Webinar: Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Enterprise Edition
Melissa: Hi everyone, thanks for joining us today. My name is Melissa Greenhill and I’m a Marketing Specialist here at Encore. I’m just gonna go over some quick housekeeping items before we get started with Dynamics 365.
So with your GoToWebinar panel you’re gonna see that on the right side, if you wanna pop that out of the way to see more of the presentation, just click that little orange arrow. And if you wanna pop it back out you’ll just need to do that if you want to add a question in the questions pane.
So we ask that you submit your questions this way because we’ve got lots of great content, we wanna leave plenty of time at the end for questions. And we wanna ensure that our presenter stays on track, so if you pop questions in there I’ll be collecting them behind the scenes, and I’ll feed those to Dan at the end. We’ll make sure to do our best to get every single one of them, just bear in mind that if your question is not responded to, if we run out of time, we’re more than happy to take those questions offline. And I’ll be giving the contact information for our presenter Dan, today at the end, so you can email him any questions you have or even set up a quick call if necessary.
So just a quick note about us, we’ve been serving Microsoft Dynamics customers for over 25 years, we’re a Microsoft Gold partner in Canada, and we’ve got over 130 certified professionals across Dynamics solutions from AX, GP, NAV, Dynamics 365, as well as other areas like Power BI. There’s a list of some of our awards over there to the right, we’ve had a lot of great accolades, not just from Microsoft, but some other well-known organizations throughout the country.
So in terms of the solutions we provide, I’m sure a lot of you on the call are familiar with those that are applicable to you, but you might not be aware that we also have quite a few offerings in BI, Business Intelligence. We also have deep expertise in the areas of ERP and CRM. As I said, you’ll be getting contact information after this presentation, as well as a link to the recording, if you have any questions about our other solutions you can always shoot a message to Dan.
So with our locations, you may or may not know that Encore just acquired another company out of the Pacific Northwest U.S. So we now have locations…you know, our headquarters in Winnipeg, Manitoba, also Calgary, Vancouver and now Seattle and Portland. So I’m just going to get ready to hand the presentation over to you Dan. Can you hear me okay?
Dan: I sure can.
Melissa: All right, I’m just gonna hand this over to you.
Dan: Okay. Can you see my screen okay?
Melissa: I can, yes.
Dan: This is something I didn’t wanna do, hold on a second.
Melissa: No worries.
Dan: If I can do this instead, okay. All right, well, thank you for that introduction Melissa. And yeah, so this morning…and I guess I’ll talk about myself just a little bit, and then we’ll kinda talk about agenda, and then I will, you know, basically do the demos and presentation for you. So I am Dan Schuster and I’m Account Executive at Encore. I’ve actually been working in the Dynamics world for over 21 years now, started back in 1996 for Great Plains Software, of course, in 2001 Microsoft acquired Great Plains Software, so then I worked at Microsoft for 13 years.
And then about three years ago joined Fine Solutions, and then a few months ago, or a couple months ago, Encore of course, acquired Fine Solutions. So I have kind of experience with Dynamics AX, Dynamics GP, now Dynamics NAV, as well as Dynamics CRM. Of course, today we are going to be talking about Dynamics 365 for our finance and operations, the Enterprise Edition. And I guess without any further ado, let me just kind of go over, you know, what that means.
So we’re gonna start out actually talking about Dynamics 365 in general. So Dynamics 365 is kind of a new brand for Microsoft, it’s been around for over a year now, but Microsoft’s still kind of I think working out the kinks and everything. And so I want actually to set an overall context, I’ll be talking about the overall Dynamics 365, kind of picture, just to make sure everybody’s kind of clear on what’s under that umbrella. And then I will specifically talk about Dynamics 365, for finance and operations, and more specifically the Enterprise Edition for that.
I’m not going to go into a great level of detail in this, so if you’re expecting me to dive into financials or dive onto the operational side and show you any tips and tricks, this would not be for you. This is definitely an overview of the product, Dynamics 365, the Enterprise edition is formally known as Dynamics AX. And I’ll talk about that more, and I really just…I’m gonna try to highlight some of the key benefits and the new things that are available now with the Dynamics 365 version of Dynamics AX.
And then I’ll show a demo, so basically high level kind of walk through navigation and, you know, talk about how that’s changed, and how it hasn’t changed within the Dynamics AX world. Also talk about workspaces, which is a new concept, and it’s kind of a new and important concept with the Dynamics 365 finance and operations thing, because AX did not have this and it’s…so it’s a new thing that I wanted to kind of highlight. So I’ll spend a pretty good chunk of time on that.
Personalization is another thing that Microsoft’s done a really nice job with, just in general the user experience is way better than it used to be. And I wanna kinda highlight that a little bit. I will talk about Office Integration, show you one little kind of thing that they’ve added there. And then I’ll wrap up with Power BI, actually I’ll wrap up with some resources at the very end, the last demo I will do is kind of Power BI. Okay.
All right, so like I said, what I wanted to do is talk first about what is this Dynamics 365? So what Microsoft is doing is essential taking their CRM, and their ERP, and kind of trying to merge it together and actually even break it apart a little bit, if you will. So a lot of the new things when you hear Dynamics 365, essentially a lot of it’s CRM, and then of course, there’s ERP as well. So specifically on the CRM side, you’re seeing buckets now for sales, you’re seeing buckets now for customer service and then field service.
And then down below, I don’t have these really organized very well, but there’s project service automation, marketing and customer insights, and all those are kind of CRM stuff. So the old Dynamics CRM now, now they’re being sold and kind of componentized and now you can buy just the sales piece, you can buy just the marketing piece, and so on.
Now, in the ERP world they’re also doing something where they’re taking essentially Dynamics AX is one of the pieces that they are now putting in the cloud, and labeling it Dynamics 365. And this one is basically this Dynamics 365 for finance and operations the Enterprise edition, that is Dynamics AX. It’s just the latest and greatest version, it is in the cloud, it is also available on premises. So they have the, you know, choice for customers in terms of where they want to deploy.
They also have next to the Enterprise edition they have a Business edition, and essentially what this is, is Dynamics N-A-V or Dynamics NAV, in the cloud, but it’s also a stripped down version of it. So it’s really just the financials component within Dynamics NAV product and a little bit of inventory, and things like that. So there’s kind of two ERP slices here, Enterprise is as its name states is basically the Enterprise edition meant for enterprise clients.
The Business edition is more for kind of your smaller clients, people that would be coming off of QuickBooks and then want it, not ready for Dynamics AX world or the Dynamics Enterprise world, but want kind of a middle point between QuickBooks and the Enterprise edition. And then they’ve always also started to pull out and they’ll continue to do this, some of the ERP functionality like retail, has been pulled out of kind of the Enterprise edition, and can now be sold separately.
You’ll see in the upper right-hand corner, there’s also Talent, which can be actually the talent management solution in AX or now Dynamics 365 Enterprise edition, and they pulled that out and kind of decoupled it, and it can be sold separately as well. And they’ve done some really nice work on all those areas, and I’ll show the Talent a little bit, Employee Self-Service when I demo, so.
So I wanted to kind of set the stage there in terms of anybody that was confused about Dynamics 365, hopefully that helps kind of understand a bit. Now we’re gonna actually dive specifically into the Dynamics 365, Enterprise edition, and I wanna specifically talk about, you know, what are the real benefits and what are the things that are different. And again, this is Dynamics AX essentially, but it’s a kinda new and improved Dynamics AX in the cloud, and also available on premise.
So one of the biggest things they’ve done really, Microsoft has done is essentially improve the user experience, and they’ve done this in multiple ways. First of all, there’s only one…there’s one client there’s an HTML5 client, which essentially means that it’s you go to the Web, you type in a URL or Web address and you pull it up and you run it in the web.
And what’s great about this, is that means it will run on any device, it will run on any browser, and so essentially it’s much more mobile kind of product now. And it’s also a much easier to deploy product if you’re in the IT Department.
In the past, with AX they basically had two clients, there was the enterprise portal, which is the Web kind of portal, and then there was basically Windows experience basically or an application. So now it’s one client all on the web which is really a great experience, much better experience, it can again, go on any device. So, it works on phones, and it works on laptops, and it works on PCs, and so on.
And you know, they’ve really done some really nice work around productivity, I will talk about that specifically around navigation and searching, and things like that, intelligent look up and stuff like that. And then there’s integration with Power BI, which is a really pretty powerful story as well. And so, yeah, this is one of the things I’m gonna try to get across today, is kind of just the new user experience. So you have the same great functionality that you had in the past with Dynamics AX, but it’s now in a lot of ways easier to use and helps you to be more productive.
All right, I think this might be the last slide before I dive into the actual demos. And I wanted to spend a little bit of time on this. And this is one of those…you know, one of the things they’ve done is they now have what they call workspaces, and as I mentioned earlier this is an area I’m gonna spend a little bit of time on.
When you first open up Dynamics 365 finance and operations, the Enterprise edition, you’re gonna see a dashboard, and it’s gonna have a bunch of workspaces on there. And kind of the idea behind the workspaces is that you can…you know, it surfaces tasks to end users that mean…
Melissa: Sorry Dan, one second, someone just mentioned a little tweak, are you in presentation mode, it just looked a bit scaled down so I just wanted to check.
Dan: It is in…not in presentation mode, I think I have it [inaudible 00:10:05]. There’s a little bit…
Melissa: [crosstalk 00:13:06] a little…
Dan: If you’re looking at the… Let me throw it in presentation…
Melissa: It could be the little screen at the very bottom right maybe.
Dan: It’s more or less in presentation mode, but this particular screen…
Melissa: See if that helps maybe if anyone’s having any issues with being able to see the details.
Dan: Yeah, the actual screenshots, I know are not gonna…you’re not gonna be able to see the data…
Melissa: Yeah, it’s hard to kind of check it out.
Dan: Yeah, but here it’s in presentation mode now so hopefully that helps.
Melissa: Maybe switch your screen because I’m seeing…
Dan: You can see the screen in presentation mode.
Melissa: If you go to show my screen…
Dan: You know, literally this is the last slide, and you’ll see these screen shots. Can you at least see the bottom, hopefully…I mean, the key is kind of [crosstalk 00:13:49]…
Melissa: Yeah, I can see the [inaudible 00:13:51], so hopefully if anyone else is still having trouble just let me know but it looks all right to me.
Dan: Okay, yeah, I apologize if…yeah, I know that the screenshots themselves you’re not gonna be able to read the stuff in those and that’s kind of intentional in a way. But as long as you can read the words on the bottom that’s the kind of key stuff that…
Melissa: That’s the important part, all right thanks.
Dan: We will be showing the demos, so you’ll see these screens live, so.
Dan: But it’s really as big as it can get. So sorry about that but let’s…yeah, basically what they’ve done is they’ve kind of tried to surface things so that end users are now not just seeing kind of your happy part, and I go in here and everything’s good. I actually wanna know when I come to work what’s the unhappy part, what are the things I have to do something about today.
Surfacing those things that are most important to you, and those things that you have to take actions on, and then they give you, you know, basically context sensitive information to help you make decisions, and then you can actually handle tasks right within the workspaces. So anyway, that’s the other thing I wanna kind of get across today in the demos that I do, so.
All right, so that said, let’s go ahead and start off demoing the product and giving you a look at… First of all, we’re going to just kind of show you navigation. And I switch over to the product here and I probably need to refresh. So what you’re looking at here as I pointed out before… Slide this over there, is the dashboard. And I will get back to these later of course, all these little things here are the workspaces and that’s again some of that stuff I’m gonna talk about in a little bit.
But I first wanted to kind of start out with kind of navigation and talk about what’s different and what’s not different. And so, the first thing you’ll notice is way in our upper left-hand corner they now have basically a nice story where Office Dynamics, all the products that are kind of Microsoft related you can get to from one place. So now it’s really under the Office umbrella Dynamics umbrella, it’s all the same stuff, it’s all mingled in so you have one place to navigate.
So that’s a really nice one Microsoft story, not just Dynamics story, but good Office Dynamics, and you know, OneDrive, and all that stuff under one umbrella, which is really, really nice from a user’s productivity perspective.
So the next thing I wanna point out is just in general the navigation for Dynamics AX, or now Dynamics 365 Enterprise edition, is the same as it used to be. So end users that are using AX today you will see basically a very similar experience, you’re gonna have that left-hand navigation just like you had before.
One of the things you will notice that is different however, is that the menu item is actually flatter, meaning they’ve added a lot more…kind of surfaced up a lot more of the navigation, so you can actually just have less clicks essentially. Where you maybe had to click three times to get to a window they’ve surfaced up some of those windows that were deeper into the navigation, and put them on this window.
Now, it looks kind of scary here and everything, but I’m logged as an administrator obviously, you know, this list…this whole menu will be shrunk down based on your role. So you won’t normally see all of these things. And not only that, but you can go ahead and easily add things to favorites. So this is something that’s a lot nicer now in the new version, before with AX you had to right click on a menu item, and then add it to favorites.
Now you just basically click here and it gets added up in the favorites, you can just unclick the star and it pulls it out of there. So you can easily add kind of your favorite menu items, now in the new version. And then they also have kind of recent. So the last 10 searches or the last 10 kind of windows that you visited will show up under recent, so. And then the workspaces obviously can also be navigated to from the navigation, and even within kind of the deeper navigation you have the applicable workspaces for each of the different areas.
So that’s nice, so basically the same kind of navigation as before, so users that are currently using AX don’t have as big of a learning curve in terms of getting and operating. There’s also…at the top I’m gonna start kinda going through the top of this thing, and you can change companies. This used to be…you know, I don’t remember I think it was down at the bottom but now it’s at the top, so if you have multiple companies you can easily switch.
Another new feature that’s really one of my favorites actually for demoing and everything and even end users obviously, that are using the product would love is this search functionality. Essentially it’s a Windows kind of experience, so you start typing things out, the system kind of starts to figure out, okay, what window was this guy looking for. And it starts ticking and pulling up windows that I might wanna go to.
And so you can imagine if you forget where something is located, you know, something as simple as customers you can start typing customers, it’ll start giving you everything that’s kind of related to customers or even custom fields in this case. So you can see it’s easy to find menu items and things that you maybe just forgot where they were.
They also have kind of a nice elegant way to handle messages in the latest version, in the D 365 version. It may basically show…if something happens like a process finishes, you’ll get kind of a quick little bubble that says, “Hey this thing finished.” And then it shoots it up into this message, and you can actually dive in. And I don’t have anything here right now, but if I did I can obviously just see the message and drill into it and so on.
So it’s kind of an elegant way to kind of handle messages much better than it used to be handled. You can obviously give feedback to Microsoft. And then just in terms of personalization there’s essentially some…it’s very similar to what they had before but it’s a lot less clicks to get to your personalization. It used to be you go to File, Tools, Options, whatever, now it’s just two clicks and I can do things like change the color of my Dynamics AX or Dynamics 365. You know, I have all these preferences that I had in the past service stuff like company I like to log in to, language, and so on. So that’s just some of the things around that.
I also wanted to show Task recorder briefly, and Task recorder is not a new feature, but one thing that Microsoft has done is actually made it a much more powerful feature. And I’m gonna show you kind of essentially how it works. So you can do just like before, you can actually record yourself doing something in the system. It might be updating a customer address, updating a employee address or any process from entering an invoice or a sales order, or something like that.
And then you record it and then basically you can play it back as a guide, and I’m gonna go ahead and play one that I had done earlier, and it’s a very simple one of basically changing the vendor address. And I’m gonna say open the task guide and I’m gonna basically say start this guide. And what it’s gonna do…and you’ll see it comes up a little bubble. In the past, you basically would print off a Word document and you could walk through it.
Now, they actually have a built in kind of thing where it tells you what to do, it says go to Accounts Payable vendors, and so I’ll go there. Accounts payable, go to vendors, and you’ll notice once it pulls up, this little thing is gonna jiggle a little bit, and that’s gonna say, “Okay, here’s the next thing I want you to do.” And then it’s gonna basically… I’m gonna select somebody in the list and that’s gonna tell you the next thing to do, expand this and so on.
So very, very powerful tool, much more robust and much more clean and everything than they had in the past. Microsoft has recorded a bunch of these in terms of best practices, so really good tools there. All right, so that’s just kind of the general navigation of everything. This GoToMeeting thing is in my way.
So let’s go back to the PowerPoint and basically just kind of in summary what I talked about, and from a navigation perspective is number one. You know, things are essentially the same, it’s actually better they put things in alphabetical order, which they didn’t do before. And so all the menu items are now alphabetical order but it’s all the stuff that you’re used to today if you’re an AX user today. The menu item is flattened a little bit so there’s less clicks to get to things, so that’s definitely a nice positive.
There’s still the favorites capability that you’ve always had, presumably loved and used in the past. It is a little bit easier to use, you’re just clicking stars and unclicking stars to add things and remove things. And then kind of another new feature is basically on the search for any menu item, or any window, or list page, or whatever the case may be, which really should add to your productivity.
So I wanna spend… Before I demo it I wanna talk about workspaces a little bit because it is a new concept in the Dynamics world, in the Dynamics AX/365 or Enterprise edition world. So basically…I kind of pointed this out but the whole idea behind the task productivity or behind workspaces is really around tasks and surfacing things up that are things people can do, and that you need to do, you need to take some actions on.
And giving you information that’s context sensitive that will help you make decisions, and then giving you that user experience, so that UI to actually accomplish tasks. And that’s one thing I’ll try to demo. So just in terms of the anatomy of a workspace, essentially you’re gonna see an action pane at the very top of a workspace, would be the first thing I’d point out.
And then what happens is you’ll see…on the left-hand side you’ll always see kind of a summary section, which is gonna be some tiles which is against kind of that context sensitive information that, you know, you can…you care about, things that you wanna do things with. Then next to that section is basically what I call kind of the actual task section, which allows you to kind of do things, you can slice and dice what you need to be doing, and I’ll demo this and then actually take actions.
And then kind of an optional section that sometimes is there sometimes is not, is even a chart section. So the third section is typically gonna be potentially a Power BI chart, and I’ll show this a little bit as well. And then the last piece is really just links, links that are related to this particular workspace, links that are related to the actions that you need to take or the activity on this particular workspace, okay.
So given that, let’s go ahead and Demo the workspaces for you. So back to Dynamics 365, what I wanna do is just dive into a few of these, there are literally…I think I counted yesterday 56 of these things, so there’s a lot of them. I will show later about how to kind of streamline this, obviously not all of these are applicable to you based on your role, you can kind of streamline this. But you can also personalize and reduce the number of these things down to the things that you really, really care about.
But for this demo for this webinar, I’m really just gonna show you three of these basically just to kind of give you a feel for what they are all about. The first one I’m gonna talk about is the financial period close, and this is a good one that kind of shows specific tasks that need to be taken, and it kind of highlights how these things work.
And as I mentioned before, all these workspaces are kind of the same in terms of what data they show and everything. So here you will see on the left-hand side as I pointed out before there’s tiles that kind of surface up things past, in this case there are 81 past due tasks, there are 45 tasks remaining, there’s 55 today’s block tasks. So I got a problem here where I’ve got a lot of tasks that have to be due, and I don’t know…and how am I going to attack this.
And then what they do is, like I said, the second kind of area this is basically where you can do and actually do things. And in this case, you can slice and dice by different things, you can look by accounts receivable versus accounts payable versus the general ledger. You know, where are the tasks that need to be done, and where are the tasks that have been done, and where are my problem areas.
And I can of course, pivot by even user, so I can see April’s got 10 or 15 tasks remaining, Annie has 5 or 20 remaining. And I could even go further on this, and I could do something like, okay, I know April for example is out of the office, and so I wanna take action on this. And I wanna make sure that somebody gets on this, and so then I wanna edit this task. And I can actually just go in there myself and I can assign it to somebody else. I can say okay, let’s assign this thing to June so that she can take care of it.
So that’s just a very simplified example of, you know, I have data, I gotta do something, there’s problems here. And I can easily with a few clicks, you know, hopefully remedy that issue. And then of course, as I pointed out in the far… This is one where they actually don’t have a Power BI chart but on the far left-hand side there’s the links that I was talking about.
So now, let’s just kinda quick look at one that has like a little graph in it as well just to kinda show you that, compensation management is one. Again you have a similar experience, you have kind of tiles on the left with nice information, you’ve got the middle task section. And in this case of course, you’re showing even the chart and graph within here that is applicable information based on what I’m looking at. In this case its compensation management, so I’m looking at a number of employees and what band, kind of how are we doing in terms of their control points. Or are their salaries kind of in line, or are they below the control point, are they above the control point, and so forth, so nice little data there in chart and graph. And then again, far left, you know, related links for you.
Okay, so the last one of these I’ll show you is the actual Employee Self-Service. So this is really nice because in the past, again, as I pointed out before this is where Microsoft had two basically clients, and now if I’m an end user even if I’m an accounts payable clerk I don’t have to open up the web browser, I’m already in the web browser.
I just go to my particular workspace and I can start again seeing things that are applicable to me, maybe it’s some work items that I need to take care of, these are maybe approvals that I need to do. I have things like open jobs if I’m interested in switching maybe jobs within the company, I’ll kinda surface that kind of thing up. And then all these things from entering expenses to time cards to register courses, training and of course, performance review stuff, is on the far right.
And then even from within here there is a my team option, and so if I actually have a group of employees that report to me, I can see them and I can kind of slice and dice them and see their information. I can see them by position. I can see how long they’ve been in the positions, and so forth. I can slice and dice by competition…I’m sorry, compensation, and so I can see that quickly and easily, or even I can manage their performance goals and everything. So again, it’s a great…you know, everything kind of surfaced up, I can take actions very quickly and easily right from the workspaces.
Actually just before I jump out of this one, I’ll show this…this is one area too where there isn’t a path by it…or basically a graphical thing in that third section, but I can add one if I want. So let’s say I wanna actually add a power BI chart and graph in here. And I’m gonna pick one…it’s taking a little bit to load here, but, you know, I basically out of the box… And I’ll talk about this a little bit more later. But Power BI is already kind of out of the box integrated with Dynamics 365, which is really nice, so again, I’ll show you that later.
But here you’re seeing basically some charts and graphs that come with Power BI, and for this example, I’m just gonna say I’m gonna just throw one of these on there the total expenses for this year. And it will pull in a nice chart and graph, and so end users can kind of pull things in here that are applicable to them that they care about, that they wanna see relative to what they’re doing.
And I guess last thing I can do is even drill into this, so you can drill into this and this is actually gonna give you even more data relative to this and the data behind there. So nice drill down capabilities, nice graphical capabilities, and so on. All right, so that is what I wanted to show you with workspaces.
The next thing I wanna talk about is personalization, and I’ll just spend a little bit of time on this kind of showing some of the new capabilities here. But at the end of the day, on the left hand and… Sorry again, you probably can’t see this very well, but it’s kind of the old way of doing things in AX. The point here is that the new way of doing things on the right, is really a lot more efficient. Instead of actually opening up a separate window to add fields and remove fields and move things up and down and all that good stuff, and you actually have what they call basically a personalization bar or what I call a personalization bar.
And that little bar is gonna be consistent throughout the system, you are actually not opening up a new page you’re actually on the page that you’re editing, and then you get all these little tools that allow you to edit. And I’ll kind of show this…and this is what I wanna show you today.
So let’s pop back into Dynamics 365 and kind of see this personalization bar in action. There’s multiple ways to get there. I’ve just right clicked and I said personalize, and personalize this form. And lo and behold here’s the personalization toolbar, again, I’m still on this page, and I can take and personalize it while I’m on it type of thing using the tools that are here.
So there’s options where you basically have a selection thing where you select something and then you do something with it. The second option is essentially moving things around, so if I don’t like the order of these I can actually drag and drop them, so that’s what the second piece is. The third piece is actually kind of a hide and show capability, so you can hide and show things.
And this is one of the things I will show you that I hid a bunch of these and then I saved it and exported it. And we’re gonna import it and show how that one actually is in action. But you can imagine this here, you can also imagine it on a list page with columns, you can imagine it on an actual page with a bunch of fields. Where you can, you know, basically, essentially hide and show things.
This one’s a little more complicated, it allows you… This is actually only applicable on full kind of details pages where they have expand and collapse kind of capabilities. And it is basically essentially telling you what is on that kind of expand and collapse bar. Skipping a tab sequence is obviously one that’s hopefully gonna help add productivity to your lives, or you can actually essentially set the tab sequence on any page or any form.
You can also essentially say which fields are editable or not editable using this little pencil option. And then, the next thing is just adding fields, so you can actually add fields to any list page, any page at all, or any details page and so on. And you do it while you’re in the context of that page.
The last thing on this is really my favorite part because what you can do, is you can actually export. So I can make a bunch of changes on a page and I can export those changes. And then maybe my colleague wants to actually…you know, he likes or she likes what I’ve done and they want that same thing. And so I basically had one here that I did earlier, and I’m just gonna import this, and essentially what this is gonna do is gonna… I’ve hidden a lot of the workspaces on here. I’m gonna say okay to this, and it’s gonna go ahead and it’s gonna remove based on that little file.
And so you can imagine… I’m gonna refresh the page because it’s telling me to. So yeah, so you basically…and this is something you could have done in the older Dynamics AX versions as well. But… Sorry this thing keeps popping up. But it’s a much more streamlined way of doing things now. So you know, you can share those files after you’ve made a change to a page, or to a list page, or to a details page, or even to here to the dashboard.
And again, you can either share them with SharePoint or obviously, you can email these files or whatever, and your colleagues can import them in. And it’s pretty foolproof that there was…third option was to clear, so if you don’t like what the changes were you just hit the clear button and it actually bring it back to kind of the default values. So relatively foolproof, so you can make changes and if you don’t like them or you forget what…you know, that you wanna go back to where you were before, you can do that easily.
So that’s kind of the personalization piece, I’ll show you one other kind of nice feature and that is the ability to actually surface up specific data on these workspaces. And so in this case, I’m actually gonna pull up a customer list for you and I’m going to just add a filter to this, and this is gonna be a very simple filter. But I wanna just look at customers for example with a poor credit rating. So I’m gonna arrow down here to a credit rating and I’m gonna say, contains just for kicks, and I’m gonna just say poor.
I’m gonna go ahead and apply this, and so it’s gonna filter out this list to only the ones that are poor. And so this is another nice feature that you can do is, after you’ve kind of filtered something out you have this favorite kind of filtered out list page that you have, you can add this to a workspace. So in this case, I’m gonna go ahead and just add it to the sales order processing one, I’m gonna add it to a tile. I’m gonna say configure, I’m gonna name it, you know, well, poor rating, let’s do that. I’ll say okay.
And now we’re gonna just go to that workspace and… Let’s go back to my…here, and I put it on the sales order processing and inquiry, and now you see that tile bubbled up here, which is really nice. And then you can even further go and I can say I wanna personalize this, I actually want this information to kind of show up on my dashboard. So I can go like this and I can now go out to my dashboard, and it is actually going to show that even out here.
So even without even clicking into the data I can pull out kind of this information that’s really important to me, I wanna keep track of this in this case customers with poor rating. You can imagine you can easily do that with anything here. So nice, nice personalization tools and productivity tools in the new version.
So we have several things here, you know, obviously this deck will be shared later, so you’ll hopefully be able to see this a little better. But I didn’t even show the look ups but essentially now you can do a filter bar, you know, look up by ID or name, it’s a really nice capability. Actually I can even just show that quickly as long as I’m here. I’m gonna just go back to the customers and you can actually see that there’s the search bar, and I can even just start saying like desert and it’ll filter out by name. I can obviously do that by number or account number or customer group, or whatever I wanna do. So very easy to actually search which is another kind of nice capability.
The action search, it didn’t show this either, but you can actually…there’s little action or the search thing where I can say new, and it’ll actually, you know…you can actually start a new action, or an edit action, or whatever the case may be. And then personalization that’s the key thing that I kinda showed you where this new personalization tool bar adding tiles to a workspace and bubbling up, you know, basically data to the dashboard and so on. So a lot of great productivity gains from that perspective.
Next piece is Office Integration, this would be a quick little thing I’ll show you. This is not necessarily what I would call brand new, this is something that you could have done before, but Microsoft has definitely done kind of a nicer job of making this easier for customers. They actually have a little button up here on the right-hand corner where applicable that is to essentially open something in Office. And you know, obviously, it’s gonna open things, in this case it’s gonna open up a customer list page in Excel.
So I can open up customers, I can say go ahead download this. And what’s really nice is because there’s a nice integration with Office, it’s one story here, it will pull up this information in Excel. It’s gonna authenticate my user so it knows what kind of access I have, and it will only surface this up or it will only let me edit this if I have access or, you know, the permissions to do so. And so once it pulls in this data I can even edit this data and I can publish it back to Dynamics AX.
Now this is not new, this is something that was in Dynamics AX older versions, but it is a little smoother story here. And so I can put like 500,000 here and obviously in Excel, which is nice, you can just kinda copy and paste very easily. And then once you’re happy with what you’ve done you can publish this data. And it will even validate, so it’ll basically go out and it will… If there’s errors it will…there’s even business logic built in here, where it will tell you if there’s an error, if it can update something, or whatever, so there’s a nice integration there from that perspective.
So now if I go back to this page, all goes well, so it’s still showing one. But if I refresh this page it should have updated these fields. So that’s just one example, obviously, they’ve done a really nice job specifically where this might be more helpful than most is the things like budgeting they now have… I mean, they’ve always kind of had it, but they’ve done a lot nicer job of integrating Excel templates and Excel with the budgeting and pulling in budgeting numbers, and so on. So you can imagine updating some of what I just did, budgets, and then pulling that data into the system and so on. So just wanted to show you kinda the windows or the Office little icon there button, which is new.
The last thing I will demo is just the Power BI. A lot of customers may or may not have heard about Power BI. But Power BI is actually a new…well, it’s probably about a year old now, but it’s a visualization tool from Microsoft, which allows users to pull data from multiple data sources. It can actually mash up data from multiple places, it could be even external things like Google Docs or Salesforce or other ERP solutions, or so on.
And then basically pull data in and mash the data up, and the key of it is it’s…like I said, it’s a graphical representation tool, is essentially what it is. So it allows you to build pie charts, and bar charts, and so on. And a couple things I’ll show you here is that out of the box, the solution has integration with Dynamics AX, you will see that it has already things with even Acumatica, which is a competitive product to Dynamics, or Adobe, and so on. You’ll see things like Salesforce, obviously there’s Azure services that you might wanna pull data from.
And then if you kind of flip through here you’ll eventually run into the Microsoft Dynamics world of out of the box charts and graphs. And so I’ve already pulled in a couple of these are two or three of these, but essentially, you select this thing and then all you have to do is copy and paste the URL for where your Dynamics 365 instance is. And then it will authenticate your user, and it will basically… You can pull the data directly out of Dynamics 365 into Power BI.
And then just to show you, you know, one of these, and this is just a performance one that I pulled and created and it’s pulling directly this data from Dynamics 365, the Enterprise edition, the instance that we were looking at. In fact, if you notice this here the total expenses is here, this is that little pie chart that I added to the employee or that manager self-service I guess it was, but yeah. Then there’s, you know, several of these and so it’s really nice you have out of the box ones but you can obviously build more, and so nice story there in terms of an integration with Power BI.
All right, so that’s all for the demo, again hopefully, you kind of got at least a feel for some of the cool, new benefits and what’s now available that was not available with Dynamics AX. Hopefully, you kind of saw that, you know, fundamentally it is very much the same in terms of the user experience, but it is in more modern obviously look and feel. Things like integrations with Power BI, is I think better integrations with Office is much better, and so on.
The workspaces is really a good way to add productivity to your organizations, and so on. So one thing I’d wanna leave you with is just a couple of resources. Again, this will be shared, this deck will be shared and the video will be available as well. But LCS or Life Cycle Services is essentially what Microsoft is using to manage kind of the deployments in the cloud for Microsoft Dynamics 365, the Enterprise edition. And essentially it has tons of tools out there, there’s RFP kind of responses that you can actually go and search and find, does Dynamics AX, or Dynamics 365 do this feature or functionality?
If you have it deployed it’s basically all the tools to if you wanna customize code, it manages that whole piece of things, it manages updating, it manages customer help and things like that. But it’s a great source of information just to go out and anybody should have access to this. You just go to https://lcs.dynamics.com. You’ll have to have a login or create a login for yourself, but your organization name should work or even a Microsoft account I think will work as well. And you kind of start seeing and digging into more information about the product.
And just to kind of show you this quickly, like the environment that you’re seeing right now is essentially hosted on Azure and I spun up using Life Cycle Services. So this is the environment I’ve deployed it and I log in from here, and so on. But yeah, so you can spin up environments and you’re using Azure when you do that, and so you pay for everything. But essentially this is kind of how you manage your Dynamics 365 Enterprise for your deployments.
And the last thing I will leave you with is CustomerSource, presumably everybody on this call and hopefully everybody on this call knows about CustomerSource. But I am always surprised by how many people don’t have a clue about CustomerSource, and you know, obviously it’s a great source of information. If you are up to date on your maintenance plan, you have access to CustomerSource and it is a great source of information. There’s tons of blogs out there, there’s tons of, you know, helpdesk type of questions that you can just search on. There’s training available. There’s obviously videos, and so on.
So it’s a great source of information and this particular link kinda just shows you how to use CustomerSource, if you haven’t used it before. So kinda more for the folks that maybe have never been out there to get you started.
Okay. So that is the end of my presentation. I thank you for your time, and Melissa, I don’t know if anybody has asked questions on?
Melissa: Yeah, there’s a couple questions here actually, so maybe I will just take the presentation away back from you and I’ll read those out if you have some time.
Dan: Yeah, we can try that.
Melissa: All right, so let’s see if I can get my screen up here. Nope, it didn’t work, one second.
Dan: Yeah maybe [inaudible 00:49:29].
Melissa: Okay, can you see my screen?
Melissa: Okay perfect. Of course now I’m [inaudible 00:49:40]. So I’ll read these questions out to you. So someone asked, “What is the best reporting strategy for Dynamics 365 finance and operations in regards to Power BI and SSRS?”
Dan: That’s a great question. I mean, honestly they’re kind of two separate tools. I mean, SSRS is obviously more designed for, you know, query and data, transactional data, getting data out of the system and pulling those reports. Power BI doesn’t actually…I don’t believe it plays super well with SSRS necessarily. I mean, they’re kind of two separate products. And you know, Power BI’s more for using… I mean, I would use that for direct services like I showed you, just the services that come out of the box, or if you push anything to Excel you can kind of pull that into Power BI.
You know, honestly, Power BI is a whole separate kind of presentation that I have done in the past, and typically think of Power BI is really just… The only thing… What it really does is it’s a visualization tool. So it is a very separate different tool than SSRS, which is, it’s not a visualization tool, it just cranks out kind of reports basically. And you know, I’m not aware of a way to kind of pull SSRS reports into Power BI myself, there probably are smarter people out there that would know how to do that. But it’s two different ways of getting data.
The other thing I would say about that is I would think of SSRS reports in the context of more power users that need that kind of data. Whereas Power BI although it’s very useful to all users it’s kind of more designed for your CXOs, and your presidents, and so on, of the organizations. It’s kind of nice charts and graphs that can be pulled out, and it’s the kind of people that are super busy and just wanna give me the 30,000 foot view of how we’re doing, give me all of our expenses and revenues for this quarter, and so on.
So the kind of data that Power BI kinda pulls out, although you can…you know, obviously it’s useful to everybody. It’s most beneficial probably to your CXOs role versus the SSRS reports which is more for your power users. So hopefully that answered your question, and you know, if not follow up with me, follow up questions are fine; shoot me emails or whatever the case may be, you have my contact information.
Melissa: Yeah perfect, okay, I have another one here. “Is the customization of menu user specific or workstation [location specific]?”
Dan: Great question. Everything I showed you from a personalization perspective was user specific. So it’s definitely not location specific, so it’s basically my work…you know, and in this case it’s just me. And if I have my colleague right next to me they’re doing theirs, or if they can do their own, but it is definitely personal to that user it’s not location specific at all. And it’s not something that you push out from IT Departments kinda customizing the solution or the menu items. This is your actual view, what you care about as a end user, which is very powerful.
And one of the things that is even better about it that I don’t think I mentioned was that in the past, you could do that kinda thing. You could add and remove kind of and personalize like a list page, you know, you could move and add columns and things like that, and save it. And honestly, you could have shared it in the past too with your colleagues and then they would have had their own, they could have tweaked it.
The problem in the past was that, first of all, the whole experience was pretty clunky, it’s much more streamlined now. Second part is that once I personalize something what’s really amazing is according to Microsoft, when you upgrade or, you know, when there’s an upgrade, which actually there’s gonna be more upgrades with Dynamics 365, you’re gonna see them more often. Microsoft is saying that those personalizations that you’ve done are actually persistent, so when you upgrade you’ll still see those upgrades or those personalizations you’ve done, which is not the case or was not the case with older versions of Dynamics AX, so.
Melissa: Okay, great, thanks. That’s all we have for questions right now, but if anybody wants to just shoot another one just take one more minute here. I just wanted to mention, we have a upcoming webinar in December, about the new features in Dynamics GP, and it will be kicking off a ton of other webinars in 2018. So every other week, so if you wanna go to the Encore website events, we’ll have everything up there for you to register, and also we’ll be mentioning it up in our newsletter.
So if you’re not receiving the Encore newsletter just let us know, and we’ll make sure that you get that. You can send me a message or Jess, and that comes about once a month. And I’ll be sending you Dan’s contact information of course, and sending you the recording, and the links to those resources that Dan added there. And feel free to just let us know if you have any questions or suggestions about webinars, we appreciate your feedback. And thank you so much Dan, that was really great. I learned a lot.
Dan: You’re very welcome, thank you. Thank you for your attention, appreciate it.
Melissa: Okay, someone else send thank you, thank you.
Dan: You’re welcome.
Melissa: Have a great day everybody.
Dan: Thanks, everybody. Happy Thanksgiving for those in the U.S.
Melissa: Yeah, happy Thanksgiving to U.S. Okay, bye-bye.
Dan: Bye guys.
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