Businesses operating across borders and perhaps even continents typically take a great interest in getting their business processes unilaterally. This set-up has a number of positive effects, such as time saved, better collaboration, fewer errors, higher data quality, and so on.
As a core solution, Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a popular choice for global businesses because the platform offers the flexibility to meet every need in any market worldwide.
So far, so good.
The challenge for a global enterprise that uses Microsoft Dynamics 365 can occur when global business needs to meet local business needs in individual countries. Because if you have to tweak things for the business across a lot of small localizations, you have no longer one core solution that is supported and operated; over time a number of solutions are going to come about. If these country-specific considerations get out of hand, typically costs follow, and you may very well be waving goodbye to the original visions of harvesting efficiency and productivity gains thanks to alignment.
I cannot recommend an approach where you accept building a myriad of locations on top of the core platform. It’s too expensive, risky, cumbersome – and so it’s absolutely unnecessary.
My advice is that you only adapt the necessary locations – and I mean just the most necessary one – into the core solution, so your system should only administratively operate a single solution. Necessary local adaptations can, for example, be bent in compliance to country-specific legislations, which obviously have to be met. The Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform is put together so that you can make these local customizations for a single market without affecting other markets’ operations.
You can also be open to adding country-specific business functionality because there is a difference between doing business in Berlin and in Beijing. However, I’d encourage you to minimize the number of business adjustments in the Dynamics 365 platform to ensure simplicity and alignment in solution management.
The business has the mandate to push back when, for example, a country manager in Sweden claims that their workflows and business processes are very different from their neighbors in Norway. But are they different? Or should you just get used to working with new methodologies? The work processes in Microsoft Dynamics 365 are a product of thousands of users’ accumulated experience translated into optimized workflows. Often, users will notice improvements in their everyday lives once they become acquainted with new functionality and new processes.
There is much gain in doing things in an international organization. The quality of the internal database of a company whose countries’ offices work along the same principles on the same IT platform is very high, compared to those companies with their own way of generating data. The reports that management use for decision support are simply more precise.
My recommendation is, therefore, to say no to them. Start by saying no if a country argues for a specific adaptation to the Dynamics 365 platform unless the adaption is to comply with local laws. Then you can always add functionality if it turns out that the need really was business-critical.
You can read more about how to ensure continuous support, maintenance and upgrading of your Microsoft Dynamics platform in the whitepaper Why Invest In Support and Maintenance.