Hydroelectric power provider upgraded to a new cost effective, efficient financial management system smoothly with Paragon’s guidance and implementation.

“With a great history together, we knew we could depend on Paragon to run our system conversion with confidence and ease.”
– Liane Sherman, Accounting Manager, Essex Power Services

For over 30 years, Essex Power Services has been developing hydroelectric power service plants in New England and New York. Privately held, the company operates 12 plants with 25 employees.

For several years, Essex Power had been using Microsoft® Small Business Manager for running its financials. While the system met the company’s needs with good success, the product was being discontinued and would no longer be supported. Now seemed the appropriate time to upgrade to another financial management system, but the current situation was a bit complicated.

Essex Power didn’t have actual server software, but was running Microsoft Windows XP on their server. And actually, most of the technology they were utilizing was a little antiquated. The company environment was such that many employees did not like Microsoft products, but tended to stick with older programs. Paragon Software Solutions talked Essex Power through the pros, cons and various options available to upgrade their system.

To Essex Power, the choice was clear. Years prior, they relied on Paragon Software to upgrade them to their current Small Business Manager platform and would turn to them again for help with the issues and challenges this time, and pave the way for a new cost effective, efficient financial management system.

Paragon Has All the Issues Covered

Previously, Paragon had migrated Essex Power to Small Business Financials from Microsoft Great Plains Accounting as well as handled several of their upgrades and assisted in preparing some customized reports. So, they knew they could definitely count on Paragon again. Once the company decided on Microsoft Dynamics GP, Paragon worked with them to plan out the step-by-step conversion strategy.

Essex Power had several issues and concerns. Utmost important was the integrity of their data. Auditing at the end of the year was particularly important to the company and they needed to be confident that the data on the new system would be reliable.

“We really needed to protect the continuity of data on the server and individual desktops and keeping historical data content was imperative to us,” commented Liane Sherman, accounting manager at Essex Power Services.

“We wanted full confidence that our data would be fully protected with a conversion.”

The company had other concerns as well. This would be a mid-year conversion and that presented a unique challenge. Additionally, the company was currently utilizing five customized reports with Small Business Manager and wanted to move those reports onto the new Dynamics platform. Further, the current back up system was separate, so a difficult, cumbersome process. And, with the old system, when someone needed to gain access to see maintenance or other reports, one of the five main users would need to run, print and fax the report to whomever needed the information.

Paragon addressed it all.

At the time of the conversion, Essex Power was managing approximately 14 companies, each doing 200 – 15,000 transactions per year. Before the actual conversion, Paragon recommended the printed all the financial statements after the second quarter financials were completed. They then migrated the customized financial statements, closed the books, and conducted the actual conversion.

Afterwards, the statements were checked against the ones on the previous system, and everything was identical. Every entry was there – in tact. “We were truly excited about Paragon’s ability to conduct this mid-year conversion and protect all our data with confidence,” commented Liane Sherman.

“Paragon addressed each and every issue and concern to ensure we were confident with moving forward.”

“They made a very difficult conversion that could have been a nightmare a wonderful dream. They are a company that has a can-do attitude and are completely professional while still giving you that personal touch.

Essex Power’s Ready with the New System

In four short weeks, Essex had a new server, three new desktops for accounting and a fully functioning, up-todate financial management system with Microsoft Dynamics GP. Everyone who needed access to the password protected system had access to download any required information for reports and analysis. Paragon also had set up training on the new system before the conversion so Essex could hit the ground running – immediately.

Today, Essex Power utilizes Microsoft Dynamics GP version 10 with SQL Reporting Services and Excel Reporting on Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008.

Microsoft Dynamics GP is a comprehensive business-management solution for managing and integrating finances, e-commerce, supply chain, manufacturing, project accounting, field service, customer relationships and human resources. Built on an affordable and highly-scalable platform, it’s a cost-effective solution that allows companies to access and analyze their company data and information as they need it.

Paragon specializes in taking a best-of-breed financial application and integrating it with both vertical and horizontal applications.

Essex Power Services, Inc. is based in Boston, Massachusetts. For more information, call 617-367-0032.