Thursday, January 28, 2010

SmartConnect 51

I love to announce new features and product releases, but I also love to announce bug fixes. Yesterday we released SmartConnect 51 for both GP 10 and 9. We are always looking for ways to make you implementation experience simpler and easier, and part of that is ensuring our products are as bug free as possible.

The latest release contains only fixes and these are listed here. This build contains fixes to the issues raised by our partners and we really appreciate the feedback we receive from the consultants who are working with SmartConnect on a daily basis. We have some very stringent QA processes in place, but the nature of software is there will always be some things that slip through. Please continue to give us feedback so we can continue to improve SmartConnect.

Friday, January 15, 2010

V11 Presales RoadShow

Microsoft are hosting a whirlwind roadshow hitting 18 cities to discuss the best way to demonstrate Dynamics GP with V11. If you are a GP consultant - then you should definitely go. Here are the details and locations.

What is really important is that these session will cover the best things in GP (from all versions not just 11), how best to position each function and how to hang them all together in a way that shows GP is the best ERP on the market. The technology of GP is no longer so simple that you can 'load it up and work it out' - come along and have someone who has done the hard work and research show you how it works.

Now - for those that really want to get a head start there is a second training day following these event titled 'Microsoft Dynamics GP and the Builders'. This is a follow up training session hosted by Microsoft. To register click here.

Extender: Everything there is to know about Microsoft Dynamics GP eXtender. This will cover all the new features that were introduced since GP 10 launched.
The Builders: This will dig into all there is to know about SmartList Builder, Excel Report builder, Navigation List Builder and Drill Down Builder. If you have never heard about NLB and DDB then you need to get to this session as they are both core parts of SLB with V11 GP.

The extra days training will be held in the following locations:
New York
Los Angeles
San Francisco

The Agenda for the extra day is action packed and you will finish the day better armed to differentiate GP against your competitors and to also generate services from your customers:


Dynamics GP Extender

9:00am to 1:00pm

· Extender Basics: Windows and Notes

· Enquiries and why they are cool

· Forms and Detail Forms

· Tables and Reporting

· Turning this into an Application


1:00pm to 1:45pm


1:45pm to 2:45pm

· Putting all this into presales activities and the Demo

· Making Accpac look silly

The Builders

3:00 to 4:30pm

· Building a new Excel Report

· Copying to a Navigation List

· Building actions that drive workflow

Hanging it all Together – The Demo

4:30pm to 5:00pm

Monday, January 04, 2010

I knew it was time to leave Fargo when ...

I knew it was time to leave Fargo when this happened.


CRM and GP as a Bundle

I recently read a good article from Scribe Software on the challenges of integrating ERP's with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Link to it here. The white paper concentrates on Data Replication (e.g. keeping you customer list in two places), Data Synchronisation (e.g. Keeping all the phone numbers the same) and Process Integration (moving quotes from CRM to Orders in GP).

The short of this is that replicating data across any two systems is a challenge - but something that is handled pretty well by the SmartConnect templates as well as the Scribe Templates. All of this is good and an essential part of many CRM to GP integrations. But it is not sexy. It is not exciting. It is not inspiring.

While the GP/CRM bundle has to have all the features discussed above - this is not a 'selling feature' it is an 'expected feature'. AccPac, Sales Force, NetSuite all have solutions that Replicate data.

So what should a CRM and GP bundle look like? What makes it Sexy? What makes it sell? What is there about the GP and CRM Dynamics solution that sets it apart?

We all sell the single Dynamics brand and it is time we delivered on the much higher expectations that this branding implies. The data you capture in one end of Dynamics should be used to drive the business. Let me explain some examples of what you should be selling to your customers:

1. Have a scheduled routine that runs once a month, flagging any customer that has purchased a certain $ amount from you during the period (e.g. $45,000) . For each of these customers create an activity within CRM for the relevant account manager to give them a call and 'Thank them for their business'. Now that's an integrated system.

2. Use your ERP sales data to drive campaigns (Don't replicate the data as that is just wasted energy). Lets say you want to sell hosting services to your customer base and your target customers are those that are remote to your office. Have a process that scans all orders through GP for an inventory code called 'Travel' and when it finds one, create an opportunity in CRM for the sales team to make some calls. Now that's an integrated system.

3. Show summarised opportunity data to the operations team in GP. Create an eXtender screen per customer, and populate it each day with the current opportunity value for that customer. Have this screen pop up when ever an item is listed as backorder on an order. Perhaps this information will help in allocating the stock more appropriately. Now that's an integrated system.

4. What about creating follow up activities in CRM for the sales team - for those customers that have not placed an order for the past 4 weeks? Now that's an integrated system.

The list can go on for a long time. When you go to talk to a customer/prospect about 'Dynamics' this is the vision you should be selling. Why? Because you know your competition cannot do it, it makes sure you customers business runs better, sells more GP and generates good services revenue for your team.