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Crestwood Associates

Microsoft Dynamics GP and SharePoint 2010: A Perfect Match


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    One huge benefit from purchasing a Microsoft ERP system is the Microsoft “stack” of products that stand as the backbone and seamlessly integrate with each other.  Products such as Office, SharePoint, SQL, Access, Virtualization products, and of course, Windows operating systems all work much easier with a Microsoft ERP system.

    SharePoint 2010 is a product that allows users to collaborate across documents, projects, and other data.  It is a document management system, workflow processor, report silo and data management tool.  It also allows user to create forms and load data into databases. 

    Many Microsoft customers already use SharePoint to share data.  They create intranet sites to share company information and share information about the company party or human resources forms for new hires.  They create project sites to share project status reports, calendars, and task lists.  They create document management systems for departments to share commonly accessed reports, contracts, images, etc.

    • SharePoint can also be used as a report depository.  Published reports in various formats can be posted on SharePoint and access to them can be restricted to the users that need the information. 
    • If you need to accumulate information in a database, you can create forms that users can fill out and it will populate databases such as SQL or Access that can be reported on with other Microsoft tools such as SQL Reporting Services (SRS).
    • SharePoint can disseminate information to your customers, prospects, partners and vendors via the web services that grant access to certain folders or websites.
    • Searching for data is key to finding documents in a timely fashion and SharePoint helps by providing search tools using relevance, refinement, and social cues.
    • Every company still has manual processes that require approvals.  Some use paper, some use Outlook, and some use other applications to capture the processes.  SharePoint has workflow automation where you can allow those approvals to happen in SharePoint.  Enter a request for a new laptop and your manager will get an email that tells him the approval is waiting in SharePoint with a hyperlink to the approval site. 

    All of these features are built into SharePoint.  And they are FREE with your Windows server operating system.  We haven’t even started to talk about all the SharePoint integration available with your Microsoft Dynamics GP system. 

    SharePoint excels as a report depository, storing the most up-to-date information of your data.  You can choose to house these reports in SharePoint so that they are accessible to users all over the organization, not just Dynamics GP users:

    • Excel Reports – There are hundreds of pre-built Excel workbooks included in Dynamics GP 2010 that house a dynamic link to the Dynamics GP data so that when you click on a workbook, it brings back the most up to date information in your database. 
    • SRS Reports – These are dynamic reports as well that contain your Dynamics GP data and maybe more data in a format that can be displayed graphically.  The reports can be displayed in SharePoint and drill back to the underlying data in Dynamics GP.

    Business Portal consists of pre-built windows (or web parts) that sit on top of SharePoint and display your Dynamics GP data in key performance indicators (KPIs), lists and forms that are searchable and allow  users to create and save queries on the Dynamics GP data.  You can even enter sales orders, time and expense, and requisitions and have the data feed directly to your Dynamics GP system.

    Human Resources Self Service and Open Enrollment allows the update of the HR data to take place by the users themselves.  They can enter a change in status, change deductions, and enroll in the benefit plan by accessing a website instead of filling out paperwork.  There are approval processes along the way to ensure that the data is accurate.

    Workflow Management is a feature in SharePoint that has been integrated with Dynamics GP 2010 and allows you to create workflows in Dynamics GP (such as Batch approval, Credit Limit approval, Purchase Order approval, etc.) that can contact users outside of GP.  You can go to SharePoint and see the items waiting for your approval, click on a link that is delivered in an e-mail or approve directly from the e-mail.

    Crestwood has 13 years of experience working with Dynamics GP and the related Microsoft products and would be glad to help you with your project.  Please contact [email protected] for more information.

    By Mary Lenehan, Client Education Manager, at Crestwood Associates, your Chicago, Illinois partner recently awarded the Microsoft Gold competency in ERP.

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