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

SBS Group to Host Microsoft Dynamics NAV Update Webcast

The webcast will discuss the multi-company functionality of Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

SBS Group, a leading information technology services and consulting firm, has announced they will be hosting a webcast focusing on the multi-company functionality of Microsoft Dynamics NAV. The webcast is scheduled for Wednesday, May 17th at 2 p.m. ET.

The webcast is entitled, “Multi-Company Functionality on Dynamics NAV,” and will present the multi-company functionality of Dynamics NAV 2017 including intercompany postings and consolidations. Attendees will watch a demo of these features on Dynamics NAV 2017 such as managing accounting activities for subsidiaries.

Diana Harvey and Mary Carrero will be the presenters on the webcast. With SBS Group since 2015, Harvey is a Senior NAV Consultant. Carrero is a currently a Software Consultant at SBS Group, where she joined in 2015. Both presenters bring a great deal of experience in software and ERP consultation.

To register for the webcast, visit http://bit.do/NAV-Multicompany.

About SBS Group
SBS Group is a national Microsoft master VAR (Value Added Reseller) with Gold level competency in enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM). Over the past 30 years, they have been recognized as Microsoft Partner of the Year, Inner Circle Member and Microsoft President’s Club member multiple times. The company is headquartered in Edison, New Jersey and operates offices across North America. For more information, please visit SBS Group’s website at http://www.sbsgroupusa.com. Follow us on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/company/sbs-group, on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/sbsgroup and find us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SBSGroupUSA.


To read the full release, click here.

Successful Airports Use Key Metrics To Improve Reports

In my last post, I wrote about the key to improving productivity and accuracy of data by integrating your accounting system with other airport systems by using a multidimensional accounting system like Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2017.  This post will discuss how to improve your financial reports by incorporating key statistical data or non-financial data that can be combined with financial data to create key performance metrics (KPM’s).

The Big Picture

In my posts, I describe how any airport, large or small, can improve their financial management processes by following 5 easy steps.  Please refer to the white paper entitled “Modern Airport, Modern Tools” for a summary of these 5 steps.  Technology has improved dramatically over the last 5 years with the advent of cloud computing and improvements in enabling technologies such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 Financials, Microsoft Power BI, Microsoft Cortana Intelligence and Microsoft Office 365.  The integration between these technologies has created new opportunities for accounting departments to become more productive while providing them with access to information that was not available until recently.  2015 was a turning point in the adoption of cloud computing, with approximately 50% of companies implementing new accounting systems choosing to do so in the cloud rather than on-premises.  Cloud computing has become mainstream, and I encourage all accounting and financial managers to check out the new products and technologies which I am describing in this blog series.

key metrics improve reporting

Ability to Store Metrics

Metrics are defined broadly as operational, non-financial data. Examples of airport metrics include:

  • Total passengers (PAX)
  • Total aircraft movements (ACM)
  • Cargo aircraft movements

Metrics could be entered manually into a file or database, but this process is time-consuming and prone to key punch errors.  A better way to do this is to import this data from the system that generated it, for example, an aeronautical billing system.  Refer to my previous blog on system integration for more on this topic.

Key Performance Metrics (KPM’s)

Once the metrics have been captured they can be combined with financial data to produce Key Performance Metrics (KPMs) or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). (Note: Some companies refer to KPMs while others call them KPIs. As the upshot is the same, in this article we will call them KPMs.) KPMs can provide meaningful and relevant data that can be analyzed using modern data visualization software. Tools like Microsoft Power BI produce information that can identify trends that might not otherwise be obvious — or even observable.  Stunning graphics can be incorporated into a dashboard to provide you with powerful data visualizations. These dashboards can be integrated into your accounting system or can be published on the Microsoft cloud so they can be viewed from smartphones and tablets – all you need is a browser to be able to access these dashboards and reports.  This may sound difficult or expensive to implement, but this technology already exists in Microsoft Power BI and is readily available and can be implemented quickly at a low cost.

With all this data being compiled and analyzed, the data visualization reporting interface is the “final mile.” It’s how that data becomes meaningful. If your current accounting system does not provide this kind of core capability, you need to look at upgrading your system.

Take Action

Once you have analyzed the KPM’s it is time to do something with this information.  Of course, these trends may be positive or negative, but regardless they need to be identified so that further action can be taken to continue/improve/re-steer the trend. The ability to identify trends in your underlying data allows the “modern airport” to make decisions to improve negative trends or reinforce positive trends – decisions that cannot be made without this critical information.

In Short…

The benefits of improving reporting capabilities by capturing key statistical data that can be combined with financial data to create key performance metrics (KPM’s) is vital for all airports.  State-of-the-art systems like Microsoft Dynamics NAV or Microsoft Dynamics 365 Financials have these tools built right into the standard package for analyzing trends in the underlying data using data visualization tools like Microsoft Power BI and Cortana Intelligence. If you would like to learn more about Microsoft Dynamics NAV or Microsoft Dynamics 365 Financials, feel free to contact me at pfernandez@sbsgroup.ca.

Paul Fernandez B.Sc., ACMA, CMA
SBS Group Pacific Canada

About Paul
paul-fernandezPaul Fernandez is the general manager of SBS Pacific Canada, which is part of the SBS Group. He has worked as a professional accountant in industry for 25 years in various senior financial positions. He founded his consulting practise 15 years ago and has worked as a consultant implementing accounting systems at many companies, drawing on his own experience to advise clients on the design of their chart of accounts and multi-dimensional reporting structures. Contact Paul at pfernandez@sbsgroup.ca.

 


Looking for a modern financial management solution for your airport?

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Garden State Highway Products Selects SBS Group and Microsoft Dynamics NAV to Support Business Growth

ms dynamics nav logoSBS Group, a leading technology solutions and services firm, announced today that Garden State Highway Products (GSHP), a major producer and distributor of traffic signs and safety equipment, selected SBS to deploy a Microsoft NAV Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution across the whole of its business. The selection of SBS Group and Dynamics NAV is the result of a robust selection process which started in 2015. Dynamics NAV is an integrated solution for core business processes; in real-time, maintained by a single database management system. The applications that make up the system share data across all the departments and functions in a company.

garden state highway logoGSHP has experienced growth in demand and in the level of customer expectation. Their existing systems limited the scope of business processes that could be automated. Company leadership decided a more robust system was needed to meet performance goals without adding additional headcount.

“We looked at over a dozen systems, including NetSuite, Plex, Sage, and Syspro,” said Robert Green of GSHP. “We liked Dynamics NAV because it used the latest cloud and mobile technologies, provided an easy-to-use interface, and integrated with Office 365.”

“We chose SBS Group because of the breadth of their solution set and the responsiveness of their team,” said Green. “Because they are able to implement the complete suite of Microsoft Dynamics software, they were able to learn about our business and our requirements to provide us with unbiased advice on which solution was right for us. They exceeded all of our expectations for a technology partner.”

About Garden State Highway Products, Inc.

Garden State Highway Products, Inc was founded in central New Jersey in 1987. Today, GSHP, Inc., located in 3 state-of-the-art facilities totaling approximately 70,000 sq. ft. in both Vineland and Millville, New Jersey, is the largest privately owned traffic, street, specialty and overhead sign fabricator in the Eastern United States. GSHP, Inc. also distributes a vast assortment of traffic safety and work zone construction products. The company’s Services Division, started in 2001, installs temporary and permanent signs and sets up traffic work zones.

About SBS Group

SBS Group is a national Microsoft master VAR (Value Added Reseller) with Gold level competency in enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM). Over the past 25 years, they have been recognized as Microsoft Partner of the Year, Inner Circle Member and Microsoft President’s Club member multiple times. The company is headquartered in Edison, New Jersey and operates offices across North America. For more information, please visit SBS Group’s website at http://www.sbsgroupusa.com. Follow us on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/company/sbs-group, on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/sbsgroup and find us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SBSGroupUSA.


To view the full release, please click here.

SBS Group Acquires Network Partner Radiant Technologies

SBS Group announced today its acquisition of Radiant Technologies of San Diego, California. Radiant Technologies has served as a network partner in the SBS Group West Coast region (operating as SBS Group Pacific Coast), since October 2014. With over 20 years of ERP business experience, Radiant offers consulting expertise for both project-oriented organizations within professional services, and manufacturing and distribution industries with a focus on life sciences fields. SBS Group Pacific Coast specializes in designing and implementing Microsoft Dynamics GP, NAV, and CRM solutions.

As a leading technology consulting firm, SBS Group provides accounting and business solutions to mid-sized companies through a network of regional offices across the United States. With over 25 years of successful experience in providing business management solutions, SBS Group is a Microsoft Dynamics Master VAR providing opportunities to Microsoft Dynamics partners nationwide.

This acquisition solidifies SBS Group’s presence in the western region of the country, and strengthens its capabilities around Microsoft Dynamics NAV and within the life sciences market. Radiant Technologies will continue to operate as SBS Group Pacific Coast from its current location in San Diego, and the entire Radiant team will continue to service existing and prospective clients.

James R. Bowman, Jr., President and CEO of SBS Group, explained the logic behind the acquisition: “. This alignment is a natural fit, as Radiant Technologies has actively participated in the Partner Network, they share the same values and dedication to customer service, and we’re excited to extend our breadth of solution offerings to the clients and prospects in the west. We are eager to pursue new opportunities in the life sciences field, and are looking forward to helping these clients go from ‘what is to what’s possible’.”

Kathy Pennington, Managing Director of the SBS Group Pacific Coast office, stated: “We are happy to become a part of the SBS Corporate Group and are looking forward to expanding the company in the West Coast Region and continuing to develop value added solutions for our chosen markets .”

 

 

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