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Thursday, September 25, 2008

ERPLive.com - What's this?

Recently Hal Howard did an interview our at MSDynamicsWorld.com, Microsoft’s Hal Howard Assesses Varying Needs of Dynamics NAV and AX User Bases, Hal is quoted in saying this:

"Live Mesh is still out of scope for Microsoft Dynamics ERP. As a Microsoft veteran, Howard said that he is in the loop with the Live Mesh team but that the current focus of that project is consumer scenarios."

Stating that the current movement for the Live Mesh and Live offerings is not in scope currently for the Dynamics ERP platforms. Scope though in this interview was not clearly defined, and so one must assume current scope, being that of DAX 6.0.

I found something interesting though. Microsoft now owns the Domain: ERPLive.com. This is interesting because that means that future scope does have ERP functionality, one day plans to live as a Live offering.

Why would I say Microsoft owns the domain? Because it what ERPlive.com points too. However, looking at the WHOIS information for that Domain name:

CSC Corporate Domains Inc.
Domain Administrator
2711 Centerville Road
Wilmington, DE 19808
+1.3026365401 Fax: +1.8778867698

Domain Name: ERPLIVE.COM
Registrar of Record: Corporate Domains, Inc.

Administrative Contact:
CSC Corporate Domains Inc.
Domain Administrator
2711 Centerville Road
Wilmington, DE 19808
+1.3026365401 Fax: +1.8778867698
Technical Contact:
CSC Corporate Domains Inc.
Domain Administrator
2711 Centerville Road
Wilmington, DE 19808
+1.3026365401 Fax: +1.8778867698

Domain servers in listed order:


Created on..............: 24-Feb-07
Expires on..............: 01-Nov-08
Record last updated on..: 19-Jul-07

It would seem CSC Corporate Domains Inc. owns this domain. If you look though all the Domain servers listed are the Microsoft ones. NSx.MSFT.NET.

So either the domain name is just being parked for Microsoft, but still the point remains that something in future scope will have to do with 'ERPLive.com'.

Also of note on this same lines, CRMLive.com points to you guess it: Dynamics CRM site.

So if I were you I would still be keeping a close ear and eye on the Live offerings as that will become the platform for Microsoft's ERP in Clouds posibility. Check back soon!

Quick Note: CSC Corporatre Domains, Inc. is a firm that helps large companies with branding, marketing and domains. Seems that they are helping Microsoft with their Live.com domain names...

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

NGC® Enters Strategic Alliance with Sunrise Technologies

Sunrise Technologies, Inc. did a press release today, about starting a new Alliance, with NGC, New Generation Computing.

This alliance brings forth a new relationship for Sunrise customers and future customers in the Textile - Apparel - Footwear verticals, as well as furniture. This is done through the offerings of Sunrise expert knowledge of Dynamics AX ERP platform, their offering of the TAF Add-on solution and deep knolwedge of those listed verticals from a functional business aspect. Now with NGC's e-SPS and e-PLM offerings that will feed into a Dynamics AX install, it really helps bring a full end-to-end solution for clients.

Just read the following from the PR:
"Under the terms of the agreement, Sunrise Technologies will offer NGC’s e-PLM® for product lifecycle management and e-SPS® for global sourcing and visibility along with Microsoft Dynamics, allowing Sunrise Technologies to offer a complete, end-to-end solution for the Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP market. The agreement opens up an important new sales channel for NGC software, while enabling Sunrise to offer NGC’s market-leading PLM and global sourcing solutions to its customers. Both NGC and Sunrise Technologies are Microsoft Gold Partners, representing the highest level of competency and expertise with Microsoft technologies.

“Our partnership with NGC brings world-class PLM capabilities to the Microsoft Dynamics AX market,” said John Pence, president, Sunrise Technologies. “This is a capability that our customers have asked for, and we are delighted to be able to offer a complete AX solution encompassing ERP, PLM and global sourcing.”

“NGC is excited to partner with Sunrise Technologies and to further extend the reach of e-PLM and e-SPS into the Sunrise customer base,” said Alan Brooks, president, NGC. “We look forward to a strong and successful relationship.”"

I took the time and emailed the President (and my bosses boss) of Sunrise Technologies, Inc. John Pence. I asked him if he could give more details about what this meant for Sunrise, and this is his reply:

"(Sunrise is) currently building the interfaces to 2 applications that NGC sells that manage product definition and sourcing. NGC’s e-SPS product has a dominant position as the software of choice for apparel companies looking for advanced sourcing management. Their e-PLM product serves as a front-end to that product and provides specification development and PLM functions, tailored for apparel. NGC’s base is only in apparel, but we see a lot of potential uses in other industries, like furniture. NGC has an excellent reputation in the market and this alliance is a big win for us (Sunrise)." - John Pence

This is exciting news, as this offering could really help bridge the solution GAP for clients, and I am excited about getting into these offerings and seeing how far we can push the integration envolope with this new alliance.

As usual, check back soon!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Monday, September 22, 2008

AMR Research: Awakening a Sleeping Giant - Inside Microsoft Business Solutions' ERP Strategy

According to AMR Research "With IT budgets primed for growth and expansion, a perfect storm is brewing for Microsoft to capitalize on this opportunity with its technologies and Dynamics ERP product family."

AMR Research released a report recently authored by Simon Jacobson and Miles Prescott. In this report they review the current progress of MBS products, or Dynamics brand line from Microsoft, and also offer insight into their belief for what will be necessary for Microsoft to do, in order to increase it's market share of the ERP segment.

Accroding to this report, it's is stated that Microsoft only has a 4% market Share. This was baed on a report called 'The ERP Market Sizing Report 2007-2012'. Meaning that this number is most likely based on 2006 numbers and forecasted beyond that.

In this report AMR intereviews several partners, customers and product teams. In doing so, the key finding for this report are:

- ERP, a crucial component of MBS People Ready positions, also present revenue opportunities for other Microsoft businesses.

- The key to success is in how its partner ecosystem adapts the products to specific company needs.

- Value for customers, partners and Microsoft as a whole depends on the value of business applications integrated with a stable back-end infrastrcutre.

This report has a lot of great information, and not just about Dynamics AX either, but all Dynamics brands. It does point out, and hopefully can help people udnerstand, that Dynamics AX is the flagship brand from all the Dynamics brand that can be classified as ERP offering.

If you interested in this report, you can purchase the full report by going here: AMR Research Paper Link

I want to take these key findings pointed out here and talked about them. The first one, ERP a crucial componer of MBS people ready. This first key point is something not to take as a simple marketing term. That is the people ready marketing term that we all know and have heard before. This is actually a real strategy that Microsoft has been working on, for making their products to be designed with human use in mind. Meaning that it's designed to be ready to use, setup customize and more. Microsoft shoots to make the product easy to use, and is doing this throughout all of it's product lines, like Office, SharePoint, etc.

Second point, the key to the success is in how Microsoft's partner ecosystem adapts the products to specific company needs. I hope that Microsoft keeps this in front of them. The key to the success of the Dynamics brand is the partner ecosystem. The partners are the solution providers, and Microsoft is the platform provider. This should be easy to determine, and understand. Microsoft udnerstands and offer the platform while the partners offer the verticals.

For example Sunrise Technologies, Inc. the Gold Certified VAR I am a part of, is the number one VAR in the world for Textile, Apparel and Footwear verticals. We are the trusted source on this, and customers along with Microsoft understand that. So when a company that falls into that range needs Dynamics AX, Microsoft knows we are best fitted to do that implementation, and offer that client the TAF template. (more here on the TAF template) Sunrise is also good at many other verticals like IEM, Process, and many more. But we offer the TAF template that focuses ont he Textile, Apparel and Footwear verticals.

The third and final key finding, value for customers and partners including Microsoft as a whole depends ont he value of the business applications integrated with a stable back-en infrastrcutre. This thrid point is underscoring the fact that Microsoft is the platform provider. That is what Microsoft should be supplying, the platform. And that is what Microsoft is doing a good job with SQL Server 2008 now, Office SharePoint Server 2007, BizTalk Server, Windows Server and the Dynamics applications that run on them.

I again I would like to recommend you going to the following link and purchasing a copy of the report if your a partner, current or soon to be customer. It will give insight into why Microsoft's Dynamics brand is the right ERP platform for you.

And if your ready to take the next step, contact Sunrise Technologies, Inc. for more information and seeing how we can deliver your next great ERP platform for you.

Check back soon!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Friday, September 19, 2008

ARP for Dynamics AX

Visit Hillstar Business Intelligence (www.HillstarBI.com) in order to truly unlock your data trapped in your Microsoft Dynamics investment. With our value driven business intelligence strategy Hillstar help you transform into a data informed company.

Update: For the latest information, around ARP and how it now lives as Advanced Projects from Adeaca, please visit the product website at www.Adeaca.com or check out the following blog entry check out the following blog entry: Adeaca Announces the Release of Advanced Projects 4.0 for Microsoft Dynamics AX.

SoftEnigma, this past sprind launched a new product / module for Dynamics AX 4.0 SP2 & Dynamics AX 2009, called ARP. This stands for Advanced Resource Planning, and let me tell you the word Advanced is the right one to describe what this module offers.

I took some time to review ARP with Daniel Bevort, President and Owner of SoftEnigma, Inc. In this review, I really was given a great look into what ARP really is, and what it can do for customers. The target of this software module is customers that are in the Project Based Manufacturing vertical, as well as Professional Services Vertical.

These two verticals are for sure worlds apart when it comes to what they produce typically, but when it comes to projects and managing resources on those projects, that were these two verticals have similar needs, and therefore why ARP makes sense for them.

Lets take a step inside ARP for a little bit. During the review, one of the first things that I was shown, was ARP's ability to import from a MS Project file, and start resource planning from that point. This is not the only way to start, but for those familiar with MS Project interface, terms, and data layouts this is a great way to transition into using ARP for DAX.

Now, let me add, not only does ARP have the ability to import from Project, but also, it has user interface elements, data setup and project setup abilites similar to that of MS Project. Again this is yet another advantage for those that use project or have used project in the past to manage with.

Now with the MS Project references in mind, there are some setup items of course that need to take place. And the resources assigned to a given task in MS Project actually need to map what are called Roles inside ARP. These roles are different that the Role Center roles, and also different than the Roles in, say the IEM vertical offering from To-Increase. However once setup is done, which must be done for any module, your ready to integrate with MS Project and import into ARP.

Now this is the start, and lets move into actual ARP functional area's that go beyond what MS Project can offer you. Let's move to capactiy planning, which is basically what ARP will shine for, espcially for project based manufacturing clients. This is were the rubber meets the road, if you want to look at it in a certain way.

With capacity planning, and different ways of doing so, like Infinite, Finite and Capacity itself, this becomes a primer for Master Planning and Proudction Orders. For project based manufacturing, this becomes most crtical for resources to build the production orders, to servicing, installing, sourcing, any number of area's that could make up a large project that spans months and even years to complete.

Because of the design of ARP, it sits on to of the project modules inside DAX, and does not destory them but actually uses them as they are intended to be used. Therefore, all accounting, ledgers, sales order, purchase orders, production orders, all works like it's suppose to out of the box. Again making ARP a perfect primer for capacity planning and allowing project based manufacturing to really have a very detailed hold and plan for their production processes.

Now the capacity planning being a primer for a project based manufacturing client is different than say a Demand Planner use. You would use a Demand Planning Application, to source and keep your Textile flowing, or small parts flowing in order to build your widgets to the forecasted demand of your produts. Capacity planning, in more of a client has a project that could build many products, and also span large one that cover many months to create. Therefore demand is more stable and static and capacity is more the focus.

Professional Services again is another vertical area in which this module can be used. Allowing the ability of a project manager and team members to create task, track task, and product allows the team members to update, accept and complete task through a 'My Assignments' form, which then Dynamically updates the project itself. Allowing for the project to be Dynamic, vs. static and freeing up the project manager to reports and tracking and not having to update a single file.

So a consulting company / firm can take huge advantage of the abilities of ARP module, to track projects, project tasks, make use of EVM or Earned Value Management, see resouce hours hit GL accounts, and be used to create Sales orders and then invoices for clients that the projects related too. This also give the ability to company management to rank resouces by skill, skill level and see who is free for what projects and really have insight into open abilities for future and current capacity.

All in all ARP for Dynamics AX is something that Project Based Manufacturing and Professional Services should really give a look at for helping improving the overall bottom line and insight into production / resource capacity planning. As of today there are over 15 some Microsoft Partners that are using ARP in some form or fashion to help manage their own Professional Services, and their was a recent successful pilot done for GM by MIcrosoft that involved the use of ARP as the primer for GM's plant production.

To find out more visit the web site here: Softenigma, Inc. Web site And you can also download the latest brochure here: ARP Brochure

As always check back soon!

Visit Hillstar Business Intelligence (www.HillstarBI.com) in order to truly unlock your data trapped in your Microsoft Dynamics investment. With our value driven business intelligence strategy Hillstar help you transform into a data informed company.

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

In the spot light: Dianne Siebold's WebLog

I wanted to kick off a new type of post, 'In the spot light'. Where I take different blogs, sites, resources, books, solutions, etc. and highlight that given source.

I have done this in the past, but never under a single type of approach. To kick this off, I wanted ti highlight a blog I have never highlighted before. That is the blog or weblog as she still calls it of Dianne Siebold.

This weblog, has a great amount of information and resources on it. She does a good job of covering some interesting topics, and some of her heaviest area's of coverage is AIF, or Application Integration Framework. This came out in DAX 4.0, and has gotten a much needed face lift and tummy tuck in DAX 2009.

You can reach her blog here: Dianne Siebold's WebLog I highly recommend added this as a resource you check on and read.

Thanks Dianne for taking the time to put your weblog together and for your great contributions to the community! Check back soon!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Monday, September 15, 2008

e-Con 4.0 Error - MSXML 4.0

Alright, if your setting up e-Con 4.0 and get the following error:

"Retrieveing the COM Class factory for component with CLSID {88D969C1-F192-11D4-A65F-0040963251E5} failed due to the following error: 80040154"

This error, when seen from going into the e-Con Studio, means that the MS-XML Parser 4.0 or greater is not installed on the e-Con Server machine or client.

I ran into this again today, and wanted to make sure this was posted out here on the web. Check back soon!

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New Dynamics Job Board launched

Well the folks over at MSDynamicsWorld.com are really putting there best efforts into becoming one of the central places for all things Dynamics.

Today a new job board has been released, and already has a good bit of jobs posted and running. Go to the job boards via direct link from here: MSDynamicsWorld.com Job Board

I know a little bit about this effort, as I once ran the pretty successful AxaptaJobs.com / DynamicsAXJobs.com. MSDynnamicsWorld.com has made a good move in trying to enter into this social service, but is not alone in focusing on the Dynamics flavors for a job board.

If I were to design this job board for MSDynamicsWorld.com, I would make sure to offerr RSS feeds of jobs, ability to start a discussion with the poster from the site, offer simple and advanced seearching of job offerings, and make sure that ordering can happen by any column on the job listings. Also I would make use of the social networks and prompt for connecting via LinkedIn, and others.

Make sure to go by and check out the Sunrise Technologies, Inc. positions that are already posted there along with other. Lets wish them good luck, and I know if you have suggestions for improving the job board or anything about MSDynamicsWorld.com please make sure to share them! Check back soon!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Monday, September 08, 2008

Microsoft Certifications and the Learning Curve

I wanted to take the time today and post about some new Microsoft Certifications that you can start to take advantage of. First the Visual Studio 2008 and SQL Server 2008 exams are about to be released. This also brings up the fact that Microsoft now has a new line of certifications called the Master series. It goes beyond the TS and Pro certification levels.

Check out the following diagram: (need PartnerSource Access)

As you can see the Master series in on top. This new Master Series is required now before you can go for an MCA, or Certified Architect.

I recommend checking this out, as it could help seperate you from a crowd. Next I got this wonderful information from the US Partner Learning blog. You can find this blog located here: The US Partner Learning Blog The current top post is talking about the new newsletter, called "The Learning Curve". I recommend you get this and keep on the up and up for new training.

Finally another useful link is the new certification map, in Excel. You can download this here: (PartnerSource Access Required) New Generation Certification Exam Map

So check these great resources out and check back soon!

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Dynamic Communities Inc. and MSDynamicsWorld.com in Content-

Fresh off the presses:

BRIGHTON, Mass., September 3, 2008 -- Two independent organizations focused on serving users of Microsoft Dynamics products—Dynamics Communities Inc. and MSDynamicsWorld.com—have teamed up to provide top-quality content to their constituencies.

Dynamic Communities Inc. is the administrative support organization for four user groups based on the four main Microsoft Dynamics products—Dynamics AX User Group (AXUG), Dynamics GP User Group (GPUG), Dynamics CRM User Group (CRMUG), and Dynamics NAV User Group (NAVUG).

The collaboration is taking several forms, including the addition of a news section based on articles from MSDynamicsWorld.com within each user group newsletter. Additionally, MSDynamicsWorld.com reporters will be able to participate in appropriate user group discussions and interview the thought leaders of the groups to enhance the published news articles. Also, the organizations are collaborating on the upcoming gathering of user group members for the Summits of the AX, GP, and CRM User Groups and the Forum of the NAV User Group—all being held in Las Vegas between Sept. 16-24.

According to Andy Hafer, executive director of Dynamic Communities, “We have been striving to add value for our members on a number of fronts. Working with the folks at MSDynamicsWorld.com is a key addition. It enables us to offer a rapidly expanding selection of high-value news about Microsoft Dynamics industry, issues, and challenges, using the reporting expertise of MSDynamicsWorld.com.”

Adam Berezin, MSDynamicsWorld.com’s CEO, stated: “This collaboration with the user groups supported by Dynamic Communities introduces us to a wide variety of committed Dynamics users, who can help us improve our level of reporting and analysis. We look forward to maximizing the value of this for the benefit of Dynamics users around the world.”

For further information, contact:

Andy Hafer, CEO, Dynamic Communities Inc. Andy.hafer@dynamiccommunities.com

Adam Berezin, CEO, MSDynamicsWorld.com aberezin@msdynamicsworld.com

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Back at it....

And now I am back from some good R&R. I tell you though, it never seems to last long. In getting back into the swing of things, I wanted to point out some good reads around the DAX world.

First up is DAXGuy's recent post of gathered up DAX 2009 documents. Thanks for putting these together DAXGuy: AX 2009 Documents

Next up is MSDynamicsWorld.com posts and articles:
-Which BI Tools Are Most Popular with Users of Microsoft Dynamics AX?
-SaaS, Hybrid, and On-Premise Models—Understanding the Distinctions for Microsoft Dynamics AX

That last one is by a new columnist over at MSDynamicsWorld.com, Bill Knap. (Click his name to read his profile)

Last, but not least, update, Sunrise Technologies, Inc. has yet another award. This time, the VAR I am apart of has been ranked one of the best places to work. Check it out here: Sunrise Technologies Named One of the Best Places to Work by the Triad Business Journal

So here we are, on the virtual road again. Look for more detailed information, articles, and fun things all that surrond Dynamics AX from here. As always, Check back soon!

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