Acumatica has been integrated with Microsoft Power BI as a content pack to help their consumers with business intelligence (BI) and data visualization. The collaboration between the software provides even more ways to access and integrate data. Not only that, but it also enhances your Acumatica experience by providing you with more detailed interactive reports and dashboard analytics.
Jet Reports is a smart reporting tool, which offers non-technical Dynamics NAV users the opportunity to create various reports based on Excel, Word, and Dynamics NAV data. The solution interconnects multiple functions with different areas of your database to allow you to develop, schedule, update, and distribute reports according to your organization’s needs. This way, Jet puts complex, end-to-end reporting at your fingertips.
The Benefits of Using Jet Reports
In a nutshell, management can use this reporting tool to view and analyze key performance metrics in real time, track profit and loss by department, create sales and budget forecasts, compare income to predictions, automatically update information in real time or on a daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis, build product sheets based on specifications, and much more. As you can see, this add-on can help companies manage a variety of business areas, besides reporting. But more important is that it provides a series of advantages, such as:
- A Short Learning Curve – Jet proposes some simple features, similar to Microsoft Word and Excel’s layouts, fields, dimensions, formatting, charting, formulas, pivot tables, etc. Thus, anyone who knows how to use Excel and Word – and who doesn’t? – can learn everything about this tool within days. Furthermore, any employee can use Jet to create a variety of reports without cutting and pasting data, and more important, without IT assistance. New functionality included in Dynamics NAV also enables users to import reports from Jet and run them directly from the NAV client. Another notable point is that the product is easy to install and connect to NAV.
- Unplanned Reporting – Getting up-to-the-minute information is critical for any company, be it large or small. Since Jet Reports reads directly from the database, it can create ad-hoc reports that provide prompt, relevant answers to very specific, mission-critical queries. You can also make last-minute changes in Excel and Word documents, access different dimensions within your NAV database, slice and dice data the way you want, and then use Jet to generate comprehensive reports. Additional features included in the application – such as the GL reporting function, which lets you retrieve credit, debit, and budget balance information from the general ledger account in Dynamics NAV – can be used to combine multiple reports into single documents.
- Flexible Templates – With this tool, employees can personalize templates and documents by adding company logos, modifying fonts, changing fields, etc. Providing more than 20 templates and giving users the opportunity to change the layout according to their needs and preferences, Jet makes it easier for employees to understand company reports, which will positively impact your overall activity. Moreover, the templates included in this application reveal the best uses of standard Excel and Word functionality that many users might be unaware of.
- Integrated Customization – From Word and Excel capabilities to sales and marketing reporting, you can access all business data within a flexible, familiar environment. Besides grouping records according to specific criteria and selecting the type of data you want to receive, you can set up the application to send reports in different formats.
- Advanced Security – Jet Reports is configured by default to comply with standard security features in Dynamics NAV. Just like Dynamics NAV, the application allows authorized users to access and manage data according to their roles.
- Multiple Languages – As soon as you install and activate the add-on, you no longer have to worry about translation. You can have any of your reports translated in different languages, including French, German, Dutch, Spanish, etc., with just a few clicks.
- Flexible Licensing Model – Jet is available in three different versions: Express, which is free, Essentials, and Enterprise. Since the Express version doesn’t include a license, you can install it on as many computers as you like.
Unlike other Business Intelligence solutions that aren’t only very expensive, but also quite cumbersome to use, Jet combined with Dynamics NAV offers a reliable tool, which delivers critical business information in a succinct form, exactly when you need it. In conclusion, Jet Reports is one of the best applications leaders can use to gain more insight into business processes and run operations more efficiently.
We have some exciting news: Dynamics NAV 2015 didn’t come alone. Microsoft also launched a new Dynamics NAV App, which is flexible enough to adapt to any iPad, Android, or Windows 8 tablet. The app grants access to essential business information, ranging from sales invoices to business activity reports, while offering NAV users the best experience via a modern, fresh, consistent touch-screen interface.
Dynamics NAV App Overview
According to Microsoft, the new app is one of the most reliable “partners” Dynamics NAV users can get, regardless of whether they’re executives, decision makers, managers, or regular employees whose input can help companies drive corporate performance.
Available in 25 languages, Dynamics NAV App allows business people to manage finances, business operations, supply chains, human resources, suppliers, and customers from virtually anywhere, at any time. The app connects to the server your organization is connected to, offering the mobile access your employees need in order to get vital business information at their fingertips.
More precisely, you can use the app to search for data, handle information conveniently, get a synopsis of your entire business activity, view different processes in the Role Center, access Office 365 or Microsoft Excel for information sharing, upload pictures taken with your tablet to Dynamics NAV, and get in touch with other employees, customers, and suppliers.
By having access to real-time information 24 hours a day, you can make informed decisions in a timely manner, which will positively affect your company’s financial performance and overall success. Offering continuous access to business data, the app also supports the latest enterprise mobility concepts, such as BYOD and BYOC, which are slowly turning mobile devices into powerful business tools, boosting productivity and profit margins.
Quick and snappy, Dynamics NAV App provides a reliable alternative to the Web Client currently available for laptops. Further, the app is available to download for free from iTunes, Google Play, or Windows Stores, and it can be installed on any tablet running the relevant operating system along with Dynamics NAV. A regrettable downside is that the new app doesn’t support Smartphones, and it only connects to the latest Microsoft server versions (from version 8.0 onwards). Unlike Dynamics NAV, which can also be used offline, NAV app is only usable with a stable Internet connection.
To support both Web and Tablet Client, Dynamics NAV makes available two different profiles. Although the Tablet Client profile is similar to the Web Client profile, it has been especially designed to meet the form factor restrictions of tablets. Attempting to provide the right answers even before questions are asked, Microsoft technicians have already announced that the new app delivers several encryption functions, which enable developers to implement different encryption/decryption protocols for enhanced data security. The app also includes a new upgrade code unit, streamlining the entire upgrade process by offering users a superior tool for automating, tracking progress, testing, and troubleshooting upgrades.
Undoubtedly, a new app that promises not only to enhance users experience and extend Dynamics NAV functionality more than ever before, but also to improve the overall business performance by making mobile environments more explicit and controllable can create a lot of buzz and interest even when it is quietly launched.
Over the past years, organizations have been looking for ways to integrate social media in their ERP software applications. However, not much success has been reported. It is only over the last four years that we’ve started seeing social media elements being robustly integrated in ERP software applications.
One lesson has been clear all along: social elements should not be integrated in enterprise apps just for the sake of it.
According to Mike Gotta, an analyst with Gartner, most of the social integration done in the past was disconnected from enterprise apps. For example, a company could start a forum or a wiki page to provide collaboration opportunities to their employees. However, after the conversations on the social platforms, employees had to leave and return to work on their enterprise apps.
The disconnect between apps and social elements prevents organizations from attaining optimum productivity. This is a clear example of integrating social elements just for the sake of it.
For maximum operational benefits and efficiency, organizations need social elements that are fully integrated in their enterprise apps. The social tools need to be part of the ERP and not separate tools.
Employees need social tools that are available where businesses processes are happening. For example, an employee in the sales department may need to get information from customer service, supply chain, or inventory department. If there is a platform that can integrate these different departments to ease communication, the organization can realize improved efficiency.
Successful Social Media Integration in Enterprise Apps
One of the first successes of social integration in enterprise apps was Salesforce’s Chatter, which launched in 2010. The app improved the organization’s efficiency by enabling employees to find information faster either by posting questions or reaching out to other users through their Chatter profiles.
SAP has also addressed the need for social integration in its enterprise apps through its Jam solution. With the app, employees can connect with other employees in “deal rooms” to discuss projects and find information they need.
Challenges of Integrating Social in Enterprise Apps
While social integration is a welcome step for organizations looking to improve efficiency and customer service delivery, there are a few challenges that must be overcome.
For example, there is the expected resistance of employees with regards to the new technology. If the management does not support and contribute to the efforts of the integration team, the organization can see lower adoption of social integrated solutions by employees.
There is also the notion that social integration will eliminate the manual work that employees usually do. While this may be true to some extent, employees are the ones that are ultimately in charge of the financial success of the company. Just because you have a social tool does not mean it can replace the work of your employees.
Community managers and senior management play an important role in encouraging employee engagement. However, as more young people who’ve grown up with social media sites enter the workforce, the need for training is practically eliminated especially for social tools that are modeled after similar platforms like Facebook.
Adding Social Media to Social Enterprise Apps
Organizations also have social apps like social CRM to consider. Social CRM tools can be programmed to provide user notifications, enable comment threads, track company mentions and so on. For instance, if a customer service agent has been chatting with a client, other agents can easily see the chat history in real time.
This capability of social CRM is important in providing customers with a better experience. For instance, a customer may rant about your brand on social media. With your social CRM tool, you can almost immediately get notified when there is a complaint about your company or product and take the necessary action.
Through integrated social CRM, customer service agents can see which customer has complained, the complaint raised and even previous communication with the client. The agents can then take steps to contact the user to handle the issues raised.
Future of Social Integration in Enterprise Apps
Going forward, social integration will become more purposeful and enable organizations to add context to elements such as profiles, conversation feeds and activity feeds embedded into their ERP software applications.