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.

IZARA becomes a Microsoft Gold Partner in ERP

IZARA has become a Microsoft Gold Partner in Enterprise Resource Planning

In September 2018 IZARA became a Microsoft Gold Partner. While we are proud of the seal of approval from Microsoft, we are even prouder that our focus on changing the traditional ERP industry as well as on continuously challenging its standards, is aligned with the market demand.

“Being a Microsoft Gold Partner not only gives our customers peace of mind that the solutions and expertise we bring are world class and appreciated by Microsoft. It is also an endorsement for our team that what we are doing, breaking old industry norms, adds value and is appreciated” says IZARA COO and Chief Architect Thomas Meede.

To learn more about the competencies required to gain the golden stamp, read here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/partner-center/learn-about-competencies

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.

Microsoft partner Sonata Software invests in IZARA

The IZARA board consists of Peter Mægbæk, Jakob Ingemann, and Tridip Saha from Sonata

Global software solutions and Microsoft partner Sonata Software has invested in 15% of IZARA. The move strengthens our partnership and cements shared goals for changing ERP and IT into as-a-service industry with customer-value maximization and long-term partnerships.

“We are extremely pleased with the partnership with IZARA, and see great potential in developing the collaboration even further,” says Tridip Saha, who is responsible for the European business at Sonata Software: “We see an excellent match between our two companies in both skill set and geographical coverage and especially in relation to our strategic work with IT needs of our customers.”

For us at IZARA the investment is a vote of confidence that brings along new business opportunities.

Sonata puts great trust in us by expanding the partnership this way. With this investment, we can go to market as a far bigger player than before, and that makes us a more attractive business partner on larger projects. It also means that it will become easier for us to deliver solutions that are flexible and more scalable for our clients,” Jakob Ingemann, CEO at IZARA says.

Read the articles (for subscribers, Danish) in IT-Watch here and Børsen here and read about Sonata Software here.

Danish IT company Configit entrusts IZARA to implement and move the entire ERP system into the cloud

Configit logo

After a strong past and expected future growth, Configit will implement a new ERP system which reinforces the company’s backbone while accommodating the large increase in employees.

“The time has come to go through such a complicated project, as it is to change the ERP system. In the meantime, business must move on so it’s a bit like changing the engine while the car is driving – and we feel safe at IZARA’s way of managing the process,” says Configit’s founder and CEO Henrik Reif Andersen to ITWatch.

IZARA’s CEO, Jakob Ingemann, looks forward to future-proofing Configit’s ERP but emphasizes the importance in solid planning. “This ERP implementation can be done is as little as three-month, but while we do appreciate fast time-to-value, we always focus on limiting business disruption. Therefore, we have designed an eight-months implementation process in which Configit will have the best possible conditions for running business as usual.”

The solution is based on Microsoft Dynamics365 standard solution and a service agreement with IZARA’s partner Sonata which will handle support, testing and continuous upgrading of the ERP system behind the scenes.

Read more about what’s in it for Configit, moving business systems to the cloud and IZARA’s projections for its own future growth here (subscribers only): http://itwatch.dk/secure/ITNyt/Brancher/sourcing/article9994093.ece

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.

Deciding on ERP implementation after a divestment decision saved Dynea 2m Euros in potential discounts

IZARA helped Dynea save millions in potential sales discounts

“You’ve put yourself in a perfect position for being sold.” The pre-purchase IT advisor for a potential buyer was impressed with the flexibility and scalability of Dynea’s new IT infrastructure and business system.

Preparing for a sale of the entire company while not knowing which facilities would be sold to whom, Dynea became aware that business system inefficiencies could result in large discounts, massive split-up costs and, in worst case, lack of attracted buyers.

Through a thorough analysis, strategy recommendation, and implementation of a simple and perfectly fitted ERP [Enterprise Resource Planning] platform, IZARA helped Dynea mitigate IT-related divestment discounts by

  • Showcasing a flexible and scalable standard ERP solution with low, fixed cost
  • Providing full transparency of the individual facility’s activities
  • Mitigate large rectification costs and potential discounts

Dynea dates back to 1947 when it first started as a chemical company and has since undergone major changes to its core business and structure. It is now well-known for its industrial adhesive products, and had in 2011, when IZARA was engaged, 42 production facilities in Europe and Asia. Towards the end of 2011 the owners of the Dynea Group decided to split up and divest clusters of production facilities to various international buyers. To minimise potential obstacles and expensive IT and sales liabilities, Dynea’s management team engaged IZARA to analyse the current infrastructure and business systems.

During the analysis conducted by IZARA and Dynea new CIO, it became apparent that the business system was not attuned to the business requirements. Major pain points included

  • Poorly integrated ERP solution and training in same led to time waste, lack of built-in automation, and high data inconsistencies,
  • Lack of business planning tools severely impacted procurement efficiency,
  • Manual reporting processed caused heavy delays in management transparency.

The analysis further revealed that the hosting/outsourcing agreement was inflexible and non-scalable and would results in massive IT cost for all entities, and thus a significant divestment discount in a split-up scenario.

Based on the analysis, we identified three business system strategy options, namely to

  1. Leave as is and sell with a significant discount,
  2. Upgrade to a more flexible and scalable standard solution of current system, but have no solution for small company clusters in the split-up,
  3. Adopt a different, simpler, more cost effective and better needs-suited system.

Following a thorough testing phase IZARA confirmed to Dynea’s Board that the business system could be simplified by running all facilities on a standard ERP platform without customization, that costs could be cut significantly through a flexible and scalable license agreement that allowed splitting up the licenses when divesting, and that it would be possible to complete the implementation in 10 identified facilities and within 10 months, before completion of the sales.

IZARA and a select team of Dynea subject matter experts were put in charge of the implementation, ensuring timeliness and budgets, setting go-live goals and deliverables. As agreed, the best-suited ERP platform, Dynamics AX, was implemented across the 10 facilities, within 10 months.

Following the successful implementation, infrastructure and business systems were no longer a liability as Dynea had obtained

  • Detailed production information from each individual facility
  • Smooth operations with no limiting IT dependencies and at low cost
  • Possibility to split licenses and operations in exactly the constellation the facilities would be sold

Overall, IZARA made Dynea’s infrastructure and business systems sales ready, optimised all identified facilities, including those not for sales, and saved Dynea 2 million Euro in potential divestment discounts.

“IZARA gave our company a tough decision to make, based on the thorough analysis of our facilities. I say tough decision because agreeing on an ERP implementation just before a scheduled sale to many people, myself included, seems like a risky, costly, and useless activity. But through the honest and straight-forward partnership, IZARA helped us gain the transparency our potential buyers needed to make an informed decision and the scalability we needed to divest the facilities as there was a demand for. Overall, we estimate a saving of around 2 million Euro in potential discounts and a much shorter, and smoother divestment.”

Henrik Vildenfeldt, CFO, Dynea

About us
At IZARA we put your freedom first. Freedom from overspent IT projects and disruptions. Freedom through a long-term partnership focusing on reaching your objectives. Because as your ERP partner we give you the freedom to choose a future in which IT is a scalable helping hand, business enabler, predictable monthly budget post, and a mean to a business oriented, leaner and less complicated organisation.

IZARA – Peace of mind, as a service.