Dynamics CRM on the Microsoft Surface

As a Gold Certified Microsoft CRM partner, Technology Management are aware of the need for Dynamics CRM to be mobile. There are some good 3rd party apps available for use on the IPad currently, but now Microsoft gives us a sneak peak of their Windows 8 App running on the Microsoft Surface.

The apps not scheduled to be released until Mid 2013 – but the video certainly is interesting. We saw a concept CRM app running on a Windows 8 tablet a few weeks ago which was similar, but this really has some polish and nice ideas to it. Having played with the Resco CRM app that’s installed on a couple of Surface devices here at Technology Management, I cant wait till the actually Windows App is released. The Resco app is very functional and allows you to access your CRM data in a nice Metro interface, but the Microsoft App really does seem to have some innovation to it.

Here’s a link that mentions the Windows 8 App and here’s the video..

 

CRM Windows 8 Concept App

20 Lessons From 20 Years Of Project Implementations

As Technology Management clocks up 20 years in business, we have created a planning guide for ERP software to help companies avoid some of the common pitfalls that software planners encounter.

The planning guide helps you reduce risk, deliver on time and on budget, and provides invaluable insight into:

· Defining what you want technology to deliver for your business and agreeing on clear objectives

· The importance of working with experienced consultants and how the dynamics of your working relationship can affect the project outcome

· Making the most efficient use of your budget

· The most common causes for projects going off track.

 

Click here to download the planning guide

 

20yrs-pages

Windows Phone 8

I have been using a Windows Phone now since early 2012 and my IPhone hasn’t seen the light of day since. I love the interface and the way it merges data, so my people tab grabs info from facebook. This means i get the updates on individuals when i go into there contact details as well as my facebook app. Unsurprisingly the Microsoft Office integration is near perfect, i can review a powerpoint presentation thats been emailed to me without having to fire up my laptop. Animation, transitions it all works on my phone and with the quality of the screen it looks great as well, if i need to amend some of the presentation i can do it there and then.

So when i saw Windows Phone 8 had been announced i was interested to see what was new…. well the home screen has been improved with more lives tiles being available and to be customised. It really is starting to look more like the Windows 8 screen that will appear on desktops and tablet’s at the end of the year.

As always its easier to see it in action – so here’s the video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=25DKXGKblOw

From Ashes to The Cloud – Carvers Re-Opens

On the 29th February 2012 Carvers Builders Merchants was engulfed in a fire that completely destroyed their premises, office space and all IT equipment.

FIRE 7 AE 29

The days after the fire the priority was how quickly they could begin to trade again at their 2nd site, and from our perspective how we could get Microsoft NAV and their other key systems up and running.

With an offsite backup being taken on a nightly basis, we took the data that was available and loaded the virtual servers in our data centre. This enabled Carvers employees to access the systems from the various locations they were based at over the coming weeks. The fire started on Wednesday 29th and NAV was available again 48 hours later on the Friday, while Mail and other data was available over the weekend.  We had around 10 members of Carvers sales and admin team based at our offices in Wolverhampton while other staff were based at their 2nd site. The ability to connect to their systems no matter where they were and not have to wait for new servers to be ordered/configured (which would have taken over a week with the complexity of Carvers systems) allowed them to start trading. This also allowed the Carvers Website to come back online and begin to process orders taken through the site.

I’m pleased to say that Carvers opened a new temporary trade counter at the site of the fire last week, which has resulted in new terminals being installed on the counter and business returning to normal. The critical systems are still running from our hosting facility and Carvers are considering keeping them there as they review their IT strategy for the rebirth of the business.

 

carvers1carvers2 

Having visited the site the day before they re-opened It was fantastic to see how Carvers had regrouped and come back fighting after such adversity. Although a small part of the recovery, the flexibility of cloud computing and the speed at which we could get everything back up and running was no doubt beneficial. Having spoken about these advantages many times, it was fantastic to see it in action.

If you are interested in how cloud computing can help your business please feel free to contact us on 01902 578300 or at liam.walton@tecman.co.uk

24/7 Business Critical Support

From April 2nd Technology Management will be offering 24/7 support throughout the year for business critical support.

Most importantly it is our internal support team that will be picking up the call, rather than it being pushed through to an external agency or to an off shore company, who would have limited ability to resolve the issue.

With our growth into organisations that work around the clock, the need to respond to critical issues at any time has resulted in us offering this service for our Dynamics ERP (NAV/AX)  customers.

Many companies are reliant on processes such as EDI to kick off their working day and although these systems work 99% of the time, the comfort to know there is assistance should they require it. This is now becoming essential to meeting deadlines and SLA’s that our clients have in place with suppliers and customers.

If this is something that is of interest to you, contact jason.tromans@tecman.co.uk or via phone on  01902 578300

TecMan (5 of 8)

New Schedule of Free NAV workshops at TecMan announced

The popular free monthly workshops that have run for several years, are now scheduled for the 1st quarter of 2012.

We are covering VAT settlement returns and reconciliation, Jet Reports and Fixed Assets.  These run at our offices in Wolverhampton and hosted by our support team which means its a guaranteed sales person free event! 

If you have a support contract or are interested in moving your support across to Technology Management, book on, meet the team and maximise your investment in Dynamics NAV by finding out what’s possible with the software.

Book on at www.tecman.co.uk/events

Liam

Microsoft Certification Gold in CRM and ERP for 2012

Pleased to confirm that we continue to hold Gold Certification with Microsoft for Dynamics ERP and CRM for the next 12 months.

This certification is the highest available from Microsoft, and requires a minimum of 6 certified employees in each competency. A number of case studies plus the completion of a customer satisfaction survey was also required to be successful.

The CRM team now stands at 10 dedicated people while our Dynamics ERP teams number 16. The investment in quality people all trained and certified to the highest level in implementation, consultancy, development. training and dedicated support is recognised by this certification. competencies 2012

CRM 2011 Role Tailored Forms

I have come across many CRM implementations where the fields on various forms can start to get cluttered and confusing. The fields always tend to be required by someone within the business but without proper management the sheer number of fields can start to take up un-necessary real estate on the form. Take for example a sales manager, when they open an account record they probably want to see key information such as year to date revenue, sales forecasts and turnover. This is fine, we can add that information to the form and the sales manager will be happy, but what about the poor support technician? When they open the account form they want to be able to see support contract details and case history, without having to scroll past a boat load of sales information first. Thankfully CRM 2011 has a great feature that means you can tailor forms based on the role of the user, so the form for a sales manager can now have completely different content and layout to what a support technician may see. All we need to do is create a relevant form, with the desired layout, and then assign a security role to that form.

So here’s what a sales manager will see when they open up an account record:

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And here is what a support technician will see when they open up an account record:

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As you can see, they are two totally different sets of fields, but very relevant to the user accessing it. The forms are clean and un-cluttered, which makes the user experience a whole lot better as they don’t need to search through a maze of fields to get to the information they need.

This feature doesn’t stop there though, not only can you customise the form layout on a role by role basis; you can also specify the code driven business logic too! This means you can add different sets of validation and actions to a form, depending on the role of the user accessing it. The combination of these features makes quickly implementing a UI, which fits all users’ requirements, a lot more achievable then previous versions of the product. Feel free to contact Technology Management should you require more information about Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, email crm@tecman.co.uk or visit our website http://www.tecman.co.uk/Products/Microsoft-Dynamics-CRM

Nathan.hawkins@tecman.co.uk

Microsoft vision of the future part 2

About 2 years ago Microsoft launched a concept video on how technology would impact our lives, the new forms of user interface like touch and gesture, new devices like slates and worktops being computers.  How data would interact with the real world with augmented reality, and how that data should flow seamlessly and between individuals and organisations. We used the video alot in presentations and have seen some of those technologies come to life in some shape or form.  Every time I showed it i got great feedback from the audience and many said it inspired them to see what IT may be capable of. Pleased to say that Microsoft have released another such video updated with new research and although builds on the original video rather than taking a different time scale. If you thinks its a little far fetched, just considered what you do with your smartphone today and how you would have felt if someone had predicted that 10 years ago…..

Enjoy the video

Productivity Future Vision

Dynamics NAV 7 ERP in the browser

In just over 12 months time NAV 7 will be available, and it marks a fundamental change in the way companies and end users can access the software.

We have been talking about cloud or hosted system for sometime now, in fact Technology Management can run NAV 2009 in the cloud for you already. However NAV 7 has been written from the ground up to run in the cloud. In fact NAV 7 will be available to run in a web browser, with the back end database being stored in the cloud.

This will be the first Microsoft Dynamics ERP product available to run this way, showing the innovation and commitment to NAV. It also shows the emphasis that Microsoft have for it to be the product of choice for many organisations in the SMB sector. The cloud option will lower the cost of entry to the product in terms of software, pay per user per month, and no longer requiring a powerful server for it to run on. It also removes many of the risks of managing your own ERP system, by losing the responsibility of the hardware and the ability for users to access the system from any PC with an internet connection will again save cost and add great functionality . I have included a screenshot (apologies for the poor quality) of NAV 7 being run in the browser.  Notice it looks identical to the NAV 2009 role tailored client even though its running in Internet Explorer. 

As always feel free to contact us if you wish to discuss this further.

liam.walton@tecman.co.uk

NAV7 in the browser

NAV 7 running in the browser