What Should You Look for In a CRM Demo?

A good CRM demonstration is critical to getting a starting idea of what CRM can do and how it will benefit your business.

Articles by Charles.Knapp posted on February 8, 2011 12:28 PM (www.blogs.oracle.com/crm)

I have helped firms evaluate software demos and delivered demos in diverse industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, life sciences, and travel (to name just a few). Here are a few suggestions.

First, which vendor has the best fit for your industry? Make sure that the vendor demo staff tell you clearly throughout the demo (not just in a passing comment), what portion of each business process and screen is standard, what has been configured, what has been custom coded, and what has been provided by a partner. If you don’t keep asking, what you buy may be less useful than what you saw. This will lead to added (and unbudgeted) costs and time.

Second, what are the roles of the primary users? What are their top-most needs, such as exception-oriented dashboards or rapid data entry? Can you get a demo for each key role, showing how the software fits a typical workday? Have the vendor repeatedly tell you what is standard, configured, custom coded, or provided by a partner to avoid costly surprises.

Third, how well does the demo balance ease of use with completeness of business processes? One common demo approach is to hide needed fields or steps that are of low visual value. Another approach is to focus heavily on a visually appealing capability, while downplaying overall fit with your key business processes. Results: despite their business acumen, demo attendees may miss significant gaps in business fit or form an unrealistic impression about ease of use.

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Oracle Cloud Computing: Thinking Out Cloud, Break Through the Haze!

What is Cloud Computing?
What is Cloud Computing, if you search for  deifination on Wiki, this is what you get:
Cloud computing refers to the provision of computational resources on demand via a computer network, such as applications, databases, file services, email, etc. In the traditional model of computing, both data and software are fully contained on the user’s computer; in cloud computing, the user’s computer may contain almost no software or data (perhaps a minimal operating system and web browser only), serving as little more than a display terminal for processes occurring on a network of computers far away. A common shorthand for a provided cloud computing service (or even an aggregation of all existing cloud services) is “The Cloud”.

The most common analogy to explain cloud computing is that of public utilities such as electricity, gas, and water. Just as centralized and standardized utilities free individuals from the difficulties of generating electricity or pumping water, cloud omputing frees users from certain hardware and software installation and maintenance tasks through the use of simpler ardware that accesses a vast network of computing resources (processors, hard drives, etc.). The sharing of resources reduces the cost to individuals.

Cloud Computing is often characterized by:
     •   Virtualized computing resources
     •   Seemingly limitless capacity/scalability
     •   Dynamic provisioning
     •   Multi-tenancy
     •   Self-service
     •   Pay-for-use pricing

Why Cloud Computing?
Increase speed. Improve efficiencies. Reduce costs. For years, those have been the big promises of most new IT nitiatives. They’re also the big benefits of cloud computing. In pursuit of those benefits, organizations are choosing both public and private cloud strategies. Because cloud computing is based on pooled and elastic computing resources to rovide high efficiency, scalability, and availability—at the lowest-possible cost—choosing the right cloud technology to support cloud-based applications is a critically important element of any cloud computing strategy.

In summary, these are the answers to WHY CLOUD COMPUTING?
     •   Easy / Fast to deploy
     •   Less in-house IT Staff
     •   On demand basis
         (Pay only for what you use)
     •   Low montly payments
     •   Offers the latest functionality
         (no upgrade cost)
     •   Sharing systems / information simpler              
          (access from anywhere, anytime)

Oracle Cloud Computing Objectives:
     •   Ensure that cloud computing is fully
          enterprise grade
     •   Support both public and private cloud
          computing – give customers choice

The technology behind a cloud deployment may be a collection of best-of-breed components from different vendors, ntegrated by a cloud service provider or an organization’s own IT staff. But a cloud technology  platform that is engineered to work together, preintegrated and preconfigured by one vendor, can be optimized for much higher levels of performance, scalability, availability, efficiency, and manageability compared to heterogeneous solutions.

“In terms of economies of scale in an on-demand world, it’s about having a unified technology stack that enables tandardization and provides for operational efficiency and much lower operating costs,” says Gene Eun, director of product management, Oracle On Demand. “The fact that Oracle’s on-demand cloud offering is an integrated solution that’s designed to work together means that it’s all built for scale and stability, ensuring that the solution is optimized for performance and is
always going to be available.”

CRM Software: What Is It, Do I Need It, and Is It Worth the Investment?

Software Dilemma

Many of us have heard of the term “CRM”, however, some of you may still have questions about what exactly it is.

What is CRM?

CRM, an abbreviation of Customer relationship management software is a tool used to manage all of your contacts’ and customers’ information in one place and tracks all activities related to them.  It’s also used to manage partner and vendor relationships.  It stores critical data for sales, marketing, and customer service purposes and is used for managing marketing campaigns and generating meaningful reports.  With CRM software like Microsoft Dynamics CRM, it’s easy to share customer information, monitor sales activities and retrieve purchase history, identify revenue opportunities, deliver consistent customer service, and track your progress against your goals.

Do I Need It?

It’s important to analyze your needs before selecting a CRM software.  Here are some indicators that your company may be ready to take the plunge:

  • You use multiple methods to communicate with your customers (e-mail, phone, face-to-face, direct mail, etc.)
  • You want to be able to target specific customers and prospects and personalize communications
  • Your customers’ demographics vary
  • You want greater visibility into your sales pipeline
  • You’re duplicating efforts within the company (i.e. two salespeople call the same prospect)
  • It’s time-consuming and difficult to generate reports
  • You want to be able to track marketing and sales trends and identify opportunities
  • Any customer or prospect data you currently have is spread across different software

 Is It Worth the Investment?

It´s a fair question; many business leaders still question the value of implementing CRM software in a business. It is an elusive answer because there is a wealth of inconclusive information in the marketplace. Fear no more as we would like to share you some insights from the experts. There are several tangible and intangible benefits to CRM including increased revenue, reduced costs, and greater efficiency. Of course, these results vary depending on the company and type of CRM software you choose.  However, it’s easier to prove the worth of a CRM software investment compared to many other software systems since some benefits can be realized almost immediately.  Some benefits include:

  • Integration with existing databases and technology systems
  • Consolidated information in a centralized system
  • Improved visibility into company data and processes for more predictable and manageable business operations
  • Ability to create custom reports efficiently and modify rules of the system
  • Improved customer service and efficiency due to increased responsiveness and non-duplication of data
  • Improved information sharing and synchronization resulting in increased productivity and sales performance
  • Better targeted and more efficient marketing

 Here’s a video of Top 10 Reasons to Choose Microsoft Dynamics CRM:

Microsoft Dynamics AX2012 : POWERFULLY SIMPLE

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 empowers people to anticipate and embrace change, enabling businesses to thrive. Specifically, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 helps customers simplify decisions by delivering the following:

Powerful
A powerful foundation that is purpose-built for five industries: manufacturing, distribution, retail, services, and public sector, along with comprehensive, core ERP functionality for financial, human resources and operations management. All packaged in a single global solution thus giving customers a rapid time to value.

Agile
Agility through a set of unified natural models that serve as a library of business processes reflecting real-world situations. This enables customers to easily modify their organizations and processes to meet their changing business needs.

Simple
Simplicity through an easy-to-use solution offering access to information that is relevant to the work at hand. The familiar Microsoft Office user interface drives adoption and the enhanced business intelligence (BI) capabilities help customers uncover fresh insights that can lead to faster and more informed decision making.

Article abstracted from :
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/products/ax-2012-launch.aspx

Watch the pre-release demo here :

Make way! New release coming through, the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012!

Microsoft is committed to continually deliver powerful, agile, easy-to-use solutions that add value across your organization, today and tomorrow. The coming release of Microsoft Dynamics® AX 2012 is a delivery on this commitment. With more than 1,000 new features and enhancements across core enterprise resource planning (ERP) and industry capabilities, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 will help provide more business value faster, enable agility and insight in your organization, and help drive faster adoption, broader usage, and easier maintenance and upgrade through a continued emphasis on simplicity.

Couple this with a constant focus on pervasive interoperability—the natural interaction of ERP systems with Microsoft® business productivity applications and IT infrastructure technology—and the coming release will help sharpen your competitive edge and empower your people to anticipate and embrace change.

Contact us for more details :

sales@tfp.com.my

Making printing as mobile as business users

With the launch of the HP ePrint service App, iPhone users can now print emails, presentations, reports, travel documents and more to any networked enterprise printer. To help mitigate security risks, all print jobs are managed by HP ePrint Enterprise Administrative Server software, ensuring that data is kept within the company’s own network.

iPhone users can easily search a directory of available print locations and use their smartphone’s GPS functionality to navigate to HP ePrint Mobile Print Locations that include print and copy retail stores as well as hotels and airport lounges.

FedEx Office implemented the HP ePrint solution across its network of more than 1,800 locations nationwide last year, giving users of BlackBerry® smartphones – and now iPhone – access to ePrint through the world’s largest retail printing network.

“With these ePrint enhancements, iPhone users can now print documents directly from their devices to our stores using our FedEx Office Print & Go service,” said Brian Philips, president and chief executive officer, FedEx Office. “We are the only national print retailer to offer smartphone printing – making us the clear leader in the marketplace with our extensive portfolio of products and services.”

Many HP ePrint Mobile Print Locations, including Hilton Worldwide, are powered by the PrinterOn® network of public printers.

The HP ePrint service App is available for free from the App Store on iPhone or at www.itunes.com/appstore/.

Detailed information on HP ePrint Enterprise and HP ePrint Mobile Print Locations is available here.

Article abstracted from http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/newsroom/press/2011/110411a.html

Ready. Set. Converge

Ready. Set. Converge

For several years, IT has been evolving toward a more open, nimble and efficient infrastructure. Even so, virtually every enterprise has installed its share of short-sighted solutions. Project-based servers, single-application storage and systems siloed by lines of business are now becoming their own complications in terms of IT efficiency. It’s no longer feasible for organizations to find individual products to solve individual problems. The infrastructure of tomorrow is converged, and it requires a conscious decision today.

What is a converged infrastructure? In the most basic sense, it’s a truly service-centric—not system-centric—model of IT. The idea is to merge computer, storage and networks with facilities into a single environment. All resources and processes are controlled by a shared-services engine that provisions application workloads to instantly respond to business demands. As a result, service delivery is faster, repeatable, predictable and more efficient.

The converged infrastructure creates a foundation to gain more potential from top IT trends, such as cloud computing, green IT and virtualization. Rather than relying on inefficient, short-sighted, point solutions to accommodate changing business needs, the converged infrastructure is built to change along with your business. Convergence is less about making quick new purchases today and more about planning for the future. Following are five main characteristics of a truly converged infrastructure.

The inner workings of a converged infrastructure

Virtualized
Server virtualization is common, but the converged infrastructure of tomorrow virtualizes all resources in the data center: compute, storage, networking and power and cooling. This type of end-to-end virtualization gives you the freedom to move application environments anywhere, anytime. As a result, you can optimize every data center resource and respond to business requests faster and more effectively.

Resilient
The quest for a resilient infrastructure often results in IT sprawl for many organizations. Stacking on more servers might be the most obvious way to achieve resiliency, but it rarely achieves IT efficiency. A converged infrastructure pulls from a pool of shared resources. This lets you tune the right amount of resiliency to every application, whether you need fault tolerance or disaster recovery. By using your resources more efficiently, you can cut costs by avoiding underutilization.

Orchestrated
IT departments today focus too much energy on managing systems when they say they want to manage services. Processes that should be repeatable and predictable take too much time and pull people away from more valuable work.

In a converged infrastructure, the orchestration of all IT resources is based on policies. Administrators collaborate through a centralized management hub to define service templates and policies. Then other administrators can be more productive while adhering to preset rules. As a result, best practices are hardwired into the system, and the system naturally enforces governance and compliance—without repetitive, costly, error-prone human intervention.

Optimized
Many people link resource optimization to virtualization of individual resources. But a converged infrastructure can optimize for any workload, on any resource, anywhere. It can adapt to a wide variety requirements for performance and resiliency without the dangers of over-provisioning or under-provisioning. Most important, it optimizes automatically.

Modular
A converged infrastructure is based on many technologies that you’re already using, such as virtualization and blade technology. So it doesn’t require you to throw out what you have and start from scratch. Rather, it starts in your data center today, with your current investments, and takes advantage of other modular pieces that are based on an open, scalable architecture.

 

Article abstract from http://www8.hp.com/us/en/solutions/article_detail.html?compURI=tcm:183-235061&pageTitle=Ready.%20Set.%20Converge?404m=rt404mb,newcclltow1en

Business One in Action – How to identify GL Accounts that are used in Setup functions?

Applies to:

SAP Business One, Accounting, General Finance

Summary:

This article provides explanation on how to identify accounts defined in various setup functions.

Author: Lorna Real, Senior Support Consultant, GSC, SAP Business One

Company: SAP

Created on: December 2009

 Author Bio:

Lorna Real joined SAP in 2007 and is currently active as Senior Support Consultant for SAP Business One. She has worked as both technical and business consultant. She authored this article as a direct response to a partner enquiry during the Expert-on-Phone project, where she consulted on mainly Logistics and Finance related topics.

How to identify G/L Accounts that are used in Setup functions?

The ‘G/L Account Determination’ window does not have a corresponding table in SAP Business One and hence a query cannot be used to generate the list of accounts under the different tabs (Sales, Purchasing, General, and Inventory).

Solution:

In order to determine the accounts set in the ‘G/L Account Determination’ window, either of the following can be done:

  • View them in the ‘Chart of Accounts’ window. Accounts set in ‘G/L Account Determination’ are coloured green.

 

  • Or, create a query to show the accounts with ‘Main Account’ set to ‘Y’ in the OACT table. The query below can be used.

SELECT T0.[AcctCode], T0.[AcctName], T0.[Fixed] FROM OACT T0 WHERE T0.[Fixed] = ‘Y’

SAP Business One ON THE GO!

On your mark! Get Set! GO!!

Mobilize your business information through the Integration of Mobile Devices with the SAP Business One Application.

The SAP Business One mobile app for iPhone that has been recently launched is now optimized for iPad. This app lets you stay in touch with your business and customer data while away from the office. The large screen of the iPad allows an easy navigation and better readability of reports. Further, the up-dated App offers an integrated connection to an SAP hosted demo server, thus making any demonstration of the App a no brainer. Download the new SAP Business One for iPhone and iPad app directly from apple store.

The application allows users to check on inventory and customers, access reports, receive alerts and process approvals. With the mobile application, users have real-time access to data and can easily navigate, respond and trigger remote processes.

 

ERP- Isn’t it going to cost a bomb?

No!

Yes, the answer is a big resounding NO. Not all ERP and Business Management Systems are expensive.

SAP Business One presents you with a unbelievably affordable Starter Pack, aimed at getting you started with a world class product.

Faster to implement than the standard edition of the SAP Business One application – with a go live of three to ten days – the starter package covers all of the essential administration, financials, sales, purchasing, and inventory processes.

More to come soon!