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hybrid cloud

There are more than 200,000 companies running on-premise ERP systems from Microsoft, Sage, SAP and Acumatica world-wide and many are not planning to move to the cloud yet. However, if you are one of them, this does not mean that your company can’t start taking advantage of modern cloud-based reporting solutions today to drive better and faster decisions for yourself and your management team!

Hasn’t Cloud-based reporting for on-premise ERPs been available for a long time?

Yes, vendors like Prophix, Solver, Vena, Adaptive Insights, and Planful (formerly Host Analytics) have offered both cloud-based financial reporting and budgeting for years. However, all of these vendors have typical corporate performance management (CPM) architectures that require data to be loaded from the on-premise ERP and into the cloud CPM tool before the user can run reports. 

The process requires a “refresh” of data from the ERP database into the CPM database which means that the data users see in reports is not real-time. This also mean that the drill-down on any number is only as detailed as the lowest level data that was loaded into the cloud CPM database. 

Your executives are often ok with this because they want to wait on their report analysis until the accounting team has closed the books. However, the accounting team that is posting transactions in the ERP system almost always prefers live ERP reporting because they want to immediately see the impact of journal entries in their reports. They don’t want to refresh data into a CPM reporting database first, and then wait one minute, ten minutes or significantly longer to run reports after the data has been transferred to the CPM tool.

How do I get true live reporting for my on-premise ERP GP data?  

The obvious answer is that you use the report writer that natively comes with your ERP system such as  Management Reporter, GP Report Writer, Smartlist or SQL Reporting Services (SSRS). However, at best, it would be safe to say that these tools have aged “gracefully,” and they are just not comparable to many modern cloud reporting tools.

Key weaknesses of on-premise report tools include:

  • Not particularly user-friendly for accounting staff to design reports.
  • Lack of easy and professional formatting.
  • Typically requires VPN or Terminal Server to connect to the ERP in order to run reports from outside the office network.
  • Maintaining multiple report writers for different data (e.g. for formatted financial statements versus sub-ledger transaction reports).

In order to overcome these weaknesses and help on-premise ERP customers maximize the value of their data a modern, cloud-based reporting platform, Solver has now launched what they refer to as “Hybrid Cloud Reporting.” You can see it live in this video. This is a unique integration technology that enables you to:

  • Use your web-browser to run beautifully formatted reports (looks like Excel formatting).
  • Benefit from true real-time reports on your ERP data without any data transfer to a separate reporting database.
  • Drill-down from any number in the report directly into your underlying GP transactional data. 
  • Easy internet and browser-based access with no need for VPN, or software like Terminal Server.
  • Enter budgets from user-friendly forms (looks like Excel) in the cloud and have the transactions stored directly into the GL budget table in the ERP database.
  • Be better prepared to move to a cloud ERP later because the reporting and budgeting solution is already in the cloud. 

In other words, now your accountants and reporting end-users get the best of two worlds by only needing a web browser to run live ERP reports and drill-down.

Below is a simple architecture diagram to explain how it works:

hybriddiagram

What about budgeting and forecasting?

Like many other cloud-based CPM solutions, Solver also offers budgeting and forecasting. With the new Hybrid Cloud technology and Solver’s cloud-based Planning Module, users can store budget data directly back from Solver’s budget forms in the cloud, into the General Ledger budget table in the ERP database. 

So, if you struggle with manual Excel-based spreadsheets for your budgets, you can save a lot of time by eliminating emailing files between users, linking between spreadsheets, and put better controls in place for the entire budget process with workflow and approvals. 

As an example, users can access budget forms like the example below with their browser and instantly, until you close the budget process, update their department’s budget in the ERP system. Since Solver’s Hybrid Cloud updates are real-time, reports can immediately be run to see the impact of these changes on the budget.

Enjoy Faster and Better Decisions in the 2020s

Companies like Solver, Prophix, Vena, Adaptive Insights, and Planful are driving the next generation cloud-based reporting and planning technology. However, with the lack of live reporting and live budget write-back to on-premise ERP systems, accountants and very active ERP users have been left with their legacy tools for their real-time reporting needs.  

With the release of Solver Hybrid Cloud, these users now get the best of both worlds and can start ushering in the 2020’s by enabling themselves and other users with faster and better decisions.  Learn more about the benefits of choosing Solver CPM solutions by contacting us today or requesting a demo. 

Supported ERP systems are: Microsoft Dynamics GP, SL, and NAV, Sage 100 (SQL)*, 300* and 500*, SAP Business One (SQL)*, and Acumatica*.

*) Direct budget writeback not offered for these ERPs.

 

While mid-market and enterprise resource planning (ERP) vendors offer native financial consolidation software, their limitations often leave users still in search of a solution that can produce.

Here are a few reasons why it has been difficult for ERP vendors to deliver the financial consolidation functionality inside the ERPs itself.

Common Limitations in Current Financial Consolidation ERPs

  • Problematic to consolidate across subsidiaries with different ERPs
  • Clunky consolidation process with too many steps
  • Manual consolidation adjustments, which can be tedious to post
  • Inability to handle different chart of accounts
  • Weak auto-elimination functionality
  • Limited currency conversion functionality
  • Weak financial report writer to produce the consolidated reports
  • Lack of dynamic pro-forma consolidations
  • Inability to consolidate across subsidiaries with different fiscal calendars

Overall, consolidating within your ERP system remains a clunky process with too many steps. As a result, an organization’s finance team ends up carrying out the process in Excel, where they are likely comfortable using formulas.

Your ERP’s Current Consolidation Solution

Even with many popular ERP systems such as Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations (D365 FO), SAP, Oracle or Workday, customers with significant consolidations and related financial reporting needs often end up depending on Excel, especially in the final steps of the process.

While ERP systems typically contain many consolidation features, and might even have a native Management Reporter that is an above-the-average report writer, it is increasingly normal that customers add on a “best-of-breed” corporate performance management (CPM) solution to simplify their financial consolidation and reporting software.

Modern cloud-based CPM solutions

Solver is an example of a CPM solution that comes with several added advantages, especially for Microsoft customers.

Advantages of Solver CPM for Financial Consolidation

  • Solution is cloud-based Azure
  • It’s configurable to general ledgers as well as sub-ledgers
  • It has a pre-built connector to Power BI for visualization

PowerBI_Dashboard_01

 

Some cloud-based CPM vendors like Solver now also offer an Excel add-in to give power users more flexible and familiar report design.  Additionally, in some CPM solutions, end users can still run the same reports in the cloud using their web browsers. They could do the same using their local Excel on the desktop connected to the CPM database in the cloud.

Additionally, modern cloud-based CPM solutions typically house advanced budgeting and workflow capabilities. This allows for a single solution and a single report/form designer for financial reporting, consolidations and budgeting.

Upgrade Your ERP System With Solver

To learn more about how modern CPM solutions integrate with popular ERP systems like D365 F&O and Business Central, Sage Intacct, SAP and Accumatica, click here.

Image taken from Shutterstock.

Image taken from Shutterstock.


This article will discuss leveraging corporate performance management (CPM) solutions as a foundation for an enterprise technology cloud roadmap.
I find myself thinking about cloud technology all the time these days. And this is particularly peculiar when I zoom out and think about how I was an English major in college. However, cloud is permeating the culture – both popular and business – and I can’t help but think about how it is changing the way we store, manage, and leverage data. I have even seen memes on social media that make fun of the fact that we keep so many pictures – “for what?” is the punchline. The answer is because we can, and our massive and growing amount of data doesn’t bog down our devices because it is housed in the cloud. Beyond that though, in the business world, cloud as a platform follows the consumer marketplace trend of subscriptions to outsourced services as opposed to buying something outright. This is such a major shift in the business culture, and it creates a more efficient relationship in the context of technology management for both the vendor and the consumer. This article will explore the journey of transitioning reporting and budgeting solutions to the cloud – and suggest a starting place.
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Cloud Reporting for IntacctThis article explores the cloud reporting options you have for replacing FRx and Management Reporter.
Sometimes, it’s hard for me to believe that some companies might still be using FRx, as the product was retired by Microsoft – and replaced with Management Reporter (MR) – years ago. But MSDynamicsWorld.com recently hosted a webinar about replacing either, and hundreds of registrants attended. When I zoom out and think about process overhauls or technology replacements that I have been a part of, for the most part, they generally haven’t happened rapidly. Also, we’re all regularly in the trenches of our jobs, in this case producing reports or consolidating company financials for an understanding of company health, so taking the time to research, watch demos, have calls with sales folks, and test the power and viability of a new product can be tough. But as companies look to replace FRx and MR and at the same time prepare for a future move to a cloud ERP system, we’re seeing a lot of finance departments take the first leap by implementing a modern cloud reporting and budgeting solution, proving that a true business improvement momentum is building in the enterprise technology sector. This article will discuss the power of cloud reporting options not only to replace FRx and MR, but also as a strategic catalyst for a bigger picture cloud technology migration.
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This article will discuss the process of preparing for a successful financial reporting implementation.

Image taken from Shutterstock.

Image taken from Shutterstock.


In the modern business realm, you cannot avoid financial reporting. Whether it is a homegrown Excel process, a legacy software program, an independent software vendor (ISV), or a native enterprise resource planning (ERP) report writer, every company is doing it. Investing in your first modern reporting tool typically means automated financial statements, accessible collaboration, modern security, and self-service analytics. Don’t worry if it sounds like gibberish to you. In this article, we will discuss preparing for your first reporting implementation so you are able to select the best reporting tool to navigate your organization in managing and analyzing data.
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Visualization has some beneficial side effects. Visualization improves your performance; helps reach your potential, increases focus, boosts confidence, and so much more.

Think about professional athletes. For instance, everyone from tennis player Serena Williams to Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was a world champion bodybuilder before he became an actor, have practiced visualization techniques.

It makes sense to apply visuals to your financial reports and presentations. Think about receiving a stack of spreadsheets full of data. Is this how you extract your financial analysis? This is where a dashboard comes into play. The amount of data being created every year continues to grow tremendously. If your organization wants to make informed decisions, your company leaders need to be able to access and interpret data in real-time.

The ability to act quickly on the data has become a competitive differentiator. A dashboard presents key data on a single page and uses visuals to summarize a large amount of data. In this article, we will discuss how dashboards will help real estate companies that are using Dynamics GP.

What are Dashboards for Real Estate?

Dashboards are defined as charts, graphs, and scorecards that convey data trends, successes, and problem areas with key performance indicators (KPIs), whether you are looking at a product, location, a corporate department in particular, or the entire company. Real estate companies can benefit tremendously. For instance, there are dashboards that allow agents and brokers to have complete control over how their listings are performing and dashboards that show an overview of the real estate projects that contribute the most to the organization’s revenues.

Dashboards can integrate your organizational data from multiple sources so that you’re able to see what the big picture will look like without having to access your library of applications and systems. If you’re looking for simple, but real-time analytics for your data, you can rely on the built-in dashboard functionality within your Dynamics GP system. Dashboards exist to make sense of your data in one snapshot in a customized format that enables the end-user to view any metric he/she wants.

Benefits of Real Estate Dashboards

With a dashboard solution, real estate companies can see their information organized into one location using visuals that improve operational efficiency by making more informed business decisions in a short amount of time.

Historical data can be produced to identify successes and challenges from the past. Also, real-time data can be used to forecast the power of current business decisions based on future organizational goals. Since company information is reported in real-time, any potential challenges can be identified and corrected to resolve problem issues quickly.

Additionally, it is common to have multiple, easy-to-read dashboards, as opposed to having one dashboard and packing information and visuals into it. This will allow your end-users to know exactly the information they find on each dashboard. For instance, a real estate benchmarking dashboard shows how you can compare the sales performance of your own company against the industry and a competitor, and a chief operating officer (COO) dashboard gives COOs access to a single view about the revenue-generating units (RGUs).

The right dashboard will transform the success in running a real estate company by identifying relevant information from your sources, predicting results early on, eliminating any inaccurate data, and enhancing decision-making for your company. Your company can track information over specific periods of time, monitor current company performance, and summarize important company data by using aesthetically-pleasing visuals such as graphs, charts, and other features. More companies are investing in commercial dashboard tools, but they are facing problems like information overload. If there is too much information or if there are too many visuals, your dashboard will not be easily readable.

How to Choose the Right Technology Platform for Your Real Estate Dashboard

There are several technology platforms to consider when looking to invest in a dashboard. Software that have Excel add-ins may be the easiest choice to implement due to how familiar the spreadsheet program and its functionalities and features are for people who already are familiar with Excel. Dashboards can be produced in the Excel spreadsheet, but interactive visuals are important to executives. An increasing number of real estate companies are looking for web-based tools, including browser-based dashboard solutions, both on-premises and/or in the cloud. Web-based solutions provide access from anywhere you have internet access. There are also mobile dashboard applications for real estate agents who are usually on-the-go and moving from space to space. There are a few independent software vendors (ISVs) creating mobile dashboards, with screen size limited to one KPI or visual each time. There are some dashboard software offerings that join Excel, mobile, and web types of data access.

If you’re on the management team for a real estate company, you will be able to monitor the top 10 projects based on sales, the budget, and the actual sales trend for each project, numbers of units added to inventory, number of available properties per month for a specific project, and many more. Dashboards enable your company to be aware and stay competitive with accessible and business user-friendly analytics. It will be important to come up with specific BI goals and compare with modern dashboard solutions, so you can invest in the best tool for your team. Modern dashboard tools offer powerful and easy-to-use features and functionalities to access, interpret, and understand company data for better decision-making.

Choose Solver for Easy to Use Dashboards

At Solver, we would be happy to answer questions and generally review our Solver Suite’s Excel, web and/or mobile-based, easy-to-use dashboards module (stand-alone and component) in the comprehensive suite of BI modules for collaborative, streamlined decision-making capabilities for real estate organizations using Microsoft Dynamics GP.

Solver enables world-class decisions with BI360, a leading web-based CPM suite made up of budgeting, reporting, dashboards, and data warehousing, delivered through a web portal. Solver 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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This article discusses next steps to take for your reporting and budgeting needs regarding Dynamics 365.

Microsoft unveiled their cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, Dynamics 365, just a little over a month ago. As a potential business intelligence (BI) customer, you’re probably curious about your reporting and budgeting processes in the context of moving towards a cloud-based ERP system. As you know, a new United States president was elected on November 8th, and as always with a new president, people are curious or worried how things will work out. If you are one of the approximately 85% of the world still using an on-premise ERP system, this same analogy can be applied to those who are planning to go onto a cloud ERP. This article focuses on the next steps to take for your reporting and budgeting in regards to Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 unveiling.
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This article will focus on the benefits of Business Intelligence (BI) for the sales, marketing, human resources, and information technology departments using Dynamics GP.

Photo taken from Shutterstock.

Photo taken from Shutterstock.


Each department has an important role in a company. As a department leader, you may know what your team needs to achieve department-specific goals. BI solutions that cover budgeting, forecasting, reporting, and analyses can help you meet those goals in an efficient and quicker way. For example, at my own company, the current team of department heads includes Nils Rasmussen for Sales, Gina Louie for Human Resources, IT Manager Allan Bacero, and Marketing Director Vanessa Sierra. I will cover four general departments that you would typically find in an organization and explore how a BI tool would help each department.
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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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This article will discuss your financial reporting options for your Dynamics GP.

reportingdynamicsgpYour organization needs a powerful and dynamic financial reporting tool to help you stay competitive in your industry by managing and analyzing your data without any disruptions. Navigating through Business Intelligence (BI) is much like maneuvering through the streets of a foreign country without a map or any directions. In this article, I will explore Excel-based and web-based financial reporting options, so you are able to select the best reporting tool to navigate your organization in managing and analyzing your data using Microsoft Dynamics GP. Read more