Architecture, Engineering, and Consulting (AEC) firms are facing a tough decision...those that have been using BST or Deltek software, that is. Do they re-platform their current ERP system with the same software developer, or is there a newer, more innovative approach to their AEC ERP needs? We've been in the business of working iwth AEC firms for a long time, so we've had a chance to talk to them about the decisions they make regarding their technology and why they make them. In speaking with firms who have recently decided to eliminate Deltek or BST and implement aec360 by HSO and Microsoft Dynamics 365, we discovered an extensive list of reasons that helped them make the decision. Here are the top ten:
#1: Backed by Microsoft’s $19B investment in R&D
It’s fascinating that investing in Microsoft was the number one reason. AEC firms using other ERP software chose to move to Microsoft and aec360 because they appreciate the overwhelming power of Microsoft’s $19B annual R&D budget. Microsoft clearly sees professional services as a major growth market and will maintain investment in solutions designed for the industry. Other AEC ERP software providers have to write their own software and, as a result, have a sluggish rate of development. Microsoft’s unparalleled R&D effort is a huge benefit to aec360 clients.
#2: Promotes collaboration with direct embedding into Teams
AEC firms are confident that the key to their success is to function as a cohesive team on every project. Collaboration is imperative. Not surprisingly, the second most popular reason for firms to leave their current vendor is the absence of collaboration functionality. Microsoft Teams has turned into one of the most popular ways for firms to collaborate and communicate. Having an ERP system that works within Teams is an effortless fit and has a staggering impact on system adoption.
#3: Eliminates redundant tasks by incorporating Microsoft AI and BOTS
The high response rate to this particular reason exemplifies today’s market. It’s evident that AEC firms are insisting on this technology and the increased efficiency and functionality it provides. While their present software providers are talking about being able to use AI and develop Bots, Microsoft and aec360 are already there.
#4: Designed with your operations team in mind
Many firms have suffered a low adoption rate with their AEC ERP software. What was intended to be a firmwide ERP solution has actually become an “accounting” system. Operations doesn’t want to use the software! Firms that have made the move to aec360 are focused on attending to Project Managers and supporting Operations.
#5: Meets the unique needs of your firm
All the firms we spoke with mentioned their aspiration to customize the system. Although their existing AEC ERP software was designed for AEC firms, not everything fit perfectly. The main problem was the complexity of the tools required to turn the system into a firm specific, perfect fit. aec360 takes advantage of Microsoft’s Power Platform – the low code/no code development tool that those AEC firms are looking for.
#6: Excel can be incorporated into any process
Excel is popular and most firms understand that. Many employees prefer to use Excel over most other applications, especially their AEC ERP system! For these users, aec360 doesn’t need to compete with that preference. Be it input or output, most application areas in aec360 have direct links to Excel.
#7: Seamless integration with your other Microsoft investments
In addition, this was important in our client’s selection criteria. The effortless integration that a Microsoft based solution provides was comforting in that it will ALWAYS work. Enhancements made in one application area are benefited from in the other applications. All your Microsoft investments work together without a hitch.
#8: The only “end-to-end” AEC ERP system in the industry
Being truly connected is vital to all the firms we spoke with. Their current ERP vendors don’t really deal with and deliver critical applications areas the firm requires. aec360 is truly an end-to-end system, which is a more complete AEC ERP solution. Your firm demands a strong front-end marketing application to manage campaigns and lead generation activities, so we’ve built that into aec360. Any AEC firm requires talent management, so aec360 also contains full Human Resources application.
#9: The best of both worlds: AEC focus and a tier 1, best-in-class ERP
Our new clients acknowledged that, although they have complex project management needs, they would never want to give up ANY functionality when it came to their complex financial management requirements. aec360 uses the same financial management foundation as some of the world’s largest companies. If you need an experienced approach to a financial requirement, odds are Microsoft Dynamics 365 has a solution.
#10: Continuous enhancement means never having to re-platform your AEC ERP again
The majority of firms we spoke with had this very reason on their list. They desired to make a true Cloud, evergreen software investment for their new ERP system. That’s understandable considering what they’ve been through. They made the decision to not have to move to a new platform down the road. They’ve “future proofed” their ERP investment with aec360 and Microsoft Dynamics 365.
Those are the top 10 reasons why our new clients committed to the move away from their previous software vendor and adopt a fresher, more attractive AEC ERP system. If you’re currently a Deltek or BST client, allow us the opportunity to show you how aec360 is unique, and why it’s now the most prevalent AEC ERP system.