The average employee at a mid-market company uses 14 apps to do their job. eOne shows you how Popdock can provide your team visibility into data from all of those applications and make them more productive by allowing them to stay in the application they use to do their jobs.
Melissa: Hello, everyone. Thank you for joining us. So my name is Melissa. I’m a marketing specialist here at Encore. And today we’ve got Chris Dew and Michelle Aune from eOne to present on Virtual Integration with Popdock. And Michelle will just be in the background checking the chat in case any questions come through. So hi, Chris. Welcome.
Chris: All right. Thank you, Melissa. Well, let’s jump right in. I’m excited to share this topic with you today. This is something that we have worked long and hard on. And I think for many of you, this is something that can really be critical in how you move your company forward. Virtual integration, I would say, is probably one of the most desired features in this last couple of years of crazy life that we’re all going through.
But access to data from, you know, many different systems is really what’s driving this. So let’s go in. And we’re just going to kind of dive into a couple of slides. And then I’m wanna spend most of the time in just a quick demo and then we’ll open it up for you if there are any questions, and make sure that those are answered at the end.
Okay. You may have heard of our SmartConnect product. That is a product that moves data between systems, right? That’s maybe your traditional data integration. Whereas Popdock, one of the things we’re focusing on is virtual integration, or you can think of it as sharing the data, or viewing that data. Making it visible in other systems without necessarily moving it. So I want to point out that that’s kind of two different areas that we’re going to be focusing on here.
If we look at it, we have kind of five main areas or pillars, if you will, the Popdock focuses on. One, at its core, it’s this amazing end-user query tool. And what does that mean? That gives you all the flexibility of adding new columns, adding an unlimited amount of filters, doing those cool filters, like, you know, this month, this quarter, last year, those kinds of things. Creating favorites, sharing those favorites with other people, that’s what I think of as something for an end-user that you don’t need to go back to IT every time to get another list or report.
It’s real-time, right? So this is something that you don’t need to set up a data warehouse or something really complex, and expensive like this. You can get at the data as fast as any connection to this system will allow. And so, again, just showing you that here’s a connection to the system, and we’re going to pull that data as fast as that connection allows.
It doesn’t just have to be… I think a lot of what we’re talking about today is maybe around Dynamics GP, or Dynamics 365 Business Central, but there’s a whole host of systems that we can connect to outside of that. So whether it be E-commerce type systems, or payment gateways, like Stripe, and Braintree, and PayPal, and Square, those kinds of things, we can pull any of this type of data into the same interface, and again, make it available wherever you work.
And so I think I’ll kind of just cut it off right there and let’s dig in and actually show you what I mean by this. So before I start inside of Popdock, I think I want to maybe get your imaginations going. And I’m going to start inside of a CRM-type system. So if I pull up, this is Microsoft’s. I call it a CRM. It’s Dynamics 365 Sales, I believe is the current term for what I’m showing you.
And so what I’m going to show you next is how we can do integrations virtually. So what do I mean by this? I have an account, or think of it as a customer, inside of, like, an ERP system. And what I’m going to show you, when I click on this ERP Orders tab, this is pulling live information through Popdock. It’s pulling it from, in this case, this is Business Central data, but it could be GP data. It could be any number of systems, it could be pulling that information in. And what it’s doing, again, is it’s filtering, and it’s only showing this information for our customer GIORDANOS. So we’re seeing their transactions that we have inside of our ERP system.
So this is great. It has kind of the same look and feel of the system that I’m in. I’m pulling all these orders. I can pull in that information like if I wanted some extra address information, I could hit add columns, and now it’s going to go out and grab the latest greatest data from that system and pull it inside of here. Now, this is live, right? So if the connection we’re hooking into is slow, like, that took a couple of extra seconds than I thought it should, we’re at the mercy of that. So that’s kind of an interesting thing.
But you can see there’s two more addresses. Okay, here we go. The last two happen to have address information in line one. So we pull that extra information in. One other cool thing, you can move columns around. So if we wanted this customer to be… Oh, I wanted the location. That’s what I was trying to move. If I wanted the location to be the first field, if I want to group by that, right, now I have a subtotal by location. So we can see the downtown location’s selling most of our product for us. And then we have an overall total at the bottom. Those are things that Popdock automatically does for you.
We can pull the extra line information on each of these sales transactions. And so without even having to drill back to the ERP system, we can pull a lot of information. I can even do some really cool things like if I click this record, that’s the only one that has shipping information, you can see that this is pulling live information. While I have a tracking number stored in the system, I use the tracking number to pull live information from UPS, or FedEx, or DHL. You know, whatever the system may be, we can pull that live information. Even on the inside of a CRM system, I’m pulling ERP information, I’m pulling live shipping information right from where I work. That to me is truly virtual integration, is that we didn’t have to, you know, have some complex integration.
And even if we talk about this, SmartConnect, like I said, is a fantastic tool. But even for SmartConnect to show you these invoices inside of CRM, it would probably take 10 to 15 separate integrations to make everything run because you have to bring in products. But before you can do products, you have to have units of measure. You have to price and price lists, those kinds of things. Then you have to have, you know, the customer information. Then you have to have the lines, and you have to have the header.
And all of a sudden you’re like, “Wow, there’s a lot of moving parts just the show invoices.” So with virtual integration, we can now see whatever we need to do right inside of here and it’s really, really easy to configure. It doesn’t need to just be ERP data though, right? What if you want to see some information from a help desk? So this is kind of an interesting scenario where I actually have a help desk called Zendesk, and I’m able to connect to that information.
So now, again, if I spend my day inside of CRM, I’m able to pull really a 360 view of my customer, because if I’m a salesperson and trying to sell them some additional product, and I see that we have three outstanding tickets with them that haven’t been resolved, maybe I need to take a step back and not sell them something and go, “Hey, support team, I actually want to escalate this, right?” And so we could do something like take this ticket. And we could actually update the priority on it and say, “You know what, this is no longer normal. We need to change this to a high priority.”
And so this is now right from Popdock. In CRM, we’re able to change the priority of this ticket. If I hit refresh now, we’ll see that if everything is going on correctly, we should now have a high priority on that ticket that we had inside of there. So some really cool things that we can do there. Because we can interact with the other systems as well. We can even, in the world of virtual integration, we can change some of these pieces of data into a little more visual, I’ll call it. I could have, like, a pie chart. Here’s, basically, that same breakdown of line items that we sold this customer.
So this is a pizza company. We sell them a lot of cheese. Makes sense. So these are the line items we sold them. But now I have a pie chart. Or here’s another example. This is not coming from a ERP system. This is coming from a custom SQL table. Now I have, you know, a sidebar chart. So you can see that there’s a lot of great ways that we can display information.
Now, I’m going to show you something else. If I want, I can actually drill back to that record inside of the system. So this is Business Central, for example. I’m able to write from their CRM record. I’m able to drill back and see the details in this particular invoice, and see, here’s all the line items that made that up. Now, one thing I want to show you over here is in this top right, this is also Popdock. Popdock is embedded inside of here. So this is another virtual integration because this is showing CRM information inside of Business Central.
So we kind of flip the script right here to show that information live. Or I can even flip this really quickly. It’s no longer Microsoft data inside of here. This is now pulling Salesforce information. So now I have extra information that I’ve stored in my Salesforce system. And I have it live inside of Business Central, in this case, using Popdock to do that. Pull that all together. I could even, again, the Zendesk scenario, we could flip that around, and now we’re pulling Zendesk information into Business Central without having to do another integration. And I could even do some really cool things like I could open this up in Zendesk now, or I could add a brand new ticket right from inside of this interface.
So just to give you some crazy ideas, it’s pretty cool. Now, since I’m inside of Business Central, let me show you one other thing. If we go inside of here, we have Popdock embedded in here. And again, I don’t know if any of you have used Smartlist before on here? This is kind of your Smartlsts for Business Central if you came from the GP world.
And what I’m going to show you inside of here, I can pick one, or I can pick multiple companies. In this case, I’ll pick both. And we have the same interface. But now it looks and feels just like the system I’m in, which happens to be Business Central now. So you can see it has added one cool field called company. These first ones are coming from Cronus, U.S. If I flip this, now we can see these are the ones coming from the EU company.
So you can do some really cool things. Again, we could group this by company. And so we can get totals, sub-totals by company, and then see all the transactions under there. Or then we can group it again by customer if that made sense, or here I’ll do customer name instead. And so now we have not only by that, but now we have it by customer. And then we can see the breakdown of their individual invoices and their sub-totals.
So there’s some really great things. That same interface that was available in other places, is available right here, as well as being able to drill down to other pieces of information. Again, we’re not stuck with just pulling Business Central information inside of here. We could pull data from anywhere. I could flip this around, and I could pull all the helpdesk tickets right inside of here. It looks and feels just like Business Central, even though it’s coming from an entirely different place, which is really, really cool.
I can also… I’m not sure if anybody is in this scenario, but maybe you are moving from some other system. Maybe it could be an old SL system, or maybe even an old version of NAV, and you’re kind of reimplementing. But you want to pull some of the history without necessarily bringing it all into BC. We can, basically, pull any type of data. We can move it to a data lake. Popdock does that for you. And so you can now access it wherever you need to work, which I think is critical in this case.
So let me show you another couple of examples. And then I want to dig into really what makes this happen. Just to show you that we’re not stuck in the Microsoft world, we know a lot of people are using tools, really best of breed. There’s a million cloud apps out there that people are using to make their lives better and more productive. And so certainly, outside of the Microsoft space is something we see quite a bit.
So again, if we look at a CRM system that’s not Microsoft, I can do the same kinds of things, right? This is a Giordanos’ account. Still pulling those ERP invoices right inside of here. But now it, you know, kind of looks and feels like the system it’s in. This is Salesforce. Again, we could be pulling Zendesk tickets. I could even represent that over that chart like we showed before. And so now here’s another that pie chart that’s coming from a SQL system.
It doesn’t have to be a CRM system, too. Let’s get a little crazy here, right? It doesn’t have to be ERP or CRM. It could be Microsoft Teams, right? How many of you could see some benefit by pulling in information related to a particular maybe consulting project that you recognize? So here, for example, this is coming from Dynamics GP, in this case, is I’m able to pull project information and see that on a particular channel that you have inside the Teams.
You can literally do this in 30 seconds without a lick of code. You can have any piece of data that you need to see inside of here. Have the same type of interface, right? If we need some additional columns, we add them, right? It’s not that hard. And so this is the beautiful part about Popdock, is it gives you that flexibility without having anything hardcoded.
We talked about a helpdesk system before. Well, let’s look at this. Inside of here, we have Zendesk in this case, and we have a way of looking at some CRM information. In this case, we’re seeing live CRM information based upon whoever put this ticket in. So I can able to see some contact information. Maybe some account information. I could drill back to that CRM account, right? So it’s not just dumb data, it says, “What do you want to do with it?”
There’s other actions on here, right? Maybe I want to update this contact right from inside the help desk. I can now make those types of interactions the other way as well. So there’s some really cool things. Again, just showing you that it doesn’t have to be just the Microsoft family. We’re getting outside. Here is help desk. Now we’re pulling opportunities from there. Some really cool things.
It, again, doesn’t have to be CRM systems. It could be like a payment gateway. So similar kind of thing. With Popdock driving this, we’re able to pull live information from the Stripe gateway, or it could be HubSpot or Pipedrive. There’s a million different pieces of data we could be pulling from. And it doesn’t really matter where it is.
So what I want to show you now, in just the next few minutes, I want to just give you some insight into how easy it is to set up these kinds of things. So if I go back to the web interface for Popdock, we can have a dashboard. We can have whatever data we want displayed inside of here. Again, if I were to pull up this as first list, you can see I have lists coming from Dynamics GP, and Business Central, and data lakes, and all kinds of other systems.
But we can see here that right now, this is pulling up sales transactions. I could quickly, you know, move to any other list. It’s very, very easy to do. We could still do that same multiple-company thing if we want. And it works the same way. So I want to show you now how the magic happens to maybe configure existing lists, and then how you can make any of this data available anywhere that you need to.
So if I go ahead and pull up, for example, I’ve been using Business Central quite a bit. I’m going to just pick a Dynamics GP one for a second. I’m guessing you guys still have, you know, a few of your customers out there are still using GP and love it. And so Popdock is a great tool for them as well. So in this GP connector, what you can see is we have a ton of lists out of the box. These are, basically, all of your SmartLists that you expected inside of GP. But now you have an unlimited amount of filters and can do that drag and drop grouping, and it’s smoking fast.
But you can also add any new list, right? So what this is doing, this is pulling the ones that we maybe haven’t published around in a payroll or, again, it could be some other like lists. But if you’ve also built lists in SmartList Builder, for example, you can go tick, tick, tick. And you have now added those as well to the available list to pull data from. Now, even in these lists, you can configure them, you can add a calculated field. If I go down here, you can see we can create brand new custom lists. So I can do stuff to join things together where I could join in maybe another GP list, or I could join in a cloud application, right? So I could join into, like, E-commerce orders. Or like that payment gateway, like I said, maybe you have Stripe and you have some subscription information sitting out in Stripe. I could join that back to a GP customer or a Business Central customer, or, you know, a CRM account. I could do those kinds of things.
We can compare between systems. So this gets used a lot with SmartConnect, where you might do a comparison between what’s in CRM, and what’s inside of Business Central, or what’s inside GP, and then just take the differences and use that to bring those three customers, or 100 customers, or whatever, into the system. So you can do some really cool things here, where you can kind of build brand new lists if you want, and it doesn’t even have to stay in one connecter. So as long as you have a piece of information that ties things together, we can connect to anything.
I think that’s enough in the GP connector. What I want to show you in just the next couple of minutes is, how can I make this available now to anybody? And that’s where… Well, before I go there, sorry. While we focused on just a couple of connectors primarily around like Business Central and Dynamics GP, you can see we can pull everything from a data lake to, you know, even some Amazon, their version of a data lake, to all kinds of other systems. And if we look at it, even a SQL Server, right, a custom SQL server that you have the has some data that has nothing to do with your ERP, we can connect into that or cloud applications, right? If you have a cloud application that we don’t have a dedicated connector for, we’ve made it really, really easy to add, you know, a couple of areas, maybe a couple of lists that you need to pull data from that custom application. As long as they have an API or web service, we can pull that information and use it.
Okay, now I’m going to go back to, how does this get made available to other people? And we call these widgets. And so if I were to add a brand new widget in this case, I’m not feeling very creative today, you’ll see there’s a number of different types, right? If I just want to pick one list, or if I wanted to make a bunch of different lists available, that’s kind of what I showed you in Business Central before where I had a whole host of lists. But let’s just start real simple with a single list, but you can have sidebars and all kinds of fun things.
So in a single list, you pick whatever the connector may be. So if we go ahead and… Well, let’s keep going with GP in this case. So I’ll pick a GP connector. You can pick which company. We can pick what it is. So if we just wanted to pull inventory items in this case, I could simply do that, pull items. And then again, this is really cool, because you can choose to have different favorites, right? So if you had created a favorite with a bunch of filters, you can make that available to other systems. In this case, we don’t have any favorites on there. So all we’re getting is the default view of that.
You have some control by default. If you pull a default view, it’s going to pull whatever the fields are in there. So this probably has three, four, five fields on it, something like that. But we could add additional ones if we wanted. We can pass in parameters, so that we only see particular ones based upon what we pass in. And then you have a bunch of options, right? If you want to allow it to be exported to Excel, we can do that. We can allow it to be grouped. So just for fun, I’m going to mark them all, but you have control over how you want that to be viewed.
And then the fun part is, we can pull this information back. Okay, again, like I said, only three fields on this one. But we can start applying a theme to this. So if we want this to look like Business Central, we basically just put this theme. And now this data, it’s the same data, it’s GP data but it looks like Business Central data. So now this is great for embedding inside of Business Central. Or again, maybe we want to have something that looked more like NetSuite. So there you go, that’s what NetSuite looks like, or maybe Salesforce.
So you can see very, very quickly, we can make this look and feel like whatever system we’re putting it inside of. And then at the end of the day, we generate everything you need to know to embed that as an iFrame or embed it as, you know, just one of these other pieces. If I pick like Salesforce, for example, we generate all that code for the apex page. You can, basically, copy and paste that in, and you’re good to go.
So this is the cool glue that kind of brings it all together, that allows us to, basically, take any type of data, and showcase it in any type of system with minimal or no coding anywhere that you need. So I think that’s a quick little overview. I think we have just a few minutes left, I’d like to make sure that we have time for any questions that are inside of there. And so maybe I’ll start with Michelle or Melissa. Do we have any questions out there right now?
Melissa: I’m not seeing anything coming into the chat right now.
Melissa: Do you have a few other things that you wanted to add?
Chris: Yeah, well, let me just talk about some common questions that we do get around this. People are saying, “Okay. So are you saying that I only need to do virtual integration?” I don’t think that’s really true. I think what you’re going to find is that the integration that’s needed, they will be between systems, like let’s take an example of CRM systems, right? You’re going to need to move customer information and account information back and forth. That’s just really critical stuff between systems. But maybe like I showed you that example of pulling invoices, which can be a really complex process behind the scenes, is that now we can do that in a matter of minutes. I can take that list and I can put that inside of a CRM system. And again, have a live look inside of that.
The questions people do ask, though, is like, “What kinds of systems can I embed this in?” And so one of the main things to look for is, like, a lot of the cloud applications will allow you to put an iFrame or like a web component into their interface. And so that’s a really great way to do that. Some of the stuff I showed you around like Business Central today, those are really extensions that we have, you know, some of it’s available in the App Store. Or again, you could even look to Encore, right, to maybe make simple customization to embed this anywhere you need inside of Business Central. But for a lot of the web applications, it’s really easy.
Now, I showed you another example of help desk. So some of these are pre-made applications, if you will, that allow us to embed any type of data right inside of the Zendesk interface. And again, make it look and feel just like the system it’s coming from. So yep, the main thing, again, if you’re looking for a system that we haven’t talked about, is finding out if we can bring in an iFrame really inside of there.
Melissa: Okay, that’s great. Well, if we want to wrap it up, we could give everyone a few minutes back.
Chris: All right, that’s rare these days. So let’s make it happen.
Melissa: Okay. Well, thank you so much, Chris and Michelle, and eOne for presenting today. And thanks to everyone else for joining, and I hope you have a great day.
Webinar - 3 New Features in 2023 Release Wave 2 for Dynamics 365 Business Central
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