Category Archives: General

Eight proven success factors in implementing modern business software

Business Software SuiteIn order to keep up with digitization in the corporate world, even classic business applications are on trial. In many companies there is need for action in order to map all segments across the value chain in future by an integrated solution.

At Microsoft the traditionally separated fields of ERP and CRM are growing together under the umbrella brand “Dynamics 365”; the integrated business application suite “Business Central” is a major part of this. Modern software solutions like this offer lots of opportunities, but the scope of implementing such a system should never be underestimated.

Even though new business applications have different pricing models than before and even offer leasing models, the implementation and conception of such a software solution is still a major investment. And even if manufacturers keep talking about “self-service” and there is no longer a need to provide your own hardware, for complex business processes it will always be necessary to include consultants with experience from other similar projects. Many companies will have to check and adapt their existing processes to the parameters specified by the new software. To this end, lots of plans and discussions are required to ensure the success of the project. So it’s worthwhile to keep the following principles in mind before launching a new project.

Continue reading Eight proven success factors in implementing modern business software

Qlik Sense June 2018 – What’s New

Qlik Sense June 2018BI vendor Qlik continues to pursue its proven release cycle, launching Qlik Sense June 2018, the latest version of its data visualization software.

In addition to a new Insight Advisor and enhanced hub publishing capabilities, the new release includes visualization enhancements and five new connectors. Feature Highlights in Qlik Sense June 2018 include:

Generate insights with the new Insight Advisor
Qlik Sense June 2018 has been extended with a new Insight Advisor. The Advisor uses Qlik’s Cognitive Engine to suggest charts to users based on insights from existing and new data. The user can then use them to augment existing visualizations.

Advanced features for app publishing from the hub
The new Qlik Sense version provides enhanced capabilities to manage apps through the hub. For example, apps that have already been published can be duplicated, modified, and then re-published in the same stream as the original app. Published apps can now be found in a dedicated section.

Filtering data from files
With Qlik Sense June 2018 you can create filtering conditions for the field contents in files. These are automatically applied to the script when data is loaded into the Data Manager.

New possibilities for visualizations
The release also offers some new features to create and edit visualizations. For example, the property panel now offers a number of alternative charts to complement the original chart suggestions. At the same place it is possible to switch dimensions and measures by simply drag and drop. In addition, Qlik Sense June 2018 provides the ability to show and hide specific columns in a straight table. The mini graph used for scrolling can be deactivated for line, bar and combo charts.

Qlik Sense June 2018 offers even more new features. In addition to five new Qlik connectors (PrestoDB, Apache Drill, Apache Phoenix, Apache Spark, and MongoDB), the release features enhanced accessibility, new line layers in map charts and enhanced capabilities for the Expression Editor and App sheets. An overview of the listed and many other interesting new features of Qlik Sense June 2018 is also available in the following video:

Qlik Sense June 2018 Video

Soccer World Cup 2018: Choose your champion by using the new Qlik app

Soccer World Cup 2018 - Qlik Sense AppThis years FIFA World Cup is just around the corner. An app of BI provider Qlik allows a forecast of the tournament course based on historical data. Choose your champion!

Starting today the balls of the Soccer World Cup will be kicked off again – this time in Russia. If you can‘t wait for the matches, you can meanwhile use a new Qlik Sense app, which has been especially prepared to calculate all possible results for the World Cup in advance. On this end, BI vendor Qlik has compiled the results of past tournaments as well as the FIFA and Elo rankings. On the base of this data, the winning odds of each team were finally evaluated and visualized.

With the Qlik Sense app you can run through all possible pairings within the various tournament groups. Each score is then supplemented with a chart and some key information (e.g. shots on goal). Based on this data, users can decide for themselves, which teams will be virtually advanced to the next round.

The web-based Qlik World Cup app can be used for free – even on smartphones and tablets.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2018 – Features that make everyday work with the system easier

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2018At the end of last year, Microsoft released the new version of its ERP solution Dynamics NAV 2018. The new release offers some improvements that make everyday work more simple and convenient.

In this respect, for example, the “Setup & Extensions” button provides a central place for the settings. Here, the user is able to obtain step by step support from several setup wizards while defining the parameters for a certain module or area. The required settings can also be made in the classic setup cards. These are collected in one single place and are stored according to area (e.g. finance, sales, projects etc.). The individual setup pages also feature keywords to search and filter accordingly.

NAV 2018 Assisted Setup
Assisted setup in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2018

The preview of reports has also been improved. While in previous versions the preview was only available in the Internet Explorer, all standard browsers (e.g. Edge, Chrome, Firefox and Safari on macOS) are now supported. The appropriate preview is ultimately provided as PDF and can be downloaded and printed directly. The preview mode can furthermore be operated with the mouse or the keyboard.

NAV 2018 Report Preview
Preview of reports in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2018

NAV 2018 further allows to create user task lists that – similar to Outlook – can pint to certain tasks which must be completed within the ERP system. The appropriate tasks can be linked with corresponding pages or reports. If necessary, they can also be prioritised and automatically repeated.

NAV 2018 User Task List
User task lists in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2018

In addition to the above upgrades, NAV 2018 offers some more new features. In this context, for example, it is possible to change the role centre directly in the Web Client without logging off and in again.

Qlik Sense April 2018 – What’s New

Qlik Sense April 2018The new release of the data visualization solution Qlik Sense has been released with some new features and improvements under the name Qlik Sense April 2018.

In addition to improved map visualization, the new version includes the ability to support chart visualization, variable grid sizes in working mode, and the ability to publish Qlik Sense apps from within the Hub. Highlights of Qlik Sense April 2018 include:

Supported data visualization with Qlik Sense recommendations Qlik Sense recommendations make it easier to create visualizations by making it possible to quickly drag and drop fields onto the worksheet. The Cognitive Engine in Qlik, which gathers insights from the loaded data and combines them with best practices for data visualization, also provides the user with chart suggestions.

Improved maps visualization
Qlik Sense April 2018 also offers some new features for the visualization of maps. For example, the new release supports drill-down capabilities, multiple layers and labels for point and area levels. In addition, there is no fixed upper limit to the number of objects, countries, divisions, cities and postal code areas can be looked up quickly and easily. Circle selection with distance measure, layer control, zoom limit and draw order are also features of the new release.

Link the Qlik Sense Mobile App to third-party apps
The new version also allows the Qlik Sense Mobile App to interact with third-party mobile applications through a custom generated URL (“deep link”). The created link can be integrated into the respective external app with appropriate filters. Clicking the link opens the app in Qlik Sense Mobile with the filters and selections applied during the original presentation.

Publishing apps from the Hub
In Qlik Sense April 2018, created apps can be published through any stream the user has publish access for. After publishing an app to a stream, the app can be moved between all streams the user is allowed to use.

New grid size control
With the new release, the author of an app can choose between three different grid sizes creating a new worksheet. Available are the sizes “small”, “medium” and “large”.

Numeric Abbreviations
From now on it is possible to individualize currency abbreviations in the number format mode “automatic” – for example: Thousand, million, billion (instead of previously: k, M, B).

In addition to the features listed, Qlik Sense offers some other interesting new capabilities in April 2018, such as support for keyboard navigation and shortcuts in the Qlik Sense Hub or the ability for anonymous users to print and export data.

Qlik Sense April 2018

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central: Release in April

Microsoft announced the official name and release date of its new cloud ERP solution. Dynamics 365 Business Central will officially be available in April.

The cloud-based all-in-one business management solution, which was formerly known as Dynamics 365 “Tenerife”, will have the full functionality of Microsoft Dynamics NAV. The On-Premise version will continue to exist.

Starting April 2nd, Dynamics 365 Business Central will be available in 14 countries (including Germany) in two price packages: “Essential” and “Premium”. The “Essential” version contains all the key modules, such as those required for finances, operations, sales and customer service, as well as human resources, project and supply chain management, whereas the “Premium” edition has additional modules for service order management and manufacturing.

Business Central is intended to upgrade entry-level accounting software and ERP legacy systems easily and quickly. Updates are performed automatically by the cloud solution to eliminate complex upgrade processes. The basic functionalities integrate with other Microsoft cloud services (e.g., Office 365) and can be customized and extended with PowerApps, Microsoft Flow, and Power BI for specific, growing, and changing business needs.

Microsofts’ primary goal is to create a flexible cloud platform through automated tasks and workflows (using familiar tools such as Office, Outlook, Word, and Excel), networked data and intelligent technologies to offer users a standardized and efficient way of handling business transactions. The created company networking will be helpful to make informed decisions. Dynamics 365 Business Central has also a new modern user interface to provide a better overview and increase productivity.

Dynamics 365 Business Central
Dynamics 365 Business Central comes with a new modern user Interface (Source: Microsoft)

With the enhanced user experience, its extensibility, and the full functionality of Dynamics NAV, the all-in-one business management solution offers many benefits – particularly for companies, which are looking for a flexible solution that grows and changes with them just as their requirements.

Qlik releases Qlik Sense February 2018

Qlik Sense February 2018As the new release cycle claims, Qlik has published the latest version of its data visualization software Qlik Sense.

The new release offers the user some improvements and features for optimized analyses, evaluations and visualizations. Apps can be styled with a custom theme on a global or granular basis now. For example, you can change the colors of background and individual chart elements, specify font sizes and colors, and define color palettes and gradients.

Another innovation is the ability to use recommended associations to see possible associations between tables. This facilitates experimentation before actually applying any changes to the data model.

In addition, Qlik Sense February 2018 allows the creation of on-demand app generation solutions that support anonymous use. This extends the possibilities for publicly accessible websites and OEM scenarios.

Users of the Qlik Sense Mobile App will also benefit from the new release. The app, which provides full access to any Qlik Sense Enterprise environment and the respective apps on- and offline, was previously only available for iPad. With Qlik Sense February 2018, the mobile app is now also running on iPhones.

In addition to these new features, Qlik Sense February 2018 offers some more enhancements, such as improved data loading performance or new ways to query web hosted files. An overview of the most important new features of Qlik Sense February 2018 is also available in the following video:

Qlik Sense February 2018 - What's New

prisma crew signs partnership for the intranet solution Valo

Valo IntranetFor medium-sized companies, prisma csp, the subsidiary of prisma informatik, which specializes in cloud solutions, is now also implementing the intranet complete solution Valo Intranet.

Corporate news and events, internal announcements and information about the portfolio and business processes – it is not easy to keep social interaction and teamwork in the business running smoothly. No problem with Valo Intranet. The intranet complete solution helps to build a social corporate culture and supports employees with extensive functions in their daily work and communication.

Valo is based on Microsoft SharePoint and Office 365 and can be technically installed in the Azure Cloud in just a few hours (“out-of-the-box”). The swift and simple implementation enables a correspondingly fast introduction and implementation of team-oriented work processes. This includes, e.g. easy access to all areas of a modern workplace (SharePoint team pages, Yammer, Office groups, Teams, Planner), that clearly promotes teamwork.

Valo Intranet

With its attractive design, that can be adapted to your corporate brand without coding, the elaborate user experience and its full usability on desktop and mobile devices, Valo Intranet quickly meets with high acceptance and satisfaction amongst the employees. Continuous updates guarantee that the platform always stays up to date.

Digital transformation – in business applications as well?

Commercial applications have not been left out of the discussion on comprehensive digitization of our environment. While digital solutions are only now starting to take up a central and active role in numerous areas of our everyday life, e.g., autonomous driving, many operations of all serious companies and industries have been inconceivable without IT for a long time. In fact, these companies were the driving force behind IT development long before the private sector.

Digital Transformation with Dynamics 365

Today’s digital transformation is not just about technology. Rather, it entails a comprehensive strategy that puts organizations and business models to the test of implementing new ways of interacting with people, data, and processes. A significant part of the added value will be in the digital sector in the future. This has consequences, not least for business software. The roots of many ERP systems still date back to the 1980s and the systems have continuously been adapted over time to suit the respective requirements. Another update will not be enough to adapt the software to meet today’s requirements for the comprehensive digitization.

Why do we also have to rethink our business software?

Today customer relationships work more differently than a few years ago. The market transparency is many times higher and the opportunity to operate internationally has become much easier – competition is diverse. That makes it even more important to establish a stable and reliable cooperation with our customers, that guarantees the same level of quality across different situations. Studies foresee that the “customer experience” in dealing with a company is becoming increasingly important and will soon be just as relevant as “price” or “brand”.

Skills shortages are not an industry-specific problem. Our corporate resources are limited and the productivity of each employee is critical. Fast training, project-oriented way of working instead of controlled routines and teamwork across different locations are the keywords that now set the bar for the IT infrastructure of a company. Attractive workplaces must be modern and meet the desire for flexibility and mobility, which knows a new generation of private software usage habits.

Technology enables speed and flexibility. In today’s environment, the features a software should keep are changing fast. New business models emerge and increase competition constantly. Many companies are forced to act, to stem the loss of market share at least. Companies that offer their own new and better IT-based services can gain new customers quickly and offer well-targeted and individual products and services. With Dynamics 365, Microsoft has rethought the conventional ERP and CRM concepts and launched a solution that is well suited for a modern business applications architecture.

Continue reading Digital transformation – in business applications as well?

Offline Data Analysis with the Qlik Sense Mobile App

With the June release of its data visualization platform Qlik Sense, BI vendor Qlik introduced many new features. In addition to a revised release cycle and new features in the range of data preparation, visualization and predictive analytics, the new Qlik Sense Mobile App has been launched. The app is currently only available for iPads, but will be released for iPhones in February.

The native Mobile App for iOS provides full access to any Qlik Sense Enterprise environment and the respective apps. The powerful features of the QIX engine, such as the associative search, run directly on the iPad and remain fully preserved.

Using the app and doing associative data analysis is also available in offline mode. As the QIX engine runs locally on the iPad, a network connection is not necessary. After setting up the Mobile App and downloading the desired Qlik Sense apps, they can be used offline (e.g. in flight mode or if no Wi-Fi connection is available).

Qlik Sense Mobile App
Information box about the online / offline mode of the apps.
Qlik Sense Mobile App
Filtering for dowloaded apps and apps, which are still available for download.