Cloud Budgeting for Microsoft Dynamics GP

This article will zoom in on your options for modern, robust budgeting in the cloud for Microsoft Dynamics GP. 

As Microsoft secures its spot in the global race to be cloud technology leaders, on-premise Dynamics GP users are navigating their varied transitions to cloud solutions. As we move toward the end of 2017 and look forward to new goals in 2018, budgeting is never probably that far from your mind if you’re involved in the process for your company. You have had options in the past, albeit not too many choices, but true cloud budgeting tools like Adaptive Insights and Host Analytics have been in the space. However, there have been challenges in terms of limited integrations to GP, with a not-so-friendly price tag. Today, new cloud solutions like BI360 Cloud, a solution that has a large following in the GP community, boasts better integrations than older cloud tools, more flexibility in the budget form design process, a large number of GP and BI360 resellers, and a price range that is more suited for the mid-market. This article will discuss what criteria should guide your search for a modern cloud budgeting tool for Microsoft Dynamics GP users.

This year, I made the transition from a paper planner to an electronic application version. The challenge I guess I’m still trying to figure out is how to sync all of my events, tasks, and calendars into one digital space. I don’t want to depend on multiple calendars, to do lists, and other applications to know exactly what’s next, what I need to do, or where I need to be at any given moment. I’m currently using an app called ToDoist, and I would rate it well, but it does seem simple – which is fine with me. In regard to budgeting and forecasting in the cloud for Microsoft Dynamics GP, there’s now a more straightforward path for the customer.

Similar to my goal to strike some synergy in the realm of my events, tasks, and deadlines, in terms of business, budgeting and forecasting managers and contributors typically go between multiple cloud or on-premise tools, like Dynamics GP, ADP or Workday for Human Resources (HR) and payroll tasks, a support ticket management system, Google Analytics to monitor web site activity, maybe an event management tool, and the list goes on. This can be frustrating to routinely maneuver through – to query the diverse historical data types you might want to include to accurately plan on an operational and financial level, in regard to logging in and out of your systems. With this status quo, you have to learn disparate web user interfaces and go in different directions to retrieve data analytics. Additionally, there are still many companies relying on homegrown budgeting and forecasting processes, so data integration is another challenge. Does that sound like fun?

I’m going to guess no. Regardless, budgeting and forecasting are necessary processes to staying in the game and making informed decisions about continued success for the organization. On any given workday, you could be pulling revenue and expense actuals, lead conversion monies through referral traffic or event attendance, e-commerce data through email opens and clicks, or any other project within your company. Furthermore, the business world continues to evolve toward interdepartmental budgeting for more integrated strategy at all levels.

This blog has covered the significance of a data warehouse to consolidate assorted data sources and disparate data into one place, but this has already been a must for smarter budgeting and forecasting processes. Today’s pre-built, configurable data warehouses, positioned within a cloud CPM or BI suite, deliver a unified space to house all of your important data from diverse sources, on-premise or cloud-based. However, another aspect to budgeting off of a data warehouse includes integrations.

Integrations are connectors for your enterprise technologies. You should invest in a budgeting and forecasting solution that provides deep integrations to your different systems, but especially Microsoft Dynamics GP. Some budgeting tools are equipped to connect to either on-premise or cloud data sources while others can do either – and flexibility will be key in this transition period, moving toward a cloud future. Different tools have better ETL (extract, transform, and load) and/or integration technologies than others to help you configure the integrations you require without much need for technical assistance.

Some corporate performance management (CPM) solutions are on-premise, while others are pure cloud, but some offer hybridity in terms of offering both deployment options. A data warehouse is essentially a requisite investment if you want to successfully manage budgeting from multiple cloud transactional system data. In terms of budgeting and forecasting with Microsoft Dynamics GP, you probably still want an application that is Excel-powered for your budget and report template design, but hosted on a web portal for easy end user access, allowing the budgeting team to contribute from anywhere with an internet connection, skipping over IT involvement because of the familiarity that Excel and web interfaces provide. The solution should be business user friendly, particularly in regard to securely collaborating. It’s important to identify what is of importance to your organization when it comes to effectively telling the story of the strategy. Again, the importance of the integration technology strength cannot be stressed enough in the ETL process for all of your different data types.

Budgeting and forecasting processes will only be able to grow in benefits and results when you are able to harness all of your data – from both on-premise and cloud systems – to plan effectively. In figuring out a plan for multiple software system management, you are probably going to need a solution that provides a singular platform for your diverse data types – due to modern, robust integration technology. If you have any questions, Solver enables world-class decisions with BI360, leading web-based CPM suite made up of budgeting, reporting, dashboards, and data warehousing, delivered through a web portal. Solver offers BI360 through cloud and on-premise deployment and is reinventing CPM with its next generation solution. BI360 empowers business users with modern features including innovative use of Excel in the model design process. If you’re interested in learning more, our team is excited to hear about your organizational needs and goals.

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