You only have one chance to get things right in an implementation project. “So don’t make it a solo project, warns Matthijs. You may have little experience with a major transition, or limited knowledge of the new package. Engage a partner who does have the right knowledge and experience, and who can guide you through the process. 

Want more information on how to roll out Microsoft Dynamics 365 internationally? Or you’d just like to discuss your organization’s possibilities? 
Then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Niels Vringer or Matthijs Valentijn.

Read more:

Dynamics 365 pre-sales consultant Martin Aldewereld

The power of standardization with Dynamics 365

Curious about the possibilities of Dynamics 365?

Contact us, we'd love to talk.

Jan-Douwe Jilderda