When you look to provide long-term financial security for your family, you turn to your life insurance agent. When your life insurance agent’s company looks for guidance and public policy support, it turns to the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), which represents 300 member companies managing over 90 percent of industry assets and premiums.
But where does this association turn when it needs a financial management software upgrade?
They turn to Brittenford Systems, who helped the ACLI upgrade from Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 to Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 before mainstream support for GP 2010 ends in October.
The association, happy with its experience with Microsoft Dynamics GP, was unhappy with one factor: Its now-former support team. Scott Dixon, Controller at the ACLI, had prior problems with the association’s now-former IT development partner:
“We felt that it was time to bring in a fresh set of eyes to walk us through the next set of upgrades and decide what system changes to implement first,” Dixon explains. “I was predisposed to like Brittenford.” Several of Dixon’s colleagues—Controllers from both professional associations and corporations—had positive experiences with Brittenford, particularly with their Great Plains training. “I knew Brittenford would be a significant improvement over what we had,” he says, “so I thought, ‘we can’t lose.’ ”
Dixon came to Brittenford with a relatively simple request: Move the 11 company databases from GP 2010 to GP 2013.
ACLI was operating on Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and FRx version 6.7, and shifting to SQL Server 2012 and Management Reporter would help ensure the most dependable, long-term system performance.
Brittenford has knowledge of our systems and how they work together,” Dixon explains. “Our lead consultant gave us the pros and cons of our different upgrade options—and we appreciated getting that honest advice.” Electing to move forward with the SQL server upgrade, Dixon says, “We understood this would make future upgrades much easier. It ultimately saved us time and money.”
Aside from one minor hiccup (a glitch in the FRx to Management Reporter Migration—in which Brittenford provided quick response and support), the upgrade was quick, easy, and extremely successful for ACLI.
“Brittenford laid out a good process to work through—and around our schedule,” Dixon reports. “We didn’t have much downtime. In fact, I didn’t see a lot of what was going on after 2-3 days. Everything was ready to run on the new server and tested without issues. They copied data to the new server overnight, and our new Great Plains was up the next day.”
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