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Ten Tips to Make the Most of Microsoft Convergence

March 9th, 2015 Brianne Schaer No comments

The clock is running out to finalize last-minute Convergence plans. The Georgia World Congress Center in Downtown Atlanta will soon be filled with trailblazers, visionaries, Microsoft partners, and more at Microsoft Convergence 2015. The expo starts on March 16, with the opening keynote from Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, and Kirill Tatarinov, executive vice president of the Microsoft Business Solutions Group.

Those of us who have spent the last several weeks prepping for Convergence-coordinating flights and hotel rooms, planning schedules, prepping for networking opportunities-are kicking into high gear for the next two weeks. Not only do the loose ends of all pre-Convergence planning need to be tied, but we also need to figure out what to do once we get there. The amount of activities, presentations, and booths to check out is overwhelming.

We have created a starting point to ensure you make the most of your time at Convergence by dedicating yourself to important sessions, networking opportunities, and, of course, some fun too. Check out the below infographic for our 10 tips to make the most of Microsoft Convergence.

microsoft convergence 2015

Brianne Schaer is a Product Marketing Specialist at Ignify. Ignify is winner/finalist of the Worldwide Microsoft Partner Award in 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010, and offers eCommerce, ERP, CRM, Order Management and POS solutions based on the Microsoft Dynamics line of products. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing business in North America for seven years in a row by Inc. Magazine and Deloitte in the FAST 500 from 2008 to 2013.

User Types in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

February 10th, 2015 Brianne Schaer No comments

Before committing any dollars to purchase Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, it is important to know what the user types are and what kind of functionality each provides. Under Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012’s Client Access License (CAL), employee roles are mapped into four user types:

  • Enterprise
  • Functional
  • Task
  • Self-serve

By knowing which roles are needed for your company, you can ensure that you buy the exact licenses required to meet the needs of individual users. No more – no less!

The user CALs allow access to Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 through any and all modes of access-whether a rich client, a portal, a mobile device, a web client, or any other mode. This enables you to select users based on what they do and how they do it. It is important to note that as you move up in the hierarchy of user CALS, the rights of less expensive user types are included in that user type.

Check out the below graphic for an at-a-glance look at the four available CALs in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.

Enterprise User  
  • Unrestricted access to all functionality in the server software across the ERP solution
  • Drives the business, manages or administers the company
  • Manages processes across the organization
  • Sample job title: Financial controller
Functional User  
  • Manages a business cycle within a division or business unit
  • Does not perform activities that cut across divisions or business units
  • Sample job title: Customer service rep
Task User  
  • Performs tasks to support a business process or cycle
  • Completes tasks such as: entering time and materials, record and approve expenses, and operating a POS device or a Warehouse device
  • Sample job title: Field technician
Self-serve User  
  • Lowest CAL functionality
  • Uses the system to manage their own data not related to their job function, like change of address or tax information
  • Sample job title: Field tech assistant

For more information on Microsoft Dynamics AX, please email dynamics@ignify.com.

Brianne Schaer is a Product Marketing Specialist at Ignify. Ignify is winner/finalist of the Worldwide Microsoft Partner Award in 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010, and offers eCommerce, ERP, CRM, Order Management and POS solutions based on the Microsoft Dynamics line of products. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing business in North America for seven years in a row by Inc. Magazine and Deloitte in the FAST 500 from 2008 to 2013.

Personalize, Connect, Share: Extend the Value of Microsoft Dynamics AX by Using the Microsoft Dynamics Business Analyzer App

February 4th, 2015 Brianne Schaer No comments

Keep up with today’s changing business landscape by embracing innovative tools that can change the way your customer’s think about your products and services. Your internal team-from sales reps to warehouse managers-also rely on cutting-edge tools to organize and consolidate data when expanding into new markets.

This data must be accessible, yet thorough. The Microsoft Dynamics Business Analyzer App brings the best of both worlds via its flexible cloud program that enables users to quickly build, deploy, and manage applications globally. Whether in the office or on-the-go, users can easily view and analyze data from a mobile or tablet device at any time, and in any place.

Business Analyzer is easily personalized and boasts an impressive amount of interactive charts and graphs to support key business decisions. 

The benefits of Business Analyzer include:

  • Personalized experience – Design your workspace just for you and find key data quickly
  • Data interaction – Explore and analyze key metrics data at your fingertips
  • Real-time collaboration – Scale up (or down) easily to meet the changing needs of your business

Check out the following screenshots for a glimpse into the exciting features of Microsoft Dynamics AX available in Business Analyzer.

The easy-to-navigate home screen displays key charts and  metrics front and center

The easy-to-navigate home screen displays key charts and metrics front and center. Switch between companies and organizations with a single swipe to view data for different lines of business.

Interactive reports are displayed in a list format to select which data the user wants to see

Interactive reports are displayed in a list format to select which data the user wants to see. This is customizable by role, with the above screenshot an example of what a practice manager might see.

Charts, graphs, and KPI’s can be updated based on the information that is needed at the time

Charts, graphs, and KPI’s can be updated based on the information that is needed at the time.

Drill into project details, such as resource scheduling, invoice, actual costs, actual cash flow, and more

Drill into project details, such as resource scheduling, invoice, actual costs, actual cash flow, and more. Team members involved in the project are also shown, making it easier to reach people for additional information.

Drag-and-drop charts to continue to analyze data

Drag-and-drop charts to continue to analyze data.

Share information with the rest of your team right in the app using Lync

Share information with the rest of your team right in the app using Lync.

The Business Analyzer App works with touch devices that are running on Windows 8 to access information from Microsoft Dynamics AX. For more information about Microsoft Dynamics AX, please email us at dynamics@ignify.com.

Brianne Schaer is a Product Marketing Specialist at Ignify. Ignify is winner/finalist of the Worldwide Microsoft Partner Award in 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010, and offers eCommerce, ERP, CRM, Order Management and POS solutions based on the Microsoft Dynamics line of products. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing business in North America for seven years in a row by Inc. Magazine and Deloitte in the FAST 500 from 2008 to 2013.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 to Better Align Sales and Marketing

October 9th, 2014 Brianne Schaer No comments

With its next product release, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 is fully-equipped with tools and capabilities to bridge the gap between marketing and sales. When sales and marketing teams are better aligned, the focus on the customer is strengthened, resulting in a stronger customer engagement. Check out highlights of the new release, slated to be available in the fourth quarter of 2014, below, or see Microsoft’s Release Preview Guide.

Marketing

In today’s changing marketing landscape, more than half of CMOs still feel unprepared for the new environment. Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 can help manage marketing campaigns while offering a centralized look at the buying journey, which helps sales, marketing, and customer service agents to work together to provide the highest level of support and information to the customer.

The powerful new features in Microsoft Dynamics Marketing will make it easier to achieve the following marketing goals quickly and easily:

  • Engage customers one-to-one across channels
  • Build your sales pipeline
  • Demonstrate the impact of your marketing investments in real-time

Email Editor

Email Editor

Source (All Images): Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 Release Preview Guide

Marketers can use the new email editor to create emails from pre-defined templates, or design from scratch using an interactive drag and drop process or an advanced CSS and HTML editor.

Sales Collaboration

Sales Collaboration

The new Sales Collaboration Panel allows sellers to provide input into campaigns and targeting. With advanced visibility, sellers are able to target specific customers and receive alerts based on each interaction.

Sales

Enhanced sales features in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 continue to improve sales processes, helping you to sell more, win faster, and drive results. Business process flows are further enhanced to implement complex business processes via a new branching capability. Improvements to cross-sell/up-sell opportunities make it easier for representatives to sell products more efficiently by bundling products and recommending related products automatically. Additionally, sales hierarchies bring real-time territory and forecasting data to representatives, allowing them quick access to revenue details, account ownership, and activity posts for each account.

Guided Sales Processes

Guided Sales Processes

Business process flows can now be configured to split into two branches: one specific to products, and the second for services. This split happens automatically after a common qualification stage, and is updated real-time.

Tablet Enhancements

Tablet Enhancements

New CRM for tablets enhancements are optimized to make on-the-go data more accessible, personalized, and synchronized. Flexible, role tailored dashboards and analytics are available on any Windows 8, iPad, or Android tablet and new records can be drafted offline and synchronized once reconnected.

Customer Service

Since today’s customers research their buying decisions on their own before contacting a retailer, it is crucial to deliver amazing customer service—while keeping cost of service low. Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 enables agents to provide efficient and effective service over the web, social networks, or by phone. Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 provides relevant, proactive, and personalized service, which builds customer loyalty, empowers agents, and drives resolution.

Case Management

Case Management

Flexible Service Level Agreements within Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2015 enable agents to track and analyze key metrics like First Response and Case Resolution. Agents can pause and resume SLA’s and track the time for which a case was on hold, ensuring SLA’s are met.

Social

Microsoft Social Listening makes monitoring social media channels like Twitter and Facebook accessible and affordable. Users can track products, brands, competitors, and campaigns globally and in real time. This helps to better understand your customers and how your business performs online.

Microsoft Social Listening

Microsoft Social Listening

Microsoft Social Listening provides a consolidated reporting source to: analyze what people are saying about your brand, see posts from specific countries or regions, and listen to social conversations and analyze sentiment in various languages.

Stay Tuned

We will be providing more updates as more information regarding Microsoft Dynamic CRM 2015 becomes available. For more information regarding Microsoft Dynamics CRM, please email us at CRM@ignify.com.

Brianne Schaer is a Product Marketing Specialist at Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of ERP, CRM, eCommerce, and Point of Sale software solutions to organizations. Ignify is winner/finalist of the worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in 2014, 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.

Four Easy Ways to Turn Browsers into Buyers with Ignify eCommerce

September 29th, 2014 Brianne Schaer No comments

How many times have you, as an online shopper, seen something you want only to pass it by and never reach the final stage of the online buying process? You’re not alone.

For as much time as online shoppers dedicate to browsing, it doesn’t translate to purchases made. This is especially true for millennials. According to a study by The Intelligence Group, nearly half of those surveyed regularly browse for items they don’t plan on ever buying. Whether your potential shoppers are forming “wish lists” of products they want to buy, or simply using online browsing as a form of entertainment, there are steps you can take as an online retailer to hook your customers on your brand and encourage purchasing.

Take Advantage of Social Media

Sales begin with social media. As important as location is for brick-and-mortar stores, a presence on social media can make the difference between a popular online store and one in which shopping is a chore. Don’t risk burdening your clientele with the difficulty of finding your store, go to them on social media. In addition to establishing a presence on social media, retailers must also pay attention to their demographic and the type of browsers per media outlet.

KISSmetrics released a study that found the time spent on a retailer’s site varies widely depending on which social outlet led each shopper there. YouTube visitors, for example, spend the most time on the retail site, which shows that retailers must focus on engaging video content to capture that audience. Targeted content for various social media outlets is an invaluable asset to building your brand and increasing sales. If content is not engaging and compelling enough to convince shoppers to pull out their credit cards, they will just browse through your products without committing to purchase.

Advantage of Social Media

Source: 2013 eCommerce Analysis by KISSmetrics

Shoppers coming from YouTube and Facebook spend the most time on retailer websites, whereas Facebook mobile users had the least time. This is a reflection of a lack of mobile optimization by retailers.

Like and share buttons can also help spread your content by allowing shoppers to generate buzz around your products and your company. These buttons come built in with Ignify eCommerce, allowing shoppers to share items with their followers, as well as provide feedback and reviews.

Optimize Across Devices

Your web store must be in tip-top shape regardless of which device shoppers are using. From laptop to smartphone to tablet, content should be uniformly accessible and easy to consume. Brief, orderly landing pages are appropriate for mobile devices, whereas content designed for laptop use can be more informative and leverage additional plug-ins, flash, etc. Factors to consider when designing a website for mobile optimization include: site speed, large buttons, limited scrolling and pinching, “click to call” access, and links to social media.

If your mobile store isn’t up to visitor’s standards, these potential customers will not hesitate to move on to the next store that is more mobile friendly. In fact, according to a survey from Compuware, 40% of users have turned to a competitor's site after a bad mobile experience. Avoid browsers from moving on to a competitor’s outlet by optimizing your web store for mobile users.

Ensure Customer Convenience

The more convenient it is to checkout, the more likely browsers are to commit to a purchase. Purchasing should be completed in as few clicks as possible, coupled with streamlined navigation. Our past blog post, “How to Prevent and Convert Abandoned Shopping Carts,” shares five tips on providing customers with a great shopping experience that results in greater sales. It is also crucial to allow browsers to save shopping carts in order to give them the freedom to manage their shopping, rather than pressuring them to commit to a purchase immediately. By seeing these saved shopping carts upon return to your web store, your browser is more likely to complete the purchase.

Ensure Customer Convenience

Ignify eCommerce makes it easy for browsers to save a shopping cart for future reference. Guest and anonymous customers may also easily save their shopping carts, to be accessed later upon signing up for an account.

Provide Flexible Options

The security that flexible options like buying online and returning in-store offer can help sway a browser from the “just looking” state to clicking the confirmation button to make a purchase. Other options that shoppers are looking for include: the ability to buy online and pick up purchases in store, choosing a specific delivery date, and green shipping options. Web stores that offer customers more control over their purchasing decisions and how/when they will receive them perform better than competitors who have difficult to navigate options that are buried within the web design-or, even worse, non-existent. Since today’s shoppers are well informed on what they would like to purchase and how to receive it, retailers must recognize this, and provide a variety of purchasing options.

Learn More About Ignify eCommerce

For more information regarding Ignify eCommerce, and how we can help design your store to encourage buying rather than browsing, please email us at eCommerce@ignify.com.

Brianne Schaer is a Product Marketing Specialist at Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of ERP, CRM, eCommerce, and Point of Sale software solutions to organizations. Ignify is winner/finalist of the worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in 2014, 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.