Dynamics AX EDI, Dynamics AX 2012, Dynamics ERP Integration, Dynamics User Groups

Today is the last day of the AXUG Summit educational program, as the Expo Hall wrapped up yesterday. It's Friday and it's been a busy week, but today's agenda is packed with informative sessions and the opportunity to join the Microsoft Town Hall. As we end of the week, let's try and take some of the spirit that Fred Studer, General Manager for Microsoft Dynamics, shared with us yesterday during the AXUG General Session. What a personality, a great addition to the program! If you missed Fred, checkout this video to see Fred's personality in action as he talks about "taking your business to awesome."
During his presentation, Fred talked about the power of Microsoft Dynamics as demonstrated by four particular customer stories: Lotus 1
Alltech, David's Tea and Matress Firm. Learn more about these customers and their AX 2012 story:
Also participating in yesterday's general session was Jeremy Epstein of Sprinklr, RF-SMART and Data Masons' Dennis Bruce. Dennis introduced the conversation around the new trends in Dynamics AX EDI and the shift in how the community is choosing to manage their EDI integration requirements.
Other interesting tidbits from the general session: Skype is going to be more and more embedded within Microsoft Products and $10B of R&D spent across the Microsoft Products.
Have a productive last day and we'll see you in Tampa next year for AXUG Summit 2013!

Dynamics AX EDI, Dynamics AX 2012, Dynamics ERP Integration, Dynamics User Groups

If you’re part of the Dynamics AX Partner Community and in Seattle, I hope to see you at the AX Partner Connections (AXPC) event tomorrow, October 16th at the Washington State Convention Center. As part of the AXUG Summit 2012 agenda, this particular event will feature Dynamics AX 2012 readiness, roundtable discussions for VARs and ISVs, and networking opportunities for all of us partners and with members of the Microsoft Dynamics AX team.


Not only am I excited to attend this event, but I’m also looking forward to participating in one of the roundtable discussions. Fellow Data Masons colleague and ERP/ EDI expert Glenn McPeak will also be joining the panel of roundtable participants

You can view the complete AXPC event agenda at http://axpartnerconnections.com/annualconference/, but the following are highlights of what to expect from the Roundtable Breakout Discussion Topics:

Dynamics AX 2012 Readiness – Room 604 – 10:00 to 12:00pm
We will look at the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats of the Partner Readiness eco-system. We will focus on your satisfaction, not only from your partnering relationship with Microsoft, but also AX Partner Connections, AXUG, and any other resources that influence your organization’s success with Microsoft Dynamics AX. There are many programs in place today to gain product knowledge and technical competency. Additionally, there are aspects that provide networking and community interaction. What is helpful? What is not? What is a success and should be emphasized? What’s missing and needs to be introduced? This session will result in feedback and action items to influence any necessary change and growth of channel resources.

VAR Track – Room 603
Roundtable #1 - Dynamics AX 2012 New Implementation Experiences & Dynamics AX 2012 Data Migration Experiences 1:00 to 2:15pm
Roundtable #2 – Helping Customers Decide Whether to Upgrade or Not & Customer Support Models and Methodologies 2:30 to 3:45pm

ISV Track – Room 602
Roundtable #1 - Developing New Products with Dynamics AX 2012 & Working with VARs to Develop and Maintain Customer Relationships 1:00 to 2:15pm
Roundtable #2 - Best Practices for Product Marketing in the Dynamics World & Leveraging the Microsoft Stack in Product Development 2:30 to 3:45pm

Succeeding in the New Partner World and Best Practices for Working with Other Partners Room 604 3:45 – 4:30pm
VARs and ISVs can be valuable partners in supporting the customer community. In these roundtables, listen and share your own experiences around working in the new Microsoft Partner world. Come prepared to share the best practices your firm utilizes to meet your customers needs by working with fellow partners in the AX community.

Hope to see you ‘around the tables’! And while in Seattle, please stop by the Data Masons expo booth, #233, and make sure to follow #AXUG and #AXUGSUMMIT on Twitter to stay up to date on the latest information coming from the conference.

Dynamics AX EDI, Dynamics AX 2012, Dynamics ERP Integration

Need an added boost to get to the Microsoft Dynamics AX Technical Conference, in Bellevue, WA, October 22nd – 25th? Register by October 20th and Microsoft may randomly pick you as the winner among all qualified attendees to experience a formidable racing experience in a Formula 1 car. Now if you are the winner, you do have to find your own way to France to take advantage of this prize, but everything else you’ll need in Provence, Southern France will be provided.

More reasons to join the Technical Conference:

  • Learn all about Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2
  • Make connections with the people that build Microsoft Dynamics AX
  • Hear new, practical and technical content from Microsoft leaders and technology experts

Checkout the complete agenda online and register by October 20th!

Data Masons will have Dynamics EDI experts attending to learn more about Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2. As a participant of the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Technology Adoption Program (TAP) and the only provider of a Certified for Microsoft Dynamics AX EDI solution, Data Masons is committed to providing the AX community with industry leading solutions that are flexible enough to support Microsoft’s growing technology developments. We’ll see you in Bellevue!

Dynamics AX EDI, Dynamics AX 2012, Dynamics ERP Integration

What’s the scoop on the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 release? To give you more insight on what to expect, the Microsoft Dynamics AX product team blog, Inside Microsoft Dynamics AX, has started publishing a Preview Blog Series. The series is planned to be around 14 posts that offer the Dynamics AX community insight into the key new technical and functional capabilities that will be available with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2.

The 2nd post in this series discusses considerations when evaluating a single instance deployment given that one of the key objectives for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 is to further improve support of a single global instance ERP implementation when it is the preferred implementation option. The post reveals just how Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 will support single instance deployments:

  • Additional support of localizations managed in a single instance
    Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 (released in August 2011) already delivers regulatory support and localizations for 25 countries. With the release of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2 an additional 11 countries will be supported – enabling deployment for these new countries as well as all existing countries in one single instance. The countries for which localization and translation are planned include: Brazil, Czech Republic, China, Estonia, Hungary, India, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Russia.
  • Minimization of user exposure to unnecessary complexity
    While all users have access to the same instance, country specific functionality is enabled based on the location of the legal entity. A user’s access to company specific capabilities can be restricted through security setup to help simplify the implementation and user experience.
  • Data management and security
    In Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 data can be easily shared to avoid redundancy, and data security can be increased by using security policies and effective dates. In the upcoming release we added functionality to support scenarios when data sharing is not permitted or beneficial. Data partitions can be created to isolate and restrict access to data sets. This is a must have capability in a scenario where business units are autonomous and sharing data would add additional complexity or is even prohibited.

To receive these insights into the release, subscribe to the Microsoft Dynamics AX team blog.

To learn more about the next release of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2, sign up for the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Technical Conference 2012. For more information go to: http://www.microsoft.com/dynamics/DynamicsAXtechnicalconference.

Dynamics AX EDI, Dynamics AX 2012, Dynamics ERP Integration

Today Brandon George featured one of our interview-based articles, "To the Cloud with EDI for Microsoft Dynamics" on his Dynamics AX Blog. Checkout the complete article to see how Data Masons is responding to some of the most popular questions / concerns around EDI for the Cloud, including:

1. When it comes cloud solutions, scale & agility are two attributes that typically take focus in people's minds.

2. How can Data Masons speak to the security that helps govern within the application, as well as access points for the EDI solution in general? How was security considered, when thinking about creating the "EDI for the Cloud" offering?

3. What kind of service level agreements exists for the "EDI for the Cloud" offering?

Read article on Brandon George's Dynamics AX Blog

Dynamics AX EDI, Dynamics AX 2012, Microsoft Dynamics Community, Dynamics ERP Integration

Now that AX 2012 has been around awhile and more and more organizations are diving in, the Dynamics Community team has taken the opportunity to help you get some of your development questions answered that may have you stumped. Understanding that not everyone has the time to dive into the problems and find a solution, the Dynamics Community team has engaged some of its most active members to answer your top questions around development of Dynamics AX 2012.
Here are your experts making up the panel:

Brandon George - Chief Solutions Architect / Owner, IDB Solutions, LLC. Brandon has focused on implementing and supporting Microsoft Dynamics AX for many years, working on projects that scale from small concurrent user counts, to large enterprise accounts that span the globe. A featured Dynamics Community Columnist, as well as sits on the Editorial Advisory Board for MSDynamicsWorld.com.

Jon Rivers – is a Partner Account Manager with Data Masons Software. He has extensive experience with integrating ISV/3rd-party solutions for various ERP platforms, but has spent the last 6+ years working exclusively in the Microsoft Dynamics® eco-system. As a native of England and having also assisted a leading Microsoft ISV in developing its Microsoft channel in Asia-Pacific, Jon contributes a global perspective to his role. He is also a Social Media Enthusiast for the Dynamics Community and active within the various User Groups.

Joris de Gruyter – Joris has 10 years experience as a developer with Microsoft Dynamics AX and started on Axapta 2.5. He currently is a Technical Services Supervisor at Sikich. Certified in Dynamics AX development and Microsoft Certified Trainer in AX development. Joris was part of the AX 2012 beta program, wrote AX 2012 hands-on labs on CLR, Eventing and debugging for Microsoft for Dynamics AX Technical conference in Redmond.

Dilip Nair – A seasoned Dynamics AX Expert, Diip is self-driven, highly innovative, customer focused who can research, design/develop, implement and automate cost effective ERP Solutions using Dynamics ERP. Successful delivery of largest retail chain implementation of Dynamics AX 2009 in the world (Go-Live for 800 retail stores across Australia). His current focus is on Dynamics AX and related .Net technology stack using SQL, C#, ASP.Net, Sharepoint and Business Intelligence for AX.

Now go get started with your questions as you only have until July 13th to take advantage of this panel!

Dynamics AX EDI, Dynamics AX 2012, Dynamics ERP Integration

Microsoft wants to show and tell you more about Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 for Retail, the end-to-end solution that empowers retailers to deliver a complete shopping experience, with multichannel management, store operations, and merchandising capabilities.

You can:

Follow @MSFTDynamicsERP on Twitter to stay up to date on other AX for Retail events and offerings!

Dynamics AX EDI, Dynamics AX 2012, Microsoft Dynamics Community, Dynamics ERP Integration

In an effort to make troubleshooting resources more accessible to implementation partners and end users, the Microsoft Dynamics AX Support Team has added a new blog to host its top resources for troubleshooting issues with Microsoft Dynamics AX.

Kelly Holwagner, Product Quality Manager at Microsoft, spoke with me the other day as to why Microsoft is utilizing blogs to get more involved in the social community and to distribute information. Kelly has been with Microsoft for over 15 years, starting out in an implementation role for Great Plains manufacturing clients and then most recently, in a quality role with Microsoft Dynamics AX where he drives strategy for all Microsoft Dynamics products.

With the addition of the AX Support Team blog, Kelly explained that they are trying to extend their reach with targeted content that’s easier to find with a one-touch location. Traditionally, Dynamics users have to utilize search engines like Bing or Google to locate content, or struggle with navigating inside of CustomerSource and PartnerSource. As an alternative, this new blog allows people to easily locate the resources needed to troubleshoot issues with Microsoft Dynamics AX. As Kelly put it, the “discoverability” of this content has greatly improved along with the customer and partner experience.

If this latest blog is well received by the community and proves successful, Kelly said we would be seeing this type of blog rollout across other products. Success will be gauged not only on the amount of traffic to the resources, but also on the feedback received via comments on the blog. When referencing the blog content, the Microsoft AX Support team wants you to provide your critical feedback on the content as without it, the Microsoft Dynamics Team can’t tailor the content or improve the way you receive it.

You can also take advantage of this content via an RSS Feed. For more information on adding RSS Feeds check out this article by Microsoft http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook-help/add-an-rss-feed-HA010159539.aspx

EDI Expert Insights, Dynamics NAV 2013, Dynamics AX EDI, Dynamics GP EDI, Dynamics AX 2012, Dynamics NAV EDI

From ERP & EDI Expert Glenn McPeak:

With Microsoft’s theme of power, agility and simplicity around the release of AX 2012, doesn’t it make sense that Microsoft’s ISV partners follow suit in supporting upgrades to the upcoming GP ‘12’ and NAV ‘7’ releases as well? While these releases may offer new functionality and opportunities for user organizations, the need to meet EDI requirements will be nothing new, but how you meet them can be a new cost-saving opportunity for your business.

EDI has been around for some time, but it has grown dramatically in regards to its importance and breadth in business relationships. Today it is quite common for larger organizations to mandate EDI capability as a pre-requisite for new suppliers and business partner relationships. While a few years ago most companies traded only a few documents, such as purchase orders, invoices and ship notices, today there is a significant amount of documents that can drive labor efficiencies, ultimately leading to the more critical competitive advantage.

EDI enters the process a major player because these documents also require more flexible and comprehensive software applications. And with upgrades on the horizon for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, GP ‘12’ and NAV ‘7’, the need for more flexible and comprehensive software applications doesn’t mean that you have to expect complicated ERP customizations to support EDI. In fact, it’s the opposite – migration to the latest platform is the opportunity to shed unnecessary ERP customizations.

When considering an upgrade, it’s best practice to work with your VAR and ISVs to analyze all customizations and create a precise plan to manage your code and data upgrades. It’s a given that some customizations will still be required, but when it comes to accommodating EDI you can forget about customizations. These types of customizations are an unnecessary hassle and without them you can avoid EDI roadblocks that can potentially disrupt your business and delay your upgrade project.

While evaluating the code customizations currently required to accommodate EDI mandates, it’s important to understand the three most frequent approaches to integrating EDI with Microsoft Dynamics:

  1. Customization – the client / partner has decided to develop a one-off, non-commercial solution using a tool such as BizTalk or Gentran with custom ERP code;
  2. Commercial solution within Microsoft Dynamics – (i.e. built inside Dynamics by an Independent Software Vendor) –solution is built with full integration inside Microsoft Dynamics AX; and
  3. ISV built outside Microsoft Dynamics – solution is built outside of Microsoft Dynamics but leverages the native functionality and integration framework of the Dynamics platform.

The first approach has its obvious challenges, especially since BizTalk will be essentially going away as we know it. The second option – using a commercial solution fully-built inside Microsoft Dynamics – can also run into challenges, such as how patches and version upgrades are managed and how does the solution coexist with other solutions/customizations that are necessary to the business?

Neither option follows Microsoft’s theme of “simplicity.” Only by using a well-architected solution that tightly integrates EDI without customization can you avoid the unpredictable costs in development and updating from one Microsoft Dynamics version to another.

Dynamics AX EDI, Dynamics AX 2012, Dynamics ERP Integration

From Dennis Bruce, Director, Data Masons: Last week I attended Microsoft’s AX 2012 Industry Summit in Jacksonville, FL for sales and pre-sales. This event focused on the specific industries that Microsoft has targeted: Industrial Equipment Manufacturing (IEM), Chemical, Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), Industrial Distribution, Services, Management & IT Consulting, Engineering and Construction and Public Sector. This was the second event of this type and Microsoft planned on 100 people to attend, but instead they ended up with approximately 170 which made for an even stronger event.

One of the things that I came away with was the amount of time and energy that Microsoft is putting into the industry specific solutions. Not just from a Dynamics AX development perspective, but also looking at the people that they’ve hired internally and the types of partners that they are onboarding.

On Day 1 and for the first half of Day 2, the event was focused on Dynamics AX pre-sales. Microsoft Technical Specialists, such as Chuck Juhnke, Jeff Einig, Shawna Mikes and others, presented and demonstrated how they are showcasing AX 2012 to prospects. Their mission was to make sure that the pre-sales attendees knew the type of messaging that is available. Each of us walked away with demo scripts, screen shots and access to virtual machine images that would help anyone starting from scratch get up to speed.

The 2nd half of Day 2 focused on specific industry breakouts. During this session, the discussions revolved around Microsoft’s view on the state of each of these industries. Some of these breakouts also focused on AX specific functionality for these industries that is new in 2012. Later that night, Microsoft hosted a reception where each sponsor had a table. I was lucky enough to speak to a number of attendees that night and the overwhelming message was that partners were pleased with how Microsoft was starting to drive home the industry specific messaging.

Day 3 was devoted to getting partners up to speed on how to sell into specific industries. From industry specific language to issues that need to be addressed upfront, each session focused on what it would take for a reseller to successfully position AX 2012. The final day was all about the sponsors with each of the 18 sponsors having a one hour session to showcase their solutions and industry expertise. Data Masons was one of those sponsors and the only Microsoft Dynamics EDI ISV to present.

The message from Microsoft was clear; they are pushing Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 deeper into specific industries and expect that their partners be prepared to support that push. While ISVs can have all the functionality in the world, if their consultants don’t understand how to apply it to solve industry-specific challenges, then the solution will not deliver as Microsoft would expect. As part of an EDI ISV, I walked away from Jacksonville convinced that our solution combined with our industry specific focus areas is well-positioned for Microsoft’s industry push and we’re looking forward to supporting this initiative as it grows.

Dynamics AX EDI, Dynamics AX 2012, Dynamics ERP Integration

Here we are coming up on Convergence 2012, nearly a year since Steve Ballmer and Kiril Tatarinov delivered the message loud and clear that Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 is the ERP for everyone with its commitment to "simplicity". From installation through deployment, implementation, customization, user experience, and upgrade, this release’s design bares the mark of simplicity. And with Microsoft’s theme of power, agility and simplicity around this release, doesn’t it make perfect sense that Microsoft’s ISV partners follow suit?

When considering an upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, it’s best practice to work with your VAR and ISVs to analyze all customizations and create a precise plan to manage your code and data upgrades. It’s a given that some customizations will still be required in AX 2012, but when it comes to accommodating EDI, you can forget about customizations... Read Full Post on Brandon George's Dynamics AX Blog

Dynamics AX EDI, Automotive Supply Chain EDI, Dynamics AX 2012, Dynamics ERP Integration

Data Masons’ EDI experts are facilitating an in-depth conversation on EDI integration with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 during today's manufacturing-focused sessions at the AX 2012 Sales and Pre-sales Industry Summit. Dennis Bruce of Data Masons will discuss the huge opportunity partners have to leverage the power of Microsoft Dynamics AX and support customers’ lean manufacturing goals with an Microsoft Dynamics AX EDI solution that tightly integrates common business documents without ERP platform customization.

Data Masons will also join First Tech Direct today in discussing EDI opportunities within the automotive supply chain. First Tech Direct’s solution and proven industry expertise provide automotive companies within the supply chain with the ability to reduce time to market, improve plant floor production and link their supply chains more effectively to production. Dennis Bruce will join the conversation to discuss how an integrated EDI solution designed for the specific needs of the automotive industry and supported by an experienced team of automotive experts is the ideal complement.

Read Press Release on Data Masons' Participation at the AX 2012 Sales and Pre-sales Industry Summit