Wave 14 and MS Dynamics GP: What is Wave 14 and Why Should I Care?

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First, let’s clear the air. I had no idea what Wave 14 was… (sorry Microsoft) but have learned that it’s everything relating to the Office 14 suite of products being released this year. Cleverly named; Office 2010, SharePoint 2010, Exchange 2010, and Office Communications Server 2010 (OCS).

Why should you care?

If you feel like you just don’t know to take your business to the next level (or pull it out of a rut), then you should have confidence that Microsoft’s goals are in alignment with your needs. Microsoft Office 2010 is more “role” focused than ever before, which ties directly into Dynamics. Microsoft Dynamics covers 5 key industries that include Professional Services, Manufacturing, Distribution, Retail, and Public Sector. Whether your focus is financial, Human Resources, sales, inventory, all roles are different.  That’s what Microsoft seems to be focusing on, is adapting to the way that people work, rather than forcing different applications to be used under one hat.  Remember, nobody can integrate Microsoft Products together better than Microsoft!

Office 2010 is geared towards:

  1. Empowering people:  Historically, Microsoft Dynamics has been used to process transactions.  However, increasingly Microsoft Dynamics customers need to do more.  They need to use Microsoft Dynamics to share their business information more widely throughout the organization. This is a priority for small business customers all the way up to larger enterprise corporations.
  2. Simplify business processes:  A good example of this is that Microsoft CRM is available inside Outlook, giving salespeople instant access to their customer information.  It is also why it’s easy to use Excel to access Microsoft Dynamics data, and refresh that data every time Excel is opened.
  3. Connect your people, customers, vendors ect:  Microsoft Dynamics helps streamline and centralize all of our financial, HR, PR, Manufacturing data. Office 2010 is going to help us use that information better to improve our operations, especially regarding SharePoint.

SharePoint 2010 and Dynamics:

Whatever your organizational role….centralizing data, data sharing and intuitive reporting is becoming more of a requirement than ever before.   This also makes learning more about the power of Microsoft Dynamics 2010 and Office 14 almost hysterically exciting.

People who run Microsoft Dynamics 2010 with Microsoft Office 2010 and SharePoint Server 2010 will empower their employees by providing them with the best productivity experience across the PC, phone and browser.   Employees will be able to bring ideas to live through improved visualization of data, and the ability to access information from anywhere (PC, phone and browser.

According to the Yankee Group, 50% of employees categorize themselves as mobile workers and they spend on average 20% of their time away from their primary workspace.  So why not help our employees do their job better, and give them access to their knowledge base, everywhere they go.

One of our clients said it best, “Microsoft Dynamics doesn’t eliminate jobs, it just allows us to do our jobs better.”  Then you add on the benefits of Office 14 to that and you have yourself a well oiled machine.

Exchange 2010: It’s the little things that Microsoft is doing, to help us be more efficient:

We’re all aware of the adage, “do more with less”.  Personally, I feel it should be re-phrased “Do more …with way more stuff in the way to distract you, with less time”.   All of us expect to be more efficient and productive, improve processes and workflows.  Yet, let’s be honest. It’s easy to be distracted just dealing with all the emails, newsletters we sign up for and random email threads which we have no desire in reading.  I can’t lie, I’m guiltily of a heavy handed “CC:” list now and then.  Ok, maybe more than I want to admit…which is why the below tool will save everyone in our office a little time. Thanks, Microsoft.

Besides some considerable improvements for IT administrators, I’m looking forward to these two features the best with Exchange 2010.

  • Ignore Conversation: This e-mail “mute button” will allow people to remove themselves from an irrelevant e-mail string, reducing unwanted e-mail and runaway reply-all threads.  (Halleluiah!)
  • Conversation View:  Combine related e-mail messages in a single conversation to reduce inbox clutter.

It’s possible that businesses lose $650 billion annually in productivity due to unnecessary interruptions including those from e-mail (Basex, 2008). Exchange 2010, together with Microsoft Outlook 2010, will definitely give people more control over their communications with these features, which means more time to focus on their job.

Want to hear more about measurable results that Microsoft Dynamics GP,  Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server can provide, contact Stoneridge Software.

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