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Thursday, January 21, 2010

An interview with DynamicsAnywhere - Joop van Voorthuijsen

Back in Nov. of last year, I posted breaking news about DynamicsAnywhere, a new ISV focused on the delivery of Mobile solutions for the Dynamics ERP line.

The full link to that post can be viewed here.: Dynamics Anywhere - A new mobile focus for Dynamics AX

After doing this, their VP of Business Development, and someone that has been involved with AX and NAV for a long time, Joop van Voorthuijsen contacted me about reviewing what they are offering for Dynamics AX, and possibly doing an interview.

After taking a look at their published documentation, I decided to take Joop up on the interview. The following is that interview.:

Joop's LinkedIn Profile

1.) Joop, recently DynamicsAnywhere was formed, can you give in your words the goals and focus of what DynamicsAnywhere is trying to achieve, and what all they offer?

Dynamics Anywhere enables companies to reduce costs and increase user productivity by using state of the art Mobile Business Solutions. The team of Dynamics Anywhere has a long history in mobile business solutions and is focused on creating and distributing powerful mobile business solutions for Microsoft Dynamics AX and NAV.

Our mobile solutions are available wordwide via the global network of Microsoft Dynamics partners. Our goal is to become one of the leading ISV’s for Mobile Business Solutions for Microsoft Dynamics.

Dynamics Anywhere’s Mobile Solutions for Microsoft Dynamics NAV and AX have several properties that make those solutions really unique:

1) Fully integrated in Dynamics NAV and AX. This assures that our Mobile Solutions will work perfectly within a existing Microsoft Dynamics environment.

2) Completely based on Microsoft technology. Our mobile solutions are based on familiar Microsoft products like Windows Server and IIS and do not use any (3rd party) middleware. This makes implementation and support very easy.

3) Extremely flexible. Each solution can be tailored to specific customer needs with a range of available settings in Dynamics. And if necessary, it is also possible to enhance or modify our solutions in the same way as you can modify Dynamics
processes; simply by adding or changing the business logic of Dynamics.

4) Our software is fully device independent, the client (device) only needs a browser!

2.) With Dynamics Anywhere Framework, DAW, from a technical perspective what all does this offer a customer / partner?

With help of the Dynamics Anywhere Framework basically every (customized) role or function could be supported by a mobile solution. On top of our Dynamics Anywhere Framework we deliver also pre-configured role’s of functions like for example Order Picking. With mainly only configuring and when needed small pieces of coding partners are able to make all kinds of role’s and functions ready for mobile use! See our Whitepaper on our download-page for more info.

3.) What all phone platforms are supported with DAW?

As I mentioned earlier the only requirement for the device is a browser! So, almost any Windows Mobile/CE device with a browser is supported. Also other platforms with a browser like Android and iPhone will work. We also support keyboards, function-keys, barcode scanning and RFID reading!

4.) Is there a full version 1.0 for Dynamics AX?

We started with our AX Anywhere solutions last year and we just started also with our NAV Anywhere solutions. The architecture of both solutions are similar.

On our website you’ll find a factsheet about the Dynamics Anywhere Framework which is ready for the market and already implemented a couple of times. On top of this Dynamics Anywhere Framework we also deliver predefined and preconfigured functions like AX Anywhere Logistics I which is available now and supports already processes like Goods Receipt and Order Picking. We also have already a first version of AX Anywhere Field Sales available end of this month.

5.) What is the roadmap for DAW, for Dynamics AX, and do you plan on publishing it?

During the coming months we’ll launch more pre-configured roles and functions but don’t forget that partners are already able to make almost every process ready for mobile use themselves with help of our Dynamics Anywhere Framework. We’ll publish this roadmap roughly on our website and with our partners we’ll define priorities about the roadmap as well.

6.) Does the DAW offer full flexibility for custom code in AX, and also offering technical consultants and their customers ability to customize and work with the DAW other than standard offerings?

Yes that is one of the important elements we already defined in the beginning. The Dynamics partners are able to add customer specific functions or change our standard functions. That’s one of the disadvantages of many other solutions using middleware, for their partners it is very difficult and expensive to make customizations.

7.) What is the current install base for DAW, and what all industries is this already in use, or planned for use?

Dalosy, one of the mother companies from Dynamics Anywhere, is already active with mobile solutions since 1976! They were one of the first companies starting with barcode solutions. Their installed base is huge and in many lines of business you find their customers. Last year the middleware solution has been replaced by the Dynamics Anywhere Framework. The first customers are implemented already and are already live. Of course there is a focus on trade, retail, manufacturing and distribution, but we expect a strong growth in lines of business where mobile business solutions will be introduced. That’s also the prediction of many analysts around the world.

8.) Is the DAW and the total DynamicsAnywhere solution offered through the Microsoft Partner channel? Do you train partners, and allow them to control their customers, or do you require partners to allow DynamicsAnywhere and your consultants to run and control DAW part of a given implentation?

Our solutions are indeed offered through the Microsoft Partner channel! We’ll train our partners in a couple of days and they are able to implement the solution for their customers. In order to guarantee good projects we will be assisting the partners in their first implementations. We also offer our partners a sales training focusing on making customers aware of the possibilities. On our website you will find the upcoming trainings under Events!

9.) Does the DAW offer any disconnected state ability? Meaning, does the device have to have internet or network connectivity in order to make use of the DAW, or is there any local store that takes place so devices can go offline for a while, and to use DAW based solutions?

More than 90% of our prospects need a online solution. In order to ensure a stable solution we have developed ‘state persistence’ which means that the status in kept in the Dynamics database. When a device is temporary out of range, empty or damaged, you can continue the job as soon as the device is ready again from the point where the job stopped. End of 2010 we’ll come up with several options for offline possibilities.

I also asked that Joop provide a closing statement and few paragraphs, below is his closing statement.:

Why companies invest in Mobile Business Solutions?

The 4 main reasons why companies invest in a Mobile Business Solution are:

1. The most important reason is cost reduction. By deploying a mobile solution, significant cost reductions can easily be achieved as data is directly entered into Microsoft Dynamics. This makes a range of activities obsolete and reduces errors which immediately results in savings.

2. The second reason is a higher user productivity of the employees on the shop floor and in the field. As those employees get real-time access to Microsoft Dynamics, they can respond much quicker and more adequate to actual developments.

3. The third reason is increased admin staff productivity. Thank to the mobile solution, they always have access to real-time information about the status of the business processes. This enables them to take quicker and better decisions.

4. The final reason is additional revenue. In fact, this is a result of the first three reasons. Thanks to the deployment of a mobile business solution, companies
are able to react quicker and better to the customer’s demands, resulting in increased customer satisfaction and higher revenues.

Return On Investment

On average, deployment of a mobile business solution yields has a very high Return On Investment. In most of the cases the investments are earned back in less than one year!

What Analysts are saying about the mobile market worldwide

Well known analysts are predicting that 75% of all companies will invest in Mobile Solutions (Forrester) and 70% of those Mobile Solutions will be in combination with ERP and CRM (IDC).

Dynamics Anywhere well received by customers and partners!

Since our press-release last October, many partners and also customers are approaching us to get more information about our solution. They’re all very enthusiastic about our solutions and recognize the advantages. On this moment we’re building our channel. Because of the network I have from the time being CEO of To-Increase we’re in touch with many partners already. In a short term we’ll also have a distributor in the US. We’re a Bronze Sponsor for Convergence Atlanta 2010 and are expecting a lot of interest in April! Meet us over there!

I would like to thank Joop, and DynamicsAnywhere Solution team for taking the time to have this interview with me. Since Microsoft left the space of offering a platform based solution for Mobile Dynamics ERP brands, DynamicsAnywhere is stepping in and trying to offer Microsoft Partners and Customers a Framwork, in which they can build upon to offer mobile solution to their clients.

This is a build vs. buy, like all software, and so like all software the needs of the given project at hand will drive if the DynamicsAnywhere Framework (DAW), is a good fit.

I do recommend checking them out though, and keeping the information handy. It would also most likely be well worth the Sales Training, in order for Sales teams to be able to understand what customers would get with going with the DAW, from DynamicsAnywhere.

To find out more, please visit the DynamicsAnywhere website, located here.: DynamicswAnywhere Website.

Also Sunrise Technologies, Inc. the VAR I am a part of will be at Convergence along with DynamicsAnywhere. Feel free to stop by and talk to us, and see how Sunrise and DynamicsAnywhere might be able to help you with your Dynamics Investments.

That's all for now, but check back soon as I have more great post coming out, with more interviews, Sunrise News, Book reviews, and much much more!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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