Hanna Kim
Sales Forecasting and Analysis for Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Salesforce

This article discusses tools that will impact forecasting and analyses for Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Salesforce users.

Photo taken from Shutterstock.

Photo taken from Shutterstock.

If your organization has a sales and marketing team, and your organization wants to show your customers that they are a priority, a customer relationship management (CRM) software is probably a good thing to invest in. If you are not familiar with CRM, let me give you a brief overview of it, as well as examples of how CRM can benefit your company.

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Matthew Felzke
Data Warehouse and OLAP Cube-based Reporting for Microsoft Dynamics

How you access your data can determine the speed and efficacy you can achieve in your financial reporting processes.  This article will discuss data warehouse and OLAP cube based reporting.

Data is driving decision-making at all levels because data continues to grow in size and significance.  Logging, storing, and evaluating data has become a big part of the business culture today.  In order to produce rich, helpful financial reports for an analysis of a company’s opportunities and challenges, you will have to routinely store, access, and manage your data.  Because of this reality, you might feel overwhelmed your technology options for storing your data.  You have a few options, but they vary in functionality, and one might be better for your company than another, depending on what analysis goals you are trying to achieve.  This article will explore data warehouse and OLAP cube based reporting.

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Nils Rasmussen
BI360 for Microsoft CRM: Free White Paper

Every Microsoft CRM customer seems to be exporting data to Excel. Now, with BI360, you can have completely automated live Excel-based reporting for fully formatted and graphical reports. BI360’s Excel- and web-based report writer is not only easy to use, but is one of the most powerful reporting tools on the market. Its live integration with MS CRM delivers incredible flexibility and performance-driven benefits:

• Flexible, user-friendly report writer for your CRM data.

• Run reports on demand from Excel, web or auto-distribute reports by email.

• Any entries in MS CRM are immediately available in BI360 reports with no delaying transfer to OLAP cubes or external systems.

• Install BI360, download the pre-built CRM report templates and in less than 5 minutes start seeing your CRM data in ways you have never been able to before.

• Integration is out-of-the-box, with an interface to add custom CRM fields if needed.

• Pre-joined tables across CRM (e.g. Owner, Account, etc.)

• Pre-defined period logic (CRM date fields linked to weeks/months/etc. for easy reporting on e.g. trends, month-to-date, year-to-date, etc.)

• Get increased visibility and control of your CRM data and at the same time watch the sales team quickly become motivated to capture updated data in CRM due to vastly improved reporting output.

Additionally, BI360 delivers out-of-the box integration with the following CRM modules:

• Accounts
• Contacts
• Opportunities
• Leads
• Campaigns
• Competitors
• Products
• Quotes
• Sales Orders

For a list of FAQs, and even more options and examples for reporting, planning and dashboards that run live on MS CRM, get our free white paper here.

Nils Rasmussen
Solving the Classic Division vs HQ BI conflict with Multi-level Data Warehousing

In most mid-sized and larger organizations with multiple divisions, classic BI tools have never been good at satisfying both local division needs (detailed reporting, local budget models, etc.) as well as corporate HQ needs. In the screenshot below, you can see an interesting methodology where a company can install the BI360 data warehouse (DW) at each division as well as at corporate HQ and then transfer whatever interesting detail/summary they want from the local DWs to the central DW. Historically, this would often not be a feasible model when companies had to build homegrown, custom data warehouses from scratch, because it could get very expensive. With a pre-configured data warehouse like the BI360 DW however, it is very fast and low cost to install it anywhere in the organization where a data mart or data warehouse is needed. There are many other benefits with this multi-level DW architecture, including the ability to then use the same report writer, budgeting and dashboard (like BI360) technology everywhere, thus reducing training cost, license cost and more.

Nils Rasmussen
Solver announces BI360 support for Microsoft Dynamics GP Smartlist

Smartlist is a very popular query tool used by all Microsoft Dynamics GP customers worldwide. It has hundreds of useful SQL Views to allow GP users to filter and retrieve transactions from different tables in the GP database. BI360 now integrates to Smartlist views to provide an almost unlimited number of opportunities for business users to drill down from BI360 financial reports and into GP without having to create their own drill-down queries. For example, a department head can run a Profit & Loss report for his or her department, notice a budget variance on a row (e.g. Office Supplies) and with one click, drill down into the Accounts Payable transaction in GP and retrieve the vendor’s Purchase Order and see each line item on the purchase order. Not only does this provide instant answers to business questions without having to bother accountants and power users,  but it also does not require the user to have any knowledge of the Dynamics GP application, as both the drill down and the resulting view of the underlying transactions all happen from with the BI360 Excel-based report interface. 

For a detailed example of the BI360 integration to Smartlist, please contact Solver and ask for the white paper “Integrating BI360 to a Smartlist view”.

The BI360 Drill To function is available for all BI360 ERP integrations, including Microsoft Dynamics AX, NAV, GP, SL, Sage MAS 500 and X3.  and Epicor Prophet 21. This document provides a detailed example of how to integrate a Smartlist SQL view with the powerful Drill To feature in BI360 (version 3.5 and later) for the purpose of setting up a drill down rule that let a user drill down from a Profit & Loss report and all the way into sub-ledger (here: Accounts Payable) transactions in the GP database.