Going Global: Strategies for Successful Dynamics 365 Rollouts Across Borders

Date Published: 18 December 2023
Tags: D365, Global Projects, Global Rollouts, Microsoft Dynamics 365

In today’s interconnected world, expanding your business across borders is a tempting proposition. However, it’s crucial to understand that global implementation projects come with their own set of challenges and complexities that can’t be overlooked. Whether you’re considering a software rollout, a product launch, or any other project that spans multiple countries, you need a solid strategy to ensure success.

In this blog, we’ll delve into strategies for successful Microsoft Dynamics 365 rollouts across borders, addressing various aspects from language barriers to technical considerations based on my own experiences of managing large deployments across borders.

What’s Different / Challenging About Global Projects?

Global projects may share similarities with local projects, but they come with a unique set of challenges that require careful consideration. Here are some of the key differentiators:

1. Language Barriers

Language is a primary barrier in global projects. While it’s normal to conduct a project in a primary language, agreeing on the spoken and written language for the project is essential. Consider the following language-related challenges and solutions:

Extreme Accents: Ensure that language barriers don’t arise due to extreme accents. Communication clarity is crucial.

Local Language vs. English: Sometimes, it’s necessary to use the local language, especially in testing and training phases. Consider creating a short glossary for project-specific terms.

Globalization of Codes: Decide whether you’ll use local languages for item codes, descriptions, and translations.

Local Language Support: Local support in the project’s language can be invaluable.

2. Geography and Timezones

Global projects involve multiple geographical locations and time zones. To address these challenges:

Partner Companies: Work with partners worldwide, but be aware that partners may not always collaborate seamlessly.

Travel: Travel is costly and time-consuming. Optimize travel expenses and invest in good communication tools. Consider remote office visits and team-building events.

Different Timezones: Respect is important here. Consider using a meeting planner app to find the best time across time zones for meetings. Take into account things like working days / hours, and daylight savings across continents.

3. Culture

Understanding and respecting cultural differences is crucial for successful global projects. Whether on a personal or business level:

Greetings: Show respect and familiarity with local customs.

Topics of Discussion: Avoid controversial topics like politics and religion.

Put some effort in and show that you have when working in different regions and also inform others of your culture.

Cultural Differences in Business: Be aware of differences in working hours and breaks, dress code, meeting culture, and management styles.

4. Currency and Entity Structure

Managing different currencies and entity structures can be complex. Clearly define and agree upon financial structures and currency usage upfront to avoid complications further down the line.

5. Global Build

A global build is the first iteration of the system that addresses core requirements for all regions. Be mindful of local variations and requirements as you deploy based on the global build. Consider what to include and exclude from the build(s). Be very careful if using multiple development organisations that the rules are very clear and that there is a clear Development Authority.

6. Technical Considerations

In addition to the cultural and logistical challenges, there are critical technical considerations for global projects:

6.1 Instances and Environments

Plan your instances and environments carefully, considering factors like integration points, automated processes, and user numbers. Ensure that your architecture resembles production during testing.

6.2 Performance

Consider the region where your environments are hosted, as latency differences can impact performance. Optimal performance often requires systems to reside within the same region.

6.3 Cyber Security

Security is paramount in global projects. Align security policies globally and implement security defaults like MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication) and IP/Region Whitelisting to secure communications.

6.4. Global Security Roles

Implement robust security roles and involve the customer’s security officer/expert early on to ensure compliance with policies and auditing requirements.

Conclusion

Going global can open up tremendous opportunities for your business, but it’s not without its challenges. By understanding and addressing the unique complexities of global Microsoft Dynamics 365 projects, you can increase your chances of a successful rollout across borders. From language barriers to technical considerations, a well-thought-out strategy is key to achieving consistent and scalable solutions in diverse markets. Remember, the world may be your oyster, but it’s essential to have a solid plan to crack it open.

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