Software Company Helps Small Public-Sector Customers Meet Regulations with ERP System

With a strong financial management solution, newsystem public, built on Microsoft Dynamics NAV, INFOMA Software Consulting helps public-sector customers comply with regulations and align finance with constituents’ needs. INFOMA sought a way to serve small customers that need to achieve the same results with minimal resources. INFOMA standardized a preconfigured version of the solution and streamlined the deployment to take only a few days. Today, a growing number of small public entities have adopted newsystem public and Microsoft Dynamics NAV, which INFOMA optimizes for the capabilities they need the most. After a one-and-a-half-day training session, workers can practice advanced financial management in compliance with regulatory mandates. INFOMA’s competitive and efficient business model for this market lets the company win new customers and move forward with international expansion.

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*For small public-sector customers, we enabled effective finance management in the most efficient and economical way by standardizing the capabilities and streamlining the deployment of our solution.*

Daniel Riss,
Consulting Practice Manager, INFOMA Software Consulting GmbH

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Business Needs

INFOMA Software Consulting, headquartered in Ulm, Germany, specializes in providing software and services to help local and regional governments manage their finances, real estate, and processes to meet constituents’ needs and comply with regulatory standards in the public sector. INFOMA is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner qualified for two Microsoft Partner Network competencies: ISV/Software Solutions and Enterprise Resource Planning.

INFOMA developed its leading public-sector solution, newsystem public, on the basis of Microsoft Dynamics NAV, the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. When Germany announced an update to its public-sector finance management practices, the most innovative, resourceful, and larger governmental entities made the transition first. More than 900 of them already use newsystem public. Because subsequent regulations mandate that all governmental bodies implement the new financial standards and processes, the many smaller and resource-limited entities must also change the way they manage finances.

Daniel Riss, Consulting Practice Manager at INFOMA, explains, “We needed to find an efficient, economical way to assist public-sector organizations with five to seven users—who often fulfill several roles—in small communities of 2,000 to 10,000 inhabitants. They must comply with regulations, but their budgets are generally constrained and a lengthy software implementation would be too disruptive for them.”

Solution

Based on the experience of a large team of technologists and consultants who managed hundreds of successful implementations of newsystem public and Microsoft Dynamics NAV, INFOMA developed a new approach to implementing its solution in small organizations. For these customers, the company standardized on a preconfigured, optimized version of newsystem public that workers can be comfortable with after one and a half days of training.

Complex ERP implementations for INFOMA’s larger customers can take as long as 60 days. However, for implementations of the preconfigured solution, INFOMA also decided to streamline the implementation and project management, enabling customers to perform their tasks with the new finance management software after a minimal lead time. With the standardized version of newsystem public, INFOMA performs implementations in 8 to 10 days.

In most organizations following INFOMA’s streamlined approach, 5 to 10 people use the solution concurrently. Because almost all of the customers prefer in-person training over a virtual classroom experience, INFOMA provides one-day trainings in central locations within easy reach for customers’ employees, usually combining trainings for several customers. Says Riss, “Unlike companies in the private sector, our customers don’t compete with each other. They like exchanging experiences and ideas in the informal, personal setting of our software training sessions.”

INFOMA is a pioneer in the delivery of software as a service and has offered newsystem public and Microsoft Dynamics NAV as hosted solutions since 2002. Most small customers opt for the hosted solution during negotiations. With newsystem public in the cloud, customers receive important solution updates that help them comply with new regulatory mandates, in addition to upgrades and new features. They also benefit from the stringent data protection and application availability measures in place at the hosting data center.

Benefits

With an optimized solution and a streamlined implementation approach, INFOMA generates significant business growth with delighted customers and has enhanced its competitive edge. Says Riss, “By keeping things as simple and practical as we could, we found a way to empower small public-sector customers with an effective financial management solution that lets them focus on their work and comply with regulatory mandates for public-sector finance.”

Accelerate Business Growth

For INFOMA, finding a consistent, efficient approach to supporting small public-sector customers proves to be a strong component of business growth. Successful projects with these customers account for approximately 35 percent of the company’s implementations today. While INFOMA markets the solution and innovative implementation approach through road shows and sales presentations, customers’ conversations are what help the most in growing the small-customer practice. Eva Wagenpfeil, Business Development Manager at INFOMA, explains, “Small customers like networking with their peers in other organizations and will often share their experiences with a new accounting software or ERP system that helps them do their jobs. A large portion of our business comes from referrals and word-of-mouth sharing.”

Strengthen Competitive Advantage

In this market, INFOMA also finds that it has an advantage over large competitors, such as SAP, whose offerings may lack the optimization for the public sector and may come with a complex pricing model, higher upfront costs, and features many customers find unnecessary. Says Riss, “With Microsoft Dynamics NAV, we have the flexibility to optimize our solution for small customers and provide extremely efficient deployments. That is important to developing a strong presence in this market. We’re already rolling out the same approach in Switzerland and in the Dutch market.”

Minimize Complexity, Boost Value

For INFOMA’s small public-sector customers, rapid deployments and short trainings mean they can be productive with their new accounting software within a few days, following the new standards for financial management in the public sector. “Our industry expertise and understanding of financial management needs in government organizations enables us to anticipate with great accuracy and a high level of confidence what small public-sector customers need to accomplish and how technology can best be of service to them,” says Wagenpfeil. “We eliminate needless distractions and help them succeed with software functionality that we prepared so they can be productive immediately.”

Enable Customers to Focus on Serving Constituents

According to feedback INFOMA receives, the public-sector customers that take advantage of the streamlined deployment of newsystem public are successful and satisfied with their new financial software tools. The hosted Microsoft Dynamics NAV and newsystem public solution has also proven to be extremely reliable, so public-sector customers have uninterrupted access to their financial management software tools. “The people working in small organizations are absorbed in their work of serving constituents and lack significant time and budget,” comments Riss. “It’s of great value to them that we can offer an affordable, efficient way to bring their financial management into compliance with regulations and simplify their lives. And, with automatic software updates, they will continue to comply with regulations.”

Customer Size: Medium Organization
Industry: IT Services; Architecture, Engineering & Construction
Country or Region: Germany
Solutions:
  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009
  • Microsoft Dynamics components
  • Microsoft Dynamics for Financial Management modules
  • Financials Accounts Payable
  • Financials Accounts Receivable
  • Financials General Ledger
  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV modules
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