Author Archives: Michael Camp

When You Need to be Wary of the Hype Around the Cloud


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It’s true that cloud-based ERP systems have major advantages. They can get you out of the IT business. Especially for start-ups, paying for a system with the software-as-a-service (SAAS) model can be cost effective when you compare it to paying salaries for an in-house IT Team and costs for hardware, servers, utilities, and backups. Moreover, a true Cloud system (multi-tenant and not hosted) makes upgrades minimally disruptive and basically routine as they take place in the background with no direct costs like the traditional upgrade model.
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When to Be Wary
On the other hand, oftentimes, true Cloud products haven’t grown up yet. They deliver fundamental functionality and some bright-and-shiny modern features, but still can’t compete with some tried-and-true on-premise solutions, which are actually just as “modern” or even more so.

One area where this is especially true is in project accounting, job costing, and government compliance. Cloud products tend to lack the depth of capability required for these functions. Seldom can Cloud solutions effectively deliver sophisticated allocations, complex job cost accounting (e.g. costing on the task level, etc.), truly flexible reporting, and indirect rate management for Cost Reimbursement government contracts.
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What Really Counts
The desire for a “modern solution” can blind people to recognizing a system that efficiently performs the critical functions they need. The answer is to realize, whereas there are compelling reasons to consider a cloud-based system, at the end of the day what counts is implementing a solution that truly streamlines your business.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 and other cloud-based products are still relatively new to the market. Or, they are in a suite of products that may not have flexibility to integrate with critical third-party enhancements. If your core business is project-based—professional services, research, engineering, construction, make-to-order manufacturing, etc.—or you are in the federal/state government market, consider this: We have seen traditional on-premise systems like Microsoft Dynamics SL blow the emerging cloud or suite products out of the water… or should I say, out of the sky!
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The Best of Both Worlds
What’s more, if it’s the IT business you want to get out of, an on-premise system like Dynamics SL can be hosted in the Cloud to ensure you gain the essential Cloud advantages.

At Synergy Business Solutions, we help companies make the ERP system comparisons necessary to make the right choice. As a reseller of both on-premise (Dynamics SL and Dynamics NAV) and cloud (Dynamics 365) solutions, we are happy to assist you in your evaluation process. There is a time to be wary of the Cloud option and we help you discern when that time is and why long-standing modern on-premise systems often give you what you really need with or without hosting cloud technology.

Why Upgrade to Dynamics SL 2015

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For Dynamics SL users still on SL 7.0 or 2011, there are many compelling reasons to upgrade to SL 2015. Watch this on-demand webinar to learn what those reasons are. Here are some of the upgrade advantages the webinar covers:

Dynamics SL 2011 Functionality Enhancements That are Carried through to Dynamics SL 2015:
Document attachments, Quick Send, Doc Share, project-distribution integration, enhanced Business Analyzer, and Quick Query.

Dynamics SL 2015 Functionality Enhancements: All enhancements from Dynamics SL 2011, plus: Reporting enhancements, project enhancements around multi-company, multi-currency, and sales tax; and financial enhancements around AR, AP, Payroll, and 1099 Vendor backup withholding.

Access “Why Upgrade to SL 2015” Webinar now!

eBanking in Dynamics SL Made Easy

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Did you know that Dynamics SL has a fully integrated eBanking module from SK Global Software? This software seamlessly integrates with Dynamics SL and allows you to manage your Banking Process automatically while providing improved security and fraud protection.

From Positive Pay files for your bank to electronic payments to your vendors, these solutions can help save you time and money and improve your visibility and control over your banking processes. The suite includes Positive Pay, AP EFT, Wire Transfer, AR EFT, and Lockbox Processing – you can pick any or all.

See a recorded WEBINAR on the solution: eBanking for Microsoft Dynamics SL

Or, contact your Account Manager to answer questions or arrange a demo.

Microsoft Dynamics 365, Dynamics SL, and Your Business

Dynamics 365 and Dynamics SL

Made available on November 1, 2016, Dynamics 365 is Microsoft’s next generation of business intelligence applications in the cloud. It’s a cloud-based financial management solution that is highly integrated with Microsoft CRM and Office 365 with powerful capabilities for sales and operations. Companies on Dynamics SL may be asking, “What impact does this have for Dynamics SL users?” Companies searching for a new system, should ask, “How do we know if we should consider Dynamics 365?”

First, “What impact does this have for Dynamics SL?” None! Dynamics SL continues to be Microsoft’s top solution for project-based organizations with its powerful flexibility and phenomenal project accounting capabilities, including easily handling DCAA compliance for government contractors. Microsoft will continue to release new enhancements and fixes to Dynamics SL. As stated in the product roadmap, Dynamics SL has a planned development timeline as does all of Microsoft’s on-premise product lines. A Cumulative Update (CU2) for Dynamics SL is planned for December 2016 and a new major release is planned for 2018.

Second, for companies evaluating a system upgrade, “How do you know if you should consider Dynamics 365?” The short answer is this: At this time, Dynamics 365 is not a good fit for companies that either are government contractors or that have complex project accounting. However, for small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) without those characteristics, the Business Edition of Dynamics 365 could be a great option (The Enterprise edition of Dynamics 365 is designed for large, enterprise level companies). Those SMB companies should consider Dynamics 365 if they desire the benefits of the cloud and if their core need is merely more robust financials that integrate with sales and operations. Moreover, Dynamics 365 Business Edition does have some light project functionality. It could be an option for those who only need a single level task structure with no allocation capabilities.

Will Dynamics 365 ever be a good fit for project-based companies and government contractors? Microsoft and a 3rd party vendor named Progressus is working on developing Dynamics 365 to ultimately compete with the powerful flexibility and functionality of Dynamics SL. It is unknown when that time will come. When it does, Synergy Business Solutions will help companies evaluate whether a cloud or on-premise solution is the right fit for their project-centric organization.

The Power of Dashboards and Business Intelligence

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All too often, business data is hard to access and use. Without reporting software and dashboards, your ability to make sound business decisions is handicapped.

A Synergy solution delivers this business data utilizing Dynamics SL—along with some of the most advanced, modern analytical tools on the market. The result is accurate business intelligence about your customers, sales, projects, markets, finances, inventory, orders, and much more.

These analytical tools include SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS), Business Analyzer, and Microsoft Power BI.

SSRS is a flexible and highly configurable report builder that creates executive dashboards that convey business intelligence. With Business Analyzer, you can gain powerful, role-specific insight through reports, charts, and graphs. Power BI enables you to monitor your business and get answers quickly through rich dashboards on any device. Like all of these tools, it transforms your company’s data into visuals you collect and organize so you can focus on what matters to you.

Finally, for more exacting reporting needs, there’s the third-party solution, Bi360 by Solver. It is a self-service business intelligence suite that combines a complete web-based and Excel solution with mobile apps, comprised of Reporting, Budgeting, and Dashboards. It also has an optional pre-configured Data Warehouse.

To see more examples of how these charts and dashboards display, visit Financial Reporting & Dashboards. To learn how you can obtain any of these tools for your Dynamics SL system, contact your Account Manager if you are a Synergy client or our Solutions department if not, at info@synergybusiness.com.

Top 4 Ways an ERP Software Partner Should Support You

When selecting a new ERP, financial management, and/or project accounting system, software is not the only consideration. It’s also important to choose a proven partner, that can help you with the selection process, a successful implementation and configuration, training, ongoing technical support, connecting you to a vibrant software community, and showing long-term commitment to the product.

Watch this video to learn how important this is.

Top 4 Ways You Should Get Support from an ERP Partner

 

From QuickBooks to a Modern ERP System? Why ROI Matters

Entry-level accounting solutions like QuickBooks become very inefficient the larger your company grows. They have many hidden costs represented by a lack of automation, manual processes, reliance on spreadsheets, and little or no business insight, all resulting in poor productivity. When you switch to a modern, cloud-based or on-premise ERP system (such as Microsoft Dynamics SL or Dynamics 365), you leave those hidden costs behind while gaining new hidden savings. This is why calculating your return on investment (ROI) is so important when evaluating changing to a modern ERP solution. Learn how it works in this short video:

Why Your ROI Matters When Replacing QuickBooks with Cloud ERP


How to Become a Strategic CFO

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The role of finance departments, especially in small-to-mid-size companies, is dramatically changing. Traditionally theirs was a secondary role. They were locked into the tasks of keeping the books, paying the bills, and delivering historical financial information to executives. Moreover, they were bound by the constraints of using burdensome, non-integrated financial systems.

Today, because of the advent of fully integrated systems (some of them cloud-based and some of them on-premise) and their ability to access data from any web-enabled device, even smaller finance departments can stop spending most of their time on such tasks. Based on the unparalleled insights that come from having seamless integration, they can spend more time giving financial-management advice and identifying business opportunities. A CFO can become a strategic corporate asset to the company.

To learn the specifics of how, see the Accounting Web article, How Chief Financial Officers Can Become Major Corporate Players. It identifies advantages of modern ERP systems like Dynamics SL or Dynamics 365 to free up CFOs.

Finding an Accounting Software Partner that Really Delivers

It can be a real challenge, especially if you have had bad experiences in the past, to find an accounting system partner that is knowledgeable and can deliver what you need, says Mike Hansen, the IT Director at Productions Plus. Hear his thoughts on what a good software partner should do, how Synergy helps his company, and why their accounting team is happy.

How the Right Accounting Software Partner Can Make a Difference


4 Things You Need to Select the Right Accounting System

You need to find the right accounting / ERP solution for your business. Perhaps you are straining the limits of QuickBooks or another entry-level software. Maybe you are experiencing “spreadsheet hell” with a myriad of Excel documents and tabs within them.

As you start down a road to a solution that will take your company to the next level, bear in mind these 4 simple ways we at Synergy are committed to helping you, whether or not you select one of the products we implement and support or not.