Loftware Increases Its Financial Reporting Flexibility with Microsoft Dynamics GP Solution

Paragon Software Solutions helped Loftware Inc. migrate from Dynamics SL to Dynamics GP within a month.

“Paragon succeeded in having us running by January 1st. They really went the extra mile to help us get going to meet our deadline.”
– Brian Collin, Loftware’s Chief Financial Officer

The Challenge

In business they say you can get any two out of three– fast turn around, high quality or an on-budget project– but not all three. However, in the case of Loftware and Paragon Software Solutions, this old axiom turns out not to be true.

In 2010, Loftware was looking to transition its legacy financial accounting and homegrown Customer relationship Management solutions. “We’d been on Microsoft Dynamics SL for about 10 years and also wanted to move away from our legacy CRM solution to an off-the-shelf, SaaS solution,” explains Brian Collin, Loftware’s Chief Financial officer. “to do that, we decided to go with Salesforce.com. In the process, we decided to move from Dynamics SL to Microsoft Dynamics GP.”

To make it all happen – within a month’s time – the company turned to Paragon to migrate from Microsoft Dynamics SL to Microsoft Dynamics GP. “We did not want to take the Big Bang approach and implement both Microsoft Dynamics GP and Salesforce.com at the same time,” says Collin. “We wanted to deploy Microsoft Dynamics GP by January 1st to meet strategic objectives, stay on track with the deployment of Salesforce.com and be able to take advantage of go-live on the first day of the calendar year to coincide with our calendar year reporting.”

The Solution

“As a software company, we have to keep track of our revenue in a certain way,” says Collin. “We sell software but we also sell support and maintenance. If I sell a perpetual license, I can recognize the revenue immediately; if I sell a one-year maintenance contact, I can only recognize the revenue ratably each month over the life of the 12- month contract. Microsoft Dynamics GP has a module that allows you to calculate, track and report on deferred revenue. We can see what our revenue deferral is at any point in time. We didn’t have that functionality with the previous application.”

While Loftware did its due diligence and considered other vendors, what sealed the deal was Paragon owner Mark Forbush’s simple approach to Loftware’s challenge: don’t try to customize the application too much.

“When Mark suggested an out-of-the box solution it made perfect sense,” says Collin. “Customizing a general ledger, accounts payable, sales and order entry application is not easy. Paragon recommended implementing Microsoft Dynamics GP to get us up and running as quickly as possible. an additional benefit was that it would be easy to integrate with Salesforce.com.”

Once Loftware identified its financial and CRM implementation goals, the real challenge became the time frame. Loftware runs on a calendar-year basis, so Collin wanted to have the new system in place and ready to go by January 1, 2011.

“We didn’t give Mark a lot of lead time to get the project completed,” he says. “But he succeeded in having us up and running on time. I’d come into the office in the morning and find he’d emailed me and completed work remotely overnight. He really went the extra mile to help us get going to meet our deadline.”

The Results

One month into the new Microsoft Dynamics GP implementation, Collin and his Loftware financial team use the application’s general ledger, accounts receivable, accounts payable and purchase order capabilities. While the new system offers many more business capabilities, Forbush suggested that Loftware take things slowly and just bring over the necessary data from the old system to begin operating by the first of the year. It’s advice that Collin greatly appreciates.

“We’re bringing Microsoft Dynamics GP on incrementally,” he says. “there are so many different features and functionalities that we’re learning about. Mark coached us that we can’t do everything from day one. But we’re able to effectively and efficiently perform the basics – cutting checks, billing customers, processing payroll. our goal is, over time, to take full advantage of features and functionality we didn’t have before.”

Collin also appreciates a partner that’s flexible and does what they say they’ll do on time and on budget. “Paragon and Mark are very, very responsive,” he says. “While it’s still too early to point to specific results, we’re looking forward to being able to automate processes that we used to do manually, as well as identify areas where we can consolidate other applications we’re using into the Microsoft Dynamics GP solution.”