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Monday, May 23, 2011

Microsoft Highlights New ERP Public Sector Capabilities for AX 2012

Well, hope everyone is doing great on this fine Monday! I know I am, and thankful for it. I wanted to kick off this Monday, and hope to get back to my normal writings, interviews and updates for you all. Thanks for the continued prayers and support for those hurt and lost during the storm outbreak at the end of last month. You have no idea how much it helps.

Now to kick things off, Microsoft is talking Public Sector, and talking loudly about it for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 release.

The following is a direct link, released today about this.: Microsoft Highlights New ERP Public Sector Capabilities

I sat down, virtually, with Charlie Johnson, Global Industry Product Director – ERP - Public Sector, for Microsoft to talk about today's PR and to give us a little more depth to this news.

Charlie, while at the Government Finance Officers Association Annual Conference today (May 23rd), the new Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Public Sector capabilities were highlighted. Can you dive a little deeper into some of the highlights that were touched on while there?

"Microsoft Dynamics AX provides differentiating functionality specifically designed for Public Sector organizations. Key features include:
  • Office interoperability & Tailored Role Centers with performance Dashboards

  • Enforces legal appropriation compliance and simultaneously allows lower level departmental budgets with multiple, variable, and hierarchical level budgetary controls.

  • Make organization’s commitment transparent using encumbrance and pre-encumbrance accounting with integrated workflow.

  • Easy and instant insight into your business with fund-based account classification structure. Unlimited financial dimensions and expanded reporting capabilities that accommodate funds, programs, functions, organizations, and grants support government-specific accounting practices.

  • Capabilities for tracking multiple funding sources and automatically distributing funds according to program guidelines facilitate multi-year budgeting, accounting, and project and grant reporting.

  • A flexible departmental billing engine addressing the unique needs of an organization’s departments Travel Expense Management – Pre authorization, Cash advances, expense reporting, credit card reconciliation, and work flow approvals
  • Specialized Year End Closing Features including Purchase Order Rollover and Budget Carry-forward Options to expedite the Year-End Closing process

  • Inter-fund and Treasury Management

  • Environmental Sustainability Dashboard

Key benefits can be achieved including improved departmental user productivity and user acceptance with the familiar Microsoft look and feel experience. With Excel add-in, Microsoft Dynamics can fuel business productivity and enable confident decision-making.

The system provides the flexibility for change. It manages complex budgets and improves the tracking and reporting to meet regulatory requirements. The built for government functionality substantially reduces the need for additional ISV solutions and customization during the implementation process. Overall, Microsoft Dynamics provides financial, budgetary and resource management features to more efficiently operate the unique business needs of the Public Sector organizations."

For the development process, can you speak a little to what all resources where used to help complete the full list of functionality that is going to be included with the release of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012?

"We have built Microsoft Dynamics AX interoperability with other key Microsoft technologies including:
  • Microsoft Office

  • Microsoft SharePoint

  • Microsoft SQL Server

  • Microsoft BizTalk Server

  • Microsoft Lync

  • Microsoft Windows and Windows Server

  • Microsoft .Net

  • Microsoft Visual Studio

Many vendors makes claim they integrate with Microsoft. But don’t forget, we ARE Microsoft. The difference is we don’t just integrate, our products are our foundation and interoperability is far superior than just integration.

The Public Sector customers that participated in our Technology Adoption Program (TAP) included the City of Redmond Washington and Compass Point Business Services Ltd, the new joint shared services organization wholly owned by South Holland District Council and East Lindsey District Council in Lincolnshire, UK.

In July, the City of Redmond will go live with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, replacing the its old JD Edwards ERP system, which was unable to provide all the public-service capabilities and flexibility that the city needed. As part of an early adoption program, the city closely collaborated with Microsoft product teams and developers to make Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 a powerful solution for the public sector. As a result, many ideas and requests from public servants at the City of Redmond have become part of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012."

Charlie, for companies looking at AX for the very first time, because of this offering, how does it compare and compete with other ERP vendors within the public sector?

"Microsoft Dynamics AX2012 will be highly competitive against the established vendors. When developing MS Dynamics AX2012, we focused on the customer pain points that our competitors struggle to provide within their solutions. Public Sector organizations have specialized unique business requirements such as:
  • Budgetary Control

  • Commitment Accounting

  • Grants Management.

  • Project Accounting

  • Travel Expense Management

With AX 2012, we’ve set out to build a comprehensive out of the box solution for Public Sector. When you look under the hood of the features we built, it becomes obvious that we’ve gone way beyond just the me too features. Let me give you an one example:

Many Traditional Public Sector solutions provide budget to actual comparisons but force users to account and budget at the same account structure level. Not a limitation with our design, In fact, AX actually address four variations of budgetary control complexity, while most vendors struggle just to handle only one condition:
  • Hierarchical – Maintenance Materials – Sand, Gravel, Asphalt

  • Variable – Control at Dept except for Travel Expense Line Item

  • Multiple – Any combination of elements of classification structure or dimensions for budgetary control

  • Simultaneous – Annual Appropriation, and at the same time mange lower level departmental budgets, Separate Grant or Project Budget

From an estimate, do you feel that Public Sector companies will want to use the Microsoft Dynamics Cloud ERP offering, through the partner hosting model with AX 2012, or is the current read still more on-premise for this release?

"On-premise will be the primary deployment. Cloud adoption for Public Sector core business solutions is slowly catching on.

As is true of our solutions today, partners will be able to offer Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 as an on-premise or hosted solution. Having these options lets customers choose how they consume software based on their needs, and can shorten sales cycles and reduce the partner’s cost of a sale."

Charlie also has the following closing statement.:
"With the MS story around technology, simplicity and Lower TCO; we will meet the Public Sector’s demands for a Tier One functionally rich solution with a competitive Mid Market price tag. And that’s EXACTLY what we intend to do!

I’ve worked in the Public Sector industry for 37 years, MS Dynamics AX 2012 is revolutionary, We have a Passion for Success and We’re excited about our new offering!"

Well I would like to thank Charlie and Microsoft for taking the time to dive into this very exciting news, and push into the Public Sector with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.

For sure this is going to make up a big marketing push by Microsoft, and rightfully so as this is possibly a huge market segment that will bring more and more users count base into the Microsoft Dynamics Ecosystem.

That's all for now, but check back soon as more to come!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Blogger Nicole said...

Have you explored what add-ons will work with the new dynamics such as rfsmart? http://dynamicsax.rfsmart.com/

11:50 AM  

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