Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017 – liquidity planning

Only companies that keep constant track of their funds can plan ahead and guarantee their capacity to pay. Here, constant monitoring of solvency development is particularly important. Microsoft Dynamics NAV offers the required tools.

Careful cash flow planning, also integrated into Microsoft Dynamics NAV, is necessary to correctly control and analyze cash flows in a company. This software draws all relevant information from various business areas (e.g. purchase and sales) and uses it as a basis for forecasts on all incomes and cost for a set period. One large advantage of cash flow planning is the inclusion of target figures such as posted orders. As the information used is real-time, it can be traded quickly as needed. This does not properly work in isolated financial accounting, as here only logged values are available.

Dynamics NAV 2017 Cash Flow
Cash Flow Planning in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017

With the 2017 version of Microsoft Dynamics NAV, two new areas have been added to the cash flow functions – areas that also play an important role in planning:

  • The projects or project incomes
  • The VAT settlement (more detailed, the determination of VAT payable amounts)

It is now also possible to manually enter neutral incomes and cost. In this way, amounts outside of Dynamics NAV can be considered as well.

Dynamics NAV 2017 Cash Flow
Includable origin types in Cash Flow Planning

At first use of the cash flow tool, from version 2017 upwards, users are additionally assisted by a configuration assistant. This guides them through the necessary parameters, allowing users to define these by themselves.

Relevance of high availability on the rise

High AvailabilityIn times of growing digitalization, it is almost impossible for companies to operate without Internet availability and the right business software. Therefore it is very serious when a network component or even the entire IT infrastructure goes down. Even short downtimes can result in high costs and annoyed customers – another reason to tackle the topic of high availability in one’s own company.

The importance of high availability has already been deeply rooted in the corporate awareness of large companies. Small and mid-sized companies, however, still often put the topic into cold storage due to time and costs. A big mistake, considering that longer network and database downtimes can, in critical cases, even threaten the continued existence of companies. The aim is to keep systems available even if one or more components relevant to the company go down. Only after it is already too late and components of the infrastructure are already down, most companies usually first realize the importance of high availability. However, not only sudden failures of the systems or individual components, but also planned downtimes, for example in the case of necessary maintenance work, should be considered.

Different levels of high availability

A system can only be classified as highly available if it manages to achieve more than 99.9% availability in 24/7 operation. Downtime is thus reduced to less than 8.5 hours over the course of year. Adding further decimal places subsequently increases availability. According to this, an availability of 99.9999 % means a much shorter downtime of around 32 seconds in a year. This classification form also serves as a benchmark for highly available systems on the IT market.

Continue reading Relevance of high availability on the rise

Qlik publishes new release “Qlik Sense June 2017”

Qlik Sense June 2017BI provider Qlik has published a new release of Qlik Sense. The latest version contains various interesting features such as better charts and visualization options, advanced analytics functions, an iOS client, visual data profiling and more. The version is named “Qlik Sense June 2017” in line with the new release cycle announced by Qlik.

Already at this year’s Qonnections, Qlik announced that in future new software releases of equal weight and scope will be published every ten weeks – signifying an end to major and minor releases. To clarify this, they replaced the numerical name with a description containing the month and year of the respective release. Qlik Sense 4.0 thus became Qlik Sense June 2017. The new cloud-like release cycle and changed versioning should significantly simplify upgrading to higher versions.

New features for data processing and visualization

Qlik Sense June 2017 contains various new features, particularly in data processing and visualization options. Users, among other things, benefit from improved data preparation and provision without complex scripting. With visual data profiling Qlik Sense June 2017, e.g., supports better understanding data from the get go by automatically generating visualizations for the distribution of data already when loading. Furthermore Data binning allows for the grouping of numeric data (by size etc.) to better analyze relevant information. Using a new type of table concatenation, table views with different fields and field names can additionally be connected. This makes it possible to concatenate differently created data sets (e.g., from different organizations). The data preparation functions are introduced in the next What’s New video:

Qlik Sense June 2017 - Data Preparation

Continue reading Qlik publishes new release “Qlik Sense June 2017”

Time for change: When an update of your ERP system is necessary

ERP UpdateFor many companies, the use of an ERP system has become an indispensable element for managing business processes. At the latest when a company grows or its requirements change, current software functions may not be sufficient, making an update or even a change of system necessary.

An ERP system provides a business and employees with optimum support across several corporate divisions. In most cases, the desired processes are facilitated by acquiring a software whose corresponding functions are most in line with existing corporate and user requirements. Yet many companies think that the functions, which were implemented in the beginning, become insufficient over time due to growth and structural or technological changes and therefore need to be adapted accordingly. Before the ERP system application becomes too complex due to excessive technological customization and causes a reduction in productivity, it is recommended to update to a newer, improved, and more comprehensive version.

Technological change requires action

Global economic and technological IT-developments are increasing rapidly, and factors such as digitalization and the ever-growing amounts of data that need to be processed are major challenges to technology and business processes. Many recent ERP systems, for example Microsoft Dynamics NAV, are already offering a variety of features, as well as interfaces with significantly improved user experience software, which means working with the respective system is easier, faster, and more convenient than it was a few years ago. The systems provide the user with an unmatched degree of scalability and enable access to the desired data from any mobile device or location by means of Web, Tablet, and Phone Client – a particular advantage for field staff, warehouse employees, or those working in manufacturing. Therefore, ensuring that their in-house ERP systems can keep pace with these developments is important for modern, small and medium-sized businesses.

Moreover, most companies are faced with continuous change themselves. Company growth and even strategical or structural changes can be decisive when it comes to the need for new functions and updates in order to continue to be able to meet market and customer requirements.

In general, an ERP system should always be able to map all the business processes required by the respective company in their entirety. Depending on its technical and functional specifications, not all software is automatically suitable for every business. It is necessary to ensure that the desired processes and functions are in place when purchasing the system. However, if these have changed or become more enhanced over the years, action is required.

Better act sooner than later

Regardless of whether the implemented ERP system was the wrong choice for the company or whether the requirements simply changed over time: if an ERP update or change is necessary, it is important to act quickly. The more time passes, the more the costs incurred by using an outdated system, as well as the costs of a change or an update, will increase – a problem which can ultimately be prevented by implementing a new solution. Many modern ERP systems run automated updates, which means that expensive and time-consuming upgrades are redundant. The software basically grows with the newest developments and technologies.

Are you planning to change your ERP landscape as well? Our consultants will be happy to assist you. You can also find out what you should consider when choosing an ERP system by reading our blog.

Take control of your financial operations using Qlik Sense Enterprise

Qlik FinancialsQlik’s diverse business intelligence solutions enable you to easily and efficiently evaluate and visualize enterprise data from all sectors. Users in finance departments can also benefit from the comprehensive functions of Qlik Sense Enterprise.

For example, Qlik Sense Enterprise can help business managers and their finance departments obtain a better overview of their operational and financial processes through its dynamic prognoses and analyses optimization apps. The applications extract and link basic data from different sources. The update frequency is hereby freely configurable regardless of whether you are using an ERP system, Excel files, or access to Web APIs. With Qlik, you are no longer limited to partial analyses that are hinged to query-based solutions. Qlik’s associative model enables you to create visualizations of all your data and hence identify previously unidentified interrelationships.

Diverse application possibilities in the finance sector

Important application areas in the finance sector include data quality improvement for accurate calculation of key parameters, fast plausibility checks for ERP booking routines, and the creation of interactive company reports. Data evaluation and visualization of interrelationships using Qlik Sense Enterprise therefore contribute towards better financial planning, cash flow optimization and ultimately better results. Unlike other resource-intensive, inconsistent budgeting solutions, Qlik Sense Enterprise also enables users without advanced technical skills to compile reliable financial analyses and reports thanks to its ease of use and self-service functions. Below are some of the options and advantages provided by Qlik Sense Enterprise:

  • “What if” analysis
    Allows managers to test different prognosis scenarios and budgets as well as to evaluate the impact of possible results.
  • Comparative analysis
    Allows users to compare different budget allocations, resources and cost estimates.
  • Fast integration of multiple data sources
    Creates a comprehensive overview of planning and budgeting data from various data sources.
  • Collaboration and annotations
    Enables optimized group decisions through interactive sessions and comments on modification of functional delays.
  • Comprehensive partner network
    Best possible budgeting and planning applications of different partners – tailored to specific business requirements.

Its numerous functions and the ability to connect multiple data sources make Qlik Sense Enterprise the ideal basis for controlling different financial processes. Qlik Sense Enterprise provides efficient support for tasks such as financial forecasting and analysis, cost and risk management, validation of sales and profitability indicators, investment analysis, cash flow and balance sheet management, etc.

The following video shows 10 use cases of Qlik Sense Enterprise in the finance sector:

Qlik Finance Toolkit

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017 – New Features for Developers

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017Since last October, users have been benefiting from the many new features introduced by the latest release of Microsoft Dynamics NAV. But there are also several enhancements for developers to discover in the 2017 version.

One of the most important changes is the expansion to options for creating extensions, whose basic functionality was introduced back in the 2016 release. Developers are now able to utilise the remaining object types (Reports, XMLPorts and Queries), which the extensions now usefully make available for creating more comprehensive solutions. Thanks to the new extensions, enhancements can now be built for Dynamics NAV without making changes to the platform’s standard objects. This simplifies the update process in particular, since the base system can be updated and the extension layer is then updated automatically from the service tier. Extensions can also be easily removed again without trace. In addition, extensions from NAV 2017 onwards can now include report templates, table content, permission sets, add-ins and much more besides.

In the next Dynamics NAV version (codename “Tenerife”), developers will also be able to draw on an in-client designer and the Visual Studio Code development platform for creating their extensions. Since last December, the new tools can already be tested by downloading a public Developer Preview.

With the new “application areas”, Dynamics NAV 2017 also makes things simpler for developers when modifying the user experience to the specific application requirements of the individual user. Administrators can now assign sets defined by a developer to application areas, so that the end users only see elements of the user interface that they actually require in order to complete their various tasks.

Optimise Business Processes with Machine Learning and Dynamics NAV 2017

Machine Learning with Dynamics NAV 2017The unstoppable progress of digital transformation not only changes the way of living and working of private individuals, but also presents big challenges to companies on a regular base. An efficient way of dealing with the increasingly rapid transformation are modern technologies and approaches such as machine learning.

In order to stay at the pulse of the times, executives should prepare themselves in time for the continuing digitalisation of the business world. This digitalisation also offers companies numerous advantages that not only facilitate administrative processes and general everyday operations, but also secure competitiveness in the long term. For example:

  • Creation of flexible work forms
  • Service optimisation through online support
  • Cross-location working
  • Streamlining administration
  • Outsourcing administrative processes

In order to strengthen or even improve ones’ own position in the competition, to increase productivity, quality and sales, and to save money by a more efficient use of resources, the use of machine learning is recommended. Machine learning is not a finished software product, but an individualisable learning and optimisation process. Using machine learning, algorithms are developed with the aim of analysing historical data automatically and identifying patterns therein. The results can finally be used as predictions and thus as a basis for future business decisions or to solve problems.

Efficient machine learning with Microsoft Dynamics NAV

Using Microsoft Azure Machine Learning in combination with the data source Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017 is worthwhile for the introduction of machine learning into ones’ own company. The advantages for the companies include the following:

  • Assess the sales potential
    Efficient business management with the help of “learning” sales forecasts based on historical data.
  • Prompt overview of stock shortages
    Timely overview of inventory developments based on current stock bookings and dynamic sales forecasts.
  • Decision optimisation
    Realistic predictions as solid decision-making bases by means of various machine-learning algorithms and continuous result comparisons.
  • Transparency of predictive quality
    Evaluation of the calculated prediction results in everyday practice. Successive optimisation of prediction quality through exclusion or weighting of the predictions obtained.

Machine learning is used wherever large quantities of data are analysed and compactede into business or scientifically quantity and value indicators. According to experts, machine learning will be ready for the market and business-relevant across the board in two to five years. It is worth getting started with it now.

Get an overview over Microsoft Azure Machine Learning in the following video:

Microsoft Azure Machine Learning

Comprehensive geo-evaluations with NPGeoMap

A lot of business data in a company have a geographic relation and are therefore suitable for an analytical evaluation. With the products of business intelligence provider Qlik, the potential of this data can be clearly recognised and exploited. The special Qlik extension NPGeoMap also offers additional tools and possibilities for analysing geographic company data.

For example, NPGeoMap cannot only answer questions about “how”, but also questions about “where” even more efficiently: Which locations generate the most sales? Where are the customers with the highest buying power? In which regions could the sale of a product be particularly enhanced with the last advertising campaign?

The extension is not only suitable for classic sales analyses. Thanks to its intelligent data management, it also offers optimal performance even with large data quantities and can display information in four levels as areas and points or as a combination of both. NPGeoMap also enables the evaluation of visualisation of more complex geographic questions. Maps of the most important countries are already included in the extension and do not require an additional server installation. Individual maps – for example sales areas that are relevant to the company – can also be generated by means of further additional tools.

NPGeoMap offers the user various visualisation options to display the geographic data. They can be displayed in many different layers – for example, as polygons (areas) on background maps like GoogleMaps, BingMaps or OpenStreetMaps, as markers (points), great circles or even charts. The following display options are particularly efficient. Continue reading Comprehensive geo-evaluations with NPGeoMap

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017 – Cortana Intelligence

Thanks to the option of expanding the NAV environment by means of various extensions, Dynamics NAV 2017 users can now also view sales and inventory development forecasts using machine learning.

Dynamics NAV can be expanded with an extension that gives the possibility to acquire knowledge of potential future sales from past data and a clear overview of expected stocks and sales development. Microsoft runs this extension under the name “Cortana Intelligence”. The Dynamics NAV extensions have no functional or content-related connection to the “Cortana Intelligence” concept in Power BI.

The system uses historical data for forecasts and helps the user to manage company stocks more efficient. This supports the supply management and ensures the customers satisfaction by guaranteeing that frequently purchased goods are consistently in stock.

Inventory Forecast in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017
Inventory Forecast in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017

In order to achieve optimal forecasts all the time, the extension uses a trained algorithm within the cloud service Azure Machine Learning, determines a corresponding result using the training data and finally issues this data to the user.

The performance range of the extension “Sales and Inventory Forecast” in Dynamics NAV 2017 covers the following functional areas on the base of historical data:

  • Forecast within the cash flow module
  • Inventory forecast and direct creation of purchase orders
  • Sales forecast

In addition to the existing functionality, Dynamics NAV 2017 also offers developers access to the trained algorithm within Azure Machine Learning. In this way, forecasts for the future can also be accessed on the base of further historical data.

Microsoft Flow And PowerApps

With the advanced development of the Microsoft product world, the opportunities to connect individual services and solutions are also increasing more and more. For example, Microsoft Flow simplifies the workflows between preferentially used cloud-based apps and services. Additionally own apps can be generated, adapted and shared with other users by PowerApps.

By Microsoft Flow, users are able to set up automated workflows between their preferred services and apps, to synchronise files, to collect data and to receive messages accordingly. Templates are already contained in Flow for this purpose; however, the user is also free to create his own workflows that correspond to his own work processes and process requirements. Essentially, Microsoft Flow includes the following features:

  • Delivery of a message as soon as a folder or file has been updated.
  • Automatic collection and organisation of business data.
  • Continuous synchronisation of data so that all folders are always up-to-date.
  • Automation of approvals, e.g. by means of immediate messages via e-mail, Yammer or Twitter.

By connecting the various apps and services, automatic workflows, for example, can be created between Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Office 365, SharePoint, Outlook, Dynamics 365, Yammer and many other applications. In concrete use cases, for example, e-mail attachments could be saved in a SharePoint library, automatic Yammer postings could be created when a new CRM sales opportunity is created, important Outlook e-mails could be copied into OneNote, Dynamics CRM leads could be created from Excel tables, and much more. The interactions between the individual applications are almost unlimited. You can see an example of the creation of a workflow with data from Dynamics NAV 2017 in the following video:

Video Microsoft Flow

Continue reading Microsoft Flow And PowerApps

prisma informatik