Software consultants provide a business with guidance and configuration suggestions for technology solutions, in order to increase agility, efficiency and minimize manpower or costs. Solution Architects and Functional & Technical Consultants are specialists who determine an organization’s needs and processes and recommend software, hardware and overall solutions based on their evaluation of the business and its processes.
Stoneridge Software consultants work together with your team to come up with the best solutions that suit the needs of your organization. We realize the importance of our consultants understanding not only how the product works, but understanding how it works for the end user, and being able to boil down complicated technology and make it simple and useful.
“Implementation projects require a diverse set of skills. Stoneridge Software is focused on providing a cross section of industry and product experts. We are committed in continuous investment in our people, both from a product and industry perspective.”
A functional consultant has product and/or industry expertise in a specific area. This role plays an integral part in business process analysis, requirements gathering of the organization, configuring and testing the software system and providing training to the customer.
A functional consultant provides:
Enterprise process overview
This is a 2-3 day exercise in analysis of your organization’s end-to-end functions. The result is a defined list of your enterprise’s business processes.
Facilitate joint process design
The functional consultant demonstrates Dynamics capabilities in context of your business processes.
Business process and requirements documentation
Use of the business process modeling tool allows us to establish relationships between features requests, processes, requirements and user roles.
Assistance with functional design documentation (FDD)
When customization is required, a functional consultant will put together documentation of the design in order to configure or build the customization.
Once design is complete, the consultant goes in and physically sets up the system to work the way it’s designed.
In conjunction with the entire consulting team, the consultant works with you to identify data that can be brought over from legacy systems. The consultant will facilitate the configuration of master data such as items, customers, vendors and payment terms, etc.
End user training documents
Once the business processes are known and defined, the functional consultant will use the task recorder tool to document and record step-by-step tasks associated with business processes for the end users.
User acceptance testing
The consultant facilitates the organization of end user testing, mitigates through any issues identified, and provides resolution.
Go-live cutover tasks
The finishing touches are put on the production system and preparation begins for go-live.
This is all hands on deck. Once you go live, the functional consultant is there to make sure any issues are ironed out and the deployment goes smoothly. Hypercare is the last piece of the puzzle in the operations mode, prior to transitioning to support.
A technical consultant deals with the infrastructure of the entire business technology system, including hardware and software, and cloud-based components. They are responsible for server setup and configuration, environment use and management planning, code and data management, crucial steps during go-lives, and system maintenance recommendations and training.
A technical consultant provides:
Infrastructure review and planning
Based on business needs the technical consultant will assess what the infrastructure should look like, make recommendations for improvements and begin planning for the design.
Installation of Dynamics components
This includes setting up different environments for development, testing and production, assistance with configuration of any pre-requisites such as SSRS, SharePoint or TFS and installation of any third party products needed.
Setup & troubleshooting
A technical consultant will set up the system administration including batch processing, load balancing, alerts, database logging, email, user setup and security, as well as AIF/Services. They are also on point to handle any troubleshooting issues such as usage data, synchronization, label file issues, access issues and build errors.
Code build & deployment
Assistance from technical consultants is available to create development environments. This could include manual code builds, setting up automation for code builds, helping design TFS configuration and branching, and troubleshooting issues
In conjunction with the entire consulting team, the technical consultant works with customer to identify data that can be brought over from legacy systems and develops a plan for data migration. Depending on your needs, implementing a data migration plan could include the setup and configuration of Data Import Export Framework (DIEF). The consultant will also perform data migration tests such as loading data and assisting with data validation.
Providing instruction helps you best manage and maintain your system. Technical consultants are available to provide training on security, data migration, infrastructure and Admin Workshops.
Because Microsoft Dynamics solutions are already well architected, a solution architect does not need to be involved in straight out-of-the-box implementations. However, your business might have a complex set of requirements and a need for integration with other business tools or processes. That is where a solution architect comes into play. A solution architect is a technology expert that makes high-level design decisions, including technical standards regarding the implementation of an ERP solution.
A solution architect is always thinking about the total cost of ownership for the solution being proposed. This includes considering security-related issues and keeping in mind the principles of maintainability and fragility of the system. Using these guide posts the software architect will ensure the solution grows with your company and continues to be relevant for future upgrades.
A Solution Architect is involved with:
Determining overall design approach
With customization there are a lot of different directions that could be taken. The solution architect safeguards from a high level that the necessary decisions have been made to keep your solution robust and maintainable.
An architect will identify all potential external system interactions, find unique business processes requiring customization and identify the best approach for the integration and personalization of your the solution.
Being responsible for overall design includes working with consultants on design integrations, and reviewing design documents that contain customizations and/or integrations such as Functional Design Documents (FDD) and Development Design Documents (DDD).