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

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.

Tridea Partners Awarded 2016 Microsoft President’s Club

Toronto, Ontario | July 11, 2016 – Tridea Partners, LLC is pleased to announce that we have been named to the 2016 Microsoft President’s Club, an esteemed group representing the top 5% of Microsoft Partners worldwide. This award was presented to Tridea Partners at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2016 in Toronto, Ontario. Although the bar has been continually raised year over year, Tridea Partners has been able to yet again achieve this highly sought after recognition for its support of Microsoft Dynamics. Tridea Partners has been serving the Microsoft Dynamics AX, GP and CRM communities for over 12 years throughout the United States in our offices in San Diego, Irvine and Boston.

“We are honored to be presented with this President’s Club Award for 2016.  Tridea continues to see a lot of new ERP projects for both Dynamics AX and Dynamics GP throughout the country, including many new deployments in our vertical markets of food and beverage, life sciences and healthcare.  We have also seen a new market of customers that are looking for hosted business applications, with a monthly rental option, something that we have recently brought on with our hosting services through Microsoft Azure”

Andy Collins, Partner at Tridea Partners

Microsoft President's Club

Tridea Partners provides Microsoft Dynamics consulting services to clients across the US. Having been named to the President’s Club for the 4th time in the past decade, this 2016 award is a further testament of Tridea Partners’ continued focus on helping its clients make their business’s better.

About Tridea Partners 

Tridea Partners is a Microsoft Dynamics Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) consulting partner specializing in implementation, customization, and integration of Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics GP, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Tridea Partners helps companies unlock the value of their business applications. By engaging Tridea, you gain a partner that is committed to your business success. www.trideapartners.com

CRM Blog Series : Who Needs CRM and Why (Part 2)

Are you a business owner or manager today?   Have you heard of CRM tools but don’t know much about them or why someone might need them?

The following series is designed for you!

                                     CRM & Service

crm

Do you have customers or are you going to have customers? As I pointed out in my recent webinar in partnership with the US Small Business Administration and Microsoft if you have customers or are going to have them, then why wouldn’t you have a tool to help you manage your relationship with those folks??

In my prior CRM blog post we talked about Sales.   Sales is certainly an important part of any business, but now let’s take a look at the often undervalued cousin to Sales…Customer Service

crm # 2

An increasingly connected digital world has changed the way customers engage with brands. In an age of commoditized products and services, companies look to customer engagement and experience as key levers of competitive differentiation. Customer Service organizations are at the epicenter of a company’s ability to deliver a differentiated and consistent engagement experience.

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One of the first things I often ask when talking to an organization about CRM is simply, “How do you track and manage your customer service today?”   Sadly, all too often what I see is some poor person with the title of Customer Service Manager who’s been tasked with delivering great experiences but given nothing more than some staff, some phones and a copy of Microsoft Excel to try and pull it off and manage it all.   Meanwhile, in today’s online, connected world our clients want to engage with us via more modern tools.  When you look at the great Service companies today, they provide a multitude of ways for the customers to connect with them including online chat, email, and even social media tools.

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Inherently, Customer Service people want to deliver those great experiences.   People don’t take Customer Service jobs to go out of their way to deliver a bad experience.  They genuinely want their customers to be happy!   This in turn makes them happy and productive as employees!

What if instead, we empower our Customer Service team members by giving them a great tools that work across those channels?

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And we can see the big payoff at the end. 86% of our customers are willing to pay more for a better Customer Experience!!!

The first step is just get going! You can visit our website and check out my recent webinar with the US Small Business Administration

You can get started today!  At Tridea Partners we can help you setup a free 30-day trial!