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Clients First knows their software, but they are also astute business people, and they really understand manufacturing and distribution in particular.
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Posts Tagged ‘pa’

The History of Microsoft Dynamics ERP Systems – SL, GP, AX & NAV

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

Microsoft has multiple ERP solutions that were acquired at different points in the past.  They had somewhat different target markets and capabilities and there still exists some market confusion, especially with the  similar names.

Microsoft Dynamics SL

Dynamics SL was originally known as Solomon Software and was acquired by Great Plains who was later acquired by Microsoft.  SL is focused on small and midsized companies with a heavy emphasis on Project Accounting.  However, SL’s technology platform has gotten dated and Microsoft outsourced all development on the product years ago.

Microsoft Dynamics GP

Dynamics GP was originally known as Great Plains Dynamics.  At one point, Dynamics was one of the top selling small and mid-market accounting systems and typically was ‘neck and neck’ with State of the Art’s MAS90 (Later to become Sage 100).  It was a very competent general accounting system with basic distribution and manufacturing functionality.  It was based on a language that was built for the solution known as Dexterity.  It’s still sold today, but given that it’s not localized to run outside of the US, it’s not a strategic solution for Microsoft as it moves to the cloud.

Microsoft Dynamics AX

Dynamics AX, originally called Axapta, was a solution that was created by a group of executives who left Navision.  It was later acquired by Navision before Navision was acquired by Microsoft.  Axapta historically focused on complex customization, global implementations and later a strong focus on manufacturing.  Over the years Microsoft has pushed AX upmarket to compete head to head with the likes of Oracle and SAP at large multi-national corporations.  Although it can fit a variety of industries and business sizes, its deep functionality and thus longer implementation times leaves it best in complex multi-plant manufacturing environments and those that need to run one system instance across multiple geographies with multiple localization requirements.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV

Dynamics NAV, formally Navision Financials, was developed by Navision.  It was a solution that introduced many capabilities that have been copied by others since including a multi-dimensional chart of accounts, built in real time summation and analytics for fast summaries and instant drill down anywhere and a rapid development environment designed to be mold-able to a client’s needs rather than a solution that assumes you will change to it’s ‘best practices.’  Over the years, the distribution functionality of NAV was heavily enhanced along with a mid-level range of manufacturing functionality and is ideal for financials only, distribution and light manufacturing companies.

The Future:

Microsoft has known for sometime it needs to streamline its offerings while still not leaving existing clients abandoned.  It’s opportunity to do so became clear while it simultaneously is retooling its solutions to be offered in the cloud.  The fact that Microsoft get’s the majority of its revenues from international sales spells trouble for Dynamics GP & SL because neither solution can be used outside of the US in most cases and are among the only solutions of the hundreds of products Microsoft offers to be in this position.

With Microsoft’s introduction of Dynamics 365 for Financials and Dynamics 365 for Operations, Microsoft has retooled NAV for the small and mid-market cloud ERP market and retooled AX for the upper mid-market and upper market cloud world.

Microsoft has rebuilt the core architectures of NAV & AX to run smoothly in the cloud and to be run completely in a browser.  If you are a mid-size distribution or light manufacturing company, NAV & Dynamics 365 for Financials are the Microsoft solutions to look at today and Dynamics AX and Dynamics 365 for Operations for those with complex manufacturing requirements.

Did you know if you are on Dynamics GP or SL (Great Plains or Solomon), you can get 100% of your license investment applied toward upgrading to NAV or AX?  Read more about it HERE.

Authorized Partner and Certified Consultants for Epicor ERP

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

Clients First Business Solutions is an Epicor Gold Authorized Implementation Partner and is staffed by 100% Epicor Certified team members for Epicor ERP.

Why being an Epicor ERP Authorized Partner and Certified Consultant is important to you?

There are people and firms claiming to be Epicor consultants throughout the interwebs.  In many cases, they may be someone who had experience implementing Epicor (who knows what version) at an employer or client.  But it doesn’t make them Certified and Authorized.

Certified by Epicor means a consultant has spent literally hundreds, if not thousands of hours over years of time becoming intimately familiar with the inner workings of Epicor ERP and how to properly implement it to ensure satisfied clients.  It’s a massive investment in money and time an Authorized Partner, like Clients First must make on an annual basis to ensure that it is equipped to deliver the highest quality of services at the lowest possible cost.

By making that investment, Epicor rewards an Authorized Partner, like Clients First, with substantial and exclusive resources.  Among these include:

  • Exclusive access to new versions of the software to become trained, experience and certified on it before it is released to the public
  • Extensive interactive meetings, both in person and virtual with Epicor executives to ensure both parties understand what is needed to maximize customer satisfaction
  • Direct access to Epicor ERP documentation, source code and training in order to ensure we can support our clients.  A partner who isn’t authorized cannot access this information.  Unauthorized partners who have done so, have faced serious legal challenges and have put their clients at risk.
  • A significant voice and influence in determining what new features and functionality make it into the product in the future.  When our clients ask us for a capability, we can help ensure your voice is heard loud and clear for future releases.
  • Priority access to Epicor Technical Support.  When we need assistance we can escalate calls rapidly and have the relationships with the ‘experts’ that can get things done.
  • We are a founding member of the Epicor Partner Council and run the collaboration website.  This gives us instant access to hundreds of specialists to help recommend solutions to unique requirements and problems.  Often the results of this collaboration are received much faster and are much more useful on a practical basis than Epicor’s own technical support.
  • We are first in line to be chosen to work with Epicor Direct Sales and Service teams to help with demonstrating and implementing the solution for Epicor’s own direct clients.
  • We provide industry leading video training and demonstration resources for our clients and others at EpicorDemo.com

The Best Part of being an Authorized Partner is being able to Help you, our Client.

While we are partners with Epicor, our strongest partnership is with our Clients.  Hence where the origin of the name Clients First comes from.  Of course we know the details of the Epicor ERP software, but just as important we become a trusted business adviser to your company and get to know the daily works of how you do business.

Whether you select us to initially implement Epicor ERP or to complete an upgrade to the latest release, we give you extensive time with our team.  We use dedicated project managers to ensure our budgets are delivered on-time, on-budget, and with the expected functionality promised.  We ensure that everyone from your executives to your production floor are comfortable with the new solution and sees our team members as an extension of your organization.

When your system is securely hosted by us in the Microsoft Cloud or is protected by our EverSafe Disaster Recovery & Failover solution, you’ll know that we can keep your Epicor ERP system up and running 24×7 with no down time.

The comfort you get from using an Authorized Epicor ERP partner like Clients First Business solutions staffed by Epicor 100% certified experts can allow you to sleep knowing your business is in good hands.  Our existing clients feel this way and ask us to speak with them if you would like.

Click the chat box below to speak with us now!

SAP Business One.. To Go Version 9.2

Monday, March 6th, 2017

This detailed document (Over 250 pages) for SAP Business One, Version 9.2 is the latest iteration of this overview which goes through module by module, screen by screen for most setup and configuration and use cases for SAP Business One.

Here you should be able to find whatever you need for your SAP Business One implementation, service or support needs.

If you want hand holding through your implementation and training, feel free to click on the chat button below.

Epicor Embedded Education…What is it?

Friday, May 8th, 2015

Epicor ERP 9 and Epicor ERP 10 (Formally Vantage and Vista) offer a unique module called “Embedded Education”.  We have found many customers are confused by what it is and why they might want it.

Out of the box, Epicor includes one of the most robust online Help systems available.  It includes native English well written field by field level instructions for the vast majority of the screens in the application.  In many areas it includes illustrations and real life examples and is fully searchable.

In addition, Epicor includes Robust User manuals.  They can even be purchased in full color printed form which is a rarity in Enterprise software nowadays.

Like most publishers, Epicor also offers classroom style training classes.  Usually held at their corporate offices in California or Minneapolis.  These classes include a complete training guide, access to the software with a training database installed and an instructor.  Epicor also offers some classes via both live web instructors as well as completely recorded videos.

Clients First also offers an extensive library of Epicor 9 and Epicor 10 demonstration and training videos at no charge at www.erp-demos.net.

However, one unique module available is called Epicor Embedded Education.  This is the complete library of the same training materials used in the classroom but available to all licensed users of your Epicor installation.  They can be brought up within the Help Tile in Epicor 10 and by clicking on the ‘Graduating Student’ icon on the launcher toolbar in Epicor 9.  This training goes much more into the full lifecycle process of a function such as how to process RMA’s, versus the built in help which describes field by field the individual screens.

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Embedded education provides you with HTML based interactive training manuals.  The important difference is the manuals are built around the Epicor Education company that should have been installed with your software.  This means you can go through the lessons and examples using the Education Company (Training database) and you can play with modules that may not be fully configured in your live system and make entries that won’t accidentally post live data into your system.  In addition, when it refers to an actual menu or function in the system, the hyperlinks will open up that function in your training company.

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It’s an ideal solution if you are a growing company or have a lot of turnover because rather than paying for live training every time you move or add an employee you can simply assign them to go through the built in lessons.  Many even include ‘quizzes’ to help ensure the user is absorbing the knowledge.

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We hope you find this valuable!

A Successful Dynamics NAV 2015 Usergroup Presented

Friday, March 27th, 2015

On Tuesday March 24 Clients First had over 50 people attend our Spring 2015 Microsoft Dynamics NAV User Group at the Microsoft conference center in Iselin NJ.

Numerous topics were covered including:

  • Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015 New features and capabilities
  • Using NAV with Microsoft Excel
  • Using Microsoft Azure with Microsoft Dynamics NAV
  • Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery and Backup with EverSafe!
  • Multi-Channel e-Commerce for Dynamics NAV
  • And then our classic ‘stump the chump’ Q&A session where a fair number of $5 bills were handed out.

We also gave away an iPad mini to one lucky winner drawn from the bowl.

Here are some pictures and also the full set of presentations.  Thanks for joining us, and please come join us next time as well!

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NAV User Group