SBS Group Named One of Consulting Magazine’s Fastest Growing Firms of 2017

Leading Provider of Microsoft Cloud-based Business Solutions was named No. 55 on the List

SBS Group, a leading technology firm and industry innovator, was selected by ALM’s Consulting Magazine as one of the fastest growing firms in the consulting industry. At a gala awards dinner at New York’s Yale Club on Thursday, November 2nd, SBS Group was named as the No. 55 Fastest Growing Firm.

“To be honored as a Fastest Growing Firm by Consulting Magazine is a great testament to our commitment to evolve as a business,” remarked James Bowman, President and CEO of SBS Group. “The continued market growth of Microsoft’s cloud solutions, especially Dynamics 365, has afforded us a tremendous opportunity to grow our organization by delivering innovative, cloud-based business management solutions in an increasing number of markets.”

This year, 75 firms qualified for the ranking, which requires a minimum growth rate of 20 percent to be eligible. The Fastest Growing Firms will also be featured on http://www.consultingmag.com, as well as in the November issue of Consulting Magazine.

“With mind-numbing growth, there’s absolutely no doubt these 75 consulting firms are disrupting the industry from the bottom up—they are the profession’s Fastest Growing Firms for 2107,” said Joseph Kornik, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of Consulting magazine. “Consulting’s Fastest Growing Firms recognition and award is aimed squarely at these up-and-coming firms that all too often fly below the radar because they’re not the biggest or the best-known firms. We want to bring these fast-growing firms to the forefront since they are the future of the consulting industry.”

About SBS Group
SBS Group is a Microsoft Master VAR and Indirect Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP) specializing in Microsoft Dynamics solutions and services for companies of all sizes. With more than 3,000 active customers served by over 300 employees across 40 locations in North America, SBS Group is a recognized leader in cloud ERP, CRM, productivity and business intelligence solutions. We simplify the cloud experience and help our customers realize business value faster with SBS Group AXIO solutions for Dynamics 365 and our streamlined RightPath approach. SBS Group is headquartered in Edison, NJ and has been a recognized leader in Microsoft business solutions for over 30 years. http://www.sbsgroupusa.com

About Consulting Magazine
Consulting® magazine is the flagship publication of the consulting profession featuring the latest information on consulting careers, thought leadership and corporate strategies. In addition to providing industry insights, Consulting® hosts award dinners as part of our Achievement Awards series – honoring Women Leaders in Consulting, The Top 25 Consultants, Social & Community Investment and Rising Stars of the Profession.

About ALM
ALM, an information and intelligence company, provides customers with critical news, data, analysis, marketing solutions and events to successfully manage the business of business.
Customers use ALM solutions to discover new ideas and approaches for solving business challenges, connect to the right professionals and peers creating relationships that move business forward, and compete to win through access to data, analytics and insight. ALM serves a community of over 6 million business professionals seeking to discover, connect and compete in highly complex industries. For more information, visit http://www.alm.com.

A Business System Platform for Professional Services Firms and Project-based Businesses

Professional services firms and project-based businesses invest in technology to improve employee productivity, streamline operations, improve sales, marketing, and customer engagement. Additionally, these firms invest in order to get better insights into their businesses to drive continued improvements. Over time, most organizations have invested in a number of stand-alone point solutions addressing different areas of need. However, the largest and most successful companies, go beyond point solutions by creating a unified solution, either through an extensive integration of best-of-breed technologies, or standardization on a technology platform such as Oracle or SAP.

Until recently, the cost and complexity of implementing such a comprehensive solution was beyond the reach of all but the largest global organizations. That is no longer the case! With the introduction of Microsoft Dynamics 365 — joining Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Power BI, and Microsoft Office 365 — any size professional services firm or project-based business can deploy a truly unified platform solution providing robust functionality for every business function and employee role.

microsoft dynamics 365 applications

Traditionally, enterprises achieved technology automation through the implementation of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). ERP is generally defined as an expanded effort to standardize record keeping to permit information sharing among different areas of an organization in an effort to manage the business more effectively and efficiently. A successful ERP implementation formalizes and integrates business processes across the organization, leveraging a single, integrated information system platform.

In the manufacturing sector, ERP has been the primary focus of business technology investment. However, professional services firms and project-based businesses have significant technology needs beyond the back office. The customer focus of services firms and the fluid, dynamic nature of services businesses has made Customer Relationship Management (CRM) an equally important part of the technology equation. CRM assists the sales, marketing and customer services departments in your firm by focusing their efforts on bringing the customer the best value possible.

erp crm success

Ideally, a firm’s ERP and CRM system would work hand-in-hand – creating a unified system. ERP puts the product at the center of the interaction while CRM focuses on the customer and their needs. With Microsoft Dynamics 365, professional services firms and project-based businesses can have both ERP and CRM in one unified platform. Even better, Dynamics 365 is built in the Microsoft Cloud giving users access to the data they need anywhere, at any time and costs less than deploying an on-premise ERP and CRM solution.


Learn more about the Microsoft Cloud by download our white paper.

In the white paper, we will detail the business value of platform adoption, examine the specific needs of professional services firms and project-based business, review the elements of the Microsoft Cloud, and demonstrate why the Microsoft Cloud is the superior solution for the services sector.

We also included a general Primer on Cloud Computing for those who need a grounding or refresher on cloud concepts, as well as a review of Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Office 365 components and benefits.

Dynamics 365 for Operations in the Cloud and On-Premise : The Best of Both Worlds

Major news in the enterprise Dynamics community was broken last week. Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations is nearly ready for a hybrid deployment, meaning enterprise-level firms will be able to experience the best of both worlds. The hybrid cloud deployment allows enterprise firms, who could not consider a cloud-only solution, to receive the multitude of benefits of Microsoft cloud technology while still maintaining the security and control they need in order to run their firm.

Some enterprise level firms, specifically manufacturers and retailers, rely heavily on smooth and consistent production in order to make their business profitable. As such, these companies tend to lean towards ERP and business solutions that are held and controlled locally. Additionally, some of these companies are forced into these types of solutions because regulations maintain that they capture and store a customer’s personal information locally. A cloud-only solution gives them the operating power they need to produce, but not the control or security they desire. That is no longer the case for Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations.

Dynamics 365 for Operations Hybrid Cloud Announcement

In a blog post on February 23rd, Sri Srinivasan announced and detailed the availability of a hybrid deployment for Dynamics 365 for Operations. Srinivasan is the General Manager for Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations in the Cloud and Enterprise Group.

At the Summit ’16 in Tampa, Florida, we announced the plans for a hybrid cloud deployment meant to accommodate these specific scenarios, so that organizations can combine the best of both worlds. Dynamics 365 for Operations plans to enable organizations to run their business processes from application servers at the edges, meaning that transactions are supported by local application services and business data is stored locally. Each such facility running at the edge is called “My Workplace”. The central cloud node provides a single view of the business across distributed ”My Workplace” instances while utilizing the power of the Microsoft cloud for embedded intelligence in business processes.

Sri Srinivasan, Microsoft General Manager for Dynamics 365 for Operations in the Cloud and Enterprise Group

Sri Srinivasan, Microsoft General Manager for Dynamics 365 for Operations

The Microsoft cloud connection ensures data aggregation, financial reporting, intelligence, and more. The cloud instance also provides the local installation with data failover in the Microsoft cloud, automated deployment and continuous updates, and elastic compute capacity to infuse “intelligence” into the business process when needed. This hybrid cloud deployment model scales out through federation of the on-premises nodes (My Workplaces), federated in the Microsoft cloud for a single, global enterprise view, which is a first for business applications.  By Summer 2017, we will support a single “My Workplace”, followed by federation of “My Workplace” instances in releases beyond. We are excited to offer this deployment option, “cloud and edge”, a true differentiated option that combines the power of cloud and on-premises in a unique way to offer scale, continuity, and intelligence.

Sri Srinivasan, Microsoft General Manager for Dynamics 365 for Operations

This is fantastic news for enterprise firms looking to harness the power of the Microsoft Cloud while still being able to run certain processes locally. Srinivasan went on to divulge that there will be an ON and OFF switch of some sorts that will allow companies to control cloud synchronization – keeping them in control of their business data.

Deployment Options

With this new deployment method, enterprise firms will have a real decision to make when considering Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations. Do they want to take advantage of all the Microsoft Cloud has to offer? Or do they prefer to have a server nearby storing key information and running select processes? Even further, firms may want flexibility to change their ERP environment after the initial purchase without having to re-deploy a brand new ERP solution.

Here is what the Dynamics 365 for Operation team is working on at Microsoft:

  • New and existing customers will have paths forward to license both local business data and cloud and edge deployments. Existing investments will continue to be accounted for in our licensing.
  • Customers can license local business data deployments via a Dynamics 365 for Operations license with Software Assurance/Enhancement Plan or a subscription model.
  • Customers with active Microsoft Dynamics Enhancement Plans or Software Assurance, may upgrade to local business data as they remain entitled to access new versions and updates.
  • Transitions to Dynamics 365 cloud subscriptions are available to customers with active Microsoft Dynamics Enhancement Plans or Software Assurance.
  • Cloud and edge software and services will be licensed under the existing Dynamics 365 cloud subscription licensing model.

Dynamics 365 for Operations Deployment Options

Enterprise firms can select from three deployment options. The below photo examines the different scenarios and details of each deployment.

Dynamics 365 for Operations Deployment Scenarios

AXIO Enterprise Solutions for Dynamics 365

SBS Group’s AXIO Enterprise Solutions are both available on Microsoft AppSource for enterprise firms interested in optimizing and strengthening their Dynamics 365 for Operations deployment and solution. AXIO Core Financials spans all the important business processes in your firm (accounts receivable/payable, general ledger, fixed assets, banking, etc.) and is built directly on Dynamics 365 for Operations. AXIO for Professional Services gives businesses the same features as AXIO Core Financials plus several additional features needed specifically by professional services firms such as project and resource management, project accounting, government contracting and much more.

Both solutions are designed for companies who have multi-entity, multi-currency, multi-taxation and multi-language requirements. With direct integration with Dynamics 365 for Operations, AXIO Enterprise Solutions provide global scalability, enterprise-class extensibility, built-in intelligence, and compliance with all GAAP, IFRS, Sarbanes-Oxley, and DCAA requirements.

Register for our upcoming webcast and learn more about Dynamics 365 for Operations and AXIO Enterprise Solutions.

“Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Software Companies with AXIO for Professional Services”
Thursday, March 16th
1 PM – 2 PM ET

register for webcast

Best regards,

Robbie Morrison
VP Enterprise Solutions and Services, SBS Group

About Robbie
Robbie Morrison has spent nearly 20 years helping customers build and deploy elegant technology and business solutions.  From start-ups to enterprise-class organizations worldwide, his knowledge of the Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem helps SBS Group customers maximize benefits from the ERP investments.  Robbie

Today, Robbie serves SBS Group customers in his role as Vice President, Enterprise Group where he provides thought leadership and manages the enterprise delivery team.  Robbie received his MBA from the University of Georgia, Terry College of Business.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/robbiemorrison

Why The Microsoft Cloud (and Dynamics 365) is the Right Platform for Professional Services Firms

cloud-mobile-devices

For professional services organizations (PSOs) around the globe, the service landscape is changing. Localization and personalization are mandatory for success. So much so, that in many cases “corporate headquarters” is little more than a mailing address. More and more PSOs are relying on functionally rich mobile technologies, virtual operations, work-from-home staffing models, and remote outsourcing of work.

This revolution is powered by cloud computing, which allows for a collaborative platform that unifies disparate teams and decentralized information under a single umbrella. There are varying definitions of cloud computing and an array of acronyms (SaaS, PaaS, IaaS), but cloud computing in its most basic form is a means to leverage the Internet as a standardized technology platform linking and sharing Web-based solutions, platforms, and infrastructures across multiple environments.

Because of the short-term impact and minimal support requirements, Software as a Service, or SaaS, is the most popular model for all but the largest professional services firms.  In a recent survey by ITSMA, 74% of respondents indicate they are using SaaS offerings today for office/productivity applications, 66% for email/communications, 50% for financials, and 45% for customer relationship management

Because of the highly decentralized and mobile nature of the industry, when assessing cloud solutions there are a number of areas that PSO’s need to focus on.

  • Easy Connectivity – Whether booting up a work station in the home office or logging onto the company portal from a coffee shop, staff need to be able to securely connect to the applications and information that are stored in the cloud.
  • Accessibility – Round-the-clock access and support. Accessibility needs to be a given, in order to allow PSOs to make real-time decisions regardless of their dispersed teams’ locations or time zones.
  • Continuity – Ensuring customers have continuous access to information.
  • Collaboration Capabilities – As staff becomes further and further removed from a centralized location, effective feedback and collaboration become more important. Cloud-based collaboration tools delivered by centralized wikis, dashboards, and portals are as necessary as access to a laptop.
  • Regulatory and Industry Compliance – Most professional services firms deal with confidential customer information that requires infrastructure and capabilities (like email archiving and legal hold) that meet these requirements.
  • Security – The combination of sensitive customer data and valuable company data, and the need for extra company collaboration drives requirements for a highly secure infrastructure and a flexible security model.

The Microsoft Cloud provides the mobile capabilities that professional services need.

Office 365 provides familiar Office tools enabling staff to create, edit, and share from traditional laptops or any iOS, Android™, or Windows device with anyone in real time.  Online services like Skype for Business, SharePoint Online, and the new “Teams” app, further support collaboration and communication.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is Microsoft’s new approach to end-to-end intelligent business applications in the cloud. Dynamics 365 unifies ERP and CRM into one cloud service with new purpose-built apps to manage all your core business functions, including Sales, Customer Service, Finance, Field Service, Operations, Marketing and Project Service Automation.  With native integration to Office 365, universal browser access, and mobile apps for iOS, Android™, or Windows devices, employees can have secure access to all the information, services, and resources they need wherever work takes them.

Services are hosted at Microsoft data centers, offering the most comprehensive set of certifications and attestations of any cloud service provider to ensure organizations comply with national, regional, and industry-specific requirements governing the collection and use of individuals’ data.

With over 800 professional services customers across the US and Canada, SBS Group is the leader in Microsoft solutions for professional services and project-based businesses.  If you are interested in learning more about the Microsoft Cloud for Professional Services, please email us info@sbsgroupusa.com or call 888.725.2555.


Register for our upcoming Professional Services Webcast!

The Microsoft Cloud for Professional Services Firms
Wednesday, January 11th
12 – 1 PM ET

register for webcast

The Microsoft Cloud for Professional Services – Focus on Mobility

mobility professional services

The professional services workplace is not what it used to be, and it’s certainly no longer a particular place. With an increasing industry focus on globalization, the workforce has followed suit, resulting in professional service organization (PSO) staff spending less time at their desks and more time in front of their clients.

Demands have increased on project teams to provide more immediate and meaningful contact with customers and information. This means that project teams are moving away from the concept of the traditional office and working either on-site at customer locations or on the road. In both cases, connectivity to systems, tools, and accurate and collaborative project information is critical.  We see requirements in a number of areas.

Comprehensive Access to Firm Resources – Many service delivery organizations want more support for mobility, and demand for compliant access to all tools and technology is growing especially among millennial employees.  Firms are also seeking offline project-related data entry if they don’t already have it.

Accessibility to Business Intelligence – Project and engagement managers are demanding the ability to analyze data, search for content, receive alerts or simply consult metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) on mobile devices. Location is no longer a constraint on information or even action, particularly in the case of real-time information delivery.  Benefits include real-time visibility, 24/7 availability of critical data and effective alerts and messaging.

Usability – The independent nature of many professional services staff members drives demand for device independence and user-customizable applications that can be personalized to consume information as needed by users through intelligent delivery of information based on profile and preferences (location, position, etc.)

Collaboration – Effective collaboration means combining mobile app functionality with simple services like text messaging as well as more complex collaboration tools such as internal or public collaboration applications. This enables the sharing of rich content (e.g., voice, images, and text), the ability to enable comments and share text messages along with and about data, and the ability to leverage pre-existing security to ensure reliable and secure information communication.

mobility

The Microsoft Cloud provides the mobile capabilities that professional services need.

Office 365 provides familiar Office tools enabling staff to create, edit and share documents from traditional laptops or any iOS, Android™, or Windows device with anyone in real time.  Online services like Skype for Business, SharePoint Online and the new “Teams” app further support collaboration and communication.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is Microsoft’s new approach to end-to-end intelligent business applications in the cloud. Dynamics 365 unifies ERP and CRM into one cloud service with new purpose-built apps to manage all your core business functions including Sales, Customer Service, Finance, Field Service, Operations, Marketing and Project Service Automation.  With native integration to Office 365, universal browser access, and mobile apps for iOS, Android™, or Windows devices, employees can have secure access to all the information, services and resources they need wherever work takes them.

Services are hosted at Microsoft data centers, offering the most comprehensive set of certifications and attestations of any cloud service provider to ensure organizations comply with national, regional, and industry-specific requirements governing the collection and use of individuals’ data.

With over 800 professional services customers across the US and Canada, SBS Group is the leader in Microsoft solutions for professional services and project-based businesses.  If you are interested in learning more about the Microsoft Cloud for Professional Services, please email us info@sbsgroupusa.com or call 732.476.5900.


Register for our upcoming Professional Services Webcast!

The Microsoft Cloud for Professional Services Firms
Wednesday, January 11th
12 – 1 PM ET

register for webcast

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