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Friday, 11 November 2011 15:10

5 tips for maintaining Microsoft Dynamics GP

You finally have Microsoft Dynamics GP and now you are ready to explore the wonderful world of online accounting software which is good and all but while you’re having lots of fun using the different applications it provides, don’t forget that you have to maintain it! Here are five tips to help you maintain Microsoft Dynamics GP.

1. SQL Backup

Make sure you create SQL backups of every database on your server. It’s recommended that you performed full backups or you have the option of full backups with transactions log backups, but it’s ultimately your choice. You also need to back up Dynamics databases, Company (s) databases and Model database.

2. File Backup

SQL aren’t that only backups that you have to do, don’t forget the other multiple files that need backing up to. For example any folder that ends in dic, set or config and all the other folders including subfolders. The <DATA> folder is included in the backup process as well as Dex.Ini that is located in the <DATA> folder for example OLEPath, OLEPathHR, Word Macro File etc.; I have one more suggestion, backup any files in the manuals of any add-on products.

3. Schedule your backups

Schedule backups for SQL and Files as needed. But remember the more backups you have the more chances that if information were to get lost it would be low. You should have automatic scheduling for backups. This is to ensure that backups are completed, don’t believe me? Check the transaction log because it keeps a record of backups done.

4. Monitor your backup jobs

Keep track of the backups that are being done, even if you have written it down in your calendar. It’s just to make sure everything is going smoothly. A really good thing about Microsoft Dynamics GP is that you can program your SQL server to notify you if the backup fails.

5. Test your backups

Even though you can automatically schedule backups, once in a while test your backups just to make sure everything is getting backed up. A good way to test a SQL backup is to restore the backup to another server.

By: Natalie Williams, Marketing Coordinator, Websan Solutions Inc., a Canadian Certified Microsoft Dynamics Partner

Friday, 30 September 2011 09:50

Are IT projects really ticking time bombs?

I recently read an article in the Toronto Star titled “IT projects are ticking time bombs.”

The article cited a study at Oxford University where they found that 17 percent of IT projects were so mismanaged that they had “average cost overruns of 200 per cent….”

After reading the article, I spent some time thinking about the IT projects I’ve been involved in over the years, from the large, multi-million dollar SAP projects to the smaller, 5-15 user Dynamics GP projects. I’ve had my share of smooth go-lives and my share of “rough” projects. One common theme with the projects that run smoothly is that an unbreakable link exists between the project team and their vision of what they’re working on and the overall business goals for the project.

It’s somewhat human nature, really. If we understand the “why” of what we’re doing, then the “what”, and “how” are easier to understand and “get behind.” I’ve seen projects with great potential and a really strong business case go off the rails because the executives didn’t effectively communicate to the project team what the real goal was. If the project team and leaders have “context” by which to understand the purpose behind the project, the odds of success rise dramatically.

There are obviously numerous other factors that affect the outcome of an IT project (which I’ve written about in the past), but I come back to executive involvement and leadership as the #1 factor in project success.

I’ve even seen “rough” projects continue off the rails for months and even years until a new executive comes on board in the company to “take charge” and rally the troops around fixing the problems that exist. In fact, it amazes me every time how rapidly the issues actually get resolved, once a strong leader puts their weight behind identifying the problems and assigning clear accountability for their resolution.

One of the things I look for when selling software to a new prospect is a strong leader. We even had a Client executive bring his entire team to our office this week just to “see the whites of our eyes” and have his team meet ours before moving forward with us. To me, that’s a sign of a strong leader who understands what it takes to deliver a successful IT project.

So perhaps some IT projects are ticking time bombs, but all bombs can be diffused by the right person with the right tools and attitude.

By Andrew King, Managing Director, WebSan Solutions Inc.

We all know that the economy is not in the best shape. Some companies are forced to downsize due to insufficient revenue in these times. Anywhere that they can cut cost is a benefit to them, that’s why many companies are now deciding to use Saas (Software as a service). Just because a company may be downsizing doesn’t mean their data and files do, so they still need software to store their information. The great aspect about Saas is that instead of spending money on hardware, installation and maintenance you have the advantages of having your company records, data and information web based.

If you can save money in you IT spending and still have the advantages of data being backed up, disaster recovery and long term record retention, wouldn’t you do it? But maybe you’re a smaller company and your IT department consists of only you. Then you should get your core business applications hosted in the “Cloud”. You still have access to everything in your database; the only difference is that it’s through the internet. Now you might ask, “What kind of software would be a good choice to leverage as a hosted solution?”

Microsoft Dynamics GP online accounting software gives companies the flexibility to customize the software based on their needs and requirements. It’s one of the most capable and sophisticated business accounting solutions for small to medium business, now available in the Cloud. No need to install software on users’ laptops or worry about keeping the system updated with the latest patch.

Investing in Online Dynamics GP is a good investment in your business; it puts your finance department on the same wavelength with other department and keeps your general ledgers, payables and receivables, budgeting, collections management highly organized.

For more information about Microsoft Dynamics GP click here

By Natalie Williams, Marketing Coordinator, WebSan Solutions Inc., a Canadian Certified Microsoft Dynamics Partner

A CEO plays one of the most important roles in a business and has a tremendous amount of responsibility. So some people may say, “I would never want to be a CEO, it’s just too much”. But I say, “If you increase your business intelligence using Microsoft GP, it is a breeze.” Now you’ll have more knowledge to:

Make better business decisions

  • You don’t have to solely rely on advisors, consultants and employees because you have educated yourself about what’s been going on in the company.

Use a tool you are already familiar with to reduce operational costs

  • With more than 200+ built in Excel reports it is easier to observe changes in the company and react to market conditions rapidly.

Achieve your budget and forecast targets more consistently

  • Productivity improves because budgeting will be more accurate and planning will be more organized.

Be notified about key changes in your business rapidly

  • Be anywhere in the world and enable the system to alert YOU proactively when key metrics change

With this new found awareness it is easier to track many things in your company using Microsoft GP. If this has not persuaded you to at least see what Microsoft Dynamics GP can do for you, then I’m assuming you’re already profitable and as happy as you can be.

By Natalie Williams, WebSan Solutions Inc., a Canadian Certified Microsoft Dynamics Partner

A couple of days ago I blogged about the transition from paper to the digital age. Now, it's time to familiarize yourself with the eBanking capabilities in Dynamics GP.

For those who don't know, more and more businesses are relying on electronic funds transfer or EFT to pay their bills. The most obvious reason is that it is just plain easier. However, it also automates the process of sending and receiving payments, provides an electronic record of payment and some vendors may even offer better terms for EFT payers due to typically shorter wait times for payments and less paperwork on their end. Work smarter and faster by accessing transaction information online and applying transaction accounts when they occur, rather than days or weeks later.

With eBanking in Dynamics GP EFT, you can:

  • Manage your financials more effectively
  • Reduce administrative expenses
  • Improve Productivity
  • Increase your financial security
  • Access decision-driving information online

The comprehensive eBanking tools in Microsoft Dynamics GP improves overall efficiency within an enhanced security environment. By automate your company's critical banking activities and interact with your bank electronically saves your company and yourself time and money.

Many companies have started to embraced enterprise resource planning (ERP) in order to maintain their competitiveness. They have quickly learned a fundamental truth: technology can move a company forward only as far as its business processes will allow.

Amongst most organizations, paper or hard copies is the principal format for sharing invoices and associated documents for approval. Paper processes generates uncertainty and blind spots in a business. An example could be your Accounting department. Accounting has no way of knowing where a paper invoice resides on someone’s draw or desk after it is sent around for approval, nor how long it will sit there. Executives are unable to make accurate financial predictions because they see only completed transactions—not those in process, floating somewhere in the company’s structure.

With paper processes restraining the real value of a paperless ERP for companies large and small, the need for a way to automate the transformation of paper documents into digital data and to manage the resulting documents has prompted technology developers to innovate a new generation of devices and services. This is where Hosted Microsoft Dynamics GP comes in.

The next technological move from paper format is for companies and their accounting departments to consider is the cloud—online services that can dramatically reduce the costs of technology. Instead of a company’s investing more in its own infrastructure—additional servers, software, networking and maintenance—it can turn to the cloud for the applications it needs. By integrating your company with the Microsoft Dynamics cloud platform, it easily scales with your company’s needs and automatically upgrades as innovations evolve.

To help your company get away from paper and into the clouds, contact us here.

The rise of cloud computing has led to a strong push from many companies to adopt security and data portability in a cloud environment. Cloud computing, otherwise known as SaaS (Software-as-a-Service), allows you to have your data and applications available to you virtually anywhere via the Internet.

Companies large and small are looking to the cloud as their future. All of this sounds good right? The only problem is that these companies cannot carefully self-manage their own IT projects to fulfill their future needs; projects grow in size and costs eventually run over budget.

There is a solution. When partnering with an experienced vendor such as WebSan Solutions Inc., your company will experience distinguished service and support when moving to the cloud.  WebSan Solutions Inc. will strive to use our leading solutions to your company’s benefit in order to make the transition smooth and help your company move forward.

Cloud Dynamics GP is crucial for companies looking to propel forward but don’t get lost while you’re in the transition.

Contact us here to learn how we can help.

The release of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 R2 is very feature rich.  Of all the features, there are a few that really stand out and that you should know about.

We’ve compiled a list of the top three enhancements of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 R2 based on feedback we’ve receive from our clients. Their willingness to help us enhance our services makes this a more complete solution for small and medium-sized businesses, putting you in a better position to enhance your organization successfully.

SQL Server Reporting Services - Create report packages with predefined settings so that your employees can use the work independently.

Word Templates - Amped up even more templates, the ready to use Word forms now include orders, invoices and returns.

Smart List Builder - Publish multiple Excel reports at once. You can use the new Bulk Deploy Excel Reports window and select multiple Excel reports to publish at once, rather than publishing them individually.

We encourage you to share your thoughts and reactions with us at any time.

Are you ready? It was just announced that Toronto will play host to one behemoth conference in 2012. This will be the second time Toronto will play host to the conference since 2004. Microsoft Corp. said it plans to hold its Worldwide Partner Conference from July 9 to July 13. More than 15,000 people are estimated to attend the conference in Toronto which will represent over 130 countries in the technology industry. While this year’s 2011 Worldwide Partner Conference is currently wrapping up in Los Angeles, we Canadians are already excited for 2012.

Imagine a world where Microsoft Dynamics GP and mobile applications merged. No, this idea isn’t just in the ‘clouds’, it’s actually coming sooner than you think.  

Launching as a Blackberry App for Blackberry devices, the application works with the familiar Dynamics GP platform and gives its clients the power of accessing their Dynamics accounting system while on-the-go. 

The highlights of Dynamics Insight develop upon the Microsoft Dynamics GP solution with on-the-go features.

These features include:

  • Ability to check for upcoming reminders
  • Monitor and access your KPI’s
  • View company metrics at any time.

Business has evolved since the introduction of the Internet - business is indeed faster, stronger and more efficient. Information needs to be communicated faster but most importantly, to the right people. WebSan Solutions Inc. makes it easier to do so by simplifying the solution and ‘unlocking your systems potential’.

Click here for more information on Dynamics Insight.

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