Our AX2012 top ten features #4: Case Management

With Dynamics AX2012, Microsoft are unveiling a simple and powerful new feature known as Case Management. Read about this in entry #4 of our top 10 features in AX2012.

AX2012

Now we’re down to the last four in our Dynamics AX top 10 and although AX2012 is now available, our countdown will coincide the AX2012 virtual launch on the 8th September.

With AX2012, Microsoft are unveiling a new feature known as Case Management.

A “Case” can be thought of as an issue that requires a resolution and almost all businesses can benefit from using Case Management in one way or another. Off the top of my head, here’s a few ideas:

  • Customer product inquiries
  • An internal IT support desk, where employees log issues with IT admin.
  • Customer’s reporting issues with your website
  • Expense audits
  • HRM processes such as onboarding, grievances and discipline
  • Health and Safety- accident reporting
  • Product quality control

Cases can be linked to customers, vendors and employees and are therefore located in the Home ‘module’ although they can also be created in the Enterprise portal. Once a case is created, a service level agreement (SLA) can be assigned. The case creator can then search through a list of existing knowledge articles to see if a similar case has already occurred. Each of the similar knowledge articles can be marked as helpful in resolving a problem.

Cases can be elevated to other employees and activities can be automatically created to follow up on the case until the case is resolved and closed. Before doing this however, a new knowledge article can be created to help with the resolution of future cases.

Using case management strategically in your business will help drive down costs through faster, simpler processes and will help you manage compliance and you may have notice that these are becoming central themes with Dynamics AX2012.

To see Case management in action, or to discuss how Case management can be used in your business please contact us via www.tecman.co.uk

 

Our AX2012 top ten new features: #8 AX via the web

We continue the tour of our favourite features in Dynamics  AX2012 with the Enterprise Portal.

For those of you that aren't familiar with Dynamics AX, Enterprise portal allows business data and logic to be accessed by users via a web browser.

For those of you that are familiar with AX, you may be thinking: "Hang on- is this really new? Hasn't this funcationality been a part of in AX in various guises since the year 2000?"

Well, yes- but now this funcationality has come of age, and definitely merits a mention in our AX2012 top 10

In ealier versions of AX, the enterprise portal only provided a lighweight method of accessing business data. The look and feel of the web interface was at odds with the user experience on the rich client. The benefit of mobile and remote access to AX had corresponding cost in terms of speed and usability.

Now with the Model driven layered architecture (MDLA) in AX2012, list pages of data (e.g. the Customer form) have an almost seamless look and feel whether the user is at their desk in the rich client or working with AX on the road via the web on a tablet.

To demonstrate this, view the two screenshots below- one is a view of the customer form in the rich client, the other is via the web.

So_ep 

So_rc 

I deliberately didn't label the images above- you can work out which is which for yourselves. You'll notice that the UI is amost the same. Users who work in the rich client can work with the web version in the same way (and vice-versa) without any additional training.

Any new list pages a can be built declaratively without writing new code, with the same model allowing the rendering of those pages via the rich client or the enterprise portal.

This means that any custom forms created forthe rich client can be deployed to the web with just a single click.

 

 

#9 of our AX2012 Top Ten: “DIY BI”

We contiune our countdown to general availability of AX2012 with a look at “self service business intelligence”.

AX2012 
 

We’ll continue Technology Management's countdown to the launch of AX2012 with a question:

    What’s the world’s favourite BI tool?

    Clue: Hit the windows key, type “exc” and hit enter.

Chances are that you’re already familiar with it, and have been for years. Your colleagues know it, and you can be fairly certain that anyone joining your business- even a school leaver is likely to be proficient.

So wouldn’t it be great if you could directly access your live ERP data from a Microsoft office Excel spreadsheet?

It's easy if your ERP system also happens to be from Microsoft. In a matter of seconds you can pull live data from AX into Excel and view, analyse and update information in AX without ever leaving your favourite BI tool.

Providing you have the necessary authority, you can help yourself to transactional data and use tools such as Powerpivot to drill down to what’s important.

You can then save the spreadsheet locally and because the link with Dynamics AX tables in maintained, you can refresh it with up to the minute data at any point in the future.

Microsoft even have a catchy, Monday morning friendly phrase for it: “Pervasive interoperability”. Meaning Microsoft software is already pervasive within your business, so perhaps a highly integrated (interoperable) Microsoft ERP system is the next logical step.

To see "DIY BI" in action, register for our AX2012 preview event on the 20th July.

 

Our top ten new features in Dynamics AX2012: #10 Date effectivity.

With approximately ten weeks to go until Dynamics AX 2012 becomes generally available, we’ll countdown our top 10 new features from the 1,200 exciting enhancements available in AX 2012. We’ve had some difficulty in boiling down such a huge list of features to the ones we think will benefit our customers the most, but I’ll kick things off at number 10 with a very powerful feature known as date effectivity.

Wouldn’t it be great to travel backwards (and forwards) in time through your business data? Tracking revisions and corrections to pricing, customer information, machine capacity, safety stock, emergency contact information and almost anything you can think of?

 Back-to-the-future

Great Scott!

Although there were isolated examples of date effective tables and forms in AX2009 and earlier versions, AX developers didn’t have the facility of a consistent, system wide approach when modelling date effectivity. Dynamics AX2012 now allows almost any table and form to be configured with date effective properties; whether this results in the tracking of a single piece of reference data, a collection of data, or a changing relationship between two data entities, for example an employee’s promotion history through various positions in your organisation.

In summary, date effectivity provides a powerful new framework for modelling changes to your data through time.

Continued