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Better Informed People Make Better Decisions

Today’s social connectedness, mobile devices, and growing opportunities for interaction “any time any place” have changed the way many live and work. People are increasingly dependent on connections across the global network—interlocked in this connected reality.

In order to gain the insight needed to make better decisions, organizations need an end-to-end business solution that integrates all areas of their business and provides managers - as well as individual team members and contributors - with the information they need to make the right decisions at the right time!

Modern business solutions like Microsoft Dynamics AX not only connect people inside and outside the organization, they also give them context and insight which drives better decisions and boosts productivity. An important focus of Microsoft Dynamics AX is to drive connections with people, with customers and with business partners across processes, data and the ecosystem in which organizations operate. This focus on connected organizations includes the vision of anywhere, in-context collaboration services that links people and companies to the right people in the right place, in the right context, at the right time, across multiple avenues of communications.

By implementing a fully integrated ERP system like Microsoft Dynamics AX - encompassing everything from sales and marketing to production and accounting - organizations can improve the accuracy of the information upon which decisions are based because each module of the software is tied together and information flows freely among them. Everyone from the top floor to the shop floor can have access to the business intelligence information they need to drive business success across the organization:

  • Keep current on changing business conditions - Accurately monitor current business activity, and compare it to historical activity and future plans to give people the contextual information they need to keep performance on track. Microsoft Dynamics AX delivers many integrated monitoring tools to help your people access the most relevant, accurate, and timely information about your business.
  • Gain insight into your business - It's not enough to gather accurate and timely data—people need powerful and easy-to-use analysis tools to help them understand context and trends. Microsoft Dynamics AX business intelligence functions provide people with the insight they need to take quick action and pursue opportunities.
  • Budget, forecast, and plan effectively - Microsoft Dynamics AX offers flexible planning tools to help you compare budgets, forecasts, and plans to actual performance. It also gives you the ability to update budgets and plans on the basis of new data and analyses to help your business stay competitive.

Microsoft Dynamics AX removes the impediments that generate friction within the organization and provides people with a broader array of insights and actions across internal and external connections. With greater transparency, agility, and insight, your people can make better, more informed decisions - enabling you to transform into a Dynamic Business.

How the Right BI Solution Can Help Drive Success

There’s plenty of incentive for overcoming today’s business information challenges. Although it can be difficult to put financial values on faster, smarter decisions, the ability to make them is still widely recognized as critical to success in the highly competitive global marketplace. Moreover, it’s not hard to identify organizational dissatisfaction with the relevance, availability, and accuracy of the information people currently do have at their disposal.

Fortunately, new solutions are emerging to help solve these problems. Today, the right BI solution can:

  • Provide self-service convenience for the average user, with immediate, out-of-the-box analysis capabilities, while still helping to maintain a secure environment and offer the depth and power necessary for sophisticated analysis.
  • Improve business agility with a range of flexible options for generating, viewing, analyzing, and distributing BI.
  • Integrate and connect disparate legacy systems and business applications, information sources, departments, and locations to provide comprehensive, one-stop BI for the entire organization that’s optimized for the capabilities of the ERP system.
  • Expand in reach and capabilities as the organization grows and its BI demand increases. Ideally, this growth can take place as an integral component of a scalable enterprise-wide solution that also adapts and extends readily as needed.
  • Offer a quick return on investment through initial cost efficiency, long-term scalability, and a low total cost of ownership.

The following steps provide a guideline for incorporating BI into your organization. By following these steps, you can identify key business considerations prior to deploying a new BI solution.

Step 1: Replace complex user interfaces with intuitive, convenient self-service

Ease of access is a primary consideration. An inquiry, analysis, or reporting solution that is too complicated may be powerful but sit mostly unused. On the other hand, a solution that’s too simple may not be robust enough to serve the business decision-makers who need it most. But when the BI solution is easy to use right out of the box and users can access information via familiar interfaces, applications, and tools, everyone in the organization can achieve greater insight without relying on costly IT resources to generate reports or run time-consuming analyses. The ideal solution works the way your people want to work. A self-service–focused user interface also minimizes training costs and startup times and enables team members to work with information in a collaborative environment. At the same time, managers can control information access based on functional roles or individual authorization to help protect sensitive information and prevent inappropriate or unintended modifications.

Step 2: Expand options for analysis, transportability, and dissemination

To turn information into actionable business intelligence, people must be able to extract and analyze the specific information they need, in the order they need it, and with the detail that addresses their interests. Tailored functionality is critical, both for customizing the solution to industry and organizational needs and for adapting operationally to the interests of diverse functional roles. Finally, the right solution can make it easier to share, present, and distribute the results of analysis, not only within the organization but also with trade partners. Therefore, solutions that incorporate Web services, portal compatibility, or other measures to ease communication across platforms provide a definite advantage.

Step 3: Integrate disconnected information and systems into the knowledge base

A strong BI system must be able to incorporate information from across the enterprise while also connecting with line-of-business applications, including document repositories, and the desktop productivity tools employees use every day. The ability to access and consolidate information from multiple production management and manufacturing control systems, warehouses, distribution channels, and companies or subsidiaries is also valuable for providing managers with comprehensive, enterprise-wide insight.

Step 4: Scale to fit changing business models and needs

A BI system is only good while it fits. Given the rate of change in today’s business environment, it’s imperative to find and implement a solution flexible enough to adapt to business growth, whether that growth comes through acquisitions, vertical integration, international expansion, or shifts into entirely new lines of business. To continue supporting personal, team, and organizational BI needs, solutions must be extensible to new users and locations as the company grows. Such scalable solutions, when they also accommodate add-on or tailored functionality, offer strong cost efficiency, consistency, service, and fit over time.

Step 5: Deploy cost-efficiently and with long-term adaptability for a low TCO

For a business solution to be implemented at all, it must be cost-efficient to license, deploy, and maintain, while remaining accessible across the organization. Ideal solutions give all people responsible for strategic, tactical, and operational decisions access to the information they need at a low total cost of ownership (TCO). An effective BI solution can quickly provide a strong return on investment while retaining the flexibility and scalability for future growth to provide long-term performance that maximizes your investment.

Microsoft Dynamics AX is an end-to-end business management solution for enterprise and mid-market organizations, including manufacturers, distributors, retailers, service organizations, and firms with diverse or vertically integrated operations across the global supply chain. An ERP system with an intuitive user interface, robust analytics, and flexible, familiar information delivery capabilities, Microsoft Dynamics AX serves a wide range of business intelligence needs right out of the box. And because it builds on the Microsoft technology stack, including Microsoft SQL Server® and SharePoint technologies, and is tightly integrated with Microsoft Office and other Microsoft desktop productivity solutions, it is uniquely positioned to help you solve today’s most pressing BI and performance management challenges.

Gain Better Business Insight and Drive Decisions to Build Your Business

Accurate information about how your business is performing is important at any time - but in difficult times, it is absolutely essential. Getting the right information to the right person at the right time has never been more critical to your business. Finding the right enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that can bring insight and intelligence into your business is a must.

Are you looking for a solution that can accomplish these critical objectives?

  • Giving employees quick insight into predefined views of data tailored to their jobs.
  • Enabling employees to do more ad hoc analysis without engaging IT staff.
  • Enabling sales people to create customized pricing while on the road or in customer's office.
  • Increasing customer satisfaction and reducing costs by giving customers and field staff online ordering capabilities and round-the-clock visibility into order status.
  • Providing real-time access to a common set of accurate business information and helping your business operate more efficiently.
  • Giving you access to business information stored on employee computers, or on systems that don’t easily link with each other.
  • Analyzing project or contract profitability more efficiently.
  • Helping you quickly analyze all aspects of your business so that you can make better business decisions in high-risk situations.
If any of these objectives are in your business plan, Microsoft Dynamics AX can help. Microsoft Dynamics AX provides rich business intelligence capabilities to companies of all sizes, with specialized functionality for almost any industry. No matter what your business is, Microsoft Dynamics AX can erase boundaries between data silos and deliver the critical information needed for rapid, effective decision-making to key executives and staff, whether they’re on the road, in a customer's office, or at corporate headquarters.

Microsoft Dynamics AX can give you the business insight that will guide you to success. Here's how:

  • Accurate, up-to-the minute information about product costs, sales trends, and profit margins to inform strategic decisions about where to spend money, how to grow revenue, and how to strengthen margins.
  • Access to critical information about current sales—no matter where it's located.
  • Integrated sales and revenue forecasts from subsidiaries and recent acquisitions—even data in disparate systems—into all-up company reports.
  • Executive views of production schedules or resource availability on demand, without waiting for reports.
Business intelligence can mean the difference between an organization’s modest performance and real success. A business that can use its own data and information to help employees gain insight and make smart decisions will have a clear competitive advantage. Microsoft Dynamics AX's powerful BI capabilities make it easy for all employees—not just a select few—to access, work with, share, understand, and interpret data and information from across the organization.

To empower your entire organization with insight—at the personal, team, and organizational levels— business intelligence tools should be where your employees need them—on the desktop. Making BI tools accessible and easy to use no matter what application is used is paramount to making the most of data and information. Microsoft Dynamics AX provides extensive built-in BI functionality with capabilities that enhance productivity and facilitate collaboration.

Simplicity, ease of integration, and flexibility are Microsoft Dynamics AX hallmarks. And because Microsoft Dynamics AX can be integrated smoothly with other applications,  businesses can deliver essential intelligence throughout the entire organization. Businesses can also take advantage of their existing IT investments and grow and extend to meet changing needs, so that everyone throughout your organization is empowered to make better, more confident decisions.