3 achievable benefits of Dynamics 365 for businesses considering making the move to SaaS ERP

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Sup­port machine trans­la­tion: http://amzn.to/1Z7d5oc
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3 achiev­able bene­fits of Dynam­ics 365 for busi­nesses con­sid­er­ing mak­ing the move to SaaS ERP

At KPMG Crim­son­wing, our glob­al alli­ance with Microsoft and mem­ber­ship of mul­tiple early adop­tion pro­grams has given us valu­able insight into the pro­duct roadmap, spe­cific­ally around the latest release of Dynam­ics 365 for Oper­a­tions or “D365O” (formerly AX).

We have been imple­ment­ing what is now known as D365O in the cloud for some con­sid­er­able time. This doesn’t mean though that this new release has not man­dated a change in approach. Hav­ing com­pleted the first-ever UK deploy­ment of D365O for TGI Fri­days, and been sup­port­ing this for some time now we are well-placed to offer some insight into the pros and cons of this dis­rupt­ive change to the ERP mar­ket.

Today I want to focus on a small num­ber of the bene­fits of the move to an (almost) Soft­ware as a Ser­vice solu­tion for busi­nesses that are look­ing to make the move.

1. Access when, where, and how you want to
By now, many are aware D365O is a true cli­ent­less applic­a­tion. This can offer a sig­ni­fic­ant advant­age in deploy­ment as there is no need for costly and com­plex Ter­min­al ser­vices or oth­er remote con­nectiv­ity solu­tions.

Our cli­ents and deliv­ery team can con­nect securely straight to the D365O envir­on­ments using their favour­ite browsers from any­where and on many devices (as a side note – the latest updates have greatly improved the mobile exper­i­ence).

With recent releases, we have seen the per­son­al­isa­tion fea­tures we lost ini­tially being replaced with bet­ter ver­sions.

This was a massive invest­ment from Microsoft which is designed to deliv­er a tan­gible bene­fit to our cli­ents.

2. Less risk & more pre­dict­ab­il­ity with updates
Those involved in deploy­ing D365O will already be aware that the move to a Soft­ware as a Ser­vice solu­tion means updates come thick and fast – fixes, new func­tion­al­ity, mobile read­i­ness just to name a few.

This is only pos­sible through the adop­tion of a robust deploy­ment approach, adopt­ing Visu­al Stu­dio Team Ser­vices (VSTS) to man­age the code base and help ensure all updates are sub­jec­ted to rig­or­ous val­id­a­tion and test­ing pri­or to deploy­ment by both the part­ner, and also the Microsoft deploy­ment team.

Gone are the days of untested changes hit­ting your pro­duc­tion envir­on­ment and wreak­ing hav­oc and long days and nights to isol­ate and rec­ti­fy the root cause.

Changes can only be applied once they have passed strin­gent deploy­ment checks for both test and pro­duc­tion envir­on­ments.

New func­tion and fixes are being delivered to our cli­ents, safe in the know­ledge that they will not cause dis­rup­tion to busi­ness as usu­al activ­ity.

3. Class-lead­ing tools
As just touched upon, the use of VSTS to man­age the build and deploy­ment of your solu­tions can offer real bene­fit.

This is just one example of a num­ber of rap­idly evolving tools that are facil­it­at­ing faster and more effi­cient deploy­ment – Each of these deserves a post (or 10) in their own right, how­ever, I’ll focus on a few of these below.

Life­cycle Ser­vices
Cent­ral to these is Life­cycle Ser­vices (LCS). We’ve been using LCS from its infancy when it did little more than allow you to cap­ture videos of busi­ness pro­cess through task record­er – It has come a long way!

A few high­lights:

Busi­ness Pro­cess Mod­el­ler (BPM) – A cent­ral­ised repos­it­ory of core busi­ness pro­cesses ensur­ing fast adop­tion by cli­ents with min­im­al need for adapt­a­tion. These can then be used to provide inter­act­ive help to the end-users.
Asset Lib­rary – Mod­els and data are neatly pack­aged and can be deployed dir­ectly to our envir­on­ments ensur­ing a con­sist­ent build without the need for time con­sum­ing install­a­tion and con­fig­ur­a­tion.
Cloud Hos­ted Envir­on­ments – Gone is the era of a 5 day build. Now, envir­on­ments can be deployed (with the appro­pri­ate assets) at the click of a but­ton!
Power BI
Power BI deserves its own blog, and indeed there are many! The Power BI cap­ab­il­it­ies are only lim­ited by your ima­gin­a­tion.

Once con­nec­ted there are an increas­ing range of stand­ard reports avail­able from Microsoft and ISV’s. The licenses for Power BI are included with your D365O sub­scrip­tion – so it offers an extremely cost effect­ive report­ing solu­tion.

A few high­lights:

No Cubes – We have said farewell to the tra­di­tion­al cum­ber­some, unre­li­able and much maligned cubes that were dif­fi­cult to man­age and deploy
First Class Cli­ent – Power BI tiles are sur­faced dir­ectly in the D365O cli­ent, mean­ing no need to nav­ig­ate any­where else
Autonomy – It is easy to build new reports and dash­boards without the need for code. This means our cli­ents are empowered to write their own reports
One View – Data comes from mul­tiple sources and is com­bined into one con­sist­ent view. No more need to own your own Spread­sheet Farm” and the insights can be seen across the organ­isa­tion
Ask the ques­tion – Guar­an­teed to get an Oooh” from any audi­ence is the nat­ur­al lan­guage query. As long as you know the ques­tion (and the inform­a­tion is avail­able) Power BI can render the answer to the user (it doesn’t even need you to spell it cor­rectly!)
Register for our Power BI webin­ar here.

As with most things, there’s still room for improve­ment.
As is the case with many big leaps, there are inev­it­ably some chal­lenges we are still adapt­ing to.

Data Entit­ies: There are cur­rently some key data entit­ies miss­ing, which is prob­lem­at­ic for data migra­tion and inter­faces. Where this has happened there has been a need to develop these data entit­ies.
Odata: The reli­ance of Power BI on Odata can impact per­form­ance on a live data­base. This can be resolved by con­nect­ing Power­BI to your sec­ond­ary cluster (I am not going too tech­ie!), this does give a little latency in the avail­able inform­a­tion though.
Core Func­tion: When the RTW ver­sion of the pro­duct was released great swathes of func­tion­al­ity were in the ‘AX 2012 fea­tures that have not been imple­men­ted, but are not deprec­ated’ pile. Through the rap­id and con­sist­ent deploy­ment, we have seen a wide range of these been added back and improved and there is more (and bet­ter) func­tion with each release.
Alerts: A con­sist­ent pain at present is the pre­vi­ously widely used and cur­rently miss­ing alerts (due H2 2017). We took the oppor­tun­ity to develop some­thing bet­ter, basing the alerts func­tion­al­ity on the data­base log with Microsoft Flow dis­trib­ut­ing the alerts.
Apps: Finally, the expenses and oth­er apps are not ready. Our cli­ents demand apps, to allow them to run sim­ple busi­ness func­tions from the smart phones and tab­lets. We are using Microsoft PowerApps and the D365O mobile plat­form, to sur­face this func­tion. The jury is still out on which is the bet­ter long term solu­tion with both hav­ing advant­ages and dis­ad­vant­ages.
Over­all, D365O has delivered a major shake up to the ERP mar­ket. It has come of age and now offers a real advant­age over the tra­di­tion­al élite of the mar­ket, whil­st still being able to com­pete again­st the smal­ler play­ers.

Any­one con­sid­er­ing a tech­no­logy trans­form­a­tion should have D365O on their short­l­ist!

For more inform­a­tion, please feel free to get in touch: pkreuk­ni­et [at] crimsonwing.com

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Appoġġ ta traduzz­joni awto­matika: http://amzn.to/1Z7d5oc
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3 bene­fiċċji li jist­għu jinkisbu ta Dynam­ics 365an-negozji jikkun­sidraw jagħm­lu l-mix­ja lejn SAAs ERP

Fil KPMG Crim­son­wing, allean­za glob­ali tagħna ma Microsoft u s-sħubi­ja ta’ pro­gram­mi mul­ti­pli adozz­joni bikri­ja tat­na tagħrif import­anti dwar il-pjan direzz­jon­ali pro­dott, speċi­fika­ment mad­war l-aħħar ver­ż­joni ta Dynam­ics 365all-Operazz­jon­iji­et jew ““D365O”” (li qabel kien AX).

Ġejna tim­pli­menta dik li issa hija magħru­fa bħala D365O fil-sħaba għal xi żmi­en kon­siderevoli. Dan ma jfis­sirx madankollu li dan ir-rilaxx ġdid ma man­dat bid­la fl-approċċ. Wara li temm l-ewwel li qatt iskjera­ment tar-Ren­ju Unit tal D365O għall Ġimgħa TGI, u qegħd­in jap­poġġaw dan għal xi żmi­en issa ninsabu f’pożizzjoni tajba biex jof­fru xi ħarsa lejn il-vantaġġi u liżvantaġġi ta’ din il-bid­la ta sfrat­tu għas-suq ERP.