A stepping stone to independence, steep learning and my 2nd career

Mikael is a Senior Project Manager and Finance Architect with IZARA

Having focused on finance, business processes, and IT for more than 20 years, I found myself ready to part with my long-term employer and start my 2nd career. But, despite knowing, that I am an expert in my field, making the move was scary and I spent much time figuring out where I could offer my future customers most value. Was I a general management consultant? Interim CFO? A mix of both – or something completely different?

After the first cup of coffee with IZARA I knew that this was my chance to take the step and do what I longed for: taking ownership of large projects and transforming my experience into maximum value for my own customers.

In particular IZARA’s values were a reason for me to join the company. Firstly, while IZARA employs a mix of independent young and senior full-time people as well as freelance consultants with many years’ experience, we are a team.

Everybody has a voice, and it is an integral part of our culture to listen to what is being said. Our focus is always on creating maximum value together with the customer and not on selling hours, which is otherwise common in our industry.

Secondly, the IZARA team works to do what is best. We operate with high integrity and top management is ready to politely decline an assignment if we find the customer is not ready for the necessary change in approach and culture surrounding their ERP setup, or if the customer insists on a solution that is significantly different from what we know is the most value-adding solution.

How well did reality match your expectations?

I came to IZARA with an expectation to be thrown straight into the large and interesting projects that were in the pipeline. I have since learned that lead times for projects are often longer than expected so I am now looking forward to starting my first own major assignment as lead architect.

In the coming years I will build my knowledge and network while maximising value for IZARA’s and my own customers. My aspiration for the future is to gain the experience to be a renown chief architect with the overall responsibility for multiple teams and projects.

And that leads me to my closing remarks. No matter your role and aspirations, with IZARA you will become a part of a team and a culture. There is no difference in the mutual relations, no matter if you are employed or freelance. Everyone fells welcome and everyone feels they are in IZARA because they are needed and wanted. We have a positive and happy environment with high spirit, positive ambitions, and there is no time wasted beating around the bush. We know that our raison d’etre is to maximise value for our customers – while continuously developing our teams and individuals.

– Mikael has 22 years of experience from a variety of top financial and IT functions and has been a Senior Project Manager and Finance Architect with IZARA since 1st May 2018.

Working at IZARA: Independence and trust

Senior Business Consultant at IZARA, Mads

Are you geared for a job with a high degree of independence and international travels?

When a friend of mine recommended IZARA to me back in 2016, it was with words like “exciting projects”, “high degree of independence”, and “some of the most senior and globally acclaimed experts within the ERP field”.

He was not wrong.

During the past two years I have been involved in several go-lives, which have given me great insight into full-cycle implementations of D365fFO, as I have been involved in everything from diagnostics to operations – and post go-live support. One of these implementations was for a large multinational company, Pandora, which gave me the possibility to work out of Asia for four months.

Another implementation was for a smaller local company with a highly dynamic organisation. As the company underwent significant change, an urgent implementation of a new ERP system, to support daily operations, became crucial. After only 25 days we went live with what I believe is one of the most successful fast-track implementations ever done. This marks one of the greatest accomplishments in my work history to date.

The endorphin rush when you push that go-live button after 25 days of intensive planning, design, development and deployment, while knowing that you delivered a highly value-adding solution for your customer, is impossible to describe.

Team work, respect and focus on adding value

One of the things I appreciate the most about working at IZARA: While everyday life is often fast-paced and at our customers premises, our team works together to add as much value for our customers, as we can.

Even though my colleagues are amongst the most acclaimed in the industry, the organisation is flat, everybody is seen as equal, as we respect each other’s competencies and differences. Of course, that also means that one must be prepared to take on much responsibility from the beginning, as well as accept that we sometimes take calculated risks and make mistakes – and be ready to fix them urgently.

– Mads is 32 years old and Senior Business Consultant with IZARA.

Climate: Successful mitigation of the perfect storm – in 25 days

Climate managed to implement D365 in 25 days

Following a sooner-than-planned company split-up, commercial refrigeration experts Climate started over as a “new” company, albeit with a large existing customer base and an organisation to run. Through strong team-work and dedication, we helped decide and implement the best-fit future-proof solution in 25 days – without disruptions to Climate’s exceptionally high heatwave-struck business.

Previously an integrated part of a larger commercial refrigeration company, Climate, the project and service division, was separated from the refrigerator business on 1 May 2018. Before the split-up the company used a highly customized AX2009 solution with non-standard add-ons and needed an ERP solution for the new business. During the analysis, we identified Climate’s need for a data-driven standard ERP solution fully supporting finance functions, product and operations, as well as the flexibility-needing on-the-road fleet of technicians.

By implementing Dynamics 365 Climate was able to directly re-use existing internal knowledge gained from older Microsoft ERP systems, minimising training needs and time-to-value. To ease support, updateability, and future potential add-on integration, we re-designed business processes to fit Dynamics 365 standard processes and made a few necessary customisations.

“Working with IZARA has been an eye opener. As a company in large and sudden transition, we felt vulnerable and unclear about the future setup, but I have felt in good hands with IZARA from the beginning.

Our main benefits are two-fold; firstly, I am positively surprised by IZARA’s ability to identify our exact challenges by involving and assisting the relevant employees yet without “intruding” and slowing our work as well as the speed with which our new business system was implemented. It took only 25 days from start to end and during the entire time we were able to continue business as usual. Even as the hottest May in 129 years struck Denmark and increased the amount of incoming service requests by more than 60%!

Secondly, I am very pleased with IZARA’s constant care for the future of the project – Insisting on keeping processes simple while keeping securing flexibility for future phases of the project and thereby doing their utmost to avoid rework and sunk cost – I have no doubt they have been thinking more about my business’ well-being and long-term relations than their own short-term benefits…. Something that unfortunately isn’t the norm in the consulting business.”

[Henrik Vildenfelt, CFO, Climate]

Climate’s solid D365 backbone will be strengthened in the off-season autumn as we expect to exchange an inhouse-developed solution for the D365 Field Service to ensure even smoother operations. We will further increase digitalization and automation, ensuring all relevant activities can be easily and efficiently managed on the road.

Read our customer cases and contact us to hear more about how we can help you.

About Climate
Established in 2003, Farum-based Climate employs more than 40 commercial refrigeration and service experts and has fleet of 50+ qualified technicians/vehicles on the road. With more than a thousand statutory maintenance calls and 30.000 annual service calls, an efficient operations, planning, and logistics system is integral for the company’s focus on fast and correct exception management and service for its customers.

AXUG: Discussing ERP utilization and ERP evergreen

Mohammed Naveen Ajmal from Sonata and IZARA's Jakob Ingemann presenting ERP evergreen at AXUG

Tell any business manager his company needs a new ERP system, and he will turn pale. He fears the overspent budget and timelines, business disruptions and incomplete results, the industry is known for. At IZARA we are transforming IT and ERP from an internal resource and hardware intensive activity to a subscription-based external foundation, which simply works and provides clear transparency of data as well as cost.

During the AXUG Summit in Nashville 10-13 October 2018, we showcased our partnership with Maersk Container Industry (MCI). We started out as an IT adviser analysing and suggesting improvements for the current IT strategy. As the analysis revealed a good improvement potential through ERP we designed the perfectly fitted architecture, together. Now, upon successful implementation, MCI has achieved improved communication, transparency and predictability.

But these outcomes are not the only important long-term results. During our presentations on AXUG we discussed two additional features of successful ERP, namely utilization and ERP evergreen.

Optimal ERP utilisation is characterised by maximising uptime and output as well as fast onboarding of users and processes, so production unit cost falls with minimal disruption. That means fast elimination of paper waste and duplication errors as well as high levels of transparency. But it doesn’t end when everybody and all processes are onboard.

The industry has entertained incomplete implementations and expensive consultants for way too long. When we speak about evergreen we speak about doing the implementation right the first time, and then outsource all manual test overhead as well as patching, updates and upgrades. That way, we ensure your business is always up-to-date and can focus on growth instead of maintenance. For MCI, we expect to reduce the manual test overhead by more than 90%. Imagine how that freedom could impact your business growth.

Read the customer case here: http://www.izara.com/allowing-transparency-and-predictability-to-drive-mcis-performance/ and follow us on LinkedIn for progress and results.

IZARA – Peace of mind and long-term partnerships

The IZARA board: Thomas Meede, Jakob Ingemann, Peter Mægbæk, focuses on long-term partnerships.

Experienced and complimenting forces merge together in a new and strong IZARA. With a focus on cloud-based IT “as a service”, long-term partnerships, and dreams of changing the global view on business systems, IZARA is a different warrior in the battle against large, disrupting IT projects and expensive consultancy hours.

”It has grown under the surface for a long time, this idea that the IT industry is stuck in an outdated illusion about the need for complex ERP solutions (Enterprise Resource Planning), heavy racks in the basement and a larger division of internal IT experts to control and maintain them.” Jakob Ingemann, founder of the original IZARA and now CEO and Partner in our new IZARA, and he is a visionary with great hopes for the industry which he has played a part in for more than two decades. He glances around the modern Copenhagen-based office and smiles as his eyes catch sight of the dark purple wall in the middle of the room. ”We build long-term partnership that give our customer the freedom to develop the business.”

On the same side of the table is Thomas Henrik Meede, who founded and owned the other part of the equation, the company AXspecialists. Thomas has more than 20 years of expertise in delivering ERP solutions, and has, together with his highly specialised team, worked as a “crisis task force” which has saved global ERP projects that have gone wrong.

And it is exactly here, in the air between the experienced CFO, CIO, and advisor on one side and one of the world’s leading Microsoft Dynamics AX specialists on the other, that IZARA has grown and introduces new industry standards and goals.

Peace of mind, as a service
IZARA is all about creating freedom and peace of mind with our customers. Jakob has been on the other side of the table and from his time in top management positions he knows their exact pain points. From the moment you realise your organisation has outgrown it’s own limits, the horrifying consultancy hour-prices on ”upgrading” IT project, which never fail to disappoint the expected massive exceeding of both timelines and budget. Not to mention long disruption setbacks that hinder growth, regularly.

“We offer a package which includes a standardized and cloud-based Dynamics 365 and apps as a service and with a flexible service agreement. That gives our customers faster time-to-value, fewer disruptions during implementation and, most importantly, a stable, safe, and always updated underlying subscription-based business system which can be scaled up and down, exactly the way our customers need it. Through flexibility, scalability and simplification we give our customers the best possible optimisation of innovation and realisation of their growth potential” Jakob says.

The 3rd spice – uncompromised expertise, flexibility and professionalism
Further to the merger between the two companies and their core competencies, we will also offer services through a partnership with Sonata Software, a leading global software solutions provider with expertise in offering digital solutions to businesses in the travel, retail, cpg, distribution and software product development space. Sonata brings it’s proprietary digital industry platforms, over thirty years of expertise in outsourcing IT solutions for Fortune 500 customers and a global delivery footprint, which can be extended to offer unmatched flexibility and capability to Izara customers’ technology needs. Sonata is an award winning Microsoft Dynamics and SAP Hybris partner with industry specific solutions to implement Digital solutions on these platforms too.

IZARA is further strengthened with Peter Mægbæk (founder and CEO of Plenti) as both investor and Chairman of the Board. He sees a large potential in the future of the business: ”There is no doubt that Thomas and Jakob are leading the market and just the fact that they work with solutions as a service is extremely appealing for me, as I have a passion for subscription-based businesses.”