Some of the prospects we come across are still apprehensive about moving their business systems entirely to the cloud. They feel more comfortable and in control, knowing their data is close by in a server room they can hear and see. For us, it is just the opposite. We take a lot of comfort knowing that client data is safely in the Microsoft Cloud. Here are some of the main reasons why:
With the Microsoft Cloud, we don’t need to worry about things that could unexpectedly go wrong such as power problems, physical security of the servers, hard drive or other hardware failures, IT staff who fail to keep things patched and upgraded.
With systems today, multiple server and software products are used and connected together to keep users productive. With the Microsoft Cloud, we don’t have to think about keeping things going when one of these products needs to get upgraded. Microsoft handles that for us. They also handle backups, and guarantee your up-time.
Microsoft’s current policy is to ship new features into their cloud version before they ship to their premise versions.
On top of all that, Microsoft is charging a premium now for premise-based licenses.
When you combine that with the cost of having IT people responsible for patches and upgrades, you get a pretty compelling business case to move things to the cloud.
Dynamics 365 Financials – Business Edition is a business management solution for small and mid-sized organizations that automates and streamlines business processes and helps you manage your business. It is a cloud offering targeted at organizations that have 1 to 250 employees who are looking for typical system features for the SMB market. It allows users to start small by only using apps that they need and expanding as their business requirements change. The main business functions include:
Financial dimensions capability
Project or job costing
Inventory; stock and non-stock
Fixed asset accounting
Basic relationship management
If your field service business is thriving and you are currently using Quickbooks or another entry-level accounting software, be on the look-out for some tell-tale signs that it’s time to move on to a new accounting system. Microsoft Dynamics 365 – Business Edition is one you should consider if you find that your business is struggling with:
Monthly reporting nightmares: QuickBooks designed its reporting capabilities for very small businesses. In order to get more complex, meaningful financial reports, all of the data must be exported to Excel, summarized, formatted and printed manually each month. Change a single amount and you need to repeat the entire process again.
Disconnected systems: QuickBooks was designed to stand alone, creating disconnected sets of information that are very difficult to manage as you grow. Your field service company may have groups of data locked into different systems. As a result, there is a lot of duplication of data, making the company inefficient and increasing the chances for errors.
Limited users: Your accounting department has grown, yet you have a limited amount of user access.
Data and record size limitations: QuickBooks does have data and record size limitations that may become a problem for fast-growing field service companies. As a company begins to reach the limitations there is also the potential for the data to become corrupted. This may make it more difficult and costly to move the data to another system.
Too many outside spreadsheets: If your field service company is using spreadsheets for tracking and reporting much of your accounting related data, you have outgrown QuickBooks. Many fast growing service companies find the limited functionality inhibits data tracking, and therefore turn to spreadsheets. The separate information on various spreadsheets create extra work and increase the potential for errors, slowing everyone down.
Contact FIELDBOSS to answer your questions about Dynamics 365 Financials Business Edition or to upgrade your field service company from Quickbooks or other startup accounting software.
How your company handles day-to-day work, from the time sales come in the door until the work is complete, has likely developed over many years of business experience and staffing changes. Often a business will have very senior resources both in the office and in the field that have over the years put their stamp on the business by instituting new and improved ways of working. The desire to improve how you do things is a good thing and generally encouraged by successful companies. Improving the way you work has been around a long time before technology and the micro-chip. It’s just a matter of how fast it needs to happen.
With the rapid pace of technology and automation now available to business, the need to change and improve is not only more important but it is in some cases essential to growth or even survival. “Change” can be extremely difficult to accomplish for businesses with their processes still stuck in a hybrid of manual paper, phone calls and old back-office systems. It also becomes nearly impossible to implement change quickly due to the many old manual paper process and legacy systems. Along with this hybrid of manual processes and technology, there is usually a parallel of old and new staff using them. This combination of manual or old systems and the staff that are holding on to them dearly, creates significant tension and resistance to change. The newer generation are born and grow up with smart phones, tablet and social media while the people with the deep business acumen in your business in many cases are still writing manual work orders and phoning or emailing when they want something.
The good news is that all of the technologies have now evolved to the point that most all sizes of businesses can afford them. Yes, sometimes it is a stretch, but a lot is on the line. You can now remove the majority of paper and have end-to-end integrated processes with intelligent data at your fingertips through mobile devices, secure browser or even directly inside Outlook. All of this great technology is served up in the cloud from servers that you no longer worry about. The not-so-good news is there is both a cost and effort to make the decision to dive-in and to implement a new system across your business. The easier decision is to procrastinate and put it off for another year. When you finally do make the jump, and you probably know you will have to, your staff will need to be managed and supported through the change and the way you work will need to adapt at most all levels, including management. More than ever you need an experienced company to partner with to help you through this transition. Change is not always easy for people. However, there is never a better time to slow down and do it right. You don’t have to change everything overnight, nor use all the great new capabilities, but you will find that the short term pain will be just that, short term. Your more experienced staff may take longer to come on board but once they do, their creative juices will be re-invigorated. It is pretty exciting to see your teams not only embrace the culture of change, but finally have the tools and technology to do it quickly.
For more information on how you can improve your business processes, contact us here.
What is the cost of Dynamics CRM online vs CRM on-premise? Before answering the “Dynamics CRM online versus CRM on-premise” question for your organization, you should first determine how complex your needs are. The following factors often influence our customers decision:
Premise deployments are highly configurable and can be as secure as you want them to be. But security flexibility comes at a price, as companies will incur significantly more labour costs as well as the ongoing cost of SSL certificates. With CRM Online, the entire system is secure by default. Refer to the Microsoft Trust Center to read about all the different ways CRM Online is compliant with government legislation.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online is much easier to administrate as everything can be managed from one console.
When it comes to reporting, CRM Online is less flexible. For most companies, the bulk of their business intelligence needs can be met from a combination of CRM dashboards, PowerBI and Excel Online Integration. On-premise deployments will leverage CRM dashboards, views, and SQL Reporting Services that take advantage of report account context and pre-filtering tools. CRM Online’s Fetch XML is not as good.
While the core CRM functionality can be considered to be equivalent between the two deployment options, CRM Online gets new functionality earlier and generally has more additional features. The upcoming CRM Online Carina release includes greater immersive Excel integration, One Note integration, customizable themes, and improved mobile capabilities. These features are not available for CRM on-premise.
CRM on-premise is much easier to troubleshoot as administrators can run a SQL trace or check event logs at will. All Online administrators users can do is contact Microsoft support for assistance. With the upcoming move to Azure CRM, users will soon be able to take advantage of both worlds.
For most companies, the cost advantages of CRM Online outweigh the benefits of CRM on-premise. To learn what version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM is best suited for you, contact us.
With the upcoming Microsoft Year end on June 30 Microsoft has reorganized, as they frequently do at this time of year. Yesterday, we learned that Microsoft moved the Dynamics development teams (the only group not impacted in the last reorganization) to the Cloud and Enterprise group. COO Kevin Turner is taking over the Dynamics Sales and Partner Organization of Dynamics.
Here are two interpretations about these changes
Kevin Turner has a reputation as an extremely capable operations person and one of the strongest leaders Microsoft has. He has unique execution and product management capabilities so we are expecting renewed energy and innovation around how Microsoft’s engages with Dynamics Customers.
Splitting Dynamics engineering from sales and partner management means that Dynamics software will be better integrated into Microsoft’s focus. Which is building infrastructure and business services such as data and analytic products, security and management offerings, and the business processes solutions we sell. This change should enable Microsoft to accelerate their ERP and CRM engineering work and mainstream them as part of the core engineering and innovation efforts across all products.
We are excited that these changes will assist and accelerate how FIELDBOSS services all contractors on our business management software platform.
On June 2nd , Microsoft made one of the most significant announcements in its 30 year Canadian history as they announced a major capital investment in locally delivered cloud services across two new Azure regions in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec for calendar year 2016. Provincial delivery of cloud services will support the range of offerings including Microsoft Azure, Office 365, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
The new cloud technology services will enable FIELDBOSS customers and prospects to deploy in the cloud and to enjoy the benefits, efficiency, scalability and cost-savings it offers. To learn more about the service, visit reimagine.microsoft.ca.
Well this is true, according to this CNET article. A long time ago, we decided not to believe everything we read online. We often find education is needed when it comes to cloud computing, but we are happy to learn that people are getting there.
A research survey by Software Advice shows the biggest pain points field service buyers have, and what features and functionality they want most in new field service software.
Here were their key findings:
Fifty-four percent of buyers are currently using paper, whiteboards and other manual methods such as Excel and QuickBooks to handle all of their field service needs.
The most desired functionality included scheduling (81 percent), routing and dispatching (66 percent) and integration with other systems (66 percent).
Ninety-seven percent of buyers preferred one integrated suite with multiple applications and functions, as opposed to separate, best-of-breed solutions.
Manual Methods and Entry Level Accounting Systems
We did not find it surprising that most people are using manual methods to support their field service operations. Many of the prospects we face daily are dealing with the same problems. There is too much paperwork to keep track of and they are using an accounting system that is not scalable.
FIELDBOSS for Microsoft Dynamics CRM addresses these issues. You can cut down the paperwork, eliminate errors, and streamline service billing by working in one Microsoft system. With FIELDBOSS you can automatically generate work orders and track and renew contracts into sales opportunities and invoices.
FIELDBOSS uses Microsoft Dynamics GP as their ‘go-to’ accounting system because it is much more sophisticated and scalable than QuickBooks, and it seamlessly integrates with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. FIELDBOSS users have real time visibility in both systems so they can have the information to do their jobs properly.
Scheduling, Routing, and Dispatching
We are happy to see that integrated scheduling, routing, and dispatching are the most desired functionality by field service buyers. Being able to schedule, route, and dispatch technicians efficiently through dedicated field service software can help companies avoid dreaded customer service pitfalls. FIELDBOSS has sophisticated case management, integrated dispatch capabilities and escalation rules to ensure on-demand service and break fix requests never “fall through the cracks”. It also makes sure the service requests are tracked and billed every time.
FIELDBOSS allows you to track planned and actual time against contracts or standard billable rate tables and auto-generate service follow-up to ensure quality and customer satisfaction. There is even built in route optimization (using Google or Bing maps) for your technicians so you can optimize technician utilization.
Based on Software Advice’s findings, when it comes to the solution itself, field service buyers overwhelmingly (97 percent) wanted an integrated suite—which includes multiple applications—to manage their business, as opposed to individual “best-of-breed” applications to meet specific needs.
This is where FIELDBOSS for Microsoft Dynamics really stands out. FIELDBOSS is a customized application that sits on top of the Microsoft Dynamics platform, so that you are always working in one integrated solution. Because it is a Microsoft solution, you can work in Microsoft Outlook, a web browser, or even from your mobile device. You can also leverage other Microsoft products because Microsoft Dynamics CRM is integrated out of the box with SharePoint document management and Office 365. That means there is less for you to manage, and less that can go wrong (that you will have to fix).
Field Service buyers want Solutions Now
With 57 percent of incoming service calls in a 2013 survey requiring a field visit, Software Advice tells us “it is vital that companies have an efficient software solution to keep track of their workforces and handle the long and complex service life cycle” – and we couldn’t agree more.
FIELDBOSS combines the all the field service functionality you need—from scheduling and routing to customer relationship management and accounting—into one, integrated suite. The solution is completely accessible through a mobile device (in real time) so that your technicians can update the solution from anywhere.
In today’s global economy, consumers have an increasing number of options for how and when they want to shop. Thus retailers need to make the customer their top priority to stay competitive.Microsoft has the answer to this problem, with the right tools and technologies in order to implement a full on customer centric strategy.
This article talks about 3 key aspects to Microsoft’s Enterprise Solutions – engaging customers, engaging employees and optimizing operations ; all of which have retailers sold on Microsoft.
First of all, retailers are looking for new ways to deliver a seamless customer experience across all channels and Windows 8 as well as Windows Phone 8 deliver multiple options for retailers to improve interactions with customers.
In addition, retailers are also pressured to deliver superior in-store experiences by taking advantage of the expertise of their employees and ensuring that they have the cutting-edge tools in order to deliver top-notch customer service. As retailers move to the cloud to reduce costs, improve customer service and engage employees they are choosing Microsoft Office 365 as their go to product.
Lastly, retailers are turning to Microsoft products to help optimize their overall operations and remain profitable. Microsoft technologies such as SQL Server, Windows Server and Windows Azure allow retailers to address the big data question through quickly analyzing and delivering data to decision-makers, making them efficient in giving consumers what they want.
So, it’s clear that Microsoft products remain top of the line, for businesses looking to maximize efficiency everywhere!
The service update will introduce new role-specific user experiences that guide sales and service professionals through pre-defined lead, opportunity and case management processes. The new user experiences will offer customers guidance and suggestions that can easily be tailored to a person’s specific role to drive maximum productivity. The service update will also add new business process definitions to track and manage leads, opportunities, contacts and accounts, making it simpler for people to understand their customer, and be able to better connect and collaborate with each other.