Columbus acquires the IT services company Tridea Partners

Norwell, MA – January 9, 2017 – Columbus (OMX: COLUM) announces today that it has acquired Tridea Partners, LLC, (Tridea) a prominent California-based ERP and CRM services provider in the food and beverage and life sciences industry.

“We are pleased to announce the acquisition of Tridea. Tridea’s deep industry expertise, paired with Columbus’ history of providing leading services and solutions to this market, will strengthen our mutual ability to transform our clients’ businesses and build lasting relationships,” says Keld Olsen, Business Unit Leader, Columbus US.

Since its founding in 2004, Tridea has built substantial market share and today services more than 200 customers in the western United States.

“We are confident that through the acquisition, Tridea has enhanced our ability to provide exceptional services to our clients through the combination of coast-to-coast reach, global presence and the extensive resources of Columbus,” says Andy Collins and  Andy Collins and Matthew Boese, Partner, Tridea Partners

Tridea has 29 employees and is headquartered in San Diego, CA. Tridea will operate under the name Tridea – a Columbus company.

Today, Columbus has coast-to-coast representation in the United States with 27 offices and more than 300 employees.

  

About Columbus

Columbus is an international consultancy serving clients worldwide. We are experts in developing and providing business applications to the food, manufacturing and distribution industries. We’ve proved this through more than 25 years of experience and over 6,000 successful implementations. Columbus has offices and partners around the world. www.columbusglobal.com 

About Tridea Partners, LLC

Tridea Partners is a leading provider of Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics 365, with a focus on the Food/Beverage and Life Science industries. Tridea implements ERP applications, CRM solutions, accounting software and business applications through a proven and experienced methodology.  This methodology focuses on understanding the core business processes of an organization, then configuring and implementing these systems unique to an organization’s end-to-end business processes and key requirements. www.trideapartners.com

Microsoft Dynamics 365 – Intelligent Customer Service

Intelligent customer service empowers us to deliver effortless experiences. See how Microsoft Dynamics 365 can help:

Contact us for more information on Dynamics 365. Tridea Partners 858.755.3700 or info@trideapartners.com

Microsoft Dynamics 365 First Look Event!

Join Tridea Partners at an exclusive first-look at the new Microsoft Dynamics 365 Cloud Solutions.

The most successful enterprises are the ones that know how to engage customers, empower employees, and make the most out of every moment.

Dynamics 365

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Microsoft understands the challenges and opportunities companies are facing and has the right set of business applications that can help their people be more productive, enable their organization to evolve and be successful.

Join us to hear about Digital Transformation from industry experts and Microsoft leadership and learn how Dynamics 365 can help you transform.

Get exclusive insights into our strategy and solution portfolio. You’ll also have the opportunity to network with industry peers and take part in executive briefings with senior Microsoft leadership.

We look forward to hosting you; spaces are limited, so register today!

Getting Your ERP Project Off to a Good Start

Because ERP projects generally deliver similar core functionality, and your implementation team is already very experienced with Microsoft’s Sure-Step Methodology, it can be tempting to skip the formal Project Kick-Off Meeting and simply dive right into the work at-hand.

I’d like to make a strong case for holding a Project Kick-Off Meeting, regardless of the size/complexity of the project, or the experience level of the customer and the implementation team.

Covering key parameters at the beginning of a project in your kick-off meeting ensures team alignment to project objectives and approach. The materials can continue to be referenced throughout the life of the project as a touchstone for the team to check on progress, identify scope changes, and verify timeline and budget. Here are suggested components for your project kick-off deck, and associated benefits:

  • Introduce Project Team Members

Important that all ERP stakeholders and project contributors are invited in advance to the kick-off meeting (or receive the materials afterward, if they are truly not available to attend in person).

On the customer side, ensure project sponsor(s), system owner(s), business process owners, and other supporting team members from Finance, Operations, and IT are invited to the kick-off (especially if they will be asked later to participate / provide support or information). Core members of the ERP partner implementation team should also attend so they can be introduced.

Benefits:

  • Customer team sees executive leadership (sponsors) at the table, backing the project effort
  • Ensures all stakeholders are aware of the project and understand who will be assigned
  • Sets a foundation for working relationship between customer and implementation team
  • Review Project Scope

A typical ERP implementation scope might seem basic or perhaps inherently obvious; however, prior to an ERP project being approved, there may have been multiple ERP-related initiatives or features discussed internally by the customer during their evaluation or budgeting process.

This means some attendees may come to the table with different preconceptions about the project’s scope and deliverables. This could seriously derail a project later if not addressed up-front.

Benefits:

  • Ensure the approved project scope is clearly communicated and understood by entire team
  • Verify the scope is correct (as per the signed agreement) – any changes needed / allowed?
  • Reinforce upfront alignment among all players: what will be delivered vs what is out-of-scope
  • Include approved project budget here also – reinforce relationship between scope and budget

 

  • Share High-Level Project Approach (Implementation Phases) and Timeline

This is a key opportunity for the implementation partner to outline and describe, up-front, the various phases of the implementation or upgrade project in in relation to the overall project schedule and key milestone dates, particularly release/go-live.

Benefits:

  • Explain phases of the project where customer team should dedicate time to design or testing
  • Answer customer questions about the process, deliverables, dependencies, and timing
  • Agreement on how project will be executed and participation needed
  • Project Team Roles & Responsibilities

Now that the players have been introduced to each other and to the overall plan for executing the project, it is good to circle back and assign specific names to the various roles on the project team. Also key to confirm for customer team members who will be key decision-makers and subject matter experts on behalf of their business area and who will be playing supporting roles on the project.

At a minimum, there should be a Project Lead (or Project Manager) from both the customer side and the implementation partner who will work together to be a hub for project communication and guide the activities of their respective players. For smaller projects, this role may be played by the System Owner on the customer side and by the ERP Functional Lead on the implementation partner team.

The Project Sponsor should also identify whether they will be the overall decision-maker for the project, or if they have identified key System Owners from the business who will represent their departmental business process decisions and needs during critical design and testing phases of the project. Depending on the size of the project, additional customer subject matter experts will play a role on the Core Project Team providing design input, participating in testing or training tasks.

Benefits:

  • Identify early if there are key contributors or stakeholders who need to be added to the team
  • Build shared understanding of what is expected from each team member based on their role
  • Re-affirm how each team member will execute their role during the phases of the project
  • Alignment on responsibilities for key decisions, design input/approval, and test execution
  • Reinforce communication needed between Core Project Team and the business areas they represent – the goal is no surprises for the project team or for the customer organization
  • Next Steps

Great! Everyone is lined up and ready to play their part. This is the point in closing out the kick-off meeting to clearly list specific tasks / activities for the next 1-2 weeks and answer questions.

At this point, it’s also a good idea to decide as a group how often the project team should meet and how project status updates should be shared across the team and to senior management.

Benefits:

  • Kick-Off Meeting attendees leave with a clear understanding of what will happen next
  • Team provides input on frequency and style of project check-in meetings and progress reports
  • Time allowed for questions that were not addressed by the kick-off materials

A kick-off meeting that covers the topics above in high-level fashion can easily be completed in 30 – 60 minutes, depending upon the size of the project and number of players involved.

The reward is that the team will all have a clear understanding of the game plan and how they will be contributing to that plan at the beginning of the project. They will also have a foundation for identifying and communicating issues throughout the project that might impact scope, quality, or timing.

It really is a team huddle and “Go Team!” moment to build enthusiasm and support for your ERP project. Take the first step toward success and team-building with your next Project Kick-Off Meeting.

This article was written by Juanita Schoen, Dynamics Project Manager for Tridea Partners. Tridea is a leading Microsoft Dynamics provider.

WHAT IS DYNAMICS 365?

You’ve probably heard the announcements and discussions about Microsoft Dynamics 365. But what is Dynamics 365?

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the next generation of intelligent business applications in the cloud. Microsoft 365 unifies CRM and ERP capabilities by delivering new purpose-built applications to help manage specific business functions, including Sales, Customer Service, Field Service, Operations, Marketing, Project Service Automation and Financials. Designed to be personalized, enable greater productivity, deliver deeper insights and adapt to business needs, Dynamics 365 applications help businesses accelerate digital transformation to meet the changing needs of customers and capture the new business opportunities of tomorrow.

Dynamics 365

 

Dynamics 365 is available in two editions:

 

Dynamics 365 Business Edition

Dynamics 365

 

  • Optimized for 10-250 Employees
  • It will contain Project Madeira (called “Financials”) and in the future a Sales and Marketing application as well
  • It is cloud only
  • 300 seat Maximum

 

Dynamics 365 Enterprise Edition

Dynamics 365

  • Optimized for 250+ Employees
  • It includes the Dynamics CRM Online and Dynamics AX (called “Operations”)
  • 20 user Minimum

 

 

In addition to Dynamics 365 business applications both the Business and Enterprise Editions offer the following:

  • You have Power BI and Cortana Intelligence which are natively embedded to help companies achieve their business goals with predictive insights, prescriptive advice and actionable next steps. Azure IoT brings device data to enable preemptive action to business functions like field service.
  • There is deep integration between Dynamics 365 and Office 365 which brings together the two worlds of business process and personal productivity for empowered employees and a much more productive experience.  
  • Business applications will be able to adapt and innovate in real-time with a common data model and extensible business application platform. Dynamics 365 apps will:
    • Use a common data model, shared with Office 365, to simplify data management and integration across apps and business processes.
    • Offer tech savvy business customers/analysts, aka “citizen developers,” (using Power Apps) and professional developers (using Azure platforms services) a consistent business platform they can use to compose new apps and easily extend and modify existing ones.
    • And it will come with connectors that let you integrate with applications and services from Microsoft and our partners – including custom API’s and on premise systems.
  • Microsoft AppSource – Microsoft’s new destination for business users to easily find and evaluate line of business SaaS apps, add-ins and content packs from Microsoft and our partners, including those built on top of Dynamics 365, Office 365, Cortana Intelligence and the Azure platform.

 

Dynamics 365 will be available for purchase starting November 1, 2016. To learn more about Dynamics 365 visit: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/dynamics-365

This article was written by Sandra Knight, Senior Sales Consultant for Tridea Partners. Tridea is a leading Microsoft Dynamics provider