Q&A with Dennis Lacey, Vice President Business Development, Americas, OnActuate
With public sectors facing an increasing need to gather and understand data, provide transparency and accountability, they are looking to solutions such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 to deliver results.
Meet Dennis Lacey, OnActuate’s VP of Business Development, as he uncovers the challenges and the solutions for government organizations.
With over 30 years of experience in the technology sector, Dennis brings a wealth of experience to public sector organizations seeking enterprise resource solutions such as Dynamics 365. Dennis has an extensive background in both application software and services delivery in North America, and lends his deep understanding of the application of technology solutions. Dennis and his team are responsible for defining client needs, and designing system solutions and services to meet their business transformation objectives.
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How do public sector goals differ from private, when implementing an ERP solution?
The whole mindset of strategic operations planning in the public sector is different. In the private sector, profit is the key driver for change. In the public sector, it’s much more about creating efficiencies and being accountable to the community and to the organizations that provide critical funding.
With a well-managed ERP solution, and we recommend Dynamics 365 as the definitive solution for ease of management and integrations, public sector organizations are in a better position to:
- Secure future funding
- Provide greater accountability
- Identify ways to be more efficient
- Collect and use data
- Integrate with other systems, such as CRM systems
What kinds of things can Dynamics 365 to do for a government organization?
Microsoft contains many different applications that integrate into their Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations suite, such as CRM. Many of the applications within this suite can be configured specifically for public sector organizations. While the product itself is incredibly large and powerful, and can seem too complex, there is a wealth of experience at OnActuate to draw upon to design a solution that meets each specific need.
Migrating to ERP can provide benefits in cost savings to public sector organizations. For example, cloud-based solutions provide a lower cost of ownership, reduced implementation times, and integrations make light work of previously time-consuming processes.
Operating in the cloud makes many interesting things possible for governments and public sector agencies. For example, it enables the use of IOT devices, collecting weather, energy consumption, transportation, and other data to improve service delivery. It can also enable citizen engagement like never before.
This emerging ‘smart city’ trend can positively impact citizens and public service workers in many ways. Access to mobility patterns can make transportation more efficient. Citizens become part of the solution for infrastructure problems with early detection and reporting. Transparency in policing can lead to increased trust and safer communities. Finally, measures put in place can prevent marginalized members of society from slipping through the cracks.
In an era of information that is always available, the public expects immediate delivery of services. Automation and integration can provide a new means to meet this expectation. Dynamics 365 can power online service delivery with the added benefit of data collection for future analysis.
Dynamics 365 can enable business processes for public sector finances in many ways:
- Accounts payable
- Accounts receivable
- Fixed assets
- General ledger
- Procurement and sourcing
- Security roles
With a public sector configuration key, access to additional functionality is granted that can help public sector organizations in specific ways.
Outside of Finance, Dynamics 365 is also a valued tool for CRM, Human Resources Management, Data Analytics, Data Security and more.
What are common issues when implementing ERP solutions into public sector organizations?
There are a great many complexities in every organization, but with the public sector, there’s added pressure of scrutiny from outside organizations, auditors, and of course, the general public.
This means that from day one, a coordinated effort needs to be in place to ensure that all stakeholders have a clear understanding of the plan, the process they are a part of, and expectations that are realistic and achievable. This differs from standard business applications, in that you are held to a much higher standard by a great many people.
In addition, there is a learning curve for public sector organizations. Implementation of cloud-based ERP may raise concerns about security that need to be assuaged. These organizations hold particularly sensitive data and this must be handled correctly to avoid a breach.
Why can’t my IT team manage a Dynamics 365 rollout on their own?
While there’s pressure to move forward with emerging technologies at a rapid pace while keeping costs down, an ERP system rollout is not the time to ‘go it alone’. Effective system implementation requires experience coupled with dedicated resources.
OnActuate has developed repeatable proven processes to avoid the typical pitfalls of a global rollout. Through our work with public sector organizations, we also understand tax and compliance laws. We start with defining requirements and then map out the solutions for seamless deployment. At each step of the way, we analyze and test before moving forward, so that when it’s time to ‘go live’ it’s done with complete confidence.
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