Dynamics GP EDI, Dynamics ERP Integration, Dynamics User Groups

I had hoped that over the weekend that the GP 2013 announcements would be flying around, but the weekend passed with no mention of the release. But good news today from Microsoft that GP 2013 is scheduled for release on December 19th. Two weeks is a good amount of time to keep the momentum building. Errol Schoenfish published some interesting stats last week on the Inside Microsoft Dynamics GP blog in regards to the momentum leading up to the release since mid-September:

  • 450 partner attendees at Technical Airlift
  • 750 beta downloads
  • 400 partner attendees at Partner Pre-Sales Roadshows across 11 locations
  • 550 customer attendees at GPUG customer event

If you haven’t participated in any of these goings-on, there are numerous resources out there to take advantage of, including:

Make sure you check out the GPUG Resource site soon as they have a packed agenda for their Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 Webinar Series. This series includes 14 webinars to assist you and your teammates on important topics relative to GP 2013. This week’s webinars include:

Until December 19th….

Dynamics GP EDI, Dynamics ERP Integration, Dynamics User Groups

This morning the GPUG Summit kicked off with an "Ask the Experts" roundtable discussion that featured 6 Microsoft Dynamics GP MVPs and the GPUG All Stars - Charles Allen, Frank Hamelly, Leslie Vail, Mark Polino, Mariano Gomez, Bob McAdam, John Lowther, Zubin Gidwani. These rountable sessions are a great opportunity to ask some of the most knowledgeable folks in the industry your GP-related questions. With around 125 new features/functions coming out with GP 2013, there's alot to be asked within the community!

Some enlightening information coming from the session's polls:

Poll question: "How ready are you for GP2013?"
42% moderately prepared

Poll question: "How long has your company used GP?"
10+yrs took the lead with approx 38% of the vote; 5-10yrs was second

Poll question: "When will you upgrade to #GP2013?"
Within 12 Months led the poll with 32%
12-18mths came in 2nd

Thanks to all the experts that participated. We also learned that Dynamics Communities has a goal of 1/1/2013 to have GP 2013 running in house, so we're all looking forward to hearing more from them on that experience.

Hope to see everyone again at the next GPUG Summit next year in Tampa! While you're in the GPUG spirit, go ahead and register for GPUG Summit 2013 today!

Applause, Applause! Congratulations to our colleagues, Joris de Gruyter and Brandon George, who were recently awarded with the Most Valuable Professional (MVP) designation by Microsoft.

This honor is given to professionals who share their passion for and real-world knowledge of Microsoft products with the technology community. Joris and Brandon are two of the four MVPs in the U.S. who are focused on Microsoft Dynamics AX. For those that don’t know Joris, he is a Microsoft Dynamics AX senior developer at Sikich LLP and Brandon George is Chief Solutions Architect/Owner at IDB Solutions, and both serve many other roles within the Dynamics community.

It’s always great to see colleagues recognized and while congratulating them, I also took the opportunity to ask a couple questions. First, I wanted to know once you become a MVP, what does it mean as far as meeting and networking with other MVP’s across the Microsoft Ecosystem? And do MVPs have access to inside scoop at Microsoft that they otherwise would not have had access to?

I learned that yes, once you become an MVP you get invited to focused meetings where you can provide feedback or ask questions directly to the specific Microsoft product groups. There are also resources to contact other MVPs in other product categories for networking and knowledge sharing purposes. Both Brandon and Joris emphasized what a valuable experience this is, and Joris noted that in this group, if someone asks a question, it will definitely be a tricky one!

I then went on to ask them that besides being a highly-notable title, “What does the MVP status mean to you and the community members you deal with on a daily basis?”

Joris responded, “Contributing to a community typically means you are donating your time and experience and sharing it voluntarily with the rest of the community. Some of those contributions can be small and quick, for example typing up a quick answer to a forum post during a coffee break. Other contributions - for example detailed blog posts or complicated forum questions/answers - take longer which is usually something that we do in our spare time. Receiving feedback from the community makes this all worthwhile. People email me saying they were able to learn a new feature they didn’t know about, or found an answer or walkthrough for something they have been struggling with. That is what keeps us going, knowing that you are in fact helping someone. Bottom line, to me it is a great motivator.”

Brandon responded much of the same, noting, “There are so many people that add to the body of knowledge that is the Dynamics Community and that's such an encouragement. Further, to my customers and others in the community, it's a signal that sharing knowledge, instead of shying away from such efforts, is a rewarding process. It's rewarding in the feeling from helping others, it's rewarding in being listed within an elite group of Dynamics Pros, and finally it's rewarding to customers in recognition of the dedication MVP's have towards the overall growth and success of the community at large.”

Joris and Brandon share the feeling that the MVP award from Microsoft sends the message that they understand the value of their products partly relies on community-supplied documentation and support. And this MVP recognition communicates that Joris, Brandon and the other awarded professionals are helping partners and customers use these products successfully.

Congratulations to all of the MVPs! Thank you for all the knowledge and passion to share with the entire Dynamics community!

Make sure to visit Joris's Blog, Dynamics Ax Musings, and Brandon's Dynamics AX Blog to take advantage of what these MVP's are sharing with the community.

Dynamics AX EDI, Dynamics GP EDI, Dynamics NAV EDI, Dynamics ERP Integration, Convergence 2012, Dynamics User Groups

Yesterday's PreGAME events offered a partner-focused opportunity for networking and learning prior to the major Convergence 2012 events kicking off. And not to be outdone, today end users have the same opportunity to engage with other Dynamics Users at the Dynamic Communities-hosted DayONE events.

The AXUG, NAVUG and GPUG DayONE events will offer a content-packed afternoon of insightful sessions and networking opportunities with fellow Dynamics Users. In addition to a variety of User-led breakout sessions and interactive discussions, DayONE participants will also get the inside scoop from top dogs at Microsoft and have the opportunity to provide product feedback directly to the Microsoft User Experience Research Team.

For the complete DayONE agendas, checkout the below links and if you're not attending, make sure to stay in the know by following #CONV12 on Twitter:

AXUG DayONE Agenda GPUG DayONE Agenda NAVUG DayONE Agenda

In the latest edition of the Microsoft Dynamics NAV User Group magazine, NAVUG featured ISV Partner Data Masons and highlighted an interview with Dennis Bruce, Director of Business Development.

NAVUG: Tell me about Data Masons.
Dennis Bruce (DB): Data Masons has been around since 1996, and we started on Microsoft Dynamics in 2004. We’ve seen major growth since 2008 as we have a niche in the market, providing a complete electronic data interchange (EDI) solution for Microsoft Dynamics. We concentrate on EDI compliance and integration for Microsoft Dynamics and are the only EDI company that has an integrated solution for Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics AX, and Microsoft Dynamics GP.

NAVUG: Tell me about your EDI solution.
DB: Our product is called Vantage Point EDI for Dynamics, and it includes a native translator, an ASN packing system, EDI document management, a UCC-128 label print engine, powerful data storage for turnaround documents, and business connectors for tight integration to Microsoft Dynamics.

NAVUG: Data Masons has been a NAVUG Forum Sponsor for the last 3 years. What do you enjoy about the event?
DB: Right, we’ve been a Premier Sponsor for the last three years, and it’s exciting to see the event grow every year. You can see the excitement in the community, and this year, for the first time, we’ve seen a lot of Microsoft Dynamics NAV VARs get on board and attend with their Customers. That’s really exciting because their attendance will help grow the event as time goes on.

NAVUG: What are your main goals when you attend Forum?
DB: Forum is a chance to speak not only to our Customers, but also to other Microsoft Dynamics Customers and Partners who may be searching for a new EDI solution. At the end of the day, most Partners don’t have EDI experience, but it’s important to their Customers, and they’re looking for somebody that has that competency. Data Masons has gone out of its way to deliver what we promise, and we respect the relationship that a VAR has with their Customer. We consider ourselves as an extension of that team.

NAVUG: Do you use Forum to get product feedback?
DB: Absolutely. We talk with Customers and non-Customers about the challenges they’re going through, and we see how that feedback meshes with other feedback we’ve received.

NAVUG: What’s on the horizon for Data Masons?
DB: We’re constantly putting new functionality into the product. Since we sit outside of Microsoft Dynamics, we can introduce new functionality because it’s not customized within Microsoft Dynamics NAV. We’re creating a new client-based interface that should be rolled out in the first quarter of the 2012. We’re also developing an optional, browser-based interface in the third quarter of the 2012.

NAVUG: What’s the biggest challenge with that move?
DB: Providing the functionality, from a User standpoint, when it comes to the interaction of the browser client in the application itself. When you use a browser, you don’t think twice about what you’re doing. Ours will be the same, customized to a User’s unique processes.

NAVUG: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
DB: The exciting thing about the Microsoft Dynamics NAV market is the huge growth potential. The Microsoft Dynamics NAV community is accustomed to having everything built in Microsoft Dynamics NAV, and there has been a shift to realize that solutions can exist outside and help them get where they need to be while providing flexibility. Flexibility is key with EDI. The cost of not doing EDI well can be expensive, and giving that responsibility to a trusted Partner can make that worry go away.

Dynamics NAV EDI, Dynamics ERP Integration

I’m excited to share that Data Masons’ Vantage Point EDI for Microsoft Dynamics NAV solution has been awarded a place on Dynamics World’s 2012 list for Microsoft Dynamics Top Add-ons for NAV.

Dynamics World was formed among a group of Microsoft Dynamics colleagues who wondered who the most recognizable people in the channel are and why. That question became the site’s Top 100 list, but since its development, the site has incorporated additional resources such as news and forums thanks to several key bloggers and MVPs, including Erik Ernst, Mark Polino, Victoria Yudin, David Jennaway and Dick Wenning.

This year Dynamics World had over 500 NAV add-on nominations to investigate. The selection process is based on a number of requirements that are pertinent to all Microsoft Dynamics-based organizations. Specifically this year, criteria focused on: value for money, ease of implementation, product support, the increase in effectiveness due to add-on implementation, add-on functionality and number of installations, as well as intelligence coming from networks of secret shopper profiling.

In line with these criteria, Vantage Point EDI for Microsoft Dynamics NAV provides users with cost-effective, risk-free EDI integration. Vantage Point EDI’s unique all-in-one approach allows for easy implementation, efficient operation and ongoing managed compliance without requiring intensive NAV platform customizations. By offering the largest integrated document list in the industry and an extensive library of trading partner kits, EDI processing can be quickly implemented in a matter of days, not months. Because Data Masons’ unique technology model does not require any customizations to the ERP platform to support EDI mandates, this single solution can seamlessly integrate with Microsoft Dynamics AX, GP and NAV, as well as multiple versions of each platform.

All of us in the Top 15 are equal winners, as Dynamics World does not award an overall winner, due to the fact that different verticals have different industry requirements to service, and so it’s difficult to have a first, second and third. We’re happy to be there and happy to be in good company!


Other Resources:

FitFlop™ Finds the Perfect Fit for Microsoft Dynamics NAV with Integrated EDI from Data Masons

Dynamics NAV Customer is in Good Company with Others Selecting an Easy-to-Implement EDI Solution that Requires No ERP Customization


Dynamics AX EDI, Dynamics ERP Integration

Upcoming Webinar
Wednesday, December 7th; 1:00PM Eastern
Presented by the Dynamics AX User Group and Data Masons Software

Looking for easier ways to integrate EDI documents in and out of Dynamics AX? Are you tired of customizing AX to integrate a simple purchase order or are you planning an upgrade to AX 2012 and want to eliminate EDI-specific customizations?

Join this one hour AXUG Partner Showcase Webinar hosted by Data Masons' EDI experts to see how other Dynamics AX customers can integrate virtually any EDI or XML document - all without the need for disruptive AX customization.

Register Today for this Webinar!*

* Dynamics AX User Group (AXUG) membership is required to attend this event. Not a member? Join today as a basic member at no charge to enjoy all of the membership benefits.

Dynamics GP EDI, Dynamics ERP Integration

At next week’s GPUG Summit in Las Vegas, EDI Expert Glenn McPeak of Data Masons will present “Profiles in Successful EDI Integration to Dynamics GP” as part of the conference’s educational agenda.

During this session, attendees will learn how GP users can solve EDI integration and compliance challenges without disruptive GP customizations. And for companies wanting to shed EDI-related customizations or thinking of upgrading, attendees will learn how to quickly leverage an integrated solution to make EDI a business advantage, not just a requirement. Attendees will see real data integration, both inbound and outbound, and hear how other GP clients are leveraging integrated EDI.

Join the session “Profiles in Successful EDI Integration to Microsoft Dynamics GP” on Wednesday, November 9th, 4:00pm - 5:00pm. Session attendees will have a chance to win a signed copy of the "Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 Cookbook" by Mark Polino.

You can also join Data Masons on the expo floor at booth #325 to learn more about the Vantage Point EDI for Dynamics GP solution that delivers cost-effective, quick to implement and customization-free EDI. We can’t wait to share some recent customer success stories with you, such as that of Audubon Metals, who overcame an 18-month EDI project stall and revved their engine with integrated EDI from Data Masons.

Don’t forget to follow @GPUG and use the hash tag #GPSummit on Twitter to stay up-to-date on the Summit’s goings-on before, during and after the event.

See you next week.

EDI Expert Insights, Dynamics AX EDI, Dynamics AX 2012, Dynamics ERP Integration

While Microsoft has packed AX 2012 full of enhancements, one of the new enhancements I’m excited about are the improved shipping features that are even more suitable for outbound Advance Ship Notice (ASN) processing. More fields have been added to the base tables that make it more suitable for EDI cross reference maintenance, thus eliminating the need for additional fields. Also, the global address book has been refined even further making it easier for address creation and validation when integrating documents in and out of AX.

Hands down the Application Integration Framework (AIF) is one of Microsoft’s home runs. The set-up of endpoints is much more straightforward and it is easier to add new services that are not pre-packaged in the base system. The AIF has a more direct channel to the application objects and, by eliminating “hops” that Microsoft deemed unnecessary, performance has improved significantly in benchmark testing.

Data Masons has 10 years of functional development that has extended AX since version 2.5. Our technology model has enabled us to continue to expand the functional reach of the solution and enable AX customers to handle advanced supply chain integrations with suppliers, customers, logistics providers, contract manufacturers and more. All of the features that are available in our solution for AX 2009 are already available for AX 2012 – very few changes were required to adapt to the AX 2012 platform. We’ve noticed AX 2012 is even easier for us to build advanced integrations and performance has improved, as Microsoft has done an outstanding job streamlining the architecture underlying the AIF in AX 2012.

Dynamics AX EDI, Dynamics ERP Integration

The Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Global Virtual Launch Event is approaching fast and Data Masons is excited to support this highly-anticipated online event on Thursday, September 8th. Tune-in to this free 90-minute event to hear from Microsoft executives, customers, and Gartner analyst Nigel Montgomery about the innovations introduced within Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012. You’ll also have the opportunity to:

  • See product demos
  • Watch product tours specific to your business, industry, or role
  • Collaborate with your peers through feeds and community forums
  • Chat with product experts

In addition to the Global Virtual Launch event, you can also:

Data Masons is dedicated to delivering a fully-integrated EDI solution to AX users, regardless of the Microsoft Dynamics AX version they are running, especially as they move to the latest ERP platform. Get more information on how Data Masons supported AX 2012 and Hydra-Power Systems' TAP participation by working with the Application Integration Framework in Microsoft Dynamics AX.