The latest version of Microsoft Dynamics SL is creating a lot of buzz. Sure, Microsoft has thrown out the standard terms you would expect to see around a new software launch, such as “raise the bar” and “fuel results”. But other observers are using words like “very reliable solution”, “best enhancements I have ever seen”, and “this is way cool” When is the last time you ever heard an ERP Software called “way cool”?
So what is creating this excitement? Well, for one thing, this release has been three years in the making, and based on the results, that time was clearly well spent. Microsoft Dynamics SL 2011 features many enhancements designed to deliver a look and feel akin to Microsoft Office. As we have seen with other products such as Dynamics GP and Dynamics CRM, the more the look and feel of Office is incorporated, the better the user acceptance is. That means lower training costs and faster adaptation. For businesses on SL now, your upgrade path just got a lot smoother. For businesses evaluating SL, you now have an easier, more intuitive package to consider. Either way, it’s easy to see why there is such excitement. Let’s take a closer look at some of the new features:
User Interface – There are some big changes in the User Interface in Dynamics SL 2011, all for the better. Right away you will find many features you are already familiar with from Windows and Office. For instance, the menu bar in Dynamics SL features a search box that returns results based on a partial query search. So if you type “distribution”, a full list of reports, screens and files that include the word “distribution” will appear, similar to what you see in other Microsoft products. Click the choice you want, and that screen or report will launch. You will also see functionality around saved favorites and recent searches similar to that is Office.
Role Tailored User Experience – This feature has been successfully utilized in other Microsoft ERP products and now it will be incorporated into Dynamics SL. The Role Tailored User Experience gives information that a particular user needs based on the role of that user. This means users will see the information they need right when they open Dynamics SL. All of this is delivered in an easy to use dashboard with graphic icons, with important tasks highlighted. So someone who works in payables will see right away critical tasks that need to be addressed, such as overdue receivables or past due payments.
Integration with other Microsoft Products – Microsoft Dynamics SL 2011 includes efficient integrations to other Microsoft applications. Users will be able to utilize Microsoft SharePoint 2010 to give access to documents across their organization. Project Server 2010 can be used to create two-way data integration when managing projects. Microsoft Dynamics CRM can be accessed though Web Services to provide a 360 degree view of interactions with your customers.
Dynamics SL 2011 has really accomplished the best of both worlds – it has added strong functionality while becoming easier to use. It really is no surprise that it has generated such positive reviews. To see this latest release in more detail, please attend the Dynamics SL 2011 Launch Event in Malvern, PA on May 10th.
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