Dynamics User Groups, Dynamics AX, Dynamics 365, Dynamics NAV, Dynamics GP, Dynamics 365 Business Central, ERP

The inaugural Summit Australia 2019, focusing across all Dynamic Communities User Groups, attracted a very impressive number of attendees. With over 70 sponsor attendees, 140 partner attendees, and over 400 users, it was great to see that the Dynamics Users in Australia embraced this event to interact with their peers and ISV’s like Data Masons EDI. Summit Australia offered education on all versions of Dynamics 365, AX, CRM, GP, NAV, Power BI, PowerApps, and Microsoft Flow. This event provided focused learning and networking as users gained instrumental solutions for their everyday system challenges and larger organizational goals. Summit is well known as a premier user-centric experience with credible peer-to-peer knowledge exchange at its core, and Australia was no exception.

At the Keynote on Wednesday, August 21, the Business Applications Lead for Australia, Michael O’Keefe, shared information about the strategy and roadmap for Microsoft Business applications and innovations coming with the 2019 Wave 2 release of Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform. Microsoft business applications are transforming the customers’ business by delivering intelligent insights of every aspect of their organizations, putting AI into the hands of their employees and helping them take control of their experiences and applications to support their core business processes. shutterstock_633513077_conferenceaudience

This showed a great parallel with how we at Data Masons empower the Dynamics business users to only focus on critical EDI related issues using our Management by Exception functionality as well as providing business users access to EDI information inside of D365 using our Transaction Lifecyle Explorer (TLE).

 

What we take away from Summit

For ISV’s like Data Masons, it was great to speak with customers and to hear about the challenges they face with their day-to-day business processes. Over the years we’ve seen an increase in the use of ISV’s by Dynamics users, especially the ISV solutions that are tightly integrated with the ERP. Users realize that limiting the number of customizations they have embedded in the ERP will make ERP upgrades less difficult. With Microsoft One Version initiative, it’s important to minimize the impact ISV code will have on D365 updates.

The overall conclusion from the partners, ISV sponsors, and most importantly the Dynamics users is that this was a great event. With over 100+ sessions across the different Microsoft Dynamics ERP systems, Summit Australia brought together the largest gathering of Microsoft Business Applications users and partners for education and networking. Technical experts shared their specific knowledge and expertise to help Dynamics Users make the most of their current Microsoft Business Applications software.

If you missed us at Summit Australia 2019 and want to know more about how Data Masons empowers Dynamics users, please ask for a consultation by clicking the button below, or emailing us at dmsales@datamasons.com.

Request a Demo

Dynamics AX, Dynamics 365 For Operations, Partner Resources, Dynamics NAV, Dynamics GP, Dynamics 365 Business Central, Directions North America

I just got back from the Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa in Las Vegas, where I attended Directions North America. The Directions North America conference, held May 5-9, 2019, is the premier Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central event driven by Partners – for Partners, and had over 900 attendees. logo

What originally started as a Dynamics NAV-focused conference 15 years ago has now become a unique event where Dynamics GP, NAV, and Business Central partners from across the US gather. The event offered over 150 sessions, focused on capturing the interest of various audiences. It featured technical workshops, new partner onboarding sessions, product roadmap overviews, and even business building discussions. While Directions is primarily attended by Microsoft partners from across the US, there is extensive representation globally as it’s become a truly an international event.

There were several key takeaways, including:

  1. Microsoft is doubling down on its commitment to the Dynamics 365 Business Central marketplace. In April 2019, Microsoft announced plans to update Dynamics 365 twice a year, which they reinforced at the Directions conference. The Microsoft team was represented and was the largest single partner attendee at the event,. Over 60 resources conducted meetings, support efforts, and planning sessions for the partners in attendance. 
  2. Partners are energized with the direction of Dynamics 365 Business Central. Microsoft announced 100 new improvements to its latest version of Dynamics 365 Business Central, based on direct feedback from both partners and customers. The next release in October 2019 will focus on driving reduced friction with ISV integration, improved UI focus, and enhanced migration tools. Microsoft is listening to what the channel needs and is building out a platform for success that the partners are excited about. 
  3. The partners are really seeing success with a focus on leveraging ISVs to fill gaps. Microsoft Dynamics NAV has historically been a solution that encouraged customization directly within the ERP. With the new architecture of Dynamics 365 Business Central and its focus on being a cloud-based solution, partners are leveraging ISV solutions to fill in functionality/capability gaps. The trend is to now move away from highly customized ERP deployments, and to instead take advantage of best of breed solutions that can complement the already extensive functionality available in the system.

All 3 of these trends are great news for Data Masons Software and its Vantage Point EDI solution.  The marketplace is ripe for customers who are now anxiously investing in Microsoft technology. The Dynamics partner community is seeing success and investing even more in driving solutions into the Business Central solution set. And with the need for a highly flexible and scalable solution that can offer world-class EDI capabilities built specifically for the Microsoft Dynamics community, Data Masons Software is well prepared for success.

If you're a Dynamics partner, please get in touch with us to learn how we make EDI simple for Microsoft Dynamics clients.

Set up a meeting with Bill Moffett

Dynamics NAV, Directions EMEA, Dynamics 365 Business Central

From 29-31st October 2018, the annual Directions EMEA event in The Hague, Netherlands attracted over 2,200 attendees. This partner-only event represented 60 countries in Europe, Latin America, and APAC, and focused on Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Business Central. This is nearly half the partner community across 30% of the countries where Microsoft NAV, and soon Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Center, is and will soon be generally available.directionsemea_snip

Over 100 Microsoft staff were present and contributed to 3 keynotes, and many of the 150 breakout sessions which focused on best practices, common data services, and deep dive development workshops. The keynote speakers were Marko Perisic, GM Dynamics SMB; Toby Bowers, WW Business Applications and Industry; and Cecilia Flombaun, WW Business Applications Partner Lead. Some keynote takeaways were:

  • Large community. Microsoft Navision has a 31 year heritage with 220,000 customers and 3.3M users in 196 countries supported by 4,5000 .
  • Better user experience. D365 Business Central has better select, copy, paste, and search options, and systematically embedding functionality into Office 365. For example, users can export records from D365 Business Central to Excel, add more records in Excel, and update D365 with the new or changed records.
  • Synchronize "on prem" to the cloud. Microsoft D365 Business Central will be available on premise, and data can be synchronized to the cloud for uses to take advantage of mobility support, AI, and other features.
  • Roadmap. Releases twice a year with the next one having 100+ features, including expanding to new countries, simplifying code ("C/Side to AL") migrations, and others.
  • Replacing customizations with extensions. To migrate to D365 Business Central, partners should help clients replace custom code with extensions that can be used with D365. This will allow clients to stay up to date with Microsoft Cumulative Updates, which are released monthly.

There were many sessions presented by partners and skilled consultants. A particularly interesting session discussed the lessons learned from migrating customers on older NAV versions to D365 Business Central. Some key findings were:

  • Eliminate C/Side code by 2020. Many partners customized NAV2009 with client specific requirements. The community of consultants and developers have taken the challenge to replace C/Side code the modern AL programming language.
  • Converting customizations to extensions is challenging. Moving customizations to AL has challenges, but is a worthwhile effort to reclaim IP previously provided to clients. There are Microsoft tools to help, but these are not entirely flawless, requiring additional effort to get it right.
  • Three-step migration from NAV2009. To get to D365 Business Central, clients need to migrate from NAV2009 to NAV2013, then to NAV2015, and then to D365 Business Central. Again, there are Microsoft tools to help with the migration, but the process needs to be well managed and monitored for possible rework.

Clients and Partners working on these migrations should be looking at replacing customized processes with "off the shelf" and proven ISV solutions that can eliminate complexity, cost, and delays to completion. The ERP migration is complex enough, and likely to have unpredictable challenges. 

To minimize unknowns, customers should seek ISV solutions that provide predictability, speed to implement, and agility. Data Masons Vantage Point EDI achieves these items for EDI and XML integration with many proof points across the food, retail, manufacturing, and automotive industries. To find out more, click the button below to contact our General Manager for EMEA, Larry Velez.

Contact Larry Velez, General Manager, EMEA

Dynamics NAV EDI, Certified for Microsoft Dynamics, Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2018

Microsoft NAV 2018 is here!  Many firms will be excited about the tighter integration to Office365, Power BI, Microsoft Flow, Dynamics 365 for Sales, and many others.

Another important feature Microsoft is emphasizing to customers is lower implementation costs. Moving from one platform to another is always challenging, and lowering the barriers to make this change is critical in order for customers to migrate new platform versions. This is especially important for customers who want their employees to leverage office productivity tools within their ERP processes.

For example, an easy productivity gain that comes to mind is to automatically save customer emails on the account record, and store documents on a Sharepoint site or library for employees to collaborate on solutions for that customer. Doing this without the extra steps we all take today, should make an appealing future for Microsoft Dynamics ERP users. 

To get started, many firms have to plan and execute an ERP migration.  During the planning stage the firm needs to assess the risks of disrupting order to cash, procure to pay, warehousing and logistics, and others external business processes with trading partners. This risk includes the assessment of effort to reestablish electronic interfaces with trading partners that may include re-writing a lot of code inside the ERP. This effort alone can discourage firms from migrating given historical experiences, or just sheer volume.

To reduce effort and risk with trading partner relationships, the company should consider segmenting the project in 2 steps.

  1. Establish trading partner relationships on the current NAV platform without ERP software customization.  This will give the firm assurance that trading partner interfaces can run on the current ERP. Concurrently, the interfaces could be improved to increase transaction transparency, identify problems faster, reduce time to troubleshoot problems, and engage the line of business for day to day process support.
  2. Connect to NAV 2018 or future Dynamics ERP with confidence. You can set up NAV 2018 with adequate time to optimize your business processes with the new capabilities offered the in the new release, and run pilot adoption programs to get the whole team on board. Once these are ready, you can switch to the new NAV 2018, or a future Dynamics ERP, knowing that trading partner relationships will work, or problems could be more easily isolated for troubleshooting purposes.

Segmentation of tasks is a common approach to managing complex projects. Finding solutions to achieve this split will benefit companies that want to steadily extract more value out the Microsoft investments they have made. 

Learn more about evaluating an EDI solution that simplifies Microsoft Dynamics ERP migrations. Let us know what you think by commenting below, or reach out to us to learn more. Read our Dynamics NAV 2018 press release here and learn more about EDI Made Simple® for Dynamics NAV in this on-demand webinar.

Dynamics NAV EDI, Microsoft Dynamics Community, Dynamics NAV, Directions EMEA

Meet the Newest Data Masons' Team Member at Directions EMEA in Madrid Oct 4-6, 2017

Dear member,

Many thanks for visiting this page. Here and in other posts you will find useful information about the automation of business to business transactions for our European friends and partners.

Whether the transactions are done with EDI, EDIFACT, XML, other industry specific protocols or custom formats, we offer deep experience and know how to help firms reliably make high volume transactions with suppliers, partners, and other business entities without customizations to their Dynamics ERP platform.

We have many years of success helping firms grow their businesses, and increasingly we are helping firms migrate faster to Dynamics 365 while simplifying their eCommerce strategy.

Data Masons is now open for business in EMEA. We will initially set up operations to help Microsoft partners plan, build, and drive robust B2B interfaces for their clients. This will allow us to grow our presence in Europe and help firms with local expertise.

Our participation in Directions EMEA will be to inform partners and consultants across EMEA about our unique and compelling approach to B2B and B2C business integration, and provide recommendations on how to help their clients.

You can also be assured that we are here for the long run. I’ve taken the role as General Manager EMEA after successfully building other businesses in EMEA including Microsoft online services such as Exchange, SharePoint, and Skype for Business that are part of Office 365 today.

I’m looking forward to reconnecting with former Microsoft colleagues and meeting new ones across France, Germany, United Kingdom, Western Europe, CEE, and MEA. 

I invite you to reach out to me during the event for an informal talk over your B2B initiatives, or just learn more about Data Masons. 

I’m looking forward to it.  Have a great event!

Sincerely,

Larry D. Velez
General Manager EMEA

Read the Full Press Release Here