In 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.
For 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.
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.
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.
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.
On Directions EMEA 2017 in Madrid, Microsoft brought more clarity into its release plans and published the latest roadmap for its products.
The release of the new On-Premise NAV version is scheduled to take place on December 1st this year named Dynamics NAV 2018. Another release – Dynamics NAV 2018 R2 – will be launched in spring 2018, just like the full-featured Cloud/SaaS variation, which is still known by its codename Dynamics 365 “Tenerife”. With the replacement of the preliminary product title, a renaming of the products can be expected.
For the upcoming releases Microsoft announced again some interesting innovations and improvements. These include an even more intensive Office 365 integration (e.g. through the Common Data Service and the possibility to edit book sheets in Excel), an optimization of the Web Client and the visual appearance (e.g. personalization of the workspace) as well as new Standard Web Service APIs.
More information and details will be posted soon on this blog. All important product news will be also available for our customers and interested parties on our Business Day 2017.
A few days ago, Microsoft announced the upcoming release of its new business management offering called “Project Madeira”. The cloud-based solution will be released on the US market first, in the fall of 2016, and can be tested as a free preview up until then.
“Project Madeira” is an ERP service for small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) with up to 100 employees that interacts with Microsoft’s cloud platform Azure and Office 365. The product serves to execute business processes and is characterized by its high usability and simplicity, which are already appreciable during the systems very easy setup.
“Project Madeira” is based on Microsoft’s established ERP system Dynamics NAV, but limits itself to the most important base functionalities, what makes it especially comfortable to use. That means the solution focusses primarily on companies that have already outgrown their basic finance and accounting tools but are not ready to invest in an expensive, customized ERP system yet.
Due to the simplified and reduced scope of functions, users of “Project Madeira” will have to pass on many of the more complex features. So you can easily create, post, print and dispatch offers, orders and invoices but, for example, can only offer items (not ledger accounts, resources, surcharges or discounts etc.). Despite its simple structure, the solution – like Dynamics NAV – can represent many processes in finance and accounting, sales and even purchasing. “Project Madeira” also permits extensions, of which three are already available and installable in the preview version (PayPal, QuickBooks Import and US Bankimport Envestnet Yoodlee). In future, third-party developers (“independent software vendors”) will be able to develop new extensions and sell them to customers.
While the solution is functionally limited in many areas, it also offers other new functions that the current version of Dynamics NAV does not. “Project Madeira” features, for example, completely revised online help, integrated tooltips on table fields and actions, as well as a role center for the CRM module within Dynamics NAV and new “ready-to-use” permission sets. Another highlight is the ability to display items from an item list as large pictures.
The most impressive new feature, however, is the strong integration into Outlook or the Outlook Web App (OWA) combined with Office 365, which shows context-sensitive data about the sender from the ERP system. This way, users can create orders directly and send a corresponding e-mail with a PDF attachment without ever leaving Outlook/OWA.
With “Project Madeira”, Microsoft reveals the efforts they are currently making towards the logical continuation of NAV. The preview version of “Project Madeira” will remain available for testing until fall of 2016, afterwards the solution will be officially released on the US market first and then in other countries.
Keep checking here as we continue to post more about functions that will also affect the new Dynamics NAV release.
In many versions prior to NAV 2016, technical work had already started on ensuring a high degree of connectivity with the outside world. As a central ERP-system, Microsoft Dynamics NAV has the most modern technical standards, which enable it to exchange data with other systems in real time and to outsource processes unnotelessly for the user to subsystems.
By establishing a higher interoperability with other, above all specialised systems, it is becoming increasingly unimportant to include complex or maintenance-intensive and varying functionality as an individual programming in the ERP-solution. With the so-called Web Service Communication, associated with the XML-based data exchange, it is now possible to design processes synchronically in machine-to-machine communication. This concept has meanwhile become indispensable in many applications in modern ERP-architecture.
Expansion of the Development Environment
For this reason Microsoft is expanding the Integrated Development Environment (IDE) with every version of Dynamics NAV, to implement the design of the application and the process control function effectively with the latest technologies.
Since Dynamics NAV is increasingly positioned by Microsoft in a Cloud Operating Model, it is of greater significance that the solution operated in this way is not optionally individualised, as this will push the supply platforms to their limits. As such, also in the version NAV 2016 a number of innovations were introduced, which essentially target the backgrounds mentioned above.
Developers can now – as in other development environments – also query so-called “events” across the entire system in Dynamics NAV, in order to react in the program code to status changes in other areas of the program. With this technology it is possible to integrate additional functions in the individual processes, without directly modifying the core source code of the standard application. For the user and operator of the ERP-solution, this ultimately means that fewer medium and long-term costs are generated during maintenance work and updates.
Likewise, separated “Apps” can be installed in Dynamics NAV, which do not change the existing object model, although they do have an influence on the data and functional model of the application.
Microsoft not only updates the system “superficially” or in terms of “contents”, but also ensures that current technical requirements can be met. With version 2016, developers and designers are also provided with further high-performance tools to create specific applications, which are of great benefit to them in their day-to-day using.