Inside Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Video Series

If you are interested in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 solution then take a look at their video series ( 12 in total on YouTube) on what they were trying to achieve in the development.

Here is the first:

 

Microsoft ERP targets Lawson with Dynamics AX 2012

Recently announced Microsoft’s Dynamics AX 2012 ERP (enterprise-resource-planning)has special incentives for customers willing to switch from rival platforms sold by Lawson Software.

AX is one of four ERP software lines Microsoft sells for companies of varying sizes.

The financial incentives announced  target Lawson Software’s S3 and M3 systems. Lawson was recently acquired by rival Infor, thus creating the industry’s third-largest ERP vendor after SAP and Oracle.

Microsoft appears intent to capitalise on any uncertainties Lawson customers may have over the products’ future under Infor’s control.

One incentive provides 50 percent license discount on AX 2012 for eligible customers with valid Lawson S3 or M3 licenses – it is also attacking the Lawson partner community who are receive a credit for each Lawson-certified consultant that acquires certification on AX 2012. For more details and legalise.

 

 

The Early Bird Catches the ERP Worm

Microsoft’s Dynamics AX 2012 ERP launch is on this week. That means an early( or late) 2am start if you want to tune in live. Don’t worry, you can time-shift the sessions and tune in a little later with on-demand sessions.

“The early bird catcheth the worm.”

This is first recorded in John Ray’s A collection of English proverbs 1670, 1678:

To register visit the Launch Site.

If you want a more leisurely start to the day and are interested in Professional Services – then there’s a 9am session focused on that industry by local partner Renown.

 

ERP Vendors

The basic ten step process for choosing an ERP is:

  1. Identifying the business ‘pain’ that needs fixing
  2. Pulling together the needs for the business together
  3. Review the ERP Guidebooks site
  4. Define Requirements, Objectives and Results you want
  5. Review Shortlist supplied by ERP Guidebooks
  6. Ensure Vendors can meet your needs
  7. Shortlist two Vendors
  8. Conduct an Evaluation
  9. Negotiate
  10. Choose the Vendor and Deploy your solution

This section looks at various vendors at a summary level, where their solutions are targeted and the pros and cons of each. These are the summary reasons of why we make recommendations. We cover some corporate content,  where to find out more information, where they blog, what they tweet etc. They are in no particular order.

  • Oracle
  • Microsoft
  • NetSuite
  • SAP
  • Sage
  • MYOB
  • Epicor

Oracle

Oracle  offers its database, tools, and application products, along with related consulting, education, and support services, in more than 145 countries around the world.  Within the applications market it offers E-Business Suite, Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne and PeopleSoft.

Oracle has grown primarily through acquisition of best-of-breed point solutions and has merged the JD Edwards Enterprise One functionality into Oracle EBS. Oracle EBS is comprised of over ten product lines, each of them having several modules that are licensed separately. Oracle’s best-of-breed approach, on the other hand, allows for more flexibility to accommodate changing business needs, but this strength can become a weakness when it becomes harder to enforce standardised processes across a larger organisation.

JD Edwards supports the manufacturing industry especially well. It is an integrated applications suite of comprehensive ERP software that supports a wide variety of business processes with one common database. JD Edwards EnterpriseOne has an open platform which provides for a broad support for different operating systems, databases, and middleware from Oracle and other vendors. PeopleSoft targets large organizations, especially in the public sector and financial service sector.

PeopleSoft has eight different application solutions such as financials, supply chain, HR, CRM and so on, among which HR and CRM solutions are the most desirable. Before being acquired by Oracle, PeopleSoft suite was initially based on a client-server approach with a dedicated client. The current PeopleSoft version is based on a web-centric design which allows all of a company’s business functions to be accessed and run on a web browser.

Blogs/Website

Corporate Site http://www.oracle.com/us/products/applications/index.html

Blog http://blogs.oracle.com/applications/

Twitter

http://twitter.com/#!/OracleEPMBI

Microsoft

Microsoft Dynamics is a line of business management solutions that enable companies and their people to make business decisions. Microsoft Dynamics offers a range of business applications designed to help midsized businesses become more connected with customers, employees, partners, and suppliers by automating and streamlining financial, customer relationship, and supply chain processes.

This is a summary of the positioning and relative strengths of various Microsoft Dynamics ERP Solutions.

Microsoft Dynamics GP

Microsoft Dynamics GP (formerly Great Plains) is solid, easy-to-use, low-cost, and offers well-developed pre-packaged functionality for accounting, e-commerce, and manufacturing.

Microsoft Dynamics SL

Microsoft Dynamics SL (formerly Solomon) is great for project accounting and project management, making it ideal for the professional services industries.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV

Microsoft Dynamics NAV (formerly Navision) supports a large number of languages, giving it more global reach.  It is highly flexible and modular, offering customers the ability to customise its tools to meet manufacturing and distribution needs. In terms of scalability, however, it is better for local, rather than centralised large-scale enterprise deployments.

Microsoft Dynamics AX

Microsoft Dynamics AX (formerly Axapta) is the right choice if you need enterprise scalability. It is highly customisable, offering an “integrated development environment (IDE) and multi-tier architecture”.  That translates into easy customisation, giving on-site developers the ability to create new features whenever the business growth requires it.

 

Blogs/Websites

For more information – vist the the ERP Partner blog for Microsoft Dynamics

 

Corporate Site http://www.microsoft.com/dynamics/en/gb/default.aspx

Twitter

http://twitter.com/#!/MSFTDynamicsERP

 

NetSuite

NetSuite targets growing midmarket business with its Web-based business-management system. The company’s NetSuite application includes modules for ERP, CRM, e-commerce, marketing automation and more. NetSuite serves customers across a variety of industries, such as software, finance, education, manufacturing and retail.

NetSuite provides online, hosted customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software designed to help small and midsized companies manage their businesses and automate their processes. NetSuite’s software handles such functions as sales, customer communications, order management, inventory management, finance, e-commerce, time and billing, and Web site management.

NetSuite provides midsize businesses on demand web-based business applications to run their entire company. NetSuite  provides integrated front office customer relationship management (CRM), back-office enterprise resource planning (ERP), and ecommerce in one powerful application with the modularity and flexibility necessary to meet your specific business needs.

NetSuite holds all corporate data in a single database, giving you access to your key performance metrics on a customisable, real-time dashboard and does not require synchronisation between disparate systems.

NetSuite’s hosted, web-based services and solutions are delivered on demand for robust, end-to-end ERP and business process management.

NetSuite Offers products either as standalone or integrated. The major delineations are:

  • NetSuite – for Financials, CRM or Ecommerce
  • NetSuite OpenAir – a version for professional services organisations
  • NetSuite OneWorld  –  real-time global business management and financial consolidation to mid-sized companies with multinational and multi-subsidiary operations.

Blogs/Website

http://www.netsuiteblogs.com/

Corporate Site

http://www.netsuite.com

Twitter

http://twitter.com/#!/NetSuite

YouTube

http://www.youtube.com/NetSuite

 

SAP

SAP has a range of options for potential and current customers

  • SAP Business One
  • SAP Business ByDesign
  • Business All-in-One
  • SAP Business Suite

SAP is one of the leading international providers of business software. SAP has more than 109,000 customers in over 120 countries and employs 53,000 people at locations in more than 50 countries.

Based on SAP’s technology platform NetWeaver, SAP Business Suite is a set of integrated business applications that provides industry-specific functionality and scalability. Although very powerful, SAP can be more difficult to change as a business evolves. This is both a strength and a weakness: it is tightly integrated and helps enforce standardised business processes across an enterprise, but it can be more difficult to modify the software to adjust to evolving core processes and requirements.

SAP’s other core offerings include SAP Business All-in-One and SAP Business One. SAP Business All-in-One is a comprehensive integrated enterprise software which offers industry-oriented solutions. Different from SAP Business Suite, All-in-One focuses on small or midsize companies. SAP Business All-in-One is template-based version of SAP Business Suite.

SAP Business One is a single, integrated application designed for small companies with less than 100 employees. It mainly supports retail, wholesale, services, and manufacturing. With third party add-ons, SAP Business One is able to support over 10 industries.

In order to meet the needs of small or mid-size businesses, SAP now delivers a SaaS solution.  SAP ByDesign supports companies with 100 – 500 employees. As a SaaS-type on-demand system, SAP ByDesign has low upfront costs and may require fewer IT resources than traditional ERP software.

Blog

http://blogs.sap.com/

Corporate Site http://www.sap.com

Twitter

SME http://twitter.com/#!/SAP4SME

By Design http://twitter.com/#!/SAPByDesign

Sage

The Sage Group plc, a leading global supplier of business management software and services. For more than 30 years, Sage has delivered easy-to-use, scalable, and customisable software for accounting, customer relationship management, human resources, merchant services, time tracking, as well as for the specialized needs of the construction, distribution, healthcare, manufacturing, nonprofit, and real estate industries.

Sage Accpac ERP

Sage Accpac is equipped to meet small- to mid-sized business demands and is able to handle to over 400 users with a choice of operating systems and database platforms.

Bundled with SageCRM, Sage Accpac Extended Enterprise Suite allows organisations to carry out  sales, marketing, and customer service functions for greater cost savings and higher revenues.

With a track record of customers in 169 countries, Sage Accpac provides companies with capabilities to manage their global business including multicurrency and multi-location functionality, multi-jurisdiction compliance, and multiple language versions.

Sage ERP X3

Sage ERP X3 is a software suite with advanced, simple, and cost-effective business applications designed to meet the functionality requirements of mid-to-large distributors and manufacturers.

It offers first-class integrated functionality in the areas of finance, sales, CRM, inventory management, while remaining affordable, quick to implement, and simple for users

Sage ERP X3 is a multi-audit system available in 8 languages and legislations.

Blog/Websites

http://www.sage.co.uk/blog/

Corporate http://www.sage.co.uk/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DP5SYXuWwOw

Twitter

http://twitter.com/#!/sageERP/

Epicor

Epicor Software is a global leader delivering business software solutions to the manufacturing, distribution, retail, hospitality and services industries. With 20,000 customers in over 150 countries, Epicor provides integrated enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain management (SCM) and enterprise retail software solutions that enable companies to drive increased efficiency and improve profitability.

Epicor’s ERP solutions help midmarket organizations and divisions and subsidiaries of  Global companies to maximize their most important resources for profitable growth. Solutions are available for a number of industries including manufacturing, distribution, services, hospitality and retail.

At the core of Epicor is an adaptable, collaborative architecture that delivers business management, providing real time, in-context business insight throughout any manufacturing environment.

Epicor is a multidimensional solution uniquely equipped with rich feature sets supporting  environment including make-to-order (MTO), engineer-to-order (ETO), configure-to-order (CTO), mixed-mode, make-to-stock and discrete manufacturing. In addition to a full range of manufacturing capabilities, Epicor extends tools across back-office processes including financial management, customer relationship management, sales and customer service, providing real-time, in context information to employees from the shop floor to the top floor.

Blog

www.epicor.com

Corporate Blog http://blogs.epicor.com/connectedenterprise/

http://www.youtube.com/epicor

Twitter

http://twitter.com/#!/epicor

 

MYOB

MYOB is traditionally thought of as the powerhouse small business accounting package in ANZ. They have now extended their product line to include MYOB EXO for medium sized business to migrate to as they grow.

MYOB EXO Business is a complete fully integrated financial and business management system consisting of modules supporting Finance, Job Costing, Point of Sale, Fixed Assets, Customer Management, Reporting and Inventory Control. EXO Business will provide a business management view of an entire operation.

EXO Business is the next step in the MYOB product range and is perfectly suited to organisations that require:

  • A large number of users across multiple locations
  • Stricter control over the general ledger
  • Graphical visibility via management dashboards into how your business is performing
  • Advanced stock management across multiple warehouse locations
  • Importing of stock from overseas suppliers
  • Management of jobs, including, quoting, labour charges, tracking and reporting
  • Assembly of goods
  • High volume of transactions.
  • Compatibility

The Modules in our EXO Business system are part of an integrated business solution and are fully compatible with each other, meaning you can add modules as and when you need to

 

Blog/Websites

http://myob.com.au/blog/

http://myob.com.au/

You Tube

http://www.youtube.com/MYOBAustralia

Twitter

http://twitter.com/#!/MYOBTeam

 

Registration opens for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Launch Events

This is one of the big new products in ERP in 2011. So mark the diary for September 8th 2011

Microsoft has just opened up their Global website for you to register for this free online event, where you can hear directly from Microsoft executives about the innovations they’re introducing, right from your own desk.

Attend the virtual launch event to:

  • Hear from Microsoft executives
  • See product demos
  • Listen to customers and partners
  • Watch product tours, based on your business, industry, or role
  • Collaborate with your peers through feeds and community forums
  • Chat with product experts and sales associates

All details and registration can be found on the Microsoft event site. Individual country events are also being announced, so revisit to see if your local subsidiary is running an event.

Roles in ERP

Roles based user interactions with an ERP are CRITICAL for its success in your business. You create a view for each user – to minimise clicks to achieve tasks. There are different views for accounts, service, sales, marketing and distribution.

Here are three videos on Microsoft Dynamics AX and roles that you can watch and learn about this important user productivity tool.

Video 1

Video 2

Video 3

 

 

End of Financial Year Close Accounts are Ready – Right?

When you came in this morning and asked for the FY2011 final results your finance head pressed a button and the results popped out – right?

This means you can answer YES to the following:

  • All you have to do now is to get your accountant to audit and then sign-off the accounts?
  • Your sales targets go back to zero
  • New Sales targets are loaded in their Sales CRM systems
  • Your sales team’s compensation plans are automatically calculated
  • New Government legislation for HR systems now eg new parental leave rules
  • The company’s key metrics for this year’s strategic plan are loaded into the reporting dashboards

Answered NO to any questions?

One of the great benefit’s of ERP solutions are that the whole idea of the end of year ‘close’ can go away. The systems are right up to date, any day of the year – and today is not special!

Read more by downloading our Do you need ERP Guidebook and our rules on spreadsheets.

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Announced with Unique Industry View

Microsoft has announced this week the new Dynamics AX 2012 product. The next version will be a Cloud application(see announcement details), so for the moment this is the ‘last’ of the on-premise versions.

They are including specific industry capability for manufacturing, distribution, public sector, professional services and retail in the solutions. Most vendors have templates for specific industries but Microsoft has included all of them in the one solution.

“Offering five in one answers a real need that customers have to integrate solutions across industries. It gets organizations up and running faster, saves integration costs, and it supports greater accuracy across the application — meaning users get a single version of the truth.”

This makes some sense as in the following examples given

Manufacturers, for example, often manage their own distribution and sometimes their own direct retail operations. Other companies have segments of their business that operate on a project basis, like services companies.

In addition Microsoft in their announcement have focused on:

  • Improved Business Intelligence embedded in the solution
  • Taking their time to streamline all aspects of the use of the product
  • Reducing effort in coding for adapting and integrating the product with other systems

Add Dynamics AX 2012 to your ERP Checklist or read more about all Dynamics AX articles.

ERP Vendors – microsoft

This week in Atlanta, Microsoft are running their Convergence user conference.

The key announcement was that

the company revealed a path for its ERP customers to move to the cloud with the next major releases of Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions, which will run on the Windows Azure platform.

This means that the next version of Dynamics SL, GP, NAV and AX will be both available as Cloud and On-premise applications.

In addition Microsoft introduced Dynamics AX 2012. This is the high end Microsoft solution that competes with the likes of SAP and Oracle.

The beta of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 will be released in April 2011. The final release is expected to be generally available in August 2011.

More information on this release is here.

In addition Microsoft announced that:

  1. Microsoft Dynamics SL 2011 is now generally available
  2. The On-premise version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 is now available ( you can have it on the cloud or in your own offices)
  3. Dynamics NAV 2009 R2 with improved integration with Dynamics CRM is available
  4. Dynamics GP 2010 R2 will be generally available on May 1, 2011


Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Video

The ERP market has less product announcements than some other areas of the software market. So its always interesting to see a new product come out and to get some early looks at what is planned. In this case, here is a video on the plans for the next release of Dynamics AX. Its a business discussion, there are some technical resources also on the site.

 

Technical Blog – Microsoft Dynamics AX

If you are interested in the technical aspects of the next version of the Microsoft Dynamics AX 6 release then suggest you look at this blog and subscribe.

From a BUSINESS perspective I found the following of interest. Download and review our Top 10 ERP Trends Guidebook for more information on ERP trends.

  • Easy-to-use Financial Dimensions provide improved visibility with unlimited, real-time views on the business
  • A comprehensive organization model that enables an organization to change structure easily when the business requires to do so.
  • Business Process change without writing or changing code; enabled with processes and policies that are being captured in modeled workflows.
  • And finally, a unified business process repository, including the support of business processes in multiple industries, enables business process as well as business model innovation. For example this enables a manufacturing organization to implement Lean Manufacturing, MRP and Batch process principles for their organization in one system implementation.
  • Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 offers productivity and familiarity by design through pre-built interoperability with applications like Microsoft Office and SharePoint extending the reach of the ERP solution within an organization. ‘Blurring the line’ between user experiences in addition to the ability to manage structured and unstructured data in the same experience directly improves the productivity of end users

    Microsoft Dynamics SL for Government Contractors

    Microsoft Dynamics SL (formerly Solomon) is great for project accounting and project management, making it ideal for the professional services industries. Hence why this article highlights its strengths in government projects.

    A noted need is:

    For government contractors, a top priority is to comply with requirement that they provide full detail of the direct, indirect, and overhead expenses associated with each line item they invoice to a government agency as it relates to the services and products they provide.

    IF this type of functionality is needed for your business, add it to this ERP Needs Checklist and rate and rank the competing solutions to find the best fit.

    For an understanding of how the different Microsoft ERP solutions are positioned, read this quick summary.

    Microsoft Dynamics AX 6 Features

    Here is an article on the new features in this well regarded ( by Gartner) solution for the mid-market. Add it as an option in your ERP Checklist.

    Key features include:

    • A unique model-driven, layered architecture that accelerates software development, requiring less coding than building from scratch and easing maintenance and upgradability. This allows developers to build high-value functionality quicker and better.
    • Pre-built interoperability with the Microsoft Application Platform, including Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 and Visual Studio 2010, and other Microsoft technologies such as Microsoft Office 2010 and Microsoft SharePoint 2010. This allows developers to spend less time on technical integration and compatibility, and increases the breadth of developer resources available to ISVs.
    • A unified ERP solution with pre-built capabilities for five industries and 38 countries, providing a rich foundation that allows ISVs to rapidly expand their solutions to new verticals and geographies.

    New Features in Microsoft Dynamics AX 6

    Here are some more resources on the release of Microsoft Dynamics AX 6 due this year.

    Microsoft Dynamics AX New release

    Microsoft Dynamics AX V6 is slated for release in Q3 of this calender years according to this press article. Its a popular solution for an already well accepted product – see the Gartner Magic Quadrant article.

    Also read this article on which Microsoft Dynamics solution is right fopr your business.

    When pulling together your shortlist, use our CRM Checklist to identify priorities and compare solutions.

    Discrete Manufacturing and ERP

    A discrete manufacturer may need to integrate PLM software with ERP. Here is how Siemens and Microsoft Dynamics AX work together.

    Which Microsoft Dynamics ERP Solution is Best?

    This is a summary of the positioning and relative strengths of various Microsoft Dynamics ERP Solutions.

    Consider this with our ERP Checklist – that looks at 150+ ERP functions to consider and evaluate.

    Microsoft Dynamics GP

    Microsoft Dynamics GP (formerly Great Plains) is solid, easy-to-use, low-cost, and offers well-developed pre-packaged functionality for accounting, e-commerce, and manufacturing. 

    Microsoft Dynamics SL

    Microsoft Dynamics SL (formerly Solomon) is great for project accounting and project management, making it ideal for the professional services industries.

    Microsoft Dynamics NAV

    Microsoft Dynamics NAV (formerly Navision) supports a large number of languages, giving it more global reach.  It is highly flexible and modular, offering customers the ability to customize its tools to meet manufacturing and distribution needs. In terms of scalability, however, it is better for local singly-control enterprise firms, rather than centrally-control large-scale enterprise deployments.

    Microsoft Dynamics AX

    Microsoft Dynamics AX (formerly Axapta) is the right choice if you need enterprise scalability. It is highly customizable, offering an “integrated development environment (IDE) and multi-tier architecture”.  That translates into easy customization, giving on-site developers the ability to create new features whenever the business growth requires it.

    For more information – vist the the ERP Partner blog for Microsoft Dynamics

    Microsoft Dynamics “Cloud” Challenges

    Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM for the Cloud is soon to  announced publicly – although its current beta testing is pretty broad and promotion has already begun with cross-sell offers to Siebel and Salesforce.com users.

    However, it line up of Dynamics ERP products (AX, GP, NAV and SL) don’t have short-term solutionsnto enable cloud versions. Basically the issues are:

    • The products were not built for the Cloud – they were designed some time ago for one copy of the software for one company. Web applications are more flexible, allowing many companies per copy and allowing moving of workload between systems
    • There are lots of products(AX, GP, NAV and SL) and they are all different ‘under the hood’
    • There may be a nagging doubt within Microsoft as to whether Cloud is a trend for the long term or a trend that will disappear
    • What to do with partners trained to sell products when most cloud applications are done through subscriptions and sold directly( eg Netsuite and Salesforce.com),
    • ERP implementations are generally more complicated than a CRM implementation for example. There are more interfaces and systems that need to be integrated – and some of those no doubt will never reach the cloud!
    • Along the same lines, many Dynamics ERP implemenataitons may need other Microsoft technolgies to move at the same time – Azure, MS Office, Exchange etc.

     If you need a more technical view of this discussion,then the article by SoftwareAdvice is worth a read.

    For more information on  Dynamics CRM 2011 product  visit our sister site CRM-Guidebooks.

    Best ERP platform for your Industry & Business

    One of the key inputs into making an ERP solution is your industry. The different solutions in the market have differing strengths. Some are better for wholesale business than other, with solutions for discrete, processs manufacturing, or services industries.

    Compare ERP Systems Check-list

    To ensure we can help you identify the right ERP solution, we developed a Guidebook that Compares ERP Systems and see which vendors are best for your business – please download the list of vendors your should consider now. We looked at industry and size of company as key drivers to look at.

    Some of the solutions will have industry specific add-ons and functions to enhance the base capability delivered, while others have specific configurations that would be made for your specific needs.

    Do you need ERP: Clarify The Reasons You Need ERP To Ensure You Find A Successful Solution Here!