The MSDW Podcast dives into the latest news and events in the Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM community. Produced by the editors of MSDynamicsWorld.com, the podcast features interviews and discussions on the latest issues confronting Dynamics AX, GP, NAV, and CRM users and professionals.
Previewing the new BC Tech Talk virtual event
The Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 Business Central community has a heritage of conferences around the world, some that go back decades. But with the pandemic, everything has changed in 2020. Some events have gone online, others have been put on hold, and still others have emerged as new alternatives. BC Tech Talk is the latest new event. It runs December 3 & 4 and is free to attend. MSDW is a media sponsor, so we sat down with three members of the event's planning committee to learn more about what to expect, who should be there, and what's new in the BC community.
1:30 - How BC Tech Talk came together 4:00 - Observations about the themes emerging from the session topics 8:00 - How quickly are developers adopting the new skills and techniques required for Business Central projects? 11:30 - Why now is a time for up and coming community contributors to emerge 18:45 - Why employees at customer organizations should be paying attention to the topics of a tech-focused event like BC Tech Talk 21:00 - Implications of this year's growth in virtual events 28:00 - Reviewing the BC Tech Talk structure, and more reasons for attending
Lessons from an energy firm's Dynamics AX 2009 to Dynamics 365 journey
Pattern Energy, a company that develops and operates wind and solar energy generation projects around the world, had many years invested into a Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 ERP solution that was on-premises and highly customized. But by 2018 they knew that their aging system needed to be replaced.
On this episode, Nick Tavenier, the ERP systems analyst at Pattern Energy discusses some of the company's experiences in moving away from AX 2009 as they evaluated new options and eventually committed to Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management in the cloud. He discusses his team's experiences planning and executing their migration project, work with third party solution vendors in areas like security, governance, and financial management, and how they have maintained an engaged core ERP team even after their go-live.
1:30 - Some history on Pattern Energy's operations and use of Dynamics AX 2009 3:00 - Comparing D365 with Tier 1 & 2 ERP options, as well as looking at AX 2012 as a full or temporary potion 5:00 - Planning to migrate from AX 2009 - Custom and ISV solution needs 7:00 - How Pattern envisioned processes with stock D365FO features and standard use patterns 9:00 - areas of D365FO that Pattern will use based on the complexities of their organization - multi-entity, multi-company, financial consolidation, etc. and new features Microsoft is adding or acquiring 12:30 - Making the decision of cloud vs on-prem D365 and how mindsets had to be changed 13:30 - Connecting with other AX to D365FO customers about the complications around implementation projects in areas like entity hierarchy, data management, and customization 16:30 - Training developers and IT experts on security management, customization techniques 18:45 - Adopting the "One Version" model from Microsoft, and where they have found challenges, including governance and regulatory compliance 22:30 - The importance of voicing concerns and starting a dialog with Microsoft, and why there seems to be a clean slate with the introduction of ERP in the cloud 25:00 - How Pattern uses an internal product manager and others to champion the solution 28:30 - Navigating the internal ownership and duties between the IT and the business 31:00 - How D365FO fits in alongside the organization's other Microsoft investments like Azure and Power BI 33:30 - Why record sharing between entities within D365FO has become a challenging matter from a technical and functional perspective
Kim Congleton on what's new in Dynamics 365 Business Central 2020 Release Wave 2
The latest release wave for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is now rolling out with a range of updates that should benefit users, developers, and system administrators. Dynamics NAV and BC veteran Kim Congleton of New View Strategies has been busy examining the new updates and helping the community understand how to make use of the improvements. She recently wrote about the system administration enhancements and followed that up with a webcast presentation for MSDW readers. We caught up with Kim for this podcast episode to dig into a few more details of the new release wave as well as to talk about how Business Central has evolved as a new offering (not just a continuation of NAV), how her firm has experienced the pandemic, and her expectations for the future.
3:00 - How to approach the new features and information that arrive in each release wave for business Central 5:30 - Read-only performance for reports 7:15 - Buying added storage capacity in the cloud 10:30 - How do you deal with NAV historical data when moving to BC? 14:00 - Restoring environments 17:30 - Why BC really is a separate product from NAV 19:00 - Impressions on the first iteration of the Teams app for BC and where it might go next 22:30 - Events and batch processing 24:30 - Power BI scenarios for BC 26:30 - Other Microsoft services Kim is looking ahead to. 30:00 - Observations on training investment by NAV and BC customers 32:00 - Why the Microsoft Ideas site is useful
David Ogilvie on ERP selection and supply chain performance
Australia-based business consultant David Ogilvie has been thinking and writing on how businesses can adapt to economic conditions triggered by the pandemic, looking at factors like managing capital, supply chain optimization, and customer service. And managing across all of those areas require the ability to track the right metrics.
David discusses how his work with companies in his region have changed with the pandemic, what the ERP competitive landscape looks like today, the role of the independent ERP consultant today, and some of the tools and metrics of inventory management that he is focusing on.
2:45 - David's work with Dynamics AX customers looking to move to a new ERP, and the themes of today's conversations around business applications 5:00 - Tools, techniques, and organizational approaches that have helped businesses adapt to the pandemic 7:30 - Decisions businesses are making to adapt in the current climate 9:30 - Do organizations have a need for different types of services today versus a year ago? 11:00 - Controlling process behaviors in a business with a focus on metrics like EVA (economic value added) - and cautions around using them properly 15:00 - A case of inventory mismanagement and how metrics could have played a part 17:30 - The importance of supply chain planning to avoid the bullwhip effect amid unexpected 23:00 - The intended meaning of just in time inventory versus how many companies have applied the philosophy 24:30 - Ten inventory management tools that David emphasizes 25:00 - How supply chain matters impact customer experience, and why to start with the customer rather than the supply chain 27:00 - ERP competitors of Microsoft that David sees in his clients' market segment and region
News Roundup, November 2020
This episode is sponsored by Provance. Support a digital transformation in IT with Provance ITSM—the most Microsoft-centric IT Service Management product on the market.
On this episode we catch up on some of the top headlines and contributed articles from the last month, including highlights of the Dynamics 365 and Power Platform 2020 release wave 2, new industry-focused business apps directly from Microsoft, new Teams integration for Business Central, and a few choice Azure advances.
Articles discussed in this episode:
Years in the making, a cloud + edge model for Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management nears preview Azure Hybrid at Ignite: Microsoft signals multi-cloud, multi-edge capabilities Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power Platform are pushing serious Azure scale, architects report Azure Automanage: A month into the life of a new Azure service With C3.ai, Microsoft gains an ally in industry-focused, AI-driven business apps Launch of Fundraising and Engagement for Dynamics 365 Sales is part of new industry solutions approach at Microsoft Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare, a new industry-focused solution, launches Microsoft launches Azure Space to pursue new connectivity, compute opportunities Dynamics 365 Business Central takes first step into Teams with app preview Power Apps Portals seeing "hockey stick growth" as capacity-based model gains momentum With Dynamics 365 Project Operations in GA, Microsoft prepares transition plan for legacy users Driving a successful implementation using Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations and RSAT How to post Fixed Bid and Time & Material-based invoices in Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations from Project Operations Finding the Center of Citizen Developer Success
Samuel Adranyi on building community around tech
Samuel Adranyi is a Microsoft MVP who brings his expertise to the local, regional, and international Microsoft Azure and Power Platform communities. He tells us about his own professional development, the decision to move back to his home country of Ghana from a role in the US, and what he is doing today to encourage others to gain expertise in Microsoft technology. He has organized local events, he mentors students on developing their professional skills, and he is an active content creator across his own blog and podcast, as well as on YouTube and other social media.
We talk about how he has focused his community efforts since returning to Ghana, some of the most promising tech for students and others looking to gain new professional skills, making cloud technology more accessible in Ghana, and Samuel's experiences as an MVP so far.
2:00 - About Samuel's community activities, professional interests, and moving back to Ghana from the US 4:30 - On making an impact in the West Africa Microsoft community 7:00 - How Samuel got interested in IoT 9:30 - What is the IoT readiness level of organizations today? 11:30 - Bringing IoT to Power Platform 14:30 - Samuel's award-winning COVID-19 IoT solution 18:15 - Making cloud tech more accessible in Ghana - payment method challenges, Azure data center proximity 21:00 - Traction in the Microsoft developer community 22:45 - Samuel's podcast featuring young technologists from Africa and around the world 27:30 - On becoming an MVP, ramping up podcast and video efforts.