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What is Microsoft Dynamics?

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How Do You Know When It is Time to Buy New Software
How to Choose New Software
Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains Functionalities
How to Choose a Software Dealer
How to Obtain a Microsoft Dynamics Licensing Agreement

Microsoft Dynamics

Microsoft Dynamics is the brand name of a group of business management solutions from Microsoft. These solutions provide functionality that address business needs in the following areas:

Companies of various sizes have successfully implemented these solutions in most industries. Furthermore, the strong points of the Dynamics product line lie in deep functionality in the above mentioned areas, ease of use and the full integration with the other Microsoft products. Good examples include the following:

  • The very familiar ‘look and feel’ from Microsoft Office
  • The usage the business intelligence functionality of Microsoft SQL 2005
  • The usage of Windows Workflow Foundation (which comes with the latest version of Windows)

Microsoft Dynamics Functionality

Business intelligence functionality is very useful for reporting and analysis of trends in the performance of an organization. Most of this functionality is tightly integrated with Microsoft Excel because it is the main tool financial analysts, controllers and CFO’s alike use.

Workflow functionality also helps organizations cut back on the paperwork and paper handling resulting in very fast and efficient processes. Good examples include the following:

  • Expense claims
  • Timesheets
  • Purchase order approvals

Dynamics Products

The Dynamics products Microsoft offers that at least cover the business needs in the area of Financial Management as well as Business Intelligence and Reporting include the following:

Each of the products offers additional functionality in one or more of the following areas: Supply Chain Management, Project Management, Manufacturing, and Human Resources Management. Dependent on what flavor of the product has been licensed, the customer will receive a smaller of larger subset of functionality offered by the product. In addition, each product will have functionality available that will need to be licenses separately if the customer has needs that would require that functionality.

As Microsoft sells the Dynamics products through their partners, it’s important to make sure you select a partner that has not only the requisite product knowledge but also has ample resources with skills in financial accounting, business processes and information technology and has a track record of successfully delivering implementation projects on time and on budget. They will also help an organization determine what modules of functionality are needed to solve their business needs.

If you want to create the roadmap for your company’s success, then access our free Internal Analysis whitepaper.

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Microsoft Dynamics: How to Obtain Licensing Agreement

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When to Buy New Software
How to Choose New Software
Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains
How to Obtain a Microsoft Dynamics Licensing Agreement
New Microsoft Dynamics Licensing Program

Microsoft Dynamics: How to Obtain Licensing Agreement

Microsoft Partners sells Microsoft Dynamics but the licensing agreement is between Microsoft and the organization that licenses the software. The Microsoft Partners will help you determine what version as well as what modules you need to license to provide you with the functionality needed.

What drives software licensing costs?

The cost of licensing and using business management technology varies greatly among companies. The following factors have an up-front impact on the overall cost of your total business solution:

Business software components: The components you’ll need are influenced by the type of business you’re in, and the current and future software needs your company might have.

The number of people who will use the software: The size of your staff, the kind of tasks they perform, and the software access that each person needs will affect total costs.

The level of service that’s right for your company: Depending on your business and IT staffing structure you may choose varying degrees of software service, training, and more.

Depending on what your company needs, the type of system and level of service will vary. The only way to discover that is to conduct an internal analysis. Click here to access our Internal Analysis whitepaper.

Microsoft Dynamics Editions

Microsoft offers two editions of pre-selected (packaged) software functionality, as well as additional add on components. The pre-selected editions are licensed based on the number of concurrent users. Concurrent users means the number of users actual logged on to the system. You can create unlimited number of users but only the number of users licensed can log onto the system at any given moment.

Add on components licensed are mostly licensed aa a flat fee, and they are not related to the number of users in the system. The exception is the Payroll and Human Resources modules that are licensed based on the number of employees for which the module is used.

The following information outlines the functions available in different editions of Microsoft Dynamics.

Business Essentials

This edition addresses core financial management needs and includes essential features for integrated financial and business management. It is streamlined for ease of installation, rapid user adoption, and affordability.

Financial management includes the following:

Supply chain management includes the following:

Business intelligence and reporting includes the following: Microsoft FRx Desktop (1 user)

Basic configuration and development tools

In addition to core functionality, the Business Essentials Foundation Pack includes one full access user license. You can license additional full access users and partial access users. You may also license a limited set of additional components—such as payroll components— for this edition.

Advanced Management*

This edition addresses the needs of organizations that are looking for a solution with an extensive set of advanced functionality.

All the functionality of the Business Essentials edition is included plus the following:

Advanced Business Intelligence and Reporting

Customer relationship management, including Microsoft Dynamics CRM Professional Server** (at least one user license must be purchased for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Professional to use this product)


Advanced supply-chain management, including:

  • Bill of Materials
  • Requisition Management

In addition, the Advanced Management Foundation Pack includes one full access user license. You may license additional full access users and partial access users.

Advanced Management Enterprise: Extend Your Solution*

For organizations with even more complex needs, Advanced Management Enterprise components are available.

These additional components let you extend the Advanced Management edition by providing the following rich set of advanced functionality:

  • Advanced manufacturing functionality, including shop management, capacity planning and job costing
  • Field Service Management
  • Advanced project management
  • Advanced configuration and development tools including source code access

**Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Get It Separately or With Your Business-Ready License

In addition to being available with the Microsoft Dynamics Advanced Management edition above, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Professional continues to be available through the Microsoft Volume Licensing program. The Microsoft Volume Licensing Program uses the same licensing module in Microsoft Office, Windows and Microsoft Exchange.

User Access

Businesses also vary greatly in the number of people within the company who need to use specific software functions. In addition to licensing an edition, you’ll likely need additional user licenses to give your people access to functionality within the software. You typically have a choice of full or partial access users, depending on your needs.

Full access user licenses

A Full Access user license allows one user to access all functionality within the edition at any one time.

Partial access user licenses

Several types of Partial Access user licenses are available. Find a Partial Access user license priced lower than the Full Access user license. It is also a way of extending access to your Microsoft Dynamics solution to many more people across your organization. One example of a Partial access user license is the Microsoft Dynamics Client for Microsoft Office and SharePoint Server, which includes a number of self service applications that provide employees access to important business information and processes.

Service Options

Many Microsoft partners offer implementation and support services to help you implement and maintain the Dynamics solution and help you reap the benefits that the proper configuration and usage of these solution will bring you. Microsoft offers a broad selection of service plans that include support, training, and product upgrades.

If you are ready to bring on a new system like Microsoft Dynamics, then first conduct an internal analysis. Why? Because you may uncover some weaknesses or strengths that are will be exposed or not optimized respectively with the new system. Click here to download your free Internal Analysis worksheet to start developing and enhancing your strengths as well as start reducing and resolving your weaknesses.

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Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains

See Also:
How Do You Know When It is Time to Buy New Software
How to Choose New Software
Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains Functionalities
Microsoft Dynamics: How to Obtain Licensing Agreement

What Are the Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains Functions

Dynamics Great Plains is one of the solutions that Microsoft offers as part of its Dynamics product line. Microsoft offers the following 2 versions of Dynamics Great Plains as part of the current “Business Ready Licensing” program:

The “Advanced Management” version includes all functionality of the “Business Essentials” version. In addition, it includes other functionality. Additional modules are available, but some of these are not available with the “Business Essentials” version. The following table describes what major modules of functionality are available in what version and what additional functionality can be licensed in addition to each version.

Download The Internal Analysis Whitepaper

Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains Business Essentials vs. Advanced Management

Functionality Group                       Business        Advanced
                                              Essentials      Management
Financial Management 
General Ledger                            YES            YES
Intercompany                              YES            YES
Multicurrency Management                  YES            YES
Analytical Accounting                     YES            YES
Fixed Asset Management                    YES            YES
Encumbrance Management                    YES            YES
Receivables Management                    YES            YES
Payables Management                       YES            YES
Bank Reconciliation                       YES            YES
Safe Pay                                  YES            YES
Cash Flow Management                      NA             YES
Collections Management                    NA             YES
Customer/Vendor Consolidations            NA             YES
Electronic Bank Management                NA             YES
Lockbox Processing                        NA             YES
Cashbook Bank Management                  ALC            ALC
Electronic Reconciliation Management      ALC            ALC

Business Intelligence and Reporting 
FRx Currency Translation                  YES            YES
Microsoft FRx® Desktop User(1 BE user)    USR            USR
Advanced Analysis Cubes Library           NA             YES
Analysis Cubes Library                    NA             YES
FRx Report Manager                        NA             YES
FRx Report Server (first engine)          NA             ONE
Key Performance Indicators                NA             YES
FRx WebPort                               NA             USR
Microsoft Forecaster                      NA             USR
FRx Report Server (per additional engine) NA             ALC
Microsoft Forecaster                      NA             ALC
SmartList Builder                         ALC            ALC

 Supply Chain Management
Inventory Control                         YES            YES
Invoicing                                 YES            YES
Landed Cost                               YES            YES
Purchase Order Processing/Receiving       YES            YES
Sales Order Processing with Adv Invoicing YES            YES
Available to Promise                      NA             YES
Bill of Materials                         NA             YES
Order Management                          NA             YES
PO Generator                              NA             YES
Requisition Management                    NA             YES
Returns Management                        NA             YES
Advanced Distribution                     NA             ALC
Advanced Picking                          NA             ALC
Extended Pricing                          NA             ALC

Manufacturing Bill of Materials           NA             YES
Manufacturing Order Processing            NA             YES
Master Production Scheduling              NA             YES
Materials Requirements Planning           NA             YES
Capacity Requirements Planning            NA             ALC
Engineering Change Management             NA             ALC
Job Costing                               NA             ALC
Microsoft Demand Planner                  NA             ALC
Quality Assurance                         NA             ALC
Sales Configurator                        NA             ALC
Sales Forecasting                         NA             ALC

 Project Accounting
Contract Administration                   NA             YES
Project Accounting                        NA             YES
Time & Expense                            NA             YES

 Field Service
Dynamics CRM Professional Server          NA             ONE
Depot Management(requires Returns Mgmt)   NA             ALC
eService Call                             NA             ALC
Preventive Maintenance                    NA             ALC
Service Call Management                   NA             ALC

Human Resource Management 
Payroll – US                              ALC            ALC
Payroll Direct Deposit                    ALC            ALC
HR                                        ALC            ALC
HRM Self Service Suite (US)               NA             ALC

Collaborative Workspace
Business Portal                           NA             USR
Business Portal
           (Named Vendor/Customer Users)          NA             ALC
Client for Microsoft® Office
           and SharePoint® Server                 NA             ALC
Client for Microsoft® Office and
          Windows® SharePoint® Services           NA             ALC

Configuration and Development
Customization Site License                YES            YES
Integration Manager - Conversions         YES            YES
Developer Toolkit Microsoft Dynamics™ GP  NA             ALC
Dexterity                                 NA             ALC
Modifier w/ Visual Basic for Application  NA             ALC
Great Plains Extender                     ALC            ALC
Integration Manager                       ALC            ALC

YES = Included

ALC = Additional component or users available a la carte

ONE = One Instance Included. Additional instances are available a la carte

USR = One User included with each AM (or BE) User as noted. Additional users are available a la carte

NA = Not Available

Access our free Internal Analysis whitepaper to assist your leadership decisions while creating the roadmap for your company’s success!

Dynamics Great Plains
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