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All for one and one for all. Consistent experiences help to unify people, systems and organisations. ...

All for one and one for all. Consistent experiences help to unify people, systems and organisations.
Visions are given that name for many reasons; they’re a goal, a direction for organisations to head towards; a means of bringing together people to support a common cause or purpose. In the technology world, visionaries are everywhere – they’re the people and organisations constantly driving change, challenging the status quo and trying – often desperately – to evolve or disrupt what’s happened in the past in order to arrive at a better future.

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Smarts 31 - All for one and one for all (Australia) Document Transcript

  • 1. Visions are given that name for many reasons;they’re a goal, a direction for organisations tohead towards; a means of bringing togetherpeople to support a common cause orpurpose. In the technology world, visionariesare everywhere – they’re the people andorganisations constantly driving change,challenging the status quo and trying – oftendesperately – to evolve or disrupt what’shappened in the past in order to arrive at abetter future.Microsoft has long espoused a vision of unity– where a single provider, Microsoft, provides asingle platform and set of solutions that utilisesthat platform. And one could say Microsofthas largely achieved that vision by creating acommon platform and user experience thathelps to drive consistency across its operatingsystems and, by extension, its applications.Proven by the success of its Windows and Officefranchises, this is a philosophy that has drivenMicrosoft for decades, and its more recentdevelopments are the latest iteration of thisunited approach.With the modern user interface of Windows 8and Windows Phone 8, Microsoft is creating aconsistency of experience for end users, utilisinga common method of accessing and usingapplications – one which is a dramatic changefrom the more familiar Windows user interface,but one which can now scale to both small,large and very large displays.This isn’t anything new: Microsoft has deliveredon its “Microsoft stack” for many years,providing a consistent back-end (WindowsServer and SQL Server) and programmingframework (Microsoft .NET) to provide consistentdevelopment and management experiences.This unity of experience is continuing with theevolution of the social enterprise. On its own,Yammer facilitates more open and transparentcommunication across (and, potentially,between) organisations; more broadly, Yammerdelivers an integrated communications layerthat will, in the not-too-distant future, createlinkages across many of Microsoft’s solutions,particularly in the enterprise wherecollaboration needs to be immediate andcontextual. Over time, the Yammer client –which is available on multiple platforms – willbecome increasingly important, and a way ofunifying messages and updates that flow froma range of systems.Such consistency and immediacy create a senseof unity across an organisation – a unity createdby the social interactions between people,and the interactions they have with theirconnected applications.Consistent with the so-called “appificationof everything,” the drive for consistentuser experiences will manifest itself in theapplications we use to perform our roles.Common workloads in an organisation will beaccessible through specialised apps: put simply,workloads such as filing expense claims orcompleting timesheets will be performed usingtargeted applications, improving productivityand user satisfaction.Over the next few years look for thissimplification to increase, with the underlyingtechnical complexity of processing certainfunctions being completely hidden frommainstream users, who will be empoweredby streamlined solutions that are exposedthrough tailored applications that mirrorhow the organisation – and the individualswithin it – works. As has been demonstratedin the consumer space, such consistent userexperiences – all for one and one for all –will change how, where and when we work,for the better.Don’t confuse homogeneity with “being boring;”rather, think of it as a way of breaking downbarriers and creating long-desired consistencythat makes communications and informationsharing quicker, simpler and more effective.THE INTELLIGENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE | ISSUE 31 | 2013All for one and one for allConsistent experiences help to unify people, systems and organisations.IN THIS ISSUE...INTERGENITES AT WORK AND PLAY 2INTRODUCTION 3KEY THEMES FROM CONVERGENCE 4INTRODUCING X4 CONSULTING 6THE MICROSOFT BI ACADEMY 7ERP IN THE CLOUD 8CASE STUDY: AUSTRALIAN RUGBY UNION 9SOCIAL ENTERPRISE ROADMAP 10CASE STUDY: SENSES FOUNDATION 12
  • 2. 2© Copyright 2013 Intergen Business Solutions Pty Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of Intergen Limited.Australianrecruitment drive.On the hunt for newIntergenites, Nastassjaand Basil sell theyellow dream.Intergen Sydney movesto bigger – and yellower– premises. Clients, staffand New Zealand Trade andEnterprise representativescelebrate Intergen Sydney’snew CBD office.The Intergen brand makesit to the end of the earth.Being a truly multinationalcompany, we’re used tospreading yellow aroundthe globe. But having ourmerchandise photographed atthe South Pole was a first!Proudly yellow. Gemmaand Josephine at theSydney Colour Run.Sydney MasterChefs.Not just masters oftechnology…
  • 3. SMARTS THE INTELLIGENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE ISSUE 31 3Welcome to the first edition of Smartsfor 2013, and our second ever dedicatedAustralian issue – we’re sure you’ll noticea distinctly Australian flavour in the pagesahead. A lot has happened on Intergen’sAustralian turf since the last issue of Smartslate last year. We have more than doubled insize in the last nine months and we’re on trackto double in size again over the coming year.This growth is a direct result of the work wehave been doing with some truly market-leadingAustralian companies. We feel immenselyprivileged to have formed such strongpartnerships and we’re really excited aboutthe solutions we are delivering to help thesehousehold names continue to stand out in theirfield. Speaking of standing out in the field, inthis issue we talk to Todd Day, Chief FinancialOfficer of the Australian Rugby Union, aboutthe ARU’s recent Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012implementation and Darren Munday of SensesFoundation about how Microsoft DynamicsNAV provides greater insight and enables betterdecision making as a result. Both are greatexamples of technology that brings people andprocesses together for more connected business.Championing technologiesthat bring people – andprocesses – togetherINTERGENIn brief»» Intergen sponsors ANZChampionship umpiresIntergen is proud to continueits sponsorship of the ANZChampionship umpires in thisyear’s highly contested event,for the second year in a three-year partnership.»» Introducing X4 ConsultingAnnouncing the launch of anew management consultancy,X4 Consulting, Intergen’smanagement consulting arm.See page 4 for interview withX4 Consulting CEO, Mick Belland X4 Principal Consultant,Boris Guskee.»» Australian expansionMajor growth across Intergen’sAustralian operation hasnecessitated a move to newreal estate in both Intergen’sPerth and Sydney offices, andthe opening of an office inMelbourne. Having doubled insize over the past nine months,Intergen Australia is set todouble in size again over thecoming year, with the newpremises now equipped toaccommodate this growth.You’ll see from the photos below that, as wellas growing, the Australian team has been busymoving – and opening – offices in order toaccommodate this growth. Already this year weopened our new Martin Place office in Sydneyand officially announced the opening of aMelbourne office; and at time of writing, ourPerth team’s move to the CBD from Leedervilleis imminent.We hope you enjoy reading the articles thatfollow, and, as always, we welcome anyfeedback and opportunities to talk aboutanything covered here in greater detail.We’ll be back later in the year with ournext instalment of technology and businessinsights. Until then, we hope your technologyaspirations for 2013 are coming to fruition,and that your technology is helping you toconnect your people and processes.Michael Morgan is Managing DirectorAustralia. Contact Michael at:michael.morgan@intergen.com.au
  • 4. 4The world ahead for MicrosoftDynamics AX: key themes fromMicrosoft’s ConvergenceMicrosoft’s key message at Convergencewas clear: Microsoft software, especiallyDynamics, has to be the unifying fabricbetween business users, consumers andIT. It painted a picture of a connectedworld atop the Microsoft stack thatconnects consumers, users andbusinesses. But how is Dynamics AXevolving to enable this reality?Immersive, connected, nativedevice experiencesDynamics AX has expense management. I talkabout this all the time, and there is always theinevitable discussion that ensues when I’m inthe presence of a member of the new mobileelite. I can see the question emerging from thatLumia, iPhone or Galaxy on the table: “So I useExpensify at the moment. I assume you have anapp like it for this solution?”These are the guys and gals for whom asmartphone has almost become an extension oftheir conscience. There’s an app for everything,and they have it. For the last couple of years,as mobile has become ever-present, enterprisesoftware folk have rarely had great answersfor the mobile elite. So it was not surprising tosee the excitement with which Kees Hertogh,Director of Product Marketing, showed off arange of new AX apps coming this year to yourfavourite device.What do we know so far?There will be at least four applications deliveredin the next year: Expense, Timesheets, Approvalsand Point of Sale. iOS and Android users mightnot be running Microsoft’s platform of choice,but you won’t miss out. The team at Microsoftwill be publishing a range of native apps fortablet and mobile devices running on Windows8, Windows Mobile, iOS and Android.The Azure platform, along with a new cloud-enabled Retail Server, will be leveraged toprovide scalable, easily deployable, connectedexperiences for applications interacting with theAX platform.We saw a keen and evident focus on userexperience throughout the demonstrationsat Convergence that will directly correlate toimproved engagement and productivity. Theapprovals example shows off a few of these UXhighlights like a single location for context-sensitive, decision-enabling data relevant tothe approval scenario to avoid drilling throughmultiple forms or running reports and richvisual insight into the impact my decisionswill have on both cost and time budgets.Delivering immersive device experiences forthose “in between time” tasks like timesheetsand approvals is a big leap towards engagingthe 37% of our global workforce predicted to bemobile by 2015.Innovating with best ofbreed featuresAny discussion about AX and innovation easilyshifts into the realm of retail. Microsoft hasmade a large and sustained investment inbreathing new energy into the retail solutionspace, and from what I saw in New Orleans,AX is rapidly establishing its presence as theinnovator in omni-channel retailing.Over the next year AX is set to evolve its omni-channel capability with a new, cloud-enabledRetail Server component designed to facilitateinnovative cross-channel experiences. We will seea tablet POS experience out of the box runningon Retail Server. But the excitement sits withthe ability to leverage Retail Server’s standardsbased oData communication to integratecustom mobile apps and third party servicesdirectly into the omni-channel AX experience.Imagine turning a Facebook "like" into a wishlist in store and what this might mean for crossand up-selling.Amidst the exciting retail and app discussions,the announcement of new warehousemanagement and transportation managementsolutions seemed almost underplayed. Therewere very few details provided, apart from anexpected release date of the end 2013, so I’veturned to what AX does today to decipher thisannouncement. AX has warehouse managementcapability. With a little customisation and theaddition of an RF solution such as DynamicsAnywhere, there is a lot of warehousingcapability in the product today. R2 evenintroduced labour and storage capacitymodelling features. To warrant announcing anew warehouse management system I expectthat within a year AX will deliver the kind ofbest of breed warehousing capability that wefind in products like Manhattan SCALE today.The hub in your compositeapplication landscapeIt is truly fantastic to see Microsoft focus onincreasing the calibre of its flagship ERP suiteto address key business scenarios with best ofKirill Tatarinov, president of the Microsoft Business Solutions, addresses the largestConvergence crowd ever in New Orleans this year.microsoftdynamics
  • 5. SMARTS THE INTELLIGENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE ISSUE 31 5breed solutions. And the addition of deviceexperiences pushing the envelope of user centricdesign will excite every AX user. But legacysystems take time to replace, and some solutionswill never be provided by ERP suites so AX willoften exist alongside other applications withinyour enterprise.Any multi-system environment can facechallenges with identifying a source of truth,or a central point of process coordination. Asthe heart of business process, ERP is oftena logical home for process coordination andmaster data, but ERP suites rarely provideenough flexibility to act in this role without asignificant middleware investment. The problemthen becomes the complexity of deploying andmaintaining the middleware solution itself. Witha mature integration framework, and naturalintegration across the Microsoft stack, this is adeployment model in which AX shines. AX oftenenables a business to connect and integratetheir non-AX workloads without the complexityand overhead of an additional, large middlewaresolution. By keeping the solution simple, ITdepartments can stay nimble and agile.The next frontierConsumerisation of IT drove a divide betweenthe strategy played out by an IT department andthe needs and desires of the broader business.By delivering immersive device experiences,innovating with best of breed features andsimplifying the application lifecycle, AXis ever-improving as a product that allowstimely delivery of the functionality users andconsumers crave. In simple terms, it provides anopportunity for IT to keep up with the pace ofchange consumer devices now set.The improvements announced at Convergencewill be delivered as part of AX 2012 in thenext year and it is not by accident that a lotof new features are making increased use ofdevices and services such as Azure. I wouldnot have done the world ahead for AX justiceif I failed to mention that this is really just thestart of the AX story in Microsoft’s devicesand services strategy. AX ‘7’ will be fully cloudenabled with a next generation user interfacebuilt using technologies such as HTML 5. Cloudenabling AX is another step towards rapidly andindependently deployable ERP workloads. Butthat really would be the next frontier…Douglas Daley is a Solutions Specialist forMicrosoft Dynamics AX. Contact Douglas at:douglas.daley@intergen.com.auEvolvingMicrosoftDynamics CRMMicrosoft’s evolution of its Dynamics CRMoffering continued at Convergence, with muchtalk about its upcoming release, codenamed“Orion,” and discussion around twoacquisitions – one of which was announced atthe event.Of all Microsoft’s enterprise applications,Dynamics CRM is rapidly maturing: not only isit becoming more scalable and more extensive,more core features are being added and theuser interface continues to evolve. Increasingly,many of these new features are coming fromacquisitions.The Orion release, scheduled for late 2013,will evolve the solution further, with the mainchange being a substantial update of theDynamics CRM user interface, which appearswill change to the so-called “flow UI,” a firstiteration of which was seen in the “Polaris”release of CRM, released in February 2013.Indications are that every CRM entity will havea new form and, unlike the current release,there will be no way of switching back to theclassic forms. We will look to publish moreabout this release later in the year.In addition to evolving the core offering,Microsoft announced the acquisition ofNetbreeze, a social monitoring and analyticssolution. According to Microsoft’s press release,Netbreeze will deliver “… social monitoring andanalytics features as an integral part of theuser experience and provide these capabilitiesto all roles and functions in an organisation.”Essentially, Netbreeze will allow organisations– and particularly those in sales, marketing andcustomer service roles – to better listen andmake sense of social media, and then use CRMto help make this data actionable – to use it toimprove the understanding of one’s customers,and to act on these interactions.Marketing Pilot, acquired by Microsoft inNovember 2012, provides integrated marketingmanagement features, allowing organisationsto perform better marketing resourcemanagement, digital asset management,campaign management, marketing financials,spend management, and perform mediabuying and planning. These are all functionsneeded by enterprise-level marketingdepartments, and should allow Dynamics CRMto improve its traction in this space.
  • 6. 6managementIntroducing X4 ConsultingQ&AWith the recent launch of managementconsultancy firm X4 Consulting, we takethe opportunity to talk to X4’s CEO, MickBell, and Principal Consultant, Boris Guskee,about what X4 is, what it does, and its plansfor the future.Q: What is X4 Consulting?A: M.B. X4 is a new managementconsultancy that’s very much focused onworking with our clients to acceleratetheir business success, particularly in theareas of change and transformation. Wewant to work with our clients to ensurethat they can achieve the benefits andthe results they are after.Q: What services are you bringingto market?A: B.G. We bring a lot of things you’dexpect to see in a traditional consultingorganisation. The main two are businessanalysis and enterprise architecturein which we have significant skills.We’re also putting a lot of focus onorganisational change management andbusiness process improvement. We thinkthere are weaknesses in the Australasianmarket in these areas and we want toplug the gaps and really drive some extravalue here.Q: Why create a new consulting business?A: M.B. X4 Consulting is an independent,technology-agnostic consultingorganisation created to deliver theseservices; however it also complementsIntergen’s suite of services. Intergen is awell-established, top quality technologycompany and, where appropriate, we willprovide high-end consulting services thatcomplement what Intergen does, givingcustomers the option of using this addedcapability.Q: What’s your main point of difference?A: B.G. Real gains in organisationalperformance are achieved by taking aholistic approach that addresses businessneeds and drivers, business processes andunderlying capabilities. Our main point ofdifference is the combination of servicesthat we offer to our clients. We understandgeneric organisational pain points, and ourconsulting services address these throughthe end-to-end development lifecycle,from vision through to architecture,design and change management, topost-implementation monitoring andquality assurance review. In a sensewe see ourselves as a one-stop shop ofservices needed to improve organisationalperformance and deliver business success.Q: Tell us about the X4 team.A: B.G. We’re a strong team of experiencedmanagement consultants who arepassionate about helping our clients tosucceed. We’ve brought to bear sometop quality leadership and consultingcapability from New Zealand andoverseas, and we have leaders in eachof our key service lines: architecture,business analysis, organisational changemanagement and business processimprovement.A: M.B. Our collective experience spans a widerange of organisations in New Zealand –our team have been doing this work for along time; so X4 is a new embodiment ofcapabilities that have existed in differentguises in the past. Between us we’veworked for most of the large organisationsin the country, delivering a range ofsubstantial projects. What brought us together is a shareddesire for delivering tangible results, agood team spirit, and last but not least theFun Factor.Q: Tell us about your journey so far with X4.A: B.G. We have been operating in stealthmode for half a year and we are goingto market as X4 Consulting with fullcapability on board. We have alreadycompleted two major assignments andare now ready to offer our full range ofservices to clients.Q: What sorts of projects have you beenworking on to date?X4 Consulting CEO, Mick Bell, and Principal Consultant, Boris Guskee.
  • 7. SMARTS THE INTELLIGENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE ISSUE 31 7A: B.G. To date we’ve been workingwith two high profile New ZealandGovernment clients, assistingthe first one taking a technologyarchitecture lead role on a largemobility related programme of workthat is instrumental in helping thegovernment achieve its goal ofproducing better public services.A: M.B. The other agency [we’re workingwith] is going through a largetransformational change – they aredoubling in size and being assignednew responsibilities over the nextcouple of years. We’ve been helpingwith the IT strategy to ensure thattheir IT services and capabilities arealigned to the future business growthand business imperatives.Q: What does X4 mean?A: B.G. One of our original thoughtswas that x to the power of 3 is a boxand x to the power of 4 adds anotherdimension – thus we add a newdimension to your thinking or “wethink outside the box.”Q: What are your plans for the future?A: M.B. In terms of growth we’rebuilding a significant practice inWellington initially. In the futurewe’ll extend this capability to theAuckland and Sydney markets,covering other regions from thesemain centres.A: B.G. Our goal is to be regarded asone of the leading consultanciesin New Zealand offering businesstransformation services andtechnology alignment services tohelp our clients accelerate theirbusiness success.Getting the most outof your BI toolkitThe Microsoft BI Academy facilitates educationaround the use of Microsoft’s business intelligence solutions.For the second year in a row, CIOs aretelling Gartner that business intelligenceand analytics are their highest IT prioritiesduring 2013, with big data and otherindustry trends creating momentum aroundhow data is accessed, aggregated, reportedand analysed.Potentially valuable insights are beinggenerated constantly by many of the keysystems we run, and there is significantopportunity to make use of these to improvedecision-making and attain competitiveadvantage.But there is often a fundamental roadblockto realising these insights: to create them,we need the skills to use the tools we haveat our disposal. Once an organisationhas made the – often considerable –investment in a BI solution, often realisingthe full benefit can be impeded by a lackof confidence and capability within theorganisation to make the most of thisinvestment.But how does one get these skills? Inlooking at the market, we’ve discoveredthere are currently few pathways when itcomes to getting the required knowledge.With that in mind, Intergen is facilitatinga series of training courses with anindustry expert, designed to empowerthose in both technical and business-related roles to better understandhow these tools can be used togreater advantage.Called the “Microsoft BI Academy,” this seriesof courses will be delivered by Peter Myers,an independent trainer who is well respectedglobally for his ability to train in these topics.This initiative is being endorsed by Microsoft,who also understands the importance oforganisation realising the benefits of their BIsolutions.According to Corina Radovanovich, productmarketing manager for Microsoft BusinessIntelligence in New Zealand, “the team atMicrosoft NZ is thrilled to work with Intergenand Peter Myers to offer the Microsoft BIAcademy. The new, more in-depth, course formatwill benefit both new and returning students.By attending this course you will improveyour ability to impact your organisation withdeeper insights into BI technology, strategy andimplementation.”This training is available to anyone who has,or is considering, implementing a Microsoft-based BI solution and will be run as a series oftwo-day events in both Auckland and Wellingtonfrom early June. For more information on thesecourses, visit www.intergen.com.au/training.Mick Bell is the CEO of X4 Consulting.Contact Mick at mick.bell@x4consulting.co.nz
  • 8. 8microsoftdynamicsIntergeniteThomas HaldWhat do you do?My work day usually includeselements of Dynamics AX projectdelivery, QA and governance onprojects, marketing of AX internallyand externally, presales work, businessdevelopment and market research,talking to clients about strategy,solutions and Intergen innovations.We wrap up that in a title of SolutionSpecialist, indicating that I focusmy efforts around the Dynamics AXproduct.How do you make a difference?Hopefully the clients I am in contactwith see the value of having meinvolved. It’s about providing servicesand IP that exceed expectations.What do you love about your job?That it is very diverse and givesme lots of opportunity to workwith clients on strategy, businesschallenges and innovative solutions.I love that the Intergen team I workwith is the best in the industry, andthat we consistently are able to churnout quality solutions.A bit about yourself…I’m first and foremost a family man,and I will most often laugh out loudin the company of my two boys – theycrack me up! I enjoy cooking – I usedto be a chef in a past life – and Iwill whip up MasterChef dinners forthe family on a daily basis. I usedto cook for the Danish royal family,which taught me a bit about quality,integrity and focus on knowing youringredients and doing the simplethings well to enjoy perfection incomplex dishes… or projects.Microsoft’s commitment to the cloud nowencompasses its ERP products, and in2012 it announced updated roadmaps forits Dynamics AX and Dynamics NAV ERPofferings that incorporated cloud deploymentoptions for the first time.According to recent research by Cisco, if giventhe choice of only being able to move oneapplication to the cloud, most respondentswould choose storage as their first choice,but this was closely followed by EnterpriseResource Planning (ERP) applications, withorganisations looking to effectively outsourcethe management of these mission criticalsystems. Interestingly, email and collaborationsolutions followed.Building on the experiences developingmarket-leading solutions such as Outlook.com,Office 365 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011,Microsoft is well placed to take advantage ofthis expertise and apply it to the ERP space.Why move your ERP system tothe cloud?Having your ERP system hosted in the cloud canprovide a range of benefits when compared totraditional in-house, or on-premise, deployments.At the end of the day, the decision comesdown to understanding the opportunities andchallenges of how your ERP solution can bedeployed, and weighing those up against theneeds of your organisation.There are many advantages to clouddeployment, but the biggest consideration istypically cost. Rather than being purchasedoutright, cloud-based ERP implementationsare paid for through subscriptions – usuallya per user, per month fee – which typicallyincludes not just the software but also thehosting and support costs. Thus, the initialcapital expenditure required for implementationis significantly lower than for traditionalsystems, and operating costs can often belower as well. The provider is responsible formaintaining the hardware and software, andtheir on-going maintenance needs, includingpatches and updates. Furthermore, they alsoperform operational functions such as backupsand monitoring. In other words, this frees upexpensive IT resources to focus on tasks that canadd value to your organisation.Implementation times can also be reduced.Server hardware and supporting devices don’tneed to be procured and shipped, while theERP software can often be implemented morequickly as it’s easier to set up and use theenvironment and the core functionality.On the other hand, there are challenges thatERP in the cloud may pose for organisations.Some may struggle with the perceived lackof control, not having the hardware andapplication in-house where it can be seen and“touched.” Similarly, there is the potential loss ofperformance and reliability, or concerns that thesystems may not be secure – all of these riskscan be mitigated, but nonetheless they must befactored into to any decision-making.Microsoft NAV 2013 is cloud readyIntergen has recently started offering a cloud-based version of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013,giving customers the option of having eithera cloud-based version or an implementationthat is installed on-premise. Unlike many lessestablished, pure web-based experiences inthe market, Dynamics NAV 2013 is a matureoffering with a depth of capability unlike manyother cloud-based solutions in the midrangeERP space.With adoption rates of cloud ERP solutionsincreasing, having a choice of deployment givesour customers the option to select a solutionthat meets their current and future businessneeds, while providing a mature and well-rounded solution that offers more than manyother competing offerings in the market.ERP in the CloudxxxxxxxMicrosoft provides organisations with choicein how their ERP system is deployed– which one is right for you?IMPLEMENTATIONSIZESYSTEM COMPLEXITYWhether you choose a hosted or on-premise ERP system candepend on how large your organisation is, and how complexyour system needs to be. One size doesnt necessarily fit all.SOURCE: BOOZ & CO.
  • 9. SMARTS THE INTELLIGENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE ISSUE 31 9The situationAs the governing body of rugby union inAustralia, responsible for the Wallabies andworking with eight member unions acrosseach of Australia’s states and territories, theAustralian Rugby Union (ARU) operates ina complex and multi-faceted operationalenvironment. As a public body within anincreasingly professional industry, and in aneconomic climate in which tight financial controland visibility is paramount, the ARU needed anew technology platform to bring about bestpractice, enable effective shared services acrossits unions and create much greater visibility ofand reporting on its financial activities.The painSince the dawn of professionalism in rugby inthe mid-1990s “the business of rugby has growntremendously,” says Todd Day, Chief FinancialOfficer for the ARU. “Before our decision toupgrade our ERP system, we were operatingon a system that that had been in the businessfor over 15 years. Its basicness created veryinefficient, cumbersome and time-consumingprocesses and it had clearly passed its use-bydate in the business”, Todd explains.“We were extremely limited in our ability toprovide relevant and timely service to thebusiness. We needed a finance system thatcould handle real-time purchase ordering andcommitment processes, and a system thatprovided real-time reporting functionality todepartments. Under the existing system it wasnear impossible to accurately report what thebusiness had purchased or who had purchasedit until it turned up on our doorstep. It became abit of a lucky dip at month-end and year-end inaccurately reporting and forecasting the resultsof the business, and you cannot manage abusiness like that,” Todd says.Further adding to the complexity of theoperational environment was the adoption ofa shared service environment by the ARU andmember unions. “Whilst there were certaincommonalities between us all, there are alsosome unique differences which need to beindividually addressed, so we needed a solutionthat could cater for multiple situations,” Toddcontinues. “We needed a solution that met theseshared services initiatives.”Upping the game with MicrosoftDynamics AX 2012By creating an enterprise portal that could beaccessed right across the business, self-serviceoptions would empower users within thefinance team and beyond, as well as creatingcommonalities and automating processes,ultimately providing much-needed visibility ofexpenses, purchases and cashflow.The solution“As a medium-sized business we recognisedthe need to make the investment in acontemporary ERP system, and as anorganisation we have had significant exposureto Microsoft technologies,” Todd says.“Intergen came recommended to us by our ITdepartment, having worked with us before inother areas of the business.”With the scope narrowed down to MicrosoftERP products, ARU and Intergen embarked ona series of diagnostic workshops to determinewhich ERP solution would provide the bestfit. At the end of the analysis it was decidedthat Microsoft Dynamics AX best fitted ARU’sneeds, and the implementation process began.“The diagnostic process was a very beneficialone to go through. The exercise forces you tore-examine and evaluate the processes thatyour business has built up over many years,”Todd says.The gain“With our new ERP system in place, we nowhave much tighter control over our procurementprocesses – something we were particularlyweak in. It’s a big change for the business,” hecontinues. “And not just for the finance team –right across the organisation.”With Dynamics AX in place, the whole enterpriseis on the same page, with staff now able to dotheir commitments and purchasing throughthe online portal, and management also ableto access reports through the portal and takeownership of approvals online. The AX platformenables far greater staff engagement and directaccess, as well as vastly improved visibility offinancial information, a stable system, greaterefficiency in reporting and real-time views.ARU now has a solid platform for future phasesof work, such as integrating with other Microsofttechnologies within the organisation and iswell poised to realise ongoing benefits from thesolution.“The business of rugby is like any other business,and as the economic environment confrontingus becomes tighter, our ability to forecast and bemore accountable in our cashflow and expensemanagement, and timely and efficient financialreporting, is vital. I am confident that our newDynamics AX system greatly enhances ourability to do this,” Todd says.microsoftdynamicsFrom manual “lucky dip” to full visibility and bestpractice with self-service portal.
  • 10. 10SoCIALenterpriseThe roadmap for thesocial enterprise:IntergeniteRoanne SteeleWhat do you do?I’m responsible for Intergen’sApplications Services team, and welook after our clients’ applications.We’re involved throughout the totallifecycle of a system, from the startof the project through to when thesolution goes live and beyond.How do you make a difference?My team is involved in the totallifecycle of an application. We’re thereat the beginning and the end of aproject and understand the wholeenvironment. This means we have thebusiness knowledge and a really goodunderstanding of the client andtheir needs.What do you love about your job?I love working in IT. I love being able towork with people, helping people andseeing how IT can make their worldbetter and change their lives. I lovebeing able to get to the bottom of whythings are happening and understandwhat needs to change – I think that’swhat makes my role special.A bit about yourself…I’m a keen woodworker, and I’m also(slowly) doing up my house. In therest of my free time I have what seemsto be the typical IT-worker hobbies –mountain biking, hiking and reading.At the root of social technologies lies adrive for two things: open conversationsand personal connections. And while socialplatforms have been ubiquitous in ourpersonal lives for some time now, the penny isfast dropping within the enterprise. Businessis social, and organisations need to embracethese “connected experiences” – connectionsbetween people, and connections betweenvarious technologies – in order to get the mostfrom their people and to gain competitiveadvantage in an ever-changing world.With this realisation, the rapid rise in socialnetworks has seen millions of people aroundthe world embrace new forms of keeping intouch and up to date. The metrics supportingthis are both impressive and remarkable: In thelate nineteenth century, radio took 38 years toreach 50 million users. In the early twenty-firstcentury, Facebook hit 100 million users in lessthan nine months and now has more thanone billion people using its service. As hashappened many times in the past, if peopleare becoming used to using these servicesfor their personal use, it’s natural to considerusing similar services in the enterprise.In mid-2012, around the same time as MicrosoftSharePoint 2013 was released to market,Microsoft stole a march in the social spacewith its acquisition of best-of-breed enterprisesocial networking tool, Yammer. This acquisition,coupled with the social-related capabilities ofSharePoint 2013, place Microsoft as a leader inthis rapidly-evolving category.Social growth is off the charts,and it’s changing the way we work.Gartner predicts that 40% of the world’slarge enterprises will have an enterprise socialnetwork by 2015, with 85% of Fortune 500companies already using Yammer. It’s stillearly days though – Microsoft tells us that ofthe world’s 600 million information workers,only a few million are using social networkingtechnologies at work. But Microsoft plans tochange all that.In a world where we’re increasingly busy andincreasingly mobile, the value of Yammer,and how it helps employees get more doneby making organisations more open andconnected, is seen in recent metrics released bythe company.Deeper connections,connected experiencesSource: Microsoft – The Social and Collaborative organisationTrends impacting the way we work:We’re all headingfor the cloud.50% of enterprisecustomers are on theroad to the cloud.50%We’re social. 82%of the world’s onlinepopulation engages insocial networking.82%We’re mobile. Microsofttells us there will be onebillion smartphones inuse by 2016, with 350million of those beingused at work.1BILLION
  • 11. SMARTS THE INTELLIGENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE ISSUE 31 11According to Yammer’s 2013 Business ValueSurvey, not only do more than two-thirds ofemployees believe that Yammer simplifies theprocess of communicating with colleaguesin different locations or departments, but asimilar number believe the solution improvescommunication across locations as well.Importantly, in a world where staff engagementis becoming increasingly difficult, 80 percent of respondents believed they were moreinformed about what was happening in theirorganisation – something organisations of alltypes have traditionally struggled with. With 76per cent of employees believing they have morevisibility into what’s happening elsewhere intheir organisation one can see how overall staffsatisfaction could be improved as a result.When two paradigms combine: people-centric meets document-centricFor many, Microsoft’s move to acquire Yammerwas confusing. SharePoint 2013 alreadyembraces social – so why bring Yammer into thepicture as well?The “why Yammer” question is one that JaredSpataro, senior director of Microsoft’s OfficeDivision, relishes. Spataro asserts: “Yammer notonly gives us a best-in-class social networkingservice, it brings an incredibly talented teamwith a shared vision of the future, a proventrack record of rapid innovation in the cloud,and a commitment to building connectedexperiences that end users love. It doesnt getany better than that. Yes, the two productsboth have newsfeeds, but that doesnt botherus very much. We see the people-centricparadigm of Yammer and the more document-centric model of SharePoint as incrediblycomplementary - and a powerful combination.“We want to go from a world where a couplemillion people use social to a world wherehundreds of millions of people rely on it everyday to get things done.”Microsoft’s roadmap – socialeverywhereThe future in a nutshell? Microsoft wants tomake Yammer the social layer across all itsproducts.At this year’s Convergence conference,Microsoft gave its enterprise social roadmapupdate, touching on the three phases ofYammer integration: basic integration, deeperRobert Stewart is a Solutions Specialist forMicrosoft SharePoint. Contact Robert at:robert.stewart@intergen.com.auconnections, and connected experiences.The integration of Yammer and Dynamics CRMwas demoed at the event, although this is onlyone part of the picture.Integration with Microsoft’s ERP productsis also planned, and moving into 2014,Office 365 will be updated with new socialenhancements roughly every 90 days, startingat first by deepening the connections betweenYammer and Office 365 services and over timeexpanding these enhancements to combinesocial, collaboration, email, instant messaging,voice, video and line of business applicationsin innovative new ways.And, over the next few years, social capabilitieswill be incorporated across most of Microsoft’senterprise applications, facilitating internaland external communications acrossemployees, partners and vendors.It’s all about the peopleBusiness is all about people, and solutionssuch as Yammer and SharePoint help toimprove communication and collaboration –between people and between organisations.For those organisations who have investedin SharePoint, there are opportunities to useYammer to add an integrated social “layer”that ties the two applications together; andfor those (admittedly fewer) organisationswho have invested in Yammer, SharePointcan provide a collaboration foundation thatcan complement Yammer’s social networkingcapabilities.Individually, each solution is compelling inits own right, but when used together a step-change in employee productivity canbe realised.“We see the people-centricparadigm of Yammer and themore document-centric modelof SharePoint as incrediblycomplementary – and apowerful combination.”Jared Spatarosenior directorMicrosoft Office DivisionYAMMER ENTERPRISE SOCIAL NETWORKING SERVICESBEST-IN-CLASS ENTERPRISE SOCIAL NETWORKINGStand-alone social service – In-app social experiencesYAMMER SHAREPOINT MICROSOFT DYNAMICSOFFICE 365
  • 12. www.twitter.com/teamintergen www.linkedin.com/companies/intergenFOLLOW US www.intergen.co.nz/blogIntergen is a trans-Tasmaninformation technologyservices company that solveschallenging business problemsusing the latest Microsoftsolutions. We provide ourcustomers with a range ofsolutions and services, includingfinancial and relationshipmanagement, portals, contentand collaboration solutions,custom software development,and consulting services.THE SITUATIONSenses Foundation is a not-for-profitorganisation providing disability supportservices throughout Western Australia withunique services for people who are deafblind.One of Senses Foundation’s strategic goalsis to grow and develop resources to bestmeet the disability service needs of theirclients. To help reach this goal, SensesFoundation needed to update their financesystem so they could clearly see where theirresources were being used. Darren Munday,General Manager Finance and Risk at SensesFoundation explains:“Shedding more light on our financial activitiesis key, especially so our management teamand stakeholders can make the best businessdecisions for our clients. We needed a systemthat could automatically drill down on dataand connect the dots freely without anytechnological hitches. The system had tomanage all financial activities (general ledger,chart of accounts, importing journals, runningreports, analysing data) in an effective andefficient manner.”Microsoft NAV helpsSenses FoundationTHE PAINSenses Foundation’s oldfinancial system wasoutdated. It did not havethe financial capability theyneeded to make the bestresourcing and financialdecisions. As Darrenelaborates:“Our system needed to capture a greater levelof detail across a range of attributes so that wecould slice and dice that information for betterdecision making. Things that made our jobfrustrating were: there was no flexibility when itcame to reporting and we needed to drill downon certain areas of the business; our financialsystem would corrupt when uploading journalsand would require a re-boot; and analysingfigures was laborious and required manyworkarounds.”THE SOLUTIONSenses Foundation had an external IT review tosee what ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning)solution would be the best fit. Microsoft NAVwas recommended - it could show them wheretheir resources were going and deal with theirfinancial activity in an effective and efficientmanner. And with Senses Foundation in growthmode, they needed a system that could handlebusiness expansion.Microsoft Dynamics NAV has a familiar, user-friendly interface – also a priority for SensesFoundation in their search for an ERP solution.Intergen was selected to implement an out ofthe box, Rapid Results solution, which took lessthan eight weeks to implement, and now allsystems are go.THE GAINWith a precise picture of their financial activity,Senses Foundation can now make the bestresourcing decisions for their organisation. AsDarren Munday, concludes:“We can now focus on the task at hand –providing our clients with the right resourcesand making sure we’re using our resourceswisely. We can easily track and report on howmicrosoftdynamicsdollars have been spent and it’s all accountable.This is vital information for the managementteam and stakeholders supporting ourorganisation. We’ve also saved about threeto four days in our end-of-month financialprocesses. Implementation happened prettyquickly and the Microsoft system is familiar andeasy to use.”THE FUTURENext up, Intergen and Senses Foundation areimplementing Microsoft Dynamics CRM, notonly to effectively manage their client database,but also so they can take their resourcingknowledge a step further. As Darren explains:“Having clearer insight into our clients’ progressand activity is important to ensure we areproviding them with the best service andallocating the right resources, with the lowestpossible overhead.”Using Dynamics NAV to make resourcing decisions."We can easily track and reporton how dollars have beenspent - it’s all accountable.This is vital information forthe management team andstakeholders that support ourorganisation. We‘ve also savedthree to four days in our end-of-month financial processes."Darren MundAyGeneral manager Finance & RiskSenses Foundation