BI Product Shopping at Dynamics GPUG Summit

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The tradition of the Microsoft Dynamics Summit is upon us – this year, meeting in St. Louis the week of October 14th.  Participants from all over are coming together to network and come away with ways to enhance and upgrade their data management and analytics.  Dynamics user groups, like NAVUG, AXUG, CRMUG, and GPUG will meet to share best practices, Independent Software Vendor (ISV) software, and crafting best-of-breed tools for more efficacious, streamlined productivity with an effect on the financial success of the company.  In this article, we will discuss shopping for the best BI solution to enhance your Microsoft Dynamics GP experience, zooming in on today’s premier features and functionalities of modern ISV software.

First things first: there are a couple different ways to get organized when beginning the shopping process, and they involve looking at overarching guidelines and then more specifically, key differentiations when it comes to features and functionalities.  Overarching guidelines speak to more general ways that the software can accelerate your workflow and resolve your particular business problems for Dynamics GP users.  As for key differentiations in features and/or functionalities, you should be looking at what individual products are offering, so you can select the best software for you.   Both categories could and should help you shop for the best fit for your company at the Dynamics GPUG Summit.  Let’s begin with the overarching guidelines.


Bigger picture competencies that you should be shopping for in a third party solution to help you put together a best-of-breed Dynamics GP include ease of use, flexibility, and collaboration.  If you try to implement a “solution” that your team perceives to be too difficult to learn and use because of how technical the product is, how can you expect to achieve an optimal return on your investment? Worst case scenarios involve either IT involvement to manage the software or you end up replacing the software before the end of its shelf life, which is obviously a waste of company money.  Thus, business user friendliness, without a dependence on the IT department, should be a top priority.  Flexibility in a BI tool today specifically refers to how and perhaps more importantly, where you are able to access company data for management and analysis purposes in this on-the-go business culture.  When you’re at the Dynamics GPUG Summit 2014, seek a true solution that empowers you and your team with not only on-premises access, but also web and perhaps mobile access with an application for your devices.  And finally, collaboration is essential to the teamwork that is the reality of business today, so your BI tools should also naturally (and securely) make collaboration and ownership a simple part of your workflow.

These overarching guidelines are the bigger picture ways to evaluate third party BI solutions you are considering to improve your Dynamics GP processes.  This article will use these guidelines as a framework to discuss the different functionalities of modern tools and their relevance to your specific business needs to validate an investment.

To continue learning more about shopping for the best BI product at the 2014 Microsoft Dynamics GPUG Summit, read the rest of this article here.

by Solver, Inc.

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