Hanna Kim
Common Management Reporter Challenges and Alternatives for Microsoft Dynamics AX Users

This article will focus on alternative report writers for Dynamics AX users who share common Management Reporter (MR) issues.

MRAs a regular subscriber to several Business Intelligence (BI) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) user groups, I’ve come across common issues regarding Management Reporter (MR) for those using Dynamics AX. In today’s business world, a modern, dynamic financial reporting tool is extremely important to making smart business decisions while developing your company and brand. This article will discuss the options for investing in a new reporting tool to expand your organization’s Microsoft Dynamics AX experience.

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Hanna Kim
Best Report Writers for Microsoft Dynamics Users Using Management Reporter

This article will focus on Management Reporter (MR) and the options for investing in a new reporting tool.

Management Reporter

Management Reporter (MR) is an interactive reporting application that was designed for business professionals that can use the application to create, share, maintain, and view their financial statements. Microsoft offers MR for their ERP customers as a native General Ledger (GL) report writer in Dynamics AX, GP, and SL, almost aided by the more technical reporting tool, SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) to solve ERP reporting problems. If you attended Microsoft’s Amplify conference in May this year, you probably have heard that MR will no longer have any major releases, but rather go into maintenance mode with only minor updates. In other words, the product is clearly heading for the sunset. Many companies who have used MR and its predecessor, FRx, are already looking for an alternative. This blog article will zoom in on the concerns regarding the impact of this change and the solutions to these concerns.

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Hanna Kim
Budgeting Software with Automatic Spreading (Budgeting Series)

This article focuses on budgeting software, specifically zooming in on the automatic spreading functionality.

Budgeting with Automatic Spreading

Budgeting software is one of the most fundamental and critical tools for managing your money. Think about all of the time and energy your company allocates to budgeting. I think about my recent car investment and all of the costs that come with it, including car insurance. I feel extremely overwhelmed just thinking about it, but knowing that there is a simple solution to budgeting calms my anxiety. Do you feel overwhelmed at work? You may feel like this if you are punching in your budget data manually. If you are working toward a financial goal or you are working with limited money, finding an easy way to budget will benefit you at both a personal and organizational level. In this article, we will be covering the first topic of our budgeting series where I will be focusing on an important budgeting need that a budgeting software can solve with corresponding features such as automatic spreading.

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Matthew Felzke
Gartner BI Magic Quadrant and Microsoft Power BI

In this article, the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence will be discussed in depth through a conversation that sheds some executive light on what it all means.

This past week, Gartner released their Magic Quadrant (MQ) for Business Intelligence (BI) solutions – and it has seemingly set the business world abuzz.  More specifically, Microsoft Power BI showed up in a major way in its first year on the MQ, so people are taking notice, consumers and vendors alike.  I decided that it would probably be helpful to get some perspective on what it means for Microsoft fans, non-Microsoft fans, independent software vendors, and the business world in general.  I sat down with the CEO of Solver EMEA, Johan Magnusson, to discuss Gartner’s BI MQ, and he had a lot to say about the MQ in general and how consumers should interpret the latest edition in order to make the best decisions regarding a BI solution investment.

Let’s talk about Gartner’s Magic Quadrants, the most recent release being focused on Business Intelligence solution providers.  As an independent software vendor (ISV) CEO, why are these important for consumers – and the marketplace?

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Nils Rasmussen
Microsoft BI Stack or Best-of-Breed BI for Microsoft Dynamics AX, NAV, GP and SL?

When it comes to selecting a Business Intelligence (BI) solution to get the most out of your Microsoft Dynamics ERP investment, you have four choices:

1) Use the tools that come natively embedded within different Dynamics ERPs
2) Extend or replace the native ERP BI tools with the Microsoft BI stack of tools
3) Implement a best-of-breed third party solution
4) Some combination of the three options above

These options and much of the discussion below would apply for any ERP system, not just the Dynamics (AX, NAV, GP and SL).  This decision has a critical impact on the success of an ERP/BI deployment, and is often not discussed as thoroughly as it should be during the ERP/BI pre-sales process.

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Matthew Felzke
Useful Business Intelligence Add-on Products for Dynamics GP

Ever wondered why third party products are necessary with all the features and functions in Microsoft Dynamics GP for data analysis and management?  This article will explore the concept of best-in-breed software for corporate performance management.

Recently, I saw a user on LinkedIn pose a question, asking fellow Microsoft Dynamics GP users if they had some documentation regarding why the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system needs Independent Software Vendor (ISV) products.  It was an interesting discussion, perhaps a challenge to ISVs, and a legitimate question for Microsoft fans.  Several people chimed in, and a couple recurring comments seemed to organically surface.

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Matthew Felzke
Project Budgeting for Microsoft Dynamics and Other ERPs

Project budgeting is a task that most companies have to tackle, in some form or another.  This article will address how to financially plan for special projects using Microsoft Dynamics and other ERP systems.

At this point, it probably goes without saying: budgeting is such an important aspect of corporate performance management (CPM).  In some cases, the quality of the budgeting process can be life or death for a company or a public sector organization, especially in today’s post-recession marketplace.  Budgeting and forecasting for an entire organization is a routine process and generally involves many moving parts to come together, linking actual data and projections for the upcoming fiscal year.  However, sometimes a company or a professional will have to budget for a specific task or project.  Whether you are a professional managing one or more projects, a consultant calculating billable hours, or a freelancer putting together a bid for a job, project budgeting becomes a relevant Business Intelligence (BI) term in your job.

Solver COO Corey Barak gives some tips when considering project budgeting solutions.

Last month, I had a conversation with a management consultant who had the task of bringing a company into the 21st century in terms of Business Intelligence.  He was in the beginning stages of the project, and he did not know if he was going to find a comprehensive BI suite of tools for simultaneous implementation that would meet the financial goals of the organization for this initiative.  We got to talking about the structure of budgeting for a consultant of his sort – and that naturally segued into a full-fledged conversation about project budgeting.  He said that, in his experience, most people understand it as a fuzzy art at best, but in practice – and with the right tool, it can be significantly more accurate than widely perceived.

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Matthew Felzke
Live Reporting for Microsoft Dynamics vs. Data Warehouse and OLAP

Data integrations can be confusing, and they make a difference when picking the right BI tool.  This article will discuss the difference between live reporting for Microsoft Dynamics versus data warehouse or OLAP cube integrations.

Data, data, data.  These days, companies are swimming in it.  Transactional and operational information is a required aspect of conducting business these days – for many reasons, but perhaps, especially when it comes to making important decisions about the future of the company.  Business Intelligence (BI) involves analysis of enterprise data for understanding of trends and trajectories, successes and failures, as well as related planning or forecasting for the fiscal year.

Whether a company is using an OLAP cube or some sort of data warehouse, important company facts and figures, such as transactions, personnel information, and inventory, are used in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems and BI tools like financial report writers, budgeting solutions, and dashboards.  When selecting which BI tool to use, an important question arises pretty early in the selection process: is it more advantageous to integrate live to and from ERP systems like Microsoft Dynamics, Sage, Acumatica, or SAP Business One, or to integrate to a BI data storage option?

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Process Oriented Business Intelligence

Today, I read one of the best BI articles I have seen in a long time. It was called “Process-Oriented BI: Navigating the Road of Continuous Improvement”. The essence of the article is about how far you should be able to take BI these days by:
1) End-to-End Business Process Knowledge
2) Continuous Improvement Mindset
3) BI Capabilities of Operations
4) Data Governance Discipline
5) Data Latency Reduction

I encourage you to read the article and think about your own organization and what BI could do for you had the right BI tools and your organization was properly prepared. There is no doubt that the impact would be powerful and lasting for the business operations as well as for the bottom line.

With BI360, we have eliminated the classical barriers between “corporate BI” and operational BI, by enabling both real time reporting and data warehouse-based reporting, consolidations and planning. And, just as important, we have strived to provide you with user-friendly interfaces that any business user can manage without the assistance of IT or BI experts.

You can read the full article here: