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Dynamics Profile: Microsoft MVP navigates complexities of Russian ERP market

Source: Author: Linda Rosencrance For the past 11 years, first-time Microsoft Dynamics NAV MVP Alexander Ermakov has been working for Awara IT in St. Petersburg, Russia, an IT company that implements ERP solutions, including Dynamics, and provides business consulting services. Awara supports international companies developing their businesses in Russia, in part by sharing its knowledge of local government requirements, says Ermakov, a senior consultant and partner at the company. For Microsoft, making inroads into the Russian ERP market has been full of challenges. The company is facing intense competition in the enterprise market from 1C, a local ERP provider, he says. Awara is a 1C partner as well as a Microsoft partner. “Microsoft’s share of the ERP market in Russia is approximately 12 percent, but I think it will be growing in the small business segment,” Ermakov says. “Microsoft is working with us to develop an out-of-the-box solution to allow small business to use Dynamics NAV without huge expenditures for implementation.”   Favoring local offerings Microsoft’s small ERP market share in Russia is due in part to the government’s policy of “import substitution,” or replacing foreign software products – primarily from the United States – with domestically produced products, Ermakov says. “They are trying to decrease imported software and increase usage of local software to help the local IT companies, which have very strong lobbies in Russia,” he says. In fact, Russian law requires that government agencies only implement the ERP systems of 1C and other local companies, he says. And although there is no law forcing private companies in Russia to implement ERP systems from local companies, the reality is that many large companies in Russia, including oil and gas firms, are partly owned by the government. “This is one of the reasons Microsoft is focusing on the small business market in Russia,” Ermakov says. “In addition, Microsoft thinks that the small business market is a promising market worldwide, not only in Russia.” Despite the heavy competition in the ERP market, Microsoft is very active in Russia providing other products. “Microsoft is everywhere in Russia in terms of its operating system – you have Windows everywhere,” he says. “We have very, very few Macs in general in Russia. Microsoft is planning to also build up data centers in Russia because we have restrictions for personal data protection [the data has to be stored inside Russia]. In general, Microsoft is very active in Russia with many products. But because Microsoft is feeling the pressure for enterprise companies, it’s focusing on small businesses.”   From Finance to IT and NAV Ermakov, who received his MVP award in October 2016, started working with Dynamics NAV around 2006 when one of Awara’s customers, a global chain based in Finland, opened an office in Russia and wanted to implement the product. “We were that company’s global partner for opening in Russia for legal services, outsourced accounting, recruitment, and other business consulting. Then we decided we could take over their IT as well and implement NAV,” he says. “However, we

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New challenges in Russia for storing ERP databases

Author: Alexander Ermakov Source: Microsoft Dynamics NAV Community More than a year has passed since this law entered into force and it is interesting as nobody yet understands how to apply that. Regardless numerous discussions, at the date this blog article is published, there are still unclear topics and no court practice in Russia. Awara IT Solutions, being a part of Awara, is closely related to this legal topic, as many of our customers have to deal with implications of this new law. I feel it would be reasonable to describe the problem and give few recommendations on solutions to avoid much risk. According to this law, since September 01 2015, all personal data operators will be required to keep personal data of Russian citizens in Russia. Basically, it requires that databases that store personal data should be kept on the servers on the territory of Russia. One say that it has been introduced in order to protect personal data of Russian citizens from foreign “secret services”. Other say that it has been made in order to allow Russian authorities to have easier and quicker access to the data of companies, as it is much easier to do that on the territory of Russia than demand it from other country. Below is the explanation of the principles and suggested options of planning the architecture, if you plan to deploy ERP system for implementation in Russia.   What data are personal data? Personal data refer to any information which allows identifying a person, including: Email address if it includes surname and company name Bank card number and CVC in certain cases In some cases, mobile phone number (classified as “sensitive” personal data) For example: = personal data not personal data It should be noted that even if data do not allow definite identification, such data could still be classified as personal data under certain circumstances. Roskomnadzor (federal regulatory agency) is currently working on a definition of personal data by developing criteria for personal data. That is, contact persons of company, agreements, and even Active Directory user names are also a subject of that law.   Which companies will be subject to the new requirements of the law? Russian companies registered in Russia Foreign companies with representative offices and branches in Russia Other foreign companies if the performance of their activities is related to Russia and/or involves personal data of Russian nationals. For example: If a Russian national employed by a Russian representative office is able to view and post information about him/herself in the career opportunities internal system of a global company and the server in which his/her personal data are stored is abroad, this company will in such case be in breach of personal data localization requirements in Russia.   What are the options for architecture of the solution? Most of our customers are foreign companies, rolling out their customized solutions to Russia. Many of them desire to have one database for all the countries, storing and administering it in one place, somewhere in the

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Alexander Ermakov, Awara IT Managing partner is awarded MVP, Business Solutions

Amazing news and congratulations for Alexander Ermakov! MVP Blog 

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