Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Window Groups

Possibly the best kept secret in Microsoft Dynamics GP eXtender is Window Groups. I saw a forum discussion last week that went like this:

Question: Can I auto open different eXtender windows from the same screen based upon the data entered into the GP screen?
Answer: Only by purchasing eXtender enterprise from eOne and using the scripting functionality.

Unfortunately this is sometimes the problem with forums as the information given is not always completely accurate. The real answer should have been:

Real Answer: Use the eXtender window groups functionality which lets you prescribe the conditions when a particular eXtender window should open. The way you do this is:
1. Create all the eXtender windows you need independently. For Example if you need 3 different windows to open, depending on the type of product sold on an order then you need to create the three eXtender windows. i.e. You sell golf clubs, golf bags and electric golf buggies. On any given order you need to capture a different set of data for each sale line, depending on the item number used.
2. Create a window group and determine the trigger point for all of the windows that will be assigned (Auto open, hot key or extra menu)
3. Add the first window required.
4. Define the condition upon when this window should open.
5. Repeat steps 3 & 4 for each window you want in the group.

It is that simple. If you wanted just a single window to only pop open based upon a condition (e.g. the customer class is equal to government) then you need only add the single window to the group. Apply the condition to this window and it will only auto open when you need it.

If this functionality is new to you, please leave me a comment in this blog and we will continue to post more 'tips' to help share the information.

Monday, September 20, 2010

SmartView first Viewing

A sneak preview of SmartView - only at the Partner event this week in Fargo.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

How good can you be?

I fancy myself as a pretty handy table tennis player. I recently purchased a table for myself (disguised as a present for my 7 yr old son). I have begun playing regularly with some Friends (disguised as a good reason to drink beer). We have had some very competitive games and even designed a handicap system to level the playing fields for all players.

With home court advantage I was doing OK, and was winning most games - and started to think I was pretty good. This perception came crashing down yesterday - when I mistakenly challenged a retired Chinese gentleman to a game. I had seen him play and while he was good I fancied my chances. In broken English this 'old man' laughed at me, mocked me and proceeded to give me a flogging. He then arrogantly suggested he give me a 5 point head start, in a game of first to 11! I only needed 6 points to win. I could not possibly lose that. I lost.

Other than a serious need to play better ping pong - I learnt a lesson that night. You have to compare yourself against and compete with the best to find out how good you really are. I once did a series of GP demo's and had a 100% sale rate of 4 from 4. I walked into the 5th demo supremely confident that this was a winning demo - and I could close the deal. I lost. Why? Because on deal five I had a new competitor - and the prospect told me later that the winning software presentation was more prepared, more polished and more focused on their business needs. It hurt to hear that (extra painful because it cost money to the business by losing a big deal) - but was a lesson I needed. I got complacent and assumed I would win the deal, assumed I had a killer demo, assumed the prospect would find me likable and believable and that would be enough. I had gotten lazy.

So when you think you are pretty good at what you do, who are you comparing yourself with? You think you know GP backwards - well remember the new guy that just learnt GP on V2010 and knows all the new moving parts - while there are things in GPv10 that you have been too busy to look at. For the salespeople, are those old slides and old stories still the best message to close a sale?

I'll leave you to ponder, and I am off to work on my topspin backhand slider.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Versions Names

There seems to be some general confusion regarding the current naming of SmartConnect, which I want to clarify here.

The current build of SmartConnect is called SmartConnect 2010. The functionality contained in SmartConnect has been de-coupled from Microsoft Dynamics GP releases. This means that all of the functioanlity of SmartConnect 2010 is available on both Microsoft Dynamcis GP 2010 and Microsoft Dynamics GP v10.

What this means is that you do not need to wait until you upgrade to GP2010, to benefit from all the new functionality available in SmartConnect 2010. You can install SmartConenct 2010 for your GP10 clients today.

Now - there are still two seperate downlaods for SmartConnect 2010 - one that specifically installs onto GP v10 and one that specifically installs into GP2010. The reason for two downloads is that there are differences in the both eConnect and the way we need to install SmartConnect to the differnet versions of GP. Other than background install differences the functionality of SmartConnect 2010 is identical regardless of the version of GP you are running.

This means that moving forward, the Serivce Pack for SmartConnect 2010 will be available to both Dynamics GP v10 and Dynamics GP2010.

One very important thing to note, that I will blog about often over the next few weeks is to read the upgrade instructions before going to any version of SmartConnect 2010. The most important step is that you must first upgrade to SmartConnect v51 - before upgrading to SmsartConnect 2010. If you do not upgrade to V51 first, your maps will NOT upgrade and you will spend the best part of a day trying to resolve the issues. There are some significant backend changes with SmartConnect 2010 that require you to be on V51 prior to the upgrade.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Keep it Simple

You can not sell a product if you cannot price it. That is why we price SmartConnect in the simplest possible way. One Flat Fee. US$4,500 (+ 17.5% annual maintenance) flat fee regardless of number of users, number of servers, number of connectors or even number of connections. As a salesperson or account manager all you need to know is SmartConnect costs $4,500 and the users can build as many integration and automation points as they wish.

I had a partner this week as me for pricing details, as they were tired of one of our competitors product and pricing complexity - and I responded with the simple answer of $4,500. The partner came back asking a whole bunch of questions and each time expecting the price to go higher. The price can not go higher - it is $4,500 and you can build hundreds of integrations to and from any product for 100's of users and the price is the same.

I took the time to look into alternate pricing models to see what I was missing out on. I ended up watching an 18 minute video that describes how to calculate how many connections a customer will have at any given point. 18 minutes to work out the number of connections - so I can then determine how to price a solution. The biggest danger is that the pricing is fluid and the software will stop working if you breach the predefined number of connections - and the vendor will put their hand out for more $'s again and again.

It starts to explain to me why so many people are making the switch to SmartConnect. If a pricing model is that complex you can only imagine how difficult the actual software might be to use.

There are a couple of other extremely strong reasons to get on board with eOne and SmartConnect Vs our competing products:
1. Simple to use
2. Product focussed: Dedicated to importing and creating records in Dynamics GP and Dynamics CRM
3. No need for an integration server ever
4. No need to learn how to write DTS packages.
5. No need to be a developer
6. Import data into all eXtender objects
7. Create Automations - not just integrations
8. Use the Excel addins to push data into GP or CRM
9. Truly workable templates out of the box

If you haven't yet had a chance to se SmartConnect in action - send me a message and we will lock in a time for you. (sales@eonesolutions.com)

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Linked In

For those Linked In fans - I noticed today a new group had been created titled SmartConnect - by Donna at InSync. Jump on board and join this group for open discussion with other SmartConnect implementers and users.