Friday, November 21, 2014

Conference Etiquette in 2014

Last week as I was attending a conference session and I did something that I am not proud of. I looked a very smart, intelligent presenter in the eye and went on a bit of an "internal" rant that went like this . . .

“You can keep talking if you like, but I really am way too important to listen to you. I am really busy as I am getting emails every few minutes – all of which are not urgent and could wait – but I am going to respond anyway right now, while you are talking to me. In fact I am going to try and suck as much energy out of this conversation as I can by opening my laptop and hiding behind it. I will look up occasionally to pretend I care about what you are saying, but I really do not. In fact, I am now reading about Black Friday sales and reading my sons school newsletter – can you please speak quietly... as it is getting hard to concentrate. I know you prepared at length to talk to me, but really these emails are important. You just keep talking and I will just kinda listen if that’s okay, if I hear anything interesting I might just look up and acknowledge you. I may just get engrossed in other work and not hear your best messages – but never mind, you just keep talking. I’m sure there is someone else in the room that is listening." 

Now, again this was an internal rant and I actually did not say any of this out loud, but I said it all and way more with my actions. The more I think about it, the ruder my actions appear. I apologize unreservedly to the great session presenters to whom I snubbed and showed the back of my laptop.

I challenge anyone that reads this to not make my mistake. The saying ‘you only get out what you put in’ holds true. If you disengage during a presentation – you will gain nothing – that is for sure. Next time you attend a presentation please consider what your body language says to the respected person who had taken time to prepare and present to you on that topic at hand. Put your phone away, close your laptop. You would not pull out a novel and read it during the session – and I do not see how reading and typing is any more acceptable.

All the best,

Martin Olsen

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Join us for a Dynamics GP and CRM with SmartConnect and BI360 Demo

Want to utilize Business Intelligence to it's full potential? Join us today for a Dynamics GP and CRM with SmartConnect and BI360 Demo with our very own Chris Dew, hosting with the CEO of Solver, Nils Rasmussen. The demo is today, November 20th, at 11 am CST - Noon CST.

To attend select here: 

Were you able to attend today's session? Give us your feedback in the comments!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tech Tuesday: Steps for Installing eConnect using the Microsoft Installation Media

This week's Tech Tuesday is from our support guru, David Youngquist, who has included steps for installing eConnect using the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 installer instead of installing it from the SmartConnect media below:

1. If you prefer to install eConnect using the Microsoft Dynamics GP installation media, the eConnect installer can be found in the following folder(s) 

If you are on a 32 bit machine, the installer is in the \AdProd\eConnect\x86 folder.
If you are on a 64 bit machine, the installer is in the \AdProd\eConnect\x64 folder.

The file you want to run is named econnect.exe

2. When installing from the GP installation media, the only required component is the eConnect Runtime, the other options are not required for SmartConnect. Make sure eConnect Runtime Services is selected click the Next button.

3. This screen is asking for a Windows login account. This is not a SQL account, this needs to be a domain user that has been added to the DYNGRP for all the Dynamics databases in SQL. In my screenshot my Domain is EONEDEMO, my username is eConnect. 

4. On this screen you need to type in the Dynamics GP SQL server name\instance. On eConnect 2013 it will ask for your Dynamics database name. On 2010 and prior it assumes it is named DYNAMICS. You should type in the sa username and password on this screen. It will connect to SQL and add your eConnect user to the DYNGRP. In this screenshot, my GP server is named EONE-2014, and my SQL instance is named EONE. My Dynamics database name for this particular installation is DYN2013.

5. On this final screen hit the Install button.

6. Once eConnect finishes installing, go to Start – Run and type in “services.msc”. In the services window, look for the service named “eConnect for Microsoft Dynamics GP 20XX Integration Service”. If you see the service there and the status says Running, then eConnect has been successfully installed.

Do you have any questions? If you have a topic you'd like to be included in a future Tech Tuesday please comment below or email!

reIMAGINE Conference 2014 Recap

By now, we hope you are finished recovering and getting back to business after an incredible week in Fargo for reIMAGINE 2014!

As one giant GP partner community we know you work extremely hard to make sure GP is the ERP platform of choice, and we sincerely hope we you were able to leave Fargo with some new insights and points of view. A huge thank you to all who attended our pre-conference SmartConnect & Sales Bootcamps and our reIMAGINE sessions. 

While everyone was able to make several debits to the work hard account, we wanted to make sure the play hard account was in kept balance. So, it was no surprise when nearly 400 people were able to join us at the first ever eOne SmartnerParty on Monday night. For those of you who were at reIMAGINE but weren't able to make it to the party, we heard that it was a typical night on "Dancing with the Stars" and the TV's in the hotel rooms were adequate size. We hope you can join us at the next one! 

Below we've included a brief recap and some snapshots collected throughout the week! Have any pictures from reIMAGINE? See anyone you know? - Feel free to share them. 

Monday morning started off as strong as the coffee. Martin's session was about creating a world class demo and never loosing another GP deal. At first you might have thought he was crazy after finding out how he uprooted his life in Sydney, AU and moved to Fargo, ND to help make GP the best ERP ever. However it was clear that sometimes crazy just works!
To start out the week of reIMAGINE, we hosted pair of sales and technical Bootcamps - above is a quick snap of Martin welcoming everyone to the Sunday Sales Bootcamp at the eOne Fargo Office. The Sold-Out SmartConnect Bootcamp was a two-day training held at the conference center. The energy and excitement in the bootcamps definitely helped set the pace for the entire week. So again a special thank you to all of our partners that were able to attend!

A big thank you to Dynamics Partner Connections for putting together yet another fantastic event! Andy Hafer, CEO of Dynamic Communities was greeted by SmartList Builder. We're sure the two spent hours upon hours discussing the power of SmartList Builder.

This year there was a good mix of both sales and technical tracks. Abbey, our sales manager, was able to meet with several of our partners. Above she is being interviewed by Jesse from eTelligent before the opening session of reIMAGINE.

SmartList Builder loves our partners as much as the camera loves him. He took this photo opp with our friends from Broadpoint Technologies!

Everyone seemed to enjoy the opening reception on Monday night at the Microsoft campus. We got to connect with those we rarely see in person. One of our support guru's, Dave, had the opportunity to meet some partners that he assists from time to time. Everybody was having a good time, but little did they know the fun had yet to begin.

SmartList Builder at Shotgun Sally's "helping" the team get ready for the SmartnerParty.

Part of the eOne team taking a break from setup to snap a quick picture at the photo booth. 

Blaise, from ADP, was working on his Giant Jenga skills.

So you thought you could play? We had over 90 intense games of ping pong - however no one could defeat Martin in the first ever eOne Ping Pong Challenge! Over $160 in donations were raised for the Fargo-Moorhead Coalition for Homeless Persons.

Martin making a special shout out to the newly certified class of SmartConnect consultants & thanking our wonderful partners!

Did you take some photos at the SmartnerParty photo booth? If so, we'd love to see them!
Also, if you braved the cold and ventured out to the HoDo on Tuesday after the Doug Burgum keynote, we hope you enjoyed some HoDo cocktails mixed specifically for eOne guests!

Again, thank you Microsoft and Dynamic Communities for hosting such a wonderful reIMAGINE conference! If you couldn't make it this year we promise you that next year will be even better! You can check out the highlight video:

Have a photo with eOne or from the SmartnerParty? Feel free to email them to We'd love to see them!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Tech Tuesday: Excel Report Builder and Office 365

Excel Report Builder and Office 365 interact a little bit differently than a local installation of Office or SharePoint.

Excel Report Builder and Office 365 SharePoint

Currently, Excel Report Builder will not publish directly to a SharePoint site on Office 365.

You can publish them locally and upload them to the SharePoint library. You can also sync the local folder and the SharePoint library so they automatically upload. It currently will not automatically publish there though.

We are actively working on trying to change this but don't have a timeline for the change.  The publishing will work to SharePoint on premise though, the SharePoint version shouldn’t matter. The difference is the layers of the authentication process that happens with the Office 365 options.

Excel Report Builder and Office 365 Excel

The Excel Reports, whether they are the default ones published from within the Reporting Tools Setup window in GP or from Excel Report Builder will not work with the online Office 365 version of Excel. You need to have downloaded and installed Excel on the local machine and then just have it licensed through your Office 365 account for the data connection process to work with an Office 365 license.

Have further questions regarding SmartList Builder's Excel Report Builder feature? Reach out to us at!

Thursday, November 06, 2014

reIMAGINE thoughts from Martin Olsen

Our Director, Martin Olsen, had the opportunity to share his thoughts as a guest blogger for the Microsoft Dynamics GP Community in "Demo to Lose". 

Read the blog here as Martin touches on his session he will be hosting at the reIMAGINE event in Fargo next week and how after attending you will never lose a deal through a demo again - ultimately turning yourself into a presales superstar!

His session will be hosted twice:

Monday 12:15pm Microsoft Campus Fargo
Tuesday 9:45am Holiday Inn Fargo

You will also find on the blog our list of sessions at reIMAGINE & more information on our massive Smartner Party being held Monday!

A reminder that all who attend an eOne session (Sat-Tues) will get VIP treatment at our Smartner Party on Monday, and our Downtown pubcrawl on Tuesday Night. You don't want to miss it so be sure to attend!

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Tech Tuesday: Working with values in Excel with VBA

Recently the eOne team was working on releasing some new Excel templates for SmartConnect and ran across a unique issue. In the General Ledger template we have code that compares the Sum of the Debits and Credits to ensure they match before submitting the transaction to Dynamics GP. What we were finding was that even though it displayed the same on the screen it was still returning a message that the Debits didn't match the Credits.

After a bit of research it became apparent that we were checking the Text of the Cell in the Worksheet instead of the Value. What does this mean exactly, let me explain how Excel evaluates Cell values.

In the picture below you can see that I have the value 211808.11 selected. In the next picture you can see I decreased the size of the column and now only one decimal is visible.


If we run a simple VBA script to display the value returned from the column that is reduced in size we get the following result:

MsgBox (Sheets("Sheet1").Cells(22,9).Text)

     Returns: 211808.1

If we return the Value instead of the Text using the script below you will get a different value:

MsgBox (Sheets("Sheet1").Cells(22,9).Value)

     Returns: 211808.11

Additionally, there is a third way to get the value in Excel using VBA called Value2. This is the most accurate way of getting the data you want because it gives you the original value (with no formatting and all the decimal places if copied).

MsgBox (Sheets("Sheet1").Cells(22,9).Value2)

The point of this story is simply this, if you want the formatted value the way it appears, use .Text, if you want the full value of that cell, use .Value, if you want the completely raw information use .Value2.

My recommendation is to use the .Value or .Value2 as it will return the data that is desired for most applications.

After switching the little piece of code to use .Value in our templates we now have a great template that correctly balances the Debits and Credits even with very large numbers.

Hope this helps someone else as I spent a few hours on this issue.

Chris Dew
Director of Product Management

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Challenge to all Partners & Consultants

I generally find the Dynamics GP reseller community to be highly dedicated, passionate and extremely clever. Very smart indeed.

BUT there is one sequence of conversation that is making absolutely no sense to me at all. I have had this conversation 3 or 4 times during the fall as I attended our partners customer events - and it goes like this:

ME: Hi, I’m Martin from eOne.

Consultant: Great to meet you. So eOne builds SmartList Builder right?

ME: Yes – that’s right.

Consultant: I love SLB. We sell it with every deal - it is such a good tool. Our customers love it and they all own SLB.

ME: That’s great to hear.

Consultant: I do not know why Microsoft let SLB go – that was crazy. And the new designer tool is really very limited.

ME: So do you use the designer?

Consultant: NO – I tried once and had to go back to SLB – we only go with SLB as all customers need it in the end.

ME: So are you presenting any sessions tomorrow?

Consultant: Yes – I’m doing a session showing off … um er… um … the designer

ME: Oh really. This is a presentation to existing customers right?

Consultant: Yes

ME: And you just said they all own SLB already – right?

Consultant: Yes

ME: Do you want them to use the designer?

Consultant: No

ME: Hmmm – so why are you showing them the designer?

Consultant: Now that you ask – I’m not sure!

ME: Given they own SLB would you have them switch to the designer?

Consultant: No way. It does not do what SLB does.

ME: So if you show designer do you think they might get confused?

Consultant: Well – now you mention it – I guess they might be confused.

ME: So why are you showing it to your customers if you don’t want any of them to use it?

Consultant: It was on the what’s new list from Microsoft I guess. So we thought we would show it.

ME: OK so let me get this straight. You are going to take 45 mins to talk to your existing customers about a new tool, that you don’t like, you don’t want anyone to use and you will actively recommend against?

Consultant: Um yes. Seems a bit weird when you put it like that.

So I challenge all VARS and consultants to think about desired outcomes before you step up to present!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tech Tuesday: SmartConnect - Working with GUIDs in CRM

This week's Tech Tuesday is from our Senior Technical Consultant, Chris Hanson, who will walk us through a scenario many come across when using SmartConnect.

When you use SmartConnect to import data into CRM, you will run into the scenario of needing to populate a field with a GUID. Any time you have a lookup field within CRM it is storing a GUID for its value which then links to another entity record.

There are a couple ways to work with and import them. The first is using the Additional Column called an Entity Look-up. For an entity look-up you need to provide what entity you are looking up the ID for, and then provide one or more fields to compare on. The screenshot below shows what it might look like if you are importing to the currency field on the account entity in CRM:

The Currency entity is selected in the lookup, and then the field from my source data is used to compare against the currency code field in CRM. The comparison that you set up must match exactly otherwise no records will be returned by the lookup. So you need to have at least one field in both the source and CRM that will have matching values. If there isn’t one, you will need to manipulate your source data in a calculated field or the data source itself so the data does match up.

The other way to work with GUIDs is by using an Additional Column called an Entity Reference. This is only used if you already have the GUID in your source data. To set it up, all you need to do is select the entity that the GUID is for, and then pick the source field that contains the GUID. By using the entity reference, SmartConnect makes sure it's handled as an identifier rather than a string value.

If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment or email us at!