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GP 2013

Microsoft Dynamics SL is a powerful tool for the ‘descriptive analysis’ of data

Microsoft Dynamics SL is a powerful tool

It’s easy to get bogged down with too much data flowing into the business. No doubt, customer preferences and what the competition is ‘up to’ is always worth tracking.

But with so much Big Data out there, and so many analytical platforms available, the choice often comes down to the decision of choosing a single database management system, like Microsoft Dynamics SL.

Aside from Dynamics SL, for example, the alternative is often deploying numerous applications holding silos of information that, for the most parts, remains isolated and out of reach of decision makers.

If you want to view a short clip on the Harvard Business Review website that simplifies the subject of “business analytics,” it probably will remind you of just how complicated the topic can be.

Business owners are always looking for objective data, and solid reasons why all of this data is so important to their company’s success. To make the process even more of a question mark company owners, and stakeholders, must justify investing in software that will ‘magically’ analyze and translate this ever-rising sea of information.

In the video, Babson College Professor, Thomas Davenport, provides an overview on the three areas of analytics. One of these areas are referred to as….

Descriptive analytics with Dynamics SL

A lot of time is spent around the conference room table, or huddled in the CIO’s office, about “how to define it (big data), organize it or tabulate it.”

Once the information is put into a visual form, and made available, say, on a user’s Dashboard, it doesn’t really provide that crystal ball into the future: it’s a reporting mechanism that establishes a much needed “foundation.”

Contact us. Learn more about Dynamics SL, how the software can not only automate business a range of processes, but also enhance decision-making through its Business Intelligence capabilities.

Making the list and checking it twice: Dynamics GP vs NetSuite

Dynamics GP vs NetSuiteAt first glance, Microsoft Dynamics GP and NetSuite are almost identical: cloud based? Check. ERP? Check. Financial management and accounting? Check. Scalable? Check. Customizable? Check. Easy to deploy, user-friendly, familiar formatting? Check, check and check. The differences are hard to find when you are comparing notes on which business management software to buy.

Andrew M. Dailey, writing for Forbes.com, analyses the impact that NetSuite is having on the market for cloud-based business management software in his article “NetSuite SuiteWorld 2014 – Cloud-based meat and potatoes.” Who will benefit most from NetSuite? “Midmarket companies looking for cloud-based order management, integrated financials, commerce, billing, and customer management/CRM should include NetSuite on their short list.”

The biggest difference you will find with NetSuite is integrating a powerful, flexible and scalable ERP with CRM and commerce. Microsoft Dynamics GP is only an ERP. Not to say that’s a bad thing, either.

Say you’re a small to mid-sized company, and you are just getting your feet wet in the wide world of cloud-based computing and data management. You want something that is accessible, easy to understand, allows you the freedom to manage customers and sales as before, and software that will grow with your company. Your best bet is to start with Dynamics GP! You will love getting to know all the amazing things that Dynamics GP as a cloud-based ERP will do for your business.

When you are ready to bring your CRM and point-of-sales on board with one, seamless integration – then you’re ready for NetSuite. In fact, Andrew M. Dailey reports meeting several Dynamics partners who have shifted their resources to NetSuite. Why? Because Microsoft does not offer any other business management software programs that come close to NetSuite. NetSuite is the one-stop-shop for complete integration of all your key business functions into one cloud-based application. With the click of a button, NetSuite’s patented dashboard gives you real-time, at-a-glance analytics of your entire business.

Are you ready to get your business in the cloud? Check. Do you know which Microsoft product is right for you? Check. So, what are you waiting for? Contact us today!

Dynamics GP implementation should include a systematic approach to ‘data integration’

Dynamics GP ImplementationUnfortunately, in today’s business climate known for its get-it-done-now philosophy investing in new software is one thing…but implementation represents an endeavor fraught with many challenges.

In particular, the Dynamics GP implementation can go sideways and backwards if decision-makers do not seek help from a proven Microsoft partner like Technology Management Concepts (TMC).   Decision makers have the choice of phasing their implementation (i.e. Financials first, Payroll 2nd, Supply Chain Management 3rd) or they may opt for a ‘big bang’ implementation.

For sure, nowadays, it seems that most everyone who sells the product is waiting to become that trusted adviser in all things Dynamics-related.

What’s often missing though, is the tried-and-true methodology necessary to achieve not only a successful installation, but that all-important implementation as well.

What’s needed is that starting point that looks closely at what the requirements are for the business in all departments, and how to proceed with minimal disruption to key processes.

An assessment should also be made on the location of data, and how to integrate critical files and documents into Dynamics. Generally, such data is usually pulled in from from numerous data silos residing on multiple sites, and even in branch locations. In the end, users must be given a unified view of their data sources.

Of course, data integration relates to gathering of files and documents The key to successful data integration, according to an article on TechRadar, “How to navigate the new age of data integration,” is not to hurry the process; furthermore, it demands a thorough identification of critical data:

“This analysis and assessment should be done using a fact-based approach to identifying, tuning and moving data integration processes to improve efficiency and meet business requirements…all while recapturing valuable system resources for high impact business analytics.”

Learn more about our Microsoft Dynamics software line. Our clients benefit from our certification as a Microsoft partner: before and after the sale. Contact us today.

Why ERP for restaurants is like cooking ten steaks at a time

ERP for restaurantsRestaurant owners may be quick to buy the latest dual- ovens on the market, but pushback when it comes investing in technology to improve their business processes.

ERP, or how to watch ten steaks at a time…

After all, they often have little time to do more than handle payroll, or keep track of ongoing costs. In a way, it’s much like the chef watching over ten steaks on the grill, turning each one at the right time to make sure those rare-to-mediums come out that way. (more…)

Microsoft Dynamics implementation demands thoughtful and meticulous planning

 

Microsoft Dynamics ImplementationAt the center of today’s business processes lies immense layers of complexities, the kind that can hammer data collection and attempts at maintaining good customer relations.

In short, and within the spectrum of so much data, it’s no wonder that businesses may push back on the idea of integrating an ERP platform into their inventory of legacy applications like Excel, for example.

Before stakeholders come to agree on embracing the platform, they should first consider a number of factors that may very well affect their Microsoft Dynamics implementation.

A few of the considerations may prompt questions like:

 

Is an ERP the ‘right choice’ for your business?

It’s easy to look at other ways of doing business, such as using an ERP system,  that seem—on the surface—the dream-answer to the daily challenges facing the company or organization.

Surprisingly, a deep look within the inner-workings of the company, such as what existing reporting systems might very well offer solutions to a major cause of problems; too, looking at the company Intranet and other portals might identify ongoing problems as well as their solutions.

 

Clear objectives?

Let’s face it. Before implementing the Dynamics ERP platform it’s crucial for all stakeholders to agree on expectations from the software. In short, will they receive better financials and overall data management—-key reasons why businesses embrace Microsoft Dynamics ERP!

 

Will you outsource IT when needed?

Achieving operational efficiency with the software can, frankly, be a complicated process. As such, it often behooves a company to use resources outside their organization. Often, the amount of time and the need for skilled people in the implementation process is woefully underestimated.

 

Do you understand the system before  ‘customizing?’

It pays to get everyone moderately comfortably with the Dynamics ERP before reaching out to changing certain modules—particularly with the finance and human resources programs.

For the most part, a premature strategy of customizing the software can present more time-stresses on IT and other personnel.

Contact us for more information on how this software can help move your business to that next level of success.

 

Make Better Business Decisions with GP 2013 R2

GP 2013 R2 business

As a business owner, you rely on your employees to make decisions.  Whether employed as an executive, manager, or line staff, their ability to make the proper decision is essential.  Bottom line: Bad decisions cost money.

Making good decisions will help drive the company forward: reduce costs and inefficiencies, generate new sales from new and existing customers, and penetrate new markets.  Your employees will need to be properly armed to make these decisions, and Dynamics GP 2013 R2 will provide what they need.

Decisions are made based on the information available.  When your employees are working from old and out of date information, their ability to make the right decision is greatly reduced.  The information they need must be accessible, current and in sufficient detail to be useful.

Years ago, a sales rep leaving for a business trip would print out a sheaf of paper reports before leaving the office.  Current inventory counts, customer statements and aging reports were all available, and were stale almost as soon as they left the printer.  Working from these paper reports, the sales rep is quickly moved from the current status to a historical status.  The only way to get updated information was to have a new set of reports faxed to his hotel, and then later, by email.  Very inefficient way to operate.

The solution is to enable the entire workforce with a solution that provides better access to current information, a capacity to refresh on demand, and the tools to drill into the reports.  That solution is Dynamics GP 2013 R2.

With Dynamics GP, your employees can access the reporting and inquiry tools via their choice of mobile device (laptop, tablet or smartphone), refresh when they choose, and then drill down to the level of detail needed.  From financial statements using Management Reporter 2012, to graphical analyses with the Business Analyzer, and detailed metrics from SQL Server Reporting and Analytical services, current information is literally a click away.

Making better decisions is critical to your business, and can be as easy as providing the tools and options to everyone in the organization.  Contact TMC today to learn how to deploy Dynamics GP, on premise on in the cloud, and stop making those expensive bad decisions.

By TMC, your Microsoft Dynamics Partner

Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 & Dynamics NAV 2009 Price Increasing on July 1st, 2014

 

If you are looking to add additional users of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 & Dynamics NAV 2009, you should do so before the price increases on July 1st. Price increases from $2,250 to $2,600 for users on July 1st. Call your representative at (TMC/BuyERP) to make sure you secure these savings at 310-559-3982 or fill out your request at their contact us page 

Microsoft Dynamics GP, and Microsoft Dynamics NAV Module Based Licensing and Business Ready Licensing price changes – effective July 2014.

In July 2006, Microsoft Dynamics introduced the Business Ready Licensing (“BRL”) model for Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, and Microsoft Dynamics SL to simplify pricing through reduced granularity.  BRL’s predecessor, the Module Based Licensing (“MBL”) model was unchanged to provide pricing stability to existing MBL customers.

We continued the journey towards pricing simplification by launching Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 in October 2012, and Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 in December 2012 on Business Value Licensing and the Perpetual Licensing.  These two newest licensing models consolidated licensing into one edition, grouped functionality pricing into one or two packs, and increased flexibility with more Client Access License options.

At the same time, as partners needed time to convert their vertical solutions to the new product versions, we continued offering new customers the option to license Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 R2, and Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 R2 through the BRL model.  This option is now coming to an end.  Since 1 March 2014, new customers can only license Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2.  And, as previously announced, starting 1 July 2014, new customers will only be able to license Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 R2 and Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 R2.

While we encourage existing MBL and BRL customers with an active enhancement plan to upgrade to the latest version of their products using the attractive license model transition upgrade, if applicable, we understand that some customers will want to remain on their current versions.  Therefore, existing MBL and BRL customers will be able to continue licensing additional users and functionality through their existing licensing models.

Now, to further rationalize pricing across licensing models, Microsoft is making the following changes effective 1 July 2014:

  • Elimination of all user price tiers (e.g. 11-25 users, 75+ users) on the following license models and editions
    • Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics NAV MBL Professional
      Note:  After this change, the pricelist will display a 1+ user price. 
  • ??User price increase on the following license models and editions
    • Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics NAV MBL Professional, MBL User Based Pricing, and BRL Business Essentials

We believe that this pricing realignment, designed to bridge the gap between old and new licensing models, will help you increase your existing customer revenue while making it slightly more compelling for your existing customers to upgrade to the latest version of their products

TMC Helping Client “Invisible Children” Save Lives

TMC Donates $500 to Invisible Children

invisible children

TMC is proud to donate $500 to their client Invisible Children in their personal team goal of raising $10,000 to help end Joseph Kony’s reign in Africa of terrorizing innocent people. TMC has been working with Inivisble Children over the past few years, providing them Microsoft Dynamics GP for their ERP software solution, to help enable their business to become more streamlined which has helped them grow and be able to use more resources to fight Kony’s army and save lives of innocent children in East Africa. To find out more about how has helped their other Non Profit clients, and how they can do the same for your Non Profit company, visit this page 

To make a donation and help Invisible Children achieve their goal, please visit their fundraising page here. We also ask that you use the social media links above to help spread the word of Invisible Children’s charitable actions. Please also use #zeroLRA on any postings. Stand for Nothing, Change Everything.

The Finance Department at Invisible Children, is reaching out to all vendors and people everywhere for support. TMC is trying to also help Invisible Children spread the word.  Below is the essence of their campaign:

“We believe that stopping injustice anywhere is the responsibility of humanity everywhere. That’s why we are committed to seeing an end to Africa’s longest-running armed conflict: Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) have been terrorizing innocent people in central and East Africa for more than 27 years. They are known for brutally kidnapping children and forcing them to become child soldiers and sex slaves. In Uganda alone, 10,000 of the children who have been kidnapped are still missing.

Thanks to increased global awareness and action, Kony and the LRA are weaker than ever, but they will remain a deadly threat until the group has been disbanded completely–until all the women and children have escaped and all the soldiers have surrendered. Until there are zero LRA.

This fall the Finance Team at Invisible Children is determined to raise $10,000 for Invisible Children’s #zeroLRA campaign, which is helping to bring kidnapped women, children, and abducted soldiers home from the LRA and reunite them with their families. We are standing for nothing. No child soldiers. No killing. No war. We are celebrating everything. Every escape. Every name. Every life.

We are confident we can reach our goal with your help. If you choose to make a tax deductible donation, we assure you it will make a huge difference. Already this year, 58 people have escaped from the LRA and returned home, largely due to Invisible Children’s life saving programs. Check out this short video to see exactly what your donation will achieve.

We are so close to ending this war, but we still have work to do in order to truly achieve a world with zero LRA. To make a donation and help us achieve our goal of $10,000, please visit our fundraising page here.

Thank you so much for working alongside Invisible Children and supporting us in the fight for justice.”

TMC thanks you for helping spread the word of this great cause. God Bless

Dynamics GP 2013 & Dynamics NAV 2013 Now Hosted on Windows Azure Platform

 

 

windows azure

Earlier this week, the Microsoft Dynamics team announced the availability of Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Microsoft Dynamics GP on Windows Azure through its partners. This means that Microsoft Dynamics GP and NAV customers can now work with Technology Management Concepts to get their business solutions in the cloud and know that their solution is hosted on a secure, enterprise-class cloud infrastructure. Both Dynamics NAV 2013 and Dynamics GP 2013 are hosted on Windows Server virtual machines on Windows Azure. End users can access the cloud-hosted versions via the Web or desktop clients, either from the office or on the go using mobile devices.

Microsoft officials said in December 2012 to expect the first of its ERP offerings to be available hosted on Windows Azure by mid-2013. Microsoft originally planned to make its ERP wares available in the cloud last year, but ended up delaying availability in order to improve its “hostability.”

Now that Windows Azure is available on Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 and NAV 2013, customers can take advantage of easy to use, quick to implement business solutions from Microsoft with the added benefit of knowing their solution is hosted on secure, enterprise-class cloud infrastructure from a trusted provider like TMC.

Technology Management Concepts is also committed to helping our customers realize the full value of what we like to call a business solution from Microsoft – a comprehensive business management solution that extends beyond traditional ERP to include productivity tools, services, devices, and now with hosting on Windows Azure, enterprise-class cloud infrastructure.

What this means for our customers is reduced time to deployment, faster ROI, and the ability to focus their resources on the areas where they get the most value.  For TMC, this new capability and ability to use Windows Azure means growth for our company and for our clients.

 

How to Utilize Your Dynamics GP Document Management System

Wading Through All the “Paper” on Microsoft Dynamics GP and Document Management Systems in Order to Decide on How to Go “Paperless”

Judging from all of the email invites I have been receiving lately, Document Management Systems are the hottest topic in the Dynamics GP community so far in 2013. Go Green, Add Workflow, Seamless Automation are the headlines screaming at us from our inboxes daily.  It is very rare that a day goes by without receiving an invitation to attend a webinar, covering all of the many wonderful attributes of document scanning and storing.   Without question, this is a vital piece of technology for today’s office, and while the stated goal of becoming truly “paperless” may be never fully realized, there are huge efficiencies to be gained by minimizing both the quantity of paper that must be processed, and the number of times a single piece of paper needs to be touched.

I typically divide the various Document Management System’s I review into two groups:

General Purpose DMS that includes some ability to integrate into Dynamics GP, and those Document Management Systems that are written specifically to integrate with Dynamics GP only.

  • General Purpose systems – these are designed to provide document management, workflow and approvals and document retrieval for the entire organization.  Literally any document received by the company can be scanned, stored, routed and retrieved.  This extends the DMS beyond the boundaries of the Finance / Accounting team, and allows for the DMS to manage all of the document needs of the legal team, as an example.  The drawback here may be limited functionality within the Dynamics GP system, requiring that document search and retrieval be handled in the DMS rather than within Dynamics GP for example.  While the General Purpose solutions do offer company-wide availability, they also require that all document management, approvals and retrieval be done within the DMS system.

 

  • Dynamics GP specific systems – designed from the beginning to work within Dynamics GP, these tools offer incredible efficiencies within the ERP system, allowing a GP user to drill back to the source document, without ever leaving GP.  These systems can also make significant use of the master data stored within Dynamics GP when it comes time to route documents for approval or to capture meta-data about a transaction, as the DMS has direct access to GP’s master records.

Each group offers different advantages, and your selection needs to be based on which approach makes best sense for your purposes.

Evaluating a potential DMS can be tricky.  To make the process a little easier, I recommend incorporating the following key aspects as part of your search:

Platform

Document Management Systems are built using a variety of underlying platforms, but for incorporating a DMS into a Dynamics GP environment, look for a DMS built on Microsoft SQL Server.  With MS SQL Server as the backbone, the documents that are being scanned and attached to a Dynamics GP record or transaction are physically stored directly in the database itself.  Other platforms will only provide a “link” to the stored object or document, which can cause problems if you ever need to migrate your ERP and DMS systems to new hardware.  Once those “links” get broken, you would be facing a monumental challenge getting all of the “links” working again.  When MS SQL Server is being used as the storage for the ERP and Document Management System, there will be no concerns about losing the links.

Routings and Workflow

One of the major benefits of adding a Document Management System is the ability to handle a physical piece of paper once and only once.  After the initial scan of the paper document, all subsequent activities should be done using the scanned image only, along with any related notes or attachments.  Moving this scanned image through a defined workflow process allows for the capture of any additional information that is required, including approvals, notes or comments and GL Account coding.  To facilitate this, the workflow engine in the DMS needs to be flexible and as automated as possible.  Look for DMS that includes a logic-based workflow engine, so that it can recognize your organizational chart, be aware of dollar-limits for approvals, etc.

Comments and Annotations

Workflow routings that do not carry all of the relevant information are only fulfilling part of their mission.  To be fully effective, the various notes, comments and attachments that have been added to the original document at any time during it process must be visible to every user.  Most DMS include some type of capability to add more information to a document, be certain that information is fully visible to everyone.

Audits and Archives

One of the rarely spoke of requirements of a DMS is the ability to meet the requirements of your auditors, both internal and external.  Replacing paper documents with the images held in the DMS works, as long as there is full access for auditors and other archival purposes.  For example, at the successful conclusion of a workflow for a vendor’s invoice, the DMS must now maintain all the various steps, attachments, notes and comments, user approvals and electronic signatures.  This information will be vital for any audit, and the failure of the DMS to quickly and easily provide it can be sticky issue.

I try to attend every single webinar that I get invited to, and the wealth of various solutions available is considerable.  In fact, there may be almost too many choices available, with a wide range of capabilities and price points.  Picking the optimal Document Management System will not be easy, but with a careful focus on a few key attributes, you will be able to narrow down the field and be confident that your selection will be appropriate for your needs.

 

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