Archive for September, 2008

Partner event 2008

Back from Fargo from the partner event 2008. Ran in the sunrise scramble and came in 3rd place (think there was only 4 people that ran). It was nice to interact with everyone and was impressed with Frances Serrano’s moves on the dance floor at “Prom Night”.

Here are a few take aways from the conference. (blatantly plagiarized from an internal email from our CEO, Linda Rose)

  • If you haven’t heard Project Green is officially DEAD. Meaning there will not be a next version of the software that will combine all the products into one – the feeling was that it would just create a 5th product for Microsoft to support since no one would get off the ones they were on (Solomon, Nav, GP or Ax).
  • 64 bit for BP will NOT be supported – Microsoft will support SharePoint (WSS) and SharePoint Server (MOSS) on 64bit, but not Business Portal – which is an “add on” to SharePoint.
  • Version 11 of GP will feature some new forms in word – meaning you will probably be able to modify the invoices, etc in word instead of report writer.
  • No, report writer is NOT going away, even though they will come out with additional reports on SSRS. No official word on FRX yet, but my guess is it isn’t going anywhere either.
  • GP will NOT be rewritten as a Web application. But it will become more hosting friendly.
  • ERP will NOT be hosted by Microsoft. Only CRM.
  • An announcement will be made at Convergence about GP and CRM having some “out of the box” integrations – like accounts, addresses, etc.
  • Also the Migrations Team will do any and all migrations for QuickBooks, including changing the chart of accounts. NICE. (we just need to supply them with the info.)

Dictionary not loaded issues

Technical issue: Worked with someone yesterday that was receiving an error message when trying to access the vendor maintenance window. I’ve seen the error refer to security issues where the user doesn’t have security access to the form (at least in 8.0 and 9.0). This was a 10.0 install.

Troubleshooting steps: Looked at security and verified user had access to vendor maintenance form. Then verified the user could go into the window from a different computer with their log in ID so it had to be a code issue. I looked at the dynamics.set file and saw the number of products were not the same but instead of installing the missing products manually I copied the GP folder from the working workstation over to the workstation that wasn’t working.

Additional comments: I’ve occassionally used the same approach while installing clients with lots of 3rd parties and modules. Install a basic install of GP then copy the GP folder over from a working install (including service packs, 3rd parties, and additional GP modules). Works like a charm and saves lots of time on the installation process.

Consigned Inventory

I met with several CPA’s yesterday; discussing revenue recognition. Accounting for consigned inventory seems to be a pervasive nuisance. This is generally how I have handled it using Great Plains:

1.) Set up a unique inventory site for each distributor.
2.) Enter an Inventory Transfer Transaction to show the movement of items to a distributor.
3.) Enter a Sales Transaction when a sale is made to the end-user customer.

This process automatically creates the correct accounting entries to record the value and location of the inventory prior to sales to end-users, and properly records the sales in the correct accounting period.

This process has two weaknesses:

1.) The Inventory Transfer Transaction has limited out-of-the-box shipping documents. The In-Transit Transfer transaction in GP 10.0 improves on this a bit.
2.) Existing sales and inventory reporting to capture the inventory movements to the distributor may not be adequate, but I can certainly imagine that adequate reporting is available using SQL Server Reporting Services or some other reporting tool.

This process is easy to implement in Great Plains and can be embellished with additional reporting as required.

web 2.0 buzz

I’m in sunny Fargo, ND at a partner conference. Surprisingly good weather. I remember one of the worst flights I’ve ever had was coming into Fargo in a windstorm.

Several sessions have focused on web 2.0 and what that entails. My take on this new buzz word is it really is a lifestyle more than a habit or forced response. Connecting with people through the different media, interacting and socializing brings a lifestyle change. The way you act is deeply affected by this new way (relatively) to gather ideas, find and share information, and socialize with other people of like minds. Some examples of these technology include Facebook, My Space, twitter, linkedIn, etc.

Take aways I’ve had so far:

1. Be a more diligent blogger
2. Use automated technologies to make this new life style easier
3. Influnce others around you to uses web 2.0 technologies
4. Start simple and focus on a few medium
5. Expect results that will increase business over the long term by making this investment of time and effort

Any thoughts on how to utilize web 2.0 technologies?

Bottom-Up Collaborative Budgeting

Now is a good time to take a look at FRx Forecaster. The recent release of FRx Forecaster 7.0 provides a new user interface that is much more compelling than the previous releases. The new interface will make it much easier to get others within your organization to use the product.

I see FRx Forecaster primarily as a collaborative tool; the benefits of which, are realized when a number of people are involved in the budgeting process. If you are responsible for creating and managing the budget for your organization by yourself, FRx Forecaster is probably not for you. Continue to use Excel. But if you have several other people involved in the process, FRx Forecaster provides control and security that eliminates the headaches of managing dozens of Excel spreadsheets with countless versions.

FRx Forecaster allows input worksheets to be distributed to individuals in your organization so that individuals only get the information they are allowed to view and modify. Individuals can add notes and additional lines of detail and explanation, but cannot ruin the structure of the worksheets, that traditionally wreaks havoc on Excel-based systems.

FRx Forecaster also provides three small applications that can be used to walk individuals through the budget process. These include Fixed Assets, HR, and a user-defined model; that traditionally is used for sales, but could be used for other purposes.

More good news: If you currently own or are acquiring an Advanced Management (BRL) system, The FRx Forecaster Server and one user are included.

If you do not budget alone, check out FRx Forecaster.

Review Dave McClure’s review of budgeting offerings.

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