Five Ways to Turn Business Data into Business Insight Part 3

This is the third post in our five-part series, Five Ways to Turn Business Data into Business Insight. We’ve previously looked at how dashboards can provide easy information access to your team members based on specific roles and how self-service business intelligence (BI) and reporting can lighten the load on IT resources. Today, we’ll discuss mobile BI and its impact on users and IT.

Get BI on the Fly.

Making everything mobile is the mantra of nearly every business and certainly every IT department. And why not? When you give users the same flexibility and functionality in their business systems that they get in their personal lives, they’re happier, they’re more productive and your business reaps the benefits. And when it comes to business insight and reporting, you can put the information team members need in the palms of their hands, anytime they need it, wherever they are.

How does it work? A business solution from Microsoft uses Office and Microsoft SharePoint as a platform for collaboration and distribution and extends access to key information and reports users working from their phones or tablets. And with Microsoft SharePoint or Skydrive, users can securely save reports to the cloud, access them from their personal devices, and easily share them with other members of the team.

This safe and easy way to share data and insight will reward you with increased productivity and a level of service that will be the envy of your peers—and your competition. In our next entry, we’ll talk about what Big Data really means for small and mid-sized businesses and how to make it work for your company.

Take a deeper look into each of these tips with our infographic: download it here.

With the right business solution, you can boost the financial health of your company. Tridea makes it simple with out of the box options to fit your budget, timeline and requirements. Start with what you need today and easily add as your needs change. Contact us today to get started.

Five Ways to Turn Business Data Into Business Insight Part 2

Take the Burden Out of Business Intelligence

This is the second post in our five-part series, Five Ways to Turn Business Data into Business Insight. In part one we looked at the how dashboards can provide easy information access to your team members based on their specific roles. Today, we’ll discuss the push towards empowering users while lessening the business intelligence (BI) and reporting burden on IT.

Take the burden out of business intelligence with self-service reporting

If money were no object, you’d have a personal technology counselor for every employee. That’s why balancing the cost of IT “overhead” with the powerful benefits of your IT team is so tricky for every business. Just imagine if all your employees could manage, obtain and act on data on their own. Your people would have all the info they need, and your thinly resourced IT teams could focus on the bigger technology picture of your entire business.

The reporting and analytics tools within Microsoft Dynamics ERP help you answer your specific business questions quickly through high-impact reports, charts and simple analysis designed to be easy, usable and adaptable for everyone. Put another way: you don’t have to be an analytics power user or software developer to get the reports you need.

We’ve built hundreds of out-of-the-box standard reports. We’ve also given users the ability to tweak and adapt these standard reports—changing fields, adapting terminology and adding inputs from other data sources. All without calls to the helpdesk. With a reporting, collaboration and distribution platform based on Microsoft SQL Server, Office and SharePoint, you and your employees can take full advantage of your Microsoft investments and get the business insight you need. Again, without IT involvement.

Put the power of BI and reporting in your team’s hands, and you’ll watch their productivity (and IT’s) skyrocket. In the next blog post, we’ll take this one step further, and show you how a business solution from Tridea can make business intelligence as mobile as your team is.

Take a deeper look into each of these tips with our infographic: download it here.

With the right business solution, you can boost the financial health of your company. Tridea makes it simple with out of the box options to fit your budget, timeline and requirements. Start with what you need today and easily add as your needs change. Contact us today to get started.

5 Ways to Turn Business Data into Business Insight Part 1

Get Better, Not Bigger Dashboards

When you’re running a business that’s growing, it can be hard to have a complete view of your financial picture and overall performance. As you grow and add customers, suppliers and product lines, you need access to the information that matters most to your business. And every member of your team needs an accurate, timely look at what’s most important for their unique role.

In this five-part series, we’ll tackle the often-illusive topic of business intelligence (or BI), diving into the principles that will ensure both you and your team are armed with the information you need to manage and grow a better business.

Get Better, Not Bigger, Dashboards. 

Running a successful business depends on the ability to gain insight from business data and present information in a meaningful way. To be successful, your people need to transform data into actionable insight—no matter where they are located in the organization. Microsoft Dynamics ERP helps them make informed decisions as a natural part of their everyday work experience by making the tools on their desktop even more effective, such as:

 

  1. Role Based Reporting: Monitor current activity and compare it to historical performance and growth targets, giving your people access to specific reports related to their task or role.
  2. Easy Access to Charts and KPIs: View business performance at a glance and drill into more detail when trends are spotted and you need additional information.
  3. Ad-hoc Query and Analysis: Robust analysis capabilities, especially with a familiar tool like Microsoft Office Excel, enable your team to do ad-hoc queries on the fly without the help of IT. They can compare plans to actuals, analyze that information, make the necessary adjustments, and then take action.

With business intelligence capabilities in Microsoft Dynamics ERP, you and your team can also be notified when key thresholds are hit, either through emails in your inbox or messages on your homepage. For example, establish the parameters that make the most sense for your business and get alerts when sales drop below expectations, inventory levels rise, or cash flow is a potential concern.

Next time, we’ll talk about how your team can take BI and reporting into their own hands without relying on IT.

Take a deeper look into each of these tips with our infographic: download it here.

With the right business solution, you can boost the financial health of your company. Tridea makes it simple with out of the box options to fit your budget, timeline and requirements. Start with what you need today and easily add as your needs change. Contact us today to get started.

Should you upgrade to the cloud and why?

Many of our customers have been hearing the buzz around going to the cloud with their ERP and other systems.  At first, many CFO’s and CIO’s were leary about moving any of their systems off their premises and felt it was more secure to have their data stored onsite where they can keep an eye on it and protect it.

We have seen a shift happening with our customers.  Many are moving their enterprise applications like Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Office to a cloud-based application and the IT team is asking to move off of old aging servers to the cloud to reduce their cost of maintenance and capital outlays every few years.

With Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013, many customers had to evaluate their systems and upgrade to newer versions of SQL and Operating Systems.  This requires new hardware or servers to be in place before upgrading their software.  This is a considerable decision to make along with cost of upgrading.   Talk about being kicked when you are already down!

We are seeing clients consider the option of moving GP to a hosted provider or Azure.  Makes sense, right?  Why not move your ERP system to a cloud based solution along with your other applications.  The cloud is then where your software resides, but you can still own the software licenses and data, it’s just hosted and you get to relax about all the server maintenance and let the hosting provider do all the dirty work to support the servers and keep them up and running.

TOP REASONS TO UPGRADE GP TO THE CLOUD:

1) Capital outlay versus Operating Expense – When considering a purchase of hardware there are some fixed costs and this potentially can be capitalized.  However, moving to Azure or hosting provider is a monthly hosting fee which is operating expense.   This might be beneficial depending on financial arrangements  like bank debt requirements or tax benefits of being able to expense the hosting fees.

2) Aging Servers and server migrations – With aging servers and support ending on some operating systems, customers need to make a decision whether to buy new servers or to go to the cloud.  Azure and other hosting options are available and there are monthly hosting fees. When you are migrating to a new server or Azure, it’s a great time to do the upgrade as you will have less costs overall to do both at the same time.

3) System Requirements for GP 2013 and higher versions –  The system requirements to upgrade must be considered when planning your upgrade.   With Microsoft ending main stream support for GP 2013 in April 2018.  That means that there will be no more  year end updates available after April 2018, and there is limited support from Microsoft for this version.  If this applies to you, this is a good time plan to upgrade your GP software and servers.

4) Ransomware or system attacks – Some customers believe that their systems are more secure keeping them on their premise.  However, we are still seeing customers with system downtime due to ransomware or other cyber attacks.  Recently, one customer had a ransomware infect their environment and were unable to get their GP data. They did not have a good backup, so they re-implemented GP and had to start from scratch which can cost a lot of money and inconvenience.  It’s difficult for most smaller IT teams to keep on top of security and prevent these attacks.

5) Disaster recovery planning – Imagine a natural disaster and your business systems are down due to flooding, fires or other disaster situations.  Another client in Houston, Texas recently had us help them move their GP system to Azure when the Hurricane Harvey storm was bearing down on the city.   We were able to move their entire GP System and on Monday morning they were able to work remotely, even though their plant and offices were under threat of flooding.  Their Azure install kept them running their business even when their on premise servers were unable to stay up with power and internet outages.  What are your disaster recovery plans if your system was down and unable to keep running?

6) Backup data to the cloud – You would think most modern companies have a good backup system to an offsite location.  However, we are seeing more and more that companies think they have a backup somewhere in house, only to find out that they do not have a recent backup.   Having services to backup your data to Azure or offsite is critical when you need that backup.

7) Web Client available in GP – Some customers want to take advantage of the web client in GP for full users and for employee self-service users.  The web client can be another way to keep your users able to access the system with just a web browser.  Occasional users or employees that need to access their payroll information can use the self-service features.   There is also Purchase Requisitions and workflow to enable users to interact without having to install GP on their computer or laptop.

8) Outsourcing your IT –  Many clients are challenged with keeping up with these system changes and don’t have a large IT team or dedicated resources to manage systems.  While moving to a cloud environment, you can add additional services to manage the systems and provide additional value so that your IT team can be focused on other strategic initiatives.

What is the current version and when is next major release?

GP 2016 R2 is the current release and will enjoy main stream support until 2021.  GP 2018 will be available in December 2017 and does require SQL 2014 or SQL 2016, so check the system requirements when planning your upgrade.

There are many reasons to upgrade your system to the cloud and our experienced team is waiting to help you plan your upgrade to the cloud. Contact us today to find out about your upgrade path!

Boost the Financial Health of Your Company

Boost the financial health of your company with an ERP Solution

The right solution should help you manage your financials, supply chain, and operations – with the power to support your growth ambitions. A solution that is flexible enough to start with what you need today and easily add as your needs change.

If your business solution is weighing you down, now could be the time to consider your options. With an ERP solution from Tridea you can:

  1. Make managing your finances a breeze
  2. Adapt to regulatory requirements
  3. Get the most out of your money
  4. Use the power of the cloud on your terms
  5. Put your data to work

Take a deeper look into each of these tips with our infographic: download it here.

With the right business solution, you can boost the financial health of your company. Tridea makes it simple with out of the box options to fit your budget, timeline and requirements. Start with what you need today and easily add as your needs change. Contact us today to get started.