Have you seen us on the Microsoft Solution Profiler?
WebSan is one of the few companies in North America that offers a hosted Dynamics GP solution. It reduces your total cost of ownership vs. an on-premise solution.
Check out our web page regarding hosted Dynamics GP for more information.
There was a great article published on cpatechnologyadvisor.com late in 2007 that's worth showing here.
Here's the link to the article.
Here's the reprint :
From the Dec. 2007 Review of High-End Accounting Systems
Microsoft Dynamics GP continues to be one of the flagship products in Microsoft’s mid-market accounting lineup. Version 10.0 of Microsoft Dynamics GP, released in June 2007, only helped strengthen its already strong position in the market. Microsoft has improved Dynamics GP by continuing to focus on molding the user interface to look and feel more like Microsoft Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007. Previously Microsoft discussed plans to converge its ERP products on a single code base, however; more recently the company reinforced its commitment to support all four ERP products in the markets they serve, with the applications increasingly sharing technologies over time. The decision to keep Microsoft Dynamics GP appears to have given developers the motivation needed to take the product to the next level.
Modules/Scalability - 5 Stars
Microsoft Dynamics GP offers business solutions through components such as Financial Management, Business Intelligence and Reporting, Supply Chain Management, Project Management, Customer Relationship Management, Human Resource Management, Manufacturing and Workspace Collaboration. Microsoft’s mid-market ERP products all use a flat pricing model known as “Business Ready Licensing,” where the products are sold in one of two pricing bundles or tiers consisting of an entire suite of modules.
Tier one is the Business Essentials Edition for customers who need core financial management and trade functionality including Basic Financial Management, Basic Supply Chain Management, Basic Business Intelligence and Reporting, and Configuration and Design tools. Tier two is the Advanced Management Edition for growing, mid-market customers who are looking for an adaptive solution with a broad set of functionality that includes all functionality found in the Business Essentials Edition in addition to Business Intelligence and Reporting, Manufacturing, Advanced Supply Chain Management, Advanced Financial Management, Project Management, and CRM-Field Service and Collaborative Workspace. Additional components are also available a la carte for all editions to serve unique business needs.
With proven code and a wealth of modules running on a solid MS-SQL platform, Dynamics GP continues to be a highly stable and scalable solution capable of easily supporting hundreds of end users. Users will not be disappointed with the current available modules and the scalability of the program.
Usability/User Experience/Security - 5 Stars
With an Outlook-like appearance and the use of custom home pages for users, I found GP to have a very comfortable look and feel. Version 10.0 extended the Office look and feel beyond the home page to nearly all areas within the program. Home pages can be modified to include quick links to commonly performed tasks. It also lists outstanding “To Do” items, offers access to Outlook e-mail and calendar items, provides displays of quick business metrics and launches preferred reports. The ability to tailor custom home pages by user significantly improves accessibility. Other nice features include the use of toolbars across the top and a navigation pane down the left side that enables users to quickly jump to screens, reports and functions they use most often.
Data-entry screens were improved from prior versions allowing users to adjust the screen size, which was a common complaint in previous versions. One of the important enhancements that was made in Version 10.0 was the ability for users to have multiple data input screens open at once. This will allow users to minimize all other screens except the data-entry screen in order to operate more efficiently. Users can set individual preferences to highlight required fields on data-entry screens and underline fields supported by lookup lists. In addition, navigation, print and Help functions are clear and easy to access. Version 10.0 also introduced users to action panes and lists much like the look and feel of Microsoft Office 2007. Action pane functionality seems to be a key reason for upgrading to version 10.0.
Microsoft Dynamics GP’s tight integration with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server is another key improvement with Version 10.0. Integration with SharePoint is important for the workflow process that GP offers. SharePoint allows users to view reports in Microsoft Outlook without accessing the GP software. SharePoint gives users a powerful search tool that can be used with built-in filters to locate information in an efficient manner. Company data can be accessed without a GP license and without SharePoint. However, with SharePoint, it is much easier, and data can be rendered on a SharePoint page. Product security is comprehensive and well thought out, enabling administrators to control the use of the product by company, user, user class, function and field. There are over 400 different tasks in version 10.0, and many new roles were added. The new role-based security approach gives administrators the rights to limit users to only those areas in the system that is necessary.
Extensibility - 5 Stars
The core product is mature, and there is a large independent developer community. As well, a great number of highly specialized applications currently exist to help make Dynamics GP a strong fit for many industries including Education, Non-Profit, Professional Services and Distribution. These specialized solutions can be easily located on the Microsoft Solution Finder website.
Microsoft Dynamics GP 10.0 is a modern business management system that provides a consistent look and feel of Microsoft Office and extends access to business information through Microsoft Office Excel, Word and SharePoint Server and adapts to business needs through Microsoft.NET tools and service-oriented Web services architecture. For customers seeking deep vertical functionality, Microsoft Dynamics GP 10.0 has hundreds of ISVs (independent software vendors) providing enhanced solutions for a variety of industries and verticals.
Integration/Customization - 5 Stars
Dynamics GP seems to be very customizable and provides tight integration with the tools your staff already works with — Microsoft Office. Screens can be easily modified, enabling users to add or hide fields, modify screens prompts, change tab sequence and globally modify field terminology all by using the built-in Modifier tool. Version 10.0 greatly simplified the Extender tool set, a feature that allows the user to easily link additional windows into existing forms, expand note fields, add additional fields, and create data-entry templates and customize lookups.
The Integration Manager can be used to design re-usable import templates that integrate data from outside programs, and it has been improved in version 10.0 to take advantage of the eConnect code. eConnect code allows the Integration Manager to share information both ways with web-based applications. There is a preconfigured import available in the software that allows for importing of information from ADP directly into the General Ledger. The eConnect Enterprise Application allows for real-time access to Dynamics GP data. It offers a way to add up-to-date back office information to existing front office applications like web storefronts or service applications. eConnect also allows multiple applications to share financial management data. The eConnect interfaces can support a number of independent applications, allowing changes to financial data in Dynamics GP to be simultaneously available to all applications with an eConnect connection to that company in Dynamics GP.
Reporting - 5 Stars
Report Writer is a tool that is included with Dynamics GP. Users can also install the SQL Reporting Services reports, which use the reporting tool for the SQL Server database or use Microsoft Office Excel Reports. Users can create as many report options for a report layout as needed, but Dynamics GP comes with many report layouts and report options already defined for SQL Reporting Services and Microsoft Office Excel. However, if your business needs a report that is not among the predefined reports, numerous options are available that can help. The predefined reports can be modified and stored in the Reports Library for easy access. These reports have been modified based on the requests of customers. In addition to Report Writer or SQL Reporting Services reports, users can use Crystal Reports for Microsoft Dynamics GP to design new reports for Dynamics GP data using the industry standard Seagate Crystal Reports.
Support, Training & Help - 5 Stars
Microsoft Dynamics GP users have multiple means of getting the support and training needed. One of the really helpful features, especially with release 10.0, is the “what’s new” document provided with each new release. All product manuals are available in *.PDF format and are easily accessed and/or printed from the Help menu. Unlimited web-based training is available, which can be a valuable resource for you and your staff for module-specific training. An online knowledgebase quickly and easily addresses common issues. Microsoft also provides contracts for telephone support, and additional support and training is available through VARs. I think the Help, documentation and training tools within Microsoft Dynamics GP are some of the best of all the products reviewed.
Microsoft Dynamics GP’s latest release made more substantial improvements than any other software I have seen in this year’s review. Many of the usability issues that were identified in previous versions were solved with Version 10.0. Microsoft Dynamics GP remains a truly diverse and solid product capable of supporting large numbers of users across a variety of industries with strong reporting, customization and extensibility capabilities.
2007 Overall Rating: 5 Stars
I've been involved in IT and Supply Chain projects all over the world. I've seen projects achieve all of the objectives, come in under budget and ahead of schedule. I've also seen projects fail to achieve the benefits they set out to, or even outright fail to even work.
And what's the #1 difference between success and failure?
When I am contacted by a prospective client to discuss a new ERP system, I always make sure that the first meeting includes key decision makers. You may say, "well of course! You don't want to sell to someone who isn't authorized to make the purchase." And you'd only be 1/2 right...
The real reason that the key decision maker needs to be in the very first meeting is because if they aren't "driving the bus", then everyone will end up under it. What I mean is that technology projects are complicated and fraught with challenges just by their very nature. If someone at the top of the organization isn't driving the success of the project, then it will not work. It may finish, albeit over budget and over schedule, but I can almost guarantee that it won't meet the business objectives set at the beginning.
Sometimes a CFO or CEO looks at me funny during the first sales meeting because I've refused to meet with the "IT guy" and insist on meeting with them as well. After I explain the reasoning behind it and start the Q&A session that is outlined in the "Unlock Your Potential" program, they are always heavily engaged and demand to be significant contributors along the way. This is because we create value right at the very first meeting and if there is no significant ROI demonstrated right at the beginning for them, then it ends right there. No one is wasting time.
When the senior leadership is engaged at the beginning of the sales process, they can have a vision of the solution and understand the objectives right at the outset. We always make sure that when we publish the Project Charter, it states clearly what the objectives of the project are; not in "subjective terms", but in real, tangible benefits.
This way, when the project hits a couple of bumps along the way (they always do), the senior management team is aligned to the goals and objectives and the project is put right back on the tracks.
Depending on the complexity of the project, I also sometimes recommend a steering committee or program office be formed to manage the project along the way.
I'll get into those details in the next post...
The truth about large-scale technology projects is that the majority of them actually fail. In fact, studies show that 65% of them fail!
If IT projects were airplanes, no one would ever get on one! So why do so many companies venture down that road and why do so many fail?
Here's the answer to the first part of that question : because, to remain competitive in today's market, you have to leverage the benefits of technology. Performing every function of the company manually, or with Excel, is just too time-consuming and costly to be competitive.
The problem is that as companies grow, employees literally invent processes in order to accomplish tasks. These processes are mainly work-arounds to "get around" inefficiencies in the current ERP system or other people in the company. The fundamental issue occurs when a new ERP system is installed and merely automates inefficient, manual, processes.
So how do we ensure that projects are successful?
WebSan consultants have years of experience implementing ERP solutions all over the world and this is exactly why we've created the "Unlock your Potential™" program. We align strategic business objectives and growth drivers with the real purpose of the project: increase profits and/or revenue. Our comprehensive process starts right from the first sales meeting that we have with a client/prospect.
In my next post I'll go into more detail on our process and the benefits of it...
I've seen it numerous times...it happens in law firms, accounting firms, consulting firms, and any company where employees are the "product" upon which revenues are based.
The problem with the professional services industry is that a large key to success is cash flow management. That means that you must effectively manage the time between when your resources perform the work and when the customer pays. Let's take a look at the whole process.
Part 1 : Time and Expense reporting
To effectively get your personnel to report their time and expenses, it must be simple. Some of the ways to address this are :
- enable your team to enter their time and expenses through a simple to use web portal, or even a mobile device. That way it doesn't take a significant amount of time out of their day to "get their paperwork in".
- set up a process whereby remote users can simply mail their expense receipts to head office (or even scan them into a central server). The receipts should be indexed with the expense report number as well.
Part 2 - billing entry
- the time and expense reports should be approved by a manager, preferably online, and afterwards should move seamlessly into the billing engine
- the billing process should be automated from the time and expense reporting, with minimal, if any, manual intervention. We find in most professional services firms that this is an area where the most manual intervention takes place.
- if the invoices need to be approved as well, this should be done online and with workflow. This step is usually a "crutch" for poor time and expense reporting accuracy, so it's acceptable for this to be part of the process to ease the transition to a new system for management. After a while, however, this approval step should be eliminated.
Part 3 - customer invoicing
- during all professional services systems implementations, I insist on the client providing us 2-3 customers to interview. This is because the #1 reason why bills are not paid on time is because they are not clear and concise for the customers.
- invoices should be standardized, but can also be customized by customer. This is a service I would recommending charging for, but it can also reduce their time-to-pay. The theory is simple: if a customer gets their bill in exactly the format they're looking for, then why would they need time to reconcile it against their records? Provide as much information as possible, presented in a way that they want, and watch your open AR shrink.
So there are some creative ways to affect your cash-to-cash cycle, while improving customer service and reducing costs as well.