This post is an effort to pen down the various facts that the companies can consider for an upgrade from Dynamics SL 6.5 to Dynamics SL 2011. Though Dynamics SL 7.0 was in midway, SL 2011 SP2 has been proven as smart ERP with awesome features.
Get more done in less time - Role Center (Dashboard)
Dynamics SL 6.5 version provides a basic version of dashboard that will provide access across to all SL screens. User specific menu, Role Tailored Experience for each user or group, Outlook integration is unavailable. Dynamics SL users might seek an opportunity to display the customer outstanding balances in the dashboard.
Microsoft Dynamics SL 2011's dashboards and tools provide insight into projects, inventory, and supply-chain management across the depth and breadth of organizations. The following features will allow users to gain easy access to the resources they need to stay productive.
· New activity panes – Icon based displays
· Role-based menus – Custom menus for user & groups
· Quick lists - Details of outstanding activity that link to the related screens
· Enhanced menu search features will let you find what you need in just a few clicks.
Business Analyzer - KPIs as Graphical displays
Custom data display with graphical representation was supposedly a dream to most of the SL 6.5 users. Users may look forward for a specific need that can encompass the graphical representations for the quick and efficient understanding of the highly accessible information & KPIs.
Dashboard tool provides personalized key performance indicators with drill down capabilities.
· Personalized Key performance indicators (KPI) in SL desktop
· Drill back capability -> High level view to specific record
· Drill through capability -> From Report data to Dynamics SL screen
· No need of SL workstation in each machine
Gain real-time access to key reporting data
Dynamics SL users rely on the development team for the report generation which is costly. The users may look for the dynamic report generation on demand without having to wait for the developers to build one for them.
Quick Query feature in SL2011 gives the end user over 100 out-of-the-box views. The queries are organized by Series/Modules and allow you to filter, modify, and save the data to your needs.
The great feature in this is the ability to drill back to source transactions directly from the Quick Query Viewer (i.e. to check where the transaction got created originally).
The Quick Query viewer allows filtering and saving of custom views to use or share with others in your company.
Drill back to the original document or maintenance screen in Microsoft Dynamics SL.
Advanced Navigation system
The navigation in SL 6.5 needs to be improved and there might be instances where user may not understand the complete implications across the module within the system. Dynamics SL users may like to improve the transparency of the system with the advanced navigation mechanism.
Using the easy Navigation system in SL 2011, the users can effortlessly query and drill-down the data without having to navigate to individual modules and screens which is a major feature in terms of navigation between screens across different modules. The implication of the entries into the system can make the system transparent which can in turn boost the reliability of the system.
Secure the highly confidential data with highly secured Log-in mechanism
Dynamics SL 6.5 has the SQL Server authentication alone wherein all the confidential data needs to be highly secured. Since each Dynamics SL user account is not associated to the Windows account the system is providing only one level of security.
Windows Authentication is highly recommended for verifying user’s credentials before they gain access to Microsoft Dynamics SL data. With this mode, each Microsoft Dynamics SL user must be associated with a Windows account thereby providing two levels of security. This way Microsoft Dynamics SL 2011 provides the Integrated Windows Authentication feature for easier application access management and gives high security. This feature will also provide a way to link a Windows user with one or several Microsoft Dynamics SL user accounts.
Export grid data to Excel
Exporting the data to Excel and work with the filtering and sorting abilities of Excel is the daily activity for Dynamics SL 6.5 users. It would be better if system does the Excel loading along with filtering automatically
An Export Grid to Excel button is added to the Application Toolbar. This enables creating a Microsoft Office Excel spreadsheet from the information in the grid part of any application screen. The spreadsheet will include column headers in the first line with the Auto Filtering option of the Excel worksheet. Possible values (F3 lookup) can also be exported to Excel.
Quick Send Feature for E-Mailing
Dynamics SL users may need the most automated way of E-mailing Customer/Vendor related documents. User has to export the report to PDF, and Email it manually.
One of the most popular new features is Quick Send which allows users to automatically send invoices and purchase orders via email and fax. This new feature provides Electronic Documents Delivery giving users the capability of sending statements, invoices, purchase orders and other customer and vendor related documents.
Dynamics SL users may need the most advanced way of document maintenance for their audit purposes where the Dynamics SL 6.5 system doesn't have the provision to maintain transaction documents within the ERP system itself.
With the inclusion of Document Attachment feature in SL 2011, the users can now attach relevant documents to the corresponding transactions. This feature will benefit organizations by attaching a scanned copy of the Invoice or any other document in any of the transaction screen’s batch so that it can be very helpful for audit and any other future references.
Period Locking Feature - Restricted batch release in the locked periods
Dynamics SL users may need restricting or locking previous/future period keeping only the current period unlocked. This is to embed automatic controls to restrict posting to periods which has already been closed/locked after finalizing period-end reports such as profit & loss, cash flow and balance sheet to the management and other regulatory bodies.
Hard Close feature is available in Dynamics SL 2011 upgrade and this can help organizations to Lock/Unlock the closed fiscal period module wise and the posting from the transaction screens in the already closed periods can be controlled by the authorities.
General Ledger Reversing, Correcting and Copying Batches
Direct Journal creation process is very common activity and any errors identified in the journal are corrected by means of reversing the erroneous GL batch manually and then recreate the journal with the correct data. This activity can be time consuming and users would be very happy to have an automatic way of correcting the wrong GL batches.
The following feature has been added in Dynamics SL 2011 making it easier for the users to correct errors in a posted General Ledger batch (such as posting a batch to the wrong fiscal period or year).
Following activities are possible now.
o Reversing batch:
This batch is identical to the original batch except the debits and credits are reversed to back out the original transaction amounts when posted.
o Reversing and Correcting‖ batch:
This batch is identical to the original batch except the debits and credits are reversed to back out the original transaction amounts when posted. A second batch is created that is identical to the original batch.
o Copy a batch:
This option creates a new batch that is an identical copy
Better Business Administration with accurate Payable & Receivables
The partially released batches are the common issue with the existing Dynamics SL 6.5 system causing the incorrect Payables & Receivables. Dynamics SL users may need the ability to void the infectious batch and recreate the transaction for the accurate financial data.
Microsoft has introduced the ability in Dynamics SL 2011 to void the partially released batches where the associated transactions and documents will be deleted automatically from the system. This feature should be very helpful to the SL users by voiding the infected AP/ AR batch and recreate the new one. This will facilitate the financial data to be more accurate and up to date.
Enhanced Stability with latest MS technologies in place
Dynamics SL 6.5 use tools for Visual Basic as the development tool which is outdated. The offerings of this SDK to the SL application development are limited which customers wants to update.
Dynamics SL 2011 offers the usage of .NET technology and Framework where the screens are highly robust. Now the Microsoft Dynamic SL 2011 application development is at its ease of use as the user friendly forms are built in latest .NET technology and SQL Server.