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ISV Frequently Asked Questions

What is an ISV?

An Integrated Software Vendor (ISV) develops products to add specific functionality to the base ERP software system, or to duplicate a feature in the base system, but to do it better or faster. They are often referred to as “ISV”, “Add On” or “Third Party” products or modules.

Why should I use ISV products?

Microsoft Dynamics GP and Acumatica both give you strong core financial functionality. But we may recommend ISV products if:

  1. There is a process that could be done better/faster with an ISV module.
  2. You need some industry-specific functionality that is unique to your business.
  3. You could save money on the total system by replacing full user Dynamics GP licenses or using Business Essentials instead of the Advanced Management edition of Dynamics GP.

Does every Dynamics GP or Acumatica system need ISV solutions?

No.  The core systems are very robust.  For Dynamics GP, CAL Business Solutions includes a few low-priced ISV products in every proposal because we know people like them. Acumatica has more functionality built in. In both cases, more complex ISV modules are recommended on an as-needed basis. According to GPUG, the national Dynamics GP user group, “a typical Dynamics GP user has 5 third party solutions.” However, this is not unique to Dynamics software. Randy Johnson, an accounting software industry expert from K2 Enterprise has commented,”85% of all accounting software installations require a third-party product to have everything solved.”  In fact, most ERP products contain third-party functionality that has been purchased by the vendor and rolled into the core product or simply sold on the price list as part of the main system.

Does this mean Dynamics GP or Acumatica are lacking functionality?

No. This is a positive factor.  A large number of ISV products is a sign of a healthy product ecosystem and means there is a large established customer base. As a non-ERP example, think of ISV modules like apps for an iPhone. The iPhone has great functionality, but sometimes you want more.  The fact that there are so many apps to choose from means that the iPhone is an established, well-accepted product with a large community to support it. And remember, as mentioned above, strategically using ISV modules can sometimes lower the cost of your total system.

How did you choose which ISV solutions to include in the CAL Marketplace?

We chose to include only ISV products that we have installed or worked with for our clients and feel confident we can recommend them to others. This is certainly not a complete list, and we work with new ISV vendors all the time as we research solutions for our customers.  While there are some ISV vendors that we do not recommend based on past experiences, if you have an ISV product you feel should be included in our marketplace, please contact CAL Business Solutions.

Where can I find information about other ISV Modules?

To search for additional ISV modules, we recommend these resources: The Partner Channel List, Dynamics MarketplaceERP Software Blog.

Where can I go to meet hundreds of ISV vendors at once?

Annual Microsoft Dynamics and Acumatica user events host ISV expos with hundreds of ISV vendors. Check upcoming events. Also, companies in the New England area can attend the annual Connecticut CAL Connect user event which also includes an expo of our favorite ISV vendors.

If I find an ISV module I am interested in, why should I talk to CAL first?

First of all, we might have experience (positive or negative) with this product that we can share with you. Second, before you add anything to your ERP system you should let us, as your partner, know so we can advise you how this will impact the total solution.  We are like a general contractor that can help keep all other vendors working together and be your one point of contact. If they are out of the loop, they cannot give you the best advice.

How do I know if an ISV product is good?

It’s important to work with a reputable add-on product vendor or developer.  You should ask your Dynamics GP or Acumatica partner to assist you with your evaluation.  Some questions we recommend asking about an ISV product are:

  • Can I speak with a reference using this product with the specific version of the software I use?
  • What is your upgrade schedule for the add-on product compared to the Dynamics GP/Acumatica schedule?
  • Will your product be guaranteed to work with future releases of Dynamics GP/Acumatica?

How much do ISV products cost?

ISV products vary in price. Anywhere from $10 to $10,000+ depending on the product. Some are priced per user, some are priced per company. ISV vendors charge their own annual maintenance fees in addition to the main ERP system’s maintenance fee.  

If I use multiple ISV modules, do I need to switch between separate systems?

Many of the solutions available have an interface designed and developed with the same look and feel like the main ERP system and reside right inside Dynamics GP or Acumatica. The functionality is accessed from the main system and is so seamless that most users will not even know it is an ISV product.

How do I know if I have ISV Modules installed with my Dynamics GP or Acumatica system?

CAL can assist you with this information. If you have registered your ISV modules with Microsoft, they will show up in your system information with Microsoft.  Acumatica has similar records. This blog post gives helpful instructions.

Do you have more questions? Contact CAL Business Solutions