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Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP Return on Investment (ROI) validated by Forrester

March 31st, 2014 Sandeep Walia No comments

Forrester Research’s consulting division conducted a study on the Total Economic Impact of Microsoft Dynamics AX on organizations. The study conducted with 24 organizations validates a high ROI of 92% with Microsoft Dynamics AX deployments. According to Forrester, Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP reduces operations costs and increases business value. The study shows an average payback period of 21 months, average Net Present Value (NPV) of over US$ 3 Million and an Internal Rate of Return (IRR) of 53%. These are pretty astounding statistics for any ERP solution especially given that the study only took in to consideration benefits in the first 3 year. A higher time horizon (which is common for ERP projects) would show even better numbers since most successful ERP implementations pay at least over 5-7 years

Composite Organization Three-Year Risk-Adjusted ROI

ROI IRR Payback Period Total Benefits(PV) Total Costs (PV) Net Present Value
92% 53% 21 months $6,269,550 ($3,259,651) $3,009,899

Source: Forrester Research, Inc.

Key areas of benefits cited by Forrester are both quantifiable benefits and non-quantifiable benefits. The quantifiable benefits of replacing legacy applications with Microsoft Dynamics AX are summarized in the table below

Benefit Benefit Source Value

Increased business user productivity

Greater automation translates to higher efficiency and being able to do more with less people. Savings are typically in accounting, procurement, customer service, and logistics.

45 employees on average eliminated or not added with increased growth
US$ 5.8 million over 3 years

Reduced IT Team Size

Decreased team size due to easier manageability of the ERP application and a single application versus multiple legacy applications

US$ 2.2 million over 3 years
Year 1: Four fewer IT FTEs
Year 2: Six fewer IT FTEs
Year 3: Seven fewer IT FTEs

Eliminated systems license and maintenance cost

Microsoft Dynamics AX typically has one of the lowest software assurance costs of 16% in the ERP industry. That coupled with the fact that a Microsoft Dynamics AX implementation typically eliminates multiple legacy applications leads to ongoing continual savings every year.

US$ 1.1 million over 3 years
Average annual savings in software assurance cost of $360,000

Non-quantified benefits that are listed but not included in the analysis for the Total Economic Impact are

  • Improved business performance: Generally organization’s that used Microsoft Dynamics AX had overall performance improve with increased sales and profitability. This is achieved through faster responses to market changes and decreased internal costs. Personally, I think this should have been a quantifiable benefit as it is so significant and could nearly double the ROI and NPV value measurements.
  • Improved system reliability and uptime: Microsoft Dynamics AX exhibited better uptime and system reliability than the legacy systems replaced leading to less disruption in work and better operations for the organization.
  • Better decision making: By having a unified ERP system allowed users to get data more easily and make more informed decisions which improves business outcomes and reduces time. Increased business intelligence capabilities helped with time to market especially for global companies.

The summary of the business value which includes the total cost as well as the total quantified benefit is shown below. In total cost, Forrester included all of the following

  • Software license cost for Microsoft Dynamics AX
  • Annual Software assurance and maintenance cost
  • Professional services and consulting costs
  • Training costs
  • Internal FTE Labor cost
  • Hardware costs

summary of the business value

Source: Forrester Research, Inc.

If you would like to see how Ignify can help bring this value to your organization or see a demonstration of Microsoft Dynamics AX please email us at dynamics@ignify.com.

Sandeep Walia is the CEO of Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of CRM, eCommerce and ERP, and Point of Sale software solutions to organizations. Ignify has won the worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in 2013, 2012 and 2011. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing business in North America for 7 years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine from 2007 to 2013.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Named the Leader in Customer Case Management for 2014

March 24th, 2014 Brianne Schaer No comments

CRM 2014 Service Awards

CRM Magazine’s March 2014 cover story, The 2014 Service Awards, named Microsoft Dynamics CRM as the service leader in Customer Case Management.

The Ignify team is proud of Microsoft Dynamics CRM’s newest award: CRM Magazine’s leading software in Customer Case Management for 2014. Microsoft Dynamics beat out Salesforce.com, which had sat in this top spot for the past two years.

The team chose Microsoft Dynamics CRM for its excellence in the following criteria: reputation for customer satisfaction, depth of functionality or services, company direction, and technology costs over a five-year period.

With the acquisition of Parature, a provider of cloud-based customer engagement solutions, Microsoft Dynamics became a key player in customer case management and was on the minds of many of the analysts responsible for naming CRM Magazine’s Service Awards winners.

“The acquisition of Parature shows Microsoft is taking service seriously, instead of investing only in sales and marketing, as most cloud CRM vendors tend to do,” John Ragsdale, vice president of technology research for the Technology Services Industry Association, said in CRM Magazine’s article.

The rating system used for CRM Magazine’s Service Awards is based on a composite score of company revenue and analyst ratings on a five point scale. Microsoft Dynamics CRM scored 4.4 for company direction.

The CRM Magazine Service Awards is now in its 11th year, and aims to help technology buyers make the right customer service technology purchases for their companies. The awards are separated into eight customer service categories, in which judges take a broad view of the major CRM vendors.

If you have any questions about Microsoft Dynamics CRM’s customer case management functionality, or if you would like help with your CRM system evaluation, please email us at crm@ignify.com.

Brianne Schaer is an Assistant Copywriter at Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of CRM, eCommerce, ERP, and Point of Sale software solutions to organizations. Ignify has won the worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in 2013, 2012 and 2011. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing businesses in North America for seven years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine from 2007 to 2013.

7 Ways to Improve Your Web Store’s Search Engine Optimization

March 18th, 2014 Manasi Kulkarni No comments

In my last post, I discussed the importance of product descriptions for an eCommerce website in terms of its search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. Ignify eCommerce provides a merchant the right tools to ensure that product descriptions are displayed effectively on his web store.

It also provides various other SEO tools that can make a web store SEO friendly and ultimately help improve sales and revenue for the merchant. Here is a quick overview of some of the important ways in which Ignify eCommerce helps your web store become SEO friendly.

  1. Customer reviews and ratings:

    As discussed in the previous post, unique content is very important to get search engines to crawl your web pages and improve ranking. Customer reviews of products are a great way to generate such unique content, without having to worry about spending time and money employing additional content generation resources. They also ensure that your web store has fresh content on a regular basis, thereby keeping it “live.” The ability to moderate the reviews through the Manager Panel gives the store manager complete control over the quality of the reviews published online. This is an important aspect of on-page optimization.

    Customer reviews and ratings

    Customer reviews generate unique content and also help recommend products to shoppers.

  2. URL rewrite and redirect:

    Many times merchants ignore the structure of their URLs and end up with gibberish-sounding URLs that can put off not only customers but search engines as well. An SEO friendly URL is one that includes keywords that “speak” and is therefore unique, without product IDs or such other “characters” that are not easy to read and remember.

    The URL rewrite feature in Ignify eCommerce allows you to rewrite unique URLs for various pages as per your SEO needs. Ignify eCommerce creates such SEO friendly URLs by default when you create a web store using the same. The need for rewriting URLs for SEO purposes is eliminated.

    URL rewrite and redirect

    SEO friendly URLs include keywords and are easy to read.

    URL redirecting helps the merchant ensure that shoppers do not browse away from his web store, and definitely land on the page he wants them to. It also reduces “404: page not found” errors, making the site SEO friendlier.

  3. Easily incorporate Google Analytics:

    The Ignify eCommerce Manager Panel provides the merchant an easy way to incorporate the Google Analytics code into the web store, thereby making it easy to track the user activity on the web store and set goals and targets for conversions and sales. The Manager Panel provides an easy configuration screen for every web store channel where the merchant adds the Google Analytics tracking ID and his login credentials. The code is added to the web store and tracking begins.

    Easily incorporate Google Analytics

    The Manager Panel make implementing Google Analytics to the web store easy.

  4. Support for Google Tag Manager:

    The importance of tags (meta tags, HTML tags, AdWords tags, Google Analytics tags, etc.) in making a website SEO friendly is well known. Tags help the SEO manager put out important keywords for the search engines to read and understand what the page is about, and index the page appropriately so that it comes up when searched for the relevant keywords and phrases. However, it can be cumbersome to manage the various tags as your web store grows and adds pages. Ignify eCommerce therefore supports the Google Tag Manager tool that allows you to manage all your tags efficiently with the help of container tags. The container tag code can be easily added to the web store through the Manager Panel and reflects real-time on your site without additional assistance from developers or the IT department.

  5. Mobile compatibility:

    Ignify eCommerce web store templates are also mobile compatible. eCommerce businesses today cannot overlook a large audience that buys via mobile devices/smartphones, and so they are also tracked by SEO managers in line with those shoppers buying via desktop. While duplicate content is a concern when using both mobile and desktop versions, it can be tackled with responsive web design, which will be introduced shortly for Ignify eCommerce templates.

    Mobile compatibility

    Mobile compatibility is coveted by shoppers and SEO managers alike.

  6. Canonical Tags:

    As mentioned previously, duplicate content is a grave concern for SEO managers as it affects page rankings considerably. One way to tackle this is by using canonical tags, an HTML element that tells the search engines which of the pages with “duplicate content” is the preferred web page. This is an out of box implementation incorporated in the Ignify eCommerce storefront.

  7. Sitemaps:

    An XML sitemap helps search engines see the complete structure of your site and retrieve it more efficiently. Sitemaps are auto-generated by the Ignify eCommerce storefront. Site maps are often neglected but are very important to inform search engines how to navigate your web store.  This becomes important when you make any changes to the site, and the new pages need to be indexed. Having a sitemap helps inform search engines about any changes to your site and index them faster.

    Sitemaps

    Site Maps are automatically generated and make navigating your site easier for search engines.

Ignify eCommerce is regularly upgraded to help you make your web stores user friendly as well as SEO friendly. If you have any suggestions about the enhancements you would like to see to make Ignify eCommerce further SEO compatible, please write to us at ecommerce@ignify.com.

Manasi Kulkarni is a Product Marketer at Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of eCommerce, ERP, CRM, and Point of Sale software solutions to organizations. Ignify has won the worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in 2013, 2012 and 2011. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing business in North America for 7 years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine, and Entrepreneur Magazine from 2007 to 2013.

Make Your eCommerce Site SEO Friendly with Product Descriptions

March 13th, 2014 Manasi Kulkarni No comments

Ecommerce is a competitive business. Merchants have to worry about not only making and selling the best products, but also having their web store rank highest on search engines and reaching a huge audience. This makes it imperative for eCommerce merchants to ensure that their web stores are SEO friendly. But optimizing an eCommerce website is relatively difficult when compared to optimizing a blog or a corporate website. You need not just elaborate planning, but also the right tools in place to make it happen.

For an eCommerce website, one of the biggest problem areas is creating unique content across all of its web pages. With hundreds of product pages to maintain, creating unique content for each can be a daunting task (not to mention that you can only write so much about certain products). As real as the problems with content creation may be, the disadvantages of not creating the same could significantly damage your web store’s page and search engine ranking.

The best, and among the hardest, place to create rich content for an eCommerce website is the product descriptions on its product pages. Each product page should contain unique product descriptions, feature descriptions, and other well-drafted product information that helps the shopper make an informed decision and compels him to buy.

Search engines crawl pages with unique content better, and rank them higher over pages that contain duplicate content. It is important to ensure that the content is not plagiarized, not even a duplication of the manufacturer’s description since such a description could potentially be available on all other sites selling the same item. Creativity is the key here.

Product descriptions are a great way to add unique content to your web site

Product descriptions are a great way to add unique content to your web site. The more fresh the content, the better your chances of appearing higher in search rankings.

How Ignify eCommerce Helps

The Ignify eCommerce Manager Panel understands the importance of content in the SEO strategy of an eCommerce website, and gives the merchant the flexibility and control to add unique content to his web store.

The Manager Panel allows the merchant to add unique product descriptions when creating new products or editing old ones. It comes with easy-to-use content editors to input short and long descriptions separately. These can be modified at any time by accessing the product in the Manager Panel. You can also modify the display/formatting of the content to make the product display page even more attractive. 

You can add short and long product descriptions to the product display page via the Manager Panel

You can add short and long product descriptions to the product display page via the Manager Panel.

Along with product description pages, the Manager Panel also lets you create articles similar to blog posts. Such articles are a great avenue for creating relevant unique content that adds value to the site by providing additional information about products, the business, etc. Good content is referable content, which means that it can bring in more hits and customers to your web store. Such additional content pieces allow interlinking, and can be disseminated as information pieces to an audience that is not necessarily looking to shop, but could be converted once they land on your web store. You can continue creating new article pages, even when you have exhausted your product catalog and have no more new product descriptions to add to the website. They keep your website “fresh” and “alive.”

Articles are a great way display keyword-rich, SEO friendly content on your web store

Articles are a great way display keyword-rich, SEO friendly content on your web store.

Creating unique content on an eCommerce website can be cumbersome. But with proper planning and dedicated content creation efforts, an eCommerce merchant can significantly enhance the quality of his website from a search engine point of view, resulting in greater page rankings, traffic, and sales.

Manasi Kulkarni is a Product Marketer at Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of eCommerce, ERP, CRM, and Point of Sale software solutions to organizations. Ignify has won the worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in 2013, 2012 and 2011. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing business in North America for 7 years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine, and Entrepreneur Magazine from 2007 to 2013.

Ignify Customers Receive Top Awards at Microsoft Convergence 2014

March 11th, 2014 Brianne Schaer No comments

The team at Ignify survived our nonstop work to coordinate and prepare for the events surrounding the Mecca of all things Microsoft Dynamics: Convergence 2014. Wednesday’s Microsoft Dynamics Customer Excellence Awards Luncheon allowed the team to wind down and celebrate our clients’ successes using Microsoft Dynamics over food and drink. Two of Ignify’s clients, Asurion and Rapiscan Systems, received top awards at the luncheon.

The 2014 Customer Excellence Awards, which are presented in 17 categories, recognize and celebrate Microsoft Dynamics customers that have achieved notable accomplishments using their Microsoft Dynamics solutions.

Asurion, the global leader in technology protection, won the Productivity Award in Customer Care for its use of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Asurion provides premier support that enables users to fully utilize their digital devices and products; applications to protect privacy and provide security; and rapid replacement of lost, stolen, damaged, or malfunctioning devices. Asurion supports the top wireless companies, retailers and service providers, enabling those companies to focus on their core businesses.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM provided a much-needed interface for Asurion to manage its customers and claims. The completely configurable, multi-client, multi-lingual service dashboards for administrators and supervisors organize data to track the progress of handling service claims and quickly drill down into pertinent data. Managers can drill down and view relevant data easily using claims processing data, business rules, and customizable dashboards.

Asurion honored on-stage at the Microsoft Dynamics Customer Excellence Awards at Convergence 2014

Asurion honored on-stage at the Microsoft Dynamics Customer Excellence Awards at Convergence 2014.

A division of OSI Systems, Rapiscan Systems is the world’s leading security screening provider, manufacturing and providing state-of-the-art security equipment and systems designed for checkpoints, cargo, vehicle, baggage, parcel, and air cargo security inspection.

Dedicated to developing customer solutions that serve to lead the way to a safer and healthier world, OSI Systems follows a common IT strategy for the company’s three independently operated divisions. With the rapid business growth and global expansion that the company was experiencing, OSI Systems required a CRM system that could better organize and consolidate customer information, as well as provide a comprehensive view of sales data.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM’s platform flexibility provides OSI Systems and its subsidiaries with a fully connected and integrated sales, marketing and customer service tool, enabling team members to more quickly and efficiently access and act on crucial data.

Rapiscan Systems, a division of OSI Systems, honored on-stage at the Microsoft Dynamics Customer Excellence Awards at Convergence 2014

Rapiscan Systems, a division of OSI Systems, honored on-stage at the Microsoft Dynamics Customer Excellence Awards at Convergence 2014.

We congratulate our customers on these remarkable business achievements, and we look forward to Convergence 2015!

Brianne Schaer is an Assistant Copywriter at Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of CRM, eCommerce, ERP, and Point of Sale software solutions to organizations. Ignify has won the worldwide Microsoft Partner of the year Award in 2013, 2012 and 2011. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing business in North America for 7 years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine from 2007 to 2013.