solver_awards_2016-045Solver Global came together at one location last week to host its annual Focus customer and partner conference at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines hotel in sunny San Diego, California. Solver kicked off the conference with two-day intensive training classes designed for beginning and advanced users. There were valuable information-sharing sessions that attendees came to expect with additional learning and networking opportunities, including a dynamic keynote speaker.   Read more

This article will zoom in on the impact of a data warehouse solution for manufacturing companies using Sage 100.

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Photo taken from Shutterstock.

Corporations use data to set and meet goals in order to stay on budget. A data warehouse is a powerful tool to organize and strengthen Business Intelligence (BI) analyses. A data warehouse (DW) is a multi-dimensional database that can store a large amount of data, collected from an array of sources within a company and utilized to guide management decisions. The information in data warehouses can be used for things such as scheduled budgeting, reporting, and dashboards or higher level performance data questions. They structure around the subject, so they focus the interaction through organizing by topic such as customer, product, or sales. As a manufacturing company using Sage 100, you may want to know the impact a data warehouse solution has for your company.
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This article zooms in on budgeting solutions for professional sports organizations using Dynamics GP, with a focus on planning processes.

 
How do you budget for your company? Microsoft Excel might be the go-to software
for finance departments, but Excel isn’t meant to handle planning for organizations of a bigger size, like professional sports teams. More Dynamics GP customers are choosing independent software vendor (ISV) budgeting tools for updating and enhancing their planning processes. Modern third party solutions streamline budgeting and forecasting by focusing in on secure teamwork. This article will discuss the impact of modern ISV budgeting tools, so your professional sports team can build modern planning processes with Dynamics GP.
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This article will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of Sage Business Intelligence and Third Party Solutions.


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Choosing the right Business Intelligence (BI) solution for your company is a lot like choosing what you need to eat for a healthier lifestyle. Is your company lacking nutrition? What does it need to help that problem and make better decisions? BI is an exciting realm to delve into because it does a number of things. It gives insight into consumer behavior, it improves efficiency, it increases productivity, and it turns data into actionable information. According to Gartner, the world’s leading Information Technology (IT) research company, BI is defined as “an umbrella term that include the applications, infrastructure and tools, and best practices that enable access to and analysis of information to improve and optimize decisions and performance.” The objective is to provide organizations the right knowledge in the hands of the right people at the right time to make informed decisions. BI increases the ability to identify trends and challenges, as well as fine-tune operations to meet business goals.
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This article will take a deep look at today’s best financial consolidation tools for Microsoft Dynamics SL users, focusing specifically on must-have features and functionalities.

Plenty of Microsoft Dynamics SL customers are overseeing financial consolidations for a parent company of multiple subsidiaries.  Aggregating company information from more than one legal business unit, particularly if there are diverse monies involved, can be difficult without a robust financial reporting and consolidations solution.  Data continues to grow in amount and significance to decision-making for the future of the business, so it makes sense that executive teams are seeking an easy-to-use software for the regular responsibility of data consolidation into a unified set of financial statements.  If it’s your responsibility to consolidate subsidiary information with Dynamics SL, this article will explore your options for easy-to-use, modern, and powerful solutions.
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At Solver, our partner-centric culture is one of the biggest reasons behind our success. Our partners help us deliver superior BI solutions to the marketplace in a way that just wouldn’t be possible through direct sales. We see our partner channel as part of our own organization and treat them like our own employees. In fact, I see our partners as the reason we grew our customerbase in record numbers worldwide this year. While North America and EMEA have been core markets since we launched BI360 four years ago, we are now also firmly established in the Asia-Pacific region, less than two years after we entered the market there, and we have started our roll-out in Latin America.
We’ve learned through experience that if you want to take your product worldwide, there’s no better way than through strong partnerships. There are a few reasons for this. First, they can be local everywhere in the world. They are literally your “eyes and ears on the street.” This eliminates the need for offices in every country. Partners know the local cultures, they know local transactional systems that we integrate with and so on. So if you’re going to succeed with a channel strategy, you need to consider your partner channel part of your own family, because in a very real sense, they are.
Lastly, I would advise anyone looking to develop a successful partner strategy to invest in them like you would your own employees. Because essentially, they are! They require the same training and need the same access to resources as your own staff. When you achieve that, you’ll achieve nirvana with your partner channel. Admittedly, we’re still fine-tuning our strategy after just four years, but I would say that we are well above most other partner channel-driven organizations in our space. I also believe a good channel strategy is a little science and a little art. The scientific part can be adjusted, tweaked and tested, and the artistic part is about connecting with your people to achieve mutual success. I’m always asking: how can I better enable my partner channel? And I’m excited to see the results in 2014!
Watch this video to learn more about our partner program offerings and reasons for success!

A recent article in Informationweek Software lists the top BI trends for 2013. I always enjoy reading these articles because inevitably I end up measuring our BI360 suite against these trends to see how we stack up. Pretty well, as it turns out:

1. Collaboration Goes Beyond Social: We certainly agree. Enterprise collaboration tools such as the BI360 Insight collaboration portal will become more valuable as organizations begin to realize the significant ROI that these solutions deliver.

2. Self-service BI gets real:
Here again, BI360 puts the power of BI into the hands of the end user. What’s more, Solver offers comprehensive support to educate and train end users to make sure self-service doesn’t mean do-it-yourself.

3. Dashboards will Evolve and Expand:
BI360 has an amazing dashboard interface that unifies all of your data into one, intuitive experience. Totally web-based, total visibility into your business.

4. Mobile BI Boosts BI Adoption:
This is a big next step for Solver and BI360 in 2013, and we can’t wait to roll it out!

5. Big Data Generates Big Interest:
Big data? We say “bring it!” Our data warehouse is a next-generation, pre-configured and customizable solution based on the world-leading Microsoft SQL Server platform… and it can handle just about anything.

6. Cloud Becomes Just Another Option:
Maybe so, but cloud-based reporting offers fast, secure, and flexible performance, with anytime, anywhere access to your reports. And, Solver’s BI360 integrates seamlessly with cloud data sources like Intacct, making it easy to enjoy the benefits of the cloud.

Here’s the article if you’d like to see how your current BI solution stacks up!

Budgeting is a time consuming and complicated process for any company. But when you’re talking about an international, distributed organization, it can be downright apocalyptic: different budgeting models, locally managed spreadsheets, individual differences in background data and calculations. Imagine being the corporate finance manager in charge of gathering, consolidating and deciphering that budget information.
Typically, I’ve found that these types of large, distributed companies could vastly improve their budgeting processes (and save a lot of headaches) if their budgeting solution addressed three key requirements:

1)  Excel-based: It’s the program of choice for any financial professional. And since you’re talking about different managers with different levels of computer and technical experience, Excel covers the bases for everyone.

2)  Retention of legacy data: No one can afford to lose years of valuable budget models and background data, only to start from scratch with a new system. When implementing a new budgeting system, be sure it can address legacy data retention.

3)  Complete version control: While companies want to retain their legacy data, they also need to be able to eliminate the macros and other complexities in the old budget models that led to higher risks of wrong data in the first place. They also need to enable various unique sub-models to comply with localized requirements throughout their business units.
Budgeting solutions like BI360 are simpler, more secure, and much more efficient. Furthermore, they greatly reduce the time involved in the normal budget-planning process. These budgeting solutions offer more visibility into the process as well, giving managers at the regional level better control, collaboration, and insight into the numbers that matter.
Check out more benefits of BI360’s budgeting solution here.

I was never completely sold on the social enterprise platform idea. The business case for replicating popular social networking functionality in a corporate environment seemed dubious at best. Would there ever be a return on investment?
That was until I actually talk to some users. Admittedly success depends heavily on the implementation strategy, but every company I interviewed claimed measurable gains from these tools in a variety of areas. Here are six ways they derive value from social enterprise applications.

1. Find Experts Faster

One of the most mentioned advantages of these products is the ability to quickly find internal experts. In fact, Jive Software surveys show sales win rates increasing an average of 23 percent, and time to find experts falls 34 percent. This is more than a glorified intranet. Search functions are powered by advanced social intelligence algorithms that allow users to quickly recall experts by subject, experience or geographic relevance.

2. Augment Transparency, Accountability and Communications Efficiency

Also, mentioned repeatedly, users touted the unparalleled level of transparency with socialized business. Conversations aren’t trapped in someone’s inbox, so management has continuous insight into the team’s progress. This prevents work duplication and redundancies because everyone is literally on the same page. In groups for project management, someone can enter the group and immediately have context into the situation just by scanning the discussion thread and checking attached documents — without ever sending an email.

3. Streamline Project Management

Social enterprise networks utilize all kinds of shortcuts to streamline workflow. One software developer told me they used social enterprise network shortcuts to facilitate scrum meetings, a key component of the agile software development methodology. Rather than hold their daily morning standup meetings in person, each member of the 37-person team posts “what I did yesterday,” “what I will do today” and “barriers to moving forward” using the hashtag #scrum. The tag allows users to quickly see what everyone is working on and chime in when appropriate. The poster can also delegate tasks to others with the “@” symbol. With some social collaboration tools, users can also employ shortcuts such as an “!” to pull information into the thread from CRM and other enterprise systems.

4. Better Leverage Information and Insights

The before mentioned social and adaptive intelligence can also suggest articles, files and experts based on the user’s position, connections, group memberships and resources they’ve previously accessed. (Think of Amazon when they say “those who’ve purchased this book also liked this one.”)  Imagine you have 10,000 people in an enterprise. Sales materials, RFPs are constantly flowing through system. Social enterprise apps make the most of this information by channeling it to the right people.

5. Generate More, Better Ideas

These platforms provide several means for employees to contribute ideas–from responding to queries and surveys (crowdsourcing), to posting ideas in a group discussion threads. Users receive gratification when co-workers and leadership “like” their contribution. Then, they are continually rewarded as they watch project teams bring the idea to fruition.

6. Boost Employee Recognition and Engagement

Some executives mentioned using social enterprise apps to pull reports that identify employees with high engagement and positive feedback. The more a user interacts with groups, downloads articles and responds to queries with the same keywords, the more they are distinguished as thought leaders on a subject.
The social collaboration software category is a quickly growing market space with a number of existing players like Jive, Yammer and Chatter, as well as new solutions such as BI360.
Research for this article was provided by Software Advice.