Unit4 has announced of its first major wins since its acquisition and rebranding of Assistance Software in 2017. BDO will replace its in-house developed system with the Unit 4 PSA suite. This is not a deal that would have happened quickly. However, it is vindication of the strategic direction that Unit4 has taken since the return of Jeremy Roche as Chief Product Officer. That direction was to refocus the PSA Suite on the Microsoft Dynamics platform, using Assistance software as the vehicle to do so.
BDO has a long history of using Dynamics. It is a Microsoft Partner and was always likely to select a solution based on the Dynamics platform. It will take advantage of the prebuilt functionality for the Accountancy vertical that the Unit PSA Suite already has ready. This will enable BDO to deploy and scale the solution quickly.
Marcel Donkers, Head of IT at BDO commented: “One combined solution from Microsoft and Unit4 is ideal for us. Everyone will have access to the right data at the right time via a single user interface, in an integrated way. With two clicks, they will get to the data they need to be decisive and make good decisions that benefit BDO and its customers. Unit4 PSA Suite becomes the basis of our 360-degree customer view, which is vital to our future success.
“Unit4 understood the business and the team showed a lot of knowledge of what our specialists need to be successful. The fact that PSA Suite has already proven its worth with numerous other financial service providers was also determinant.”
Unit4 looks to Dynamics platform for growth
The PSA Suite is built on the Dynamics 365 CRM platform. It will integrate with several third party finance solutions. Among these are Unit4’s own Business World On! and Microsoft Dynamic AX. The implementation will enable BDO to achieve a number of objectives including:
- Visibility into which services are successful and the business being won.
- The ability to plan and advise based on previous experience and knowledge.
- Better transition from sales into services for a seamless customer experience.
- The ability to determine the types of clients and projects that are a best fit.
Dynamics has its own PSA solutions. However, the alliance with Unit4 allows them a greater reach into the market. René van Haaster, Director Enterprise Solutions at Microsoft Netherlands commented: “We want to help our customers get the most out of their technology now and in the future. The integrated environment that our partner Unit4 offers BDO, enables them to innovate in marketing, social media and practice management processes. Together, we therefore offer a solution that enables us to promote digital transformation to the accounting market.”
What does this mean
BDO is a significant customer. It has a global network with operations in 162 countries and has more than 70,000 people working out of 1500 offices. It is not clear how many of those operations will adopt UNIT4 PSA Suite. However, if it is the whole network this is a major win. The next step for Unit4 is to persuade BDO to become a partner. It is not currently listed as one on the site.
While the announcement was made in Netherlands, Marcel Donkers is the Chairman of the international IT Committee at BDO International. While many of the BDO companies are independent it does make sense to have a global strategy on a single PSA on a single platform.
If the implementation goes well and BDO becomes an advocate of the Unit4 solution this could be one of the companies most important PSA wins to date.