It’s a very fair question, but it does depend on what you’re trying to achieve and what you’ll use the application for. Starting with Dynamics can be like buying a new car with lots of options available. Some customers focus on customer service, others want the sales element while other companies want all aspects of the business covered. To simplify things I’ll look at two key (although smaller) housing process that once implemented should reduce the reliance on legacy systems and the cost of maintaining them. Working on smaller processes also reduces the risk of the project/application not hitting the mark. These two processes are also flagged in the housing ombudsman insight report.
The issues residents have complained about shows property condition remaining theInsight Report – Issue 12 (housing-ombudsman.org.uk)
biggest category, at 41% of all complaints. That is followed by residents’ concerns
about their landlords handling of their complaint at 16%, and then anti-social
behaviour at 13%.
For the purpose of this scenario we’ll assume
- Your organisation will implement Dynamics to manage Anti Social Behaviour (ASB) and Complaints.
- These two processes form part of your business strategy.
- 20 members of staff will need to be trained and provided with access.
- The application will be built using the Dynamics 365 Customer Service app
Here are the steps we would work through together (including costs) to ensure the implementation is a success. The costs are based on:
- Work we’ve completed with other customers
- Over 20 years in the housing sector
- Over 10 years working with Dynamics 365
|Step (for both processes)||Cost|
|Walk through and document both processes – this is important and will ensure |
– We understand the way you work
– Those impacted are aware and involved (Avoid a big BANG go live! (deliveringcrm.net))
– We understand future plans so that the structure of the system is correct
|£500 – £1000|
|Understand the fields and workflows that need to be in place to fulfil the process – After we’ve understood your process we’ll work with you to identify the fields, workflows and reports required to ensure Dynamics works with you.||£500 – £1000|
|Set up a development area and start building – We’ll work with you to set up a sandbox (development area) where we’ll build the processes with you. ||£1500 – £2000|
|Complete show and tells – These will happen throughout the build so you don’t get any nasty surprises. We’ll also |
– Provide short videos so users can review while they test the system
– Create some basic test scripts and guidance on what you need to look for (as well as previous customer gotcha’s)
|£500 – £1000|
|Then it’s over to you to test – we’ll log feedback from testing but your SME’s (Subject matter experts) from across the process will need to be involved and use real world scenarios||£250 – £500|
|We’ll make some tweaks as a result of testing – but large changes in the process would be parked (unless they were show stoppers) and could impact this cost.||£500 – £1000|
|Create training materials and train – Short videos will be produced and training provided online. ||£500 – £1000|
|Go live – After you had signed off your processes we’ll move Dynamics to live. To ensure you get the support you need we would work with you and your SME’s on a go live support plan that would usually be in place for a minimum of 2 days.||£1000 – £2000|
|Go live tweaks – they’ll be things that will need tweaking after you go live and more people get to enjoy Dynamics 365. For this reason its good to factor in a bit of time to make minor amends, provide extra training etc||£500 – £1000|
|Total||£5,750 – £10,500|
Other things to consider
Based on our scenario 20 users will require Customer Service Professional licences that cost (at the time of writing) £37.70 per user per month but would allow users access to both processes. Remember, this is a direct purchase from Microsoft, if you already work with a Microsoft Partner or have charity status then the cost could be reduced.
Building the processes in PowerApps may also reduce your spend but to keep things simple these costs have been put together on the assumption that the Customer Service App is used.
You’ll own the IP to the solutions we build so you can
- Make changes as regulation/ your processes evolve
- Work with any Microsoft partner
It also means that you wont need to pay monthly subscriptions to E&F Solutions. This is something you may need to pay if you use accelerators (see below). Accelerators may also reduce the amount of ownership you have over the product once its been implemented. Its important to iron out who owns the Intellectual Property you implement and what you can do with other suppliers/internally once the system is live.
This is the big one. As you can see I havent mentioned data in the list above. The main reason is because its a huge unknown. The good news is that we would move/import your complaints/ASB data into the dataverse so that we could surface it in Dynamics and the rest of the PowerPlatform. To get a better idea of cost we would need to look at the quality and volume of customer, property and tenancy data that needs to be bought into the mix. See The Data Maturity Roadmap – #D365ForHousing (deliveringcrm.net) to find out more on improving the quality of your data.
As a general rule accelerators are used move the needle and implement Dynamics quicker than building from scratch. They may or may not suit your organisation and generally mean you pay a supplier a monthly fee for the product. Here are a few suppliers who may be able to help.
As I said, buying Dynamics 365 is like buying a new car with multiple options along the way. But I’m confident by following the steps below you’ll be in a position to manage those options (and associated costs).
- Understand the strategy you’re trying to achieve/business need you’re trying to fulfil
- Identify the processes that support the strategy/business need
- Sort the data. Understand what you need and where it is (here’s a blog that may help – The Data Maturity Roadmap – #D365ForHousing (deliveringcrm.net) ) Once you’ve done this…..
- Plan the best solution to manage those processes