Microsoft NAVUG Summit Provides Product Roadmap

There were almost as many product announcements as cowboy hats at NAVUG Summit 2017 in Nashville. For Dynamics NAV users, Microsoft’s roadmap guidance was clear: NAV will continue to receive yearly updates, and customers who want to remain on-premise or hosted (non-SaaS) can do so. Customers can expect Dynamics 365 “Tenerife,” when it arrives in 2018, to offer both a SaaS option and an on-prem roadmap for NAV.

Codename Tenerife

The NAV/Tenerife product roadmap now calls for Dynamics NAV 2018 in fall 2017, with a December 1 general availability date expected; then NAV 2018 R2 in Spring 2018 alongside the initial Tenerife launch. Beyond NAV 2017 R2, Dynamics NAV will adopt a new name under the Dynamics 365 brand, but the software continued updates to the same product, said Marko Perisic, Dynamics 365 R&D general manager. “Codename Tenerife will be rolled up into the Dynamics 365 brand,” Perisic said. “It is an important brand that Microsoft is putting its weight behind.”

Is it me, or does this codename business make you feel like a spy?

Important Release Dates to Remember

Dynamics NAV 2018: DEC 1

Dynamics NAV 2018 R2: Spring 2018

Codename Tenerife: Spring 2018

NAV 2018 Productivity Updates

Microsoft program and product managers showed off a range of productivity updates that will be included in NAV 2018. Office integration will continue to expand in NAV 2018, with an eye toward more streamlined processes. Microsoft demonstrated a quote-to-cash process executed entirely in Outlook, driven by NAV. After creating a quote, order, and invoice from Outlook, the customer can also pay the invoice via their Microsoft account, again from Outlook.

Within the NAV 2018 web client, the in-app designer will allow for users to personalize their own experiences by rearranging interface elements and adding and removing fields. Global interface changes completed with the in-app designer are saved as NAV extensions, meaning they should be manageable and stable across core system updates.

Tenerife User Interface Updates

There is a revamped user interface coming with Tenerife that will aim to simplify role centers, with more visible information and actions moved higher on the page for easier access. The left-side menus will be moved to the top of the screen to add more real estate to content. List pages will be redesigned to look more like financial reports. And the preview shown at Summit featured a monochrome look and feel that Microsoft believes will improve the visual impact, especially around data visualizations.

Microsoft has positioned Dynamics 365 Tenerife as a business application platform that offers a full range of capabilities, backed up by the Common Data Service for augmenting apps as needed. Microsoft wants customers to look at it as a solution that can be augmented easily with standalone Dynamics 365 apps like Sales, Marketing, Talent, and service using Common Data Service.

Cloud-first

Microsoft made it clear that Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations – Business Edition (formerly NAV), is a “cloud-first” solution. “Emphasis has to be on the cloud, but it’s important to recognize and know [that] despite trends, we have a huge customer base and Microsoft will not leave any of those customers behind,” said Perisic. “We recognize you have installations on your own hardware and we will continue to support that. And because of that we’re not a cloud-only company, we’re a cloud-first company. Make investments there first and mirror those for customers who are on-premises. We see it as an advantage to provide that choice.”

Let us know if you have any questions about these latest product updates for Microsoft Dynamics 365 and/or NAV.

Best regards,

Dave Drouin
EVP of Professional Services, SBS Group

About David Drouin

David is a graduate of Wharton School of Business with a B.S. in Accounting and Economics.  After graduation, he began a twenty year career in public accounting, including five years as a partner where he built a successful systems advisory practice and managed it as partner-in-charge.

David joined SBS Group in 2006 as the Executive VP of Finance before taking on his current role as Executive VP of Professional Services.Dave Drouin, Executive Vice President, Professional Services at SBS Group

In addition to his business and accounting background, David has strong technical skills which he has leveraged in helping hundreds of small businesses and large enterprises evaluate and implement ERP systems in his nearly thirty years in technology services sector.​

https://www.linkedin.com/in/daviddrouin

PART II: Is your ENTERPRISE Business Project-based and you Don’t Even Know it?

Last week I talked about how SPI Research has seen a strong trend toward making virtually all work, project-based work. This is especially true for Enterprise companies (larger companies that need expended capabilities).

To recap, companies in every industry have turned their focus toward projects. A project focus makes sense as organizations plan work with a beginning, an end, and all steps in between. The key with projects are that there is a cost and time associated with every phase or task, and there should also be value delivered. Every dollar spent on an initiative must be tracked to determine whether it was worth the investment.

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Projects are easier to qualify and quantify
A project-based business environment makes perfect sense to executives. Projects begin neat and orderly, with specific start and stop dates, projected cost and expected value. Leading organizations have also incorporated a structured delivery methodology into the project-based work to track everything related to it more closely. This environment helps companies better project a return-on-investment (ROI), which in today’s economy has become increasingly important to customers and clients purchasing products and services.

But very few projects go exactly according to plan, as unforeseen conditions, or changes by the customer impact the project or service to be delivered. Those organizations that have taken a project-based approach to work can more easily change the scope of what is to be delivered, as well as its cost and expected change in duration. Again, this gives executives greater comfort in the work being delivered and its value to both the organization delivering it and its customer.

Better tools are now available for customer and client facing organizations
Tools for enterprise businesses can increase billable utilization, increase profitability per consultant, and increase customer satisfaction as projects are completed more frequently on-time and on-budget. Additionally, PSA software increases employee satisfaction, as they better understand what is required of them and the value they must deliver. Companies also have greater financial governance, tracking all costs associated with project delivery and comparing them to the revenue generated.

PSA’s benefits have been demonstrated for some time, especially in larger project-based organizations. SPI Research found that enterprise organizations increased billable utilization from 71% to over 75% with PSA, meaning roughly 80 additional billable hours annually per consultant. Even more important, PSA helped increase profitability per consultant by over 200%, from $7,575 to $24,018!

AXIO for Professional Services from SBS Group is a global ERP solution designed specifically for organizations that deliver customer-facing, project-based services. Built on the Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform, AXIO combines SBS Group’s award-winning implementation methodology, industry expertise, and a rapid deployment model to bring you the best in ERP, CRM and Cloud.

AXIO for Professional Services spans all the important processes in your firm, including resource management, project management, marketing, human capital management, and financial management. Optimized for cloud, AXIO can also be deployed on premise and is compliant with all GAAP, IFRS, Sarbanes-Oxley, and DCAA requirements.

If you aren’t already using Projects to manage your business, consider shifting today. Let us know how we can help. Check out our upcoming webcast, 5 Reasons Project-Driven Firms Switch to Dynamics 365.

5Reasons_email-400

Best regards,

Dave Drouin
EVP of Professional Services, SBS Group

About David Drouin

David is a graduate of Wharton School of Business with a B.S. in Accounting and Economics.  After graduation, he began a twenty year career in public accounting, including five years as a partner where he built a successful systems advisory practice and managed it as partner-in-charge.

David joined SBS Group in 2006 as the Executive VP of Finance before taking on his current role as Executive VP of Professional Services.Dave Drouin, Executive Vice President, Professional Services at SBS Group

In addition to his business and accounting background, David has strong technical skills which he has leveraged in helping hundreds of small businesses and large enterprises evaluate and implement ERP systems in his nearly thirty years in technology services sector.​

https://www.linkedin.com/in/daviddrouin

Is your Business Project-based and you Don’t Even Know it?

SPI Research has seen a strong trend toward making virtually all work, project-based work. Companies in every industry have turned their focus toward projects. A project focus makes sense as organizations plan work with a beginning, an end, and all steps in between. The key with projects is that there are cost and time associated with every phase or task, and there should also be value delivered. Every dollar spent on an initiative must be tracked to determine whether it was worth the investment.

If we were a project-based company, someone would tell me, right?

Projects are easier to qualify and quantify
A project-based business environment makes perfect sense to executives. Projects begin neat and orderly, with specific start and stop dates, projected cost and expected value. Not a bad way to present yourself to your customers – right? Leading organizations have also incorporated a structured delivery methodology into the project-based work to track everything related to it more closely. This environment helps companies better project a return-on-investment (ROI), which in today’s economy has become increasingly important to customers and clients purchasing products and services.

But very few projects go exactly according to plan, as unforeseen conditions, or changes by the customer impact the project or service to be delivered. Those organizations that have taken a project-based approach to work can more easily change the scope of what is to be delivered, as well as its cost and expected change in duration. Again, this gives executives greater comfort in the work being delivered and its value to both the organization delivering it and its customer.

Better tools are now available for customer and client facing organizations
Tools for small and midsized businesses can increase billable utilization, increase profitability per consultant, and increase customer satisfaction as projects are completed more frequently on-time and on-budget. Additionally, Professional Services Automation software increases employee satisfaction, as they better understand what is required of them and the value they must deliver. Companies also have greater financial governance, tracking all costs associated with project delivery and comparing them to the revenue generated.

Progressus – Built on Microsoft Dynamics 365 – is next-generation Professional Services Automation and ERP software, mobile-enabled and architected for the Microsoft cloud. Monitor the pulse of your projects, and work smarter. Bring all your data together and create personalized dashboards in seconds. Use predictive analysis to drive informed, data-driven decision making across projects.

Progressus provides all the capabilities needed to manage professional services and project-based businesses of any size – operating in any geography. Functionality spans all the important processes in your firm – resource management, project management, sales and marketing, and financial management – to give you unparalleled insight and control of all of your critical business functions. Built on the Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform, it is constructed for cloud and provides role-based clients optimized for any browser or mobile device.

Taking a project-based approach to work will provide executives, employees, customers and clients with greater visibility into work conducted, its cost, revenue, and ultimately value delivered. If you aren’t already using projects to manage your business, consider shifting today. Check out our upcoming webcast, 5 Reasons Project-Driven Firms Switch to Dynamics 365.

5Reasons_email-400

Best regards,

Dave Drouin
EVP of Professional Services, SBS Group

About David Drouin

David is a graduate of Wharton School of Business with a B.S. in Accounting and Economics.  After graduation, he began a twenty year career in public accounting, including five years as a partner where he built a successful systems advisory practice and managed it as partner-in-charge.

David joined SBS Group in 2006 as the Executive VP of Finance before taking on his current role as Executive VP of Professional Services.Dave Drouin, Executive Vice President, Professional Services at SBS Group

In addition to his business and accounting background, David has strong technical skills which he has leveraged in helping hundreds of small businesses and large enterprises evaluate and implement ERP systems in his nearly thirty years in technology services sector.​

https://www.linkedin.com/in/daviddrouin

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