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Pairing DNN with a Microsoft ERP
for Maximum Business Impact
Drew Skwiers-Koballa
dsk@iecis.com | @sysadmindrew
Our Objectives
1. Become familiar with the advantages and
disadvantages of traditional ERP systems.
2. Understand some of the avenues for
integrating DNN with a Microsoft Dynamics or
other ERP.
3. Feel empowered to start improving business
processes through technology.
Inside Edge CIS
“We provide nationwide flooring services with a solutions driven
approach. We deliver nationwide consistency, with best in class
quality and communication, at a competitive price.”
• Founded in 2004
• Completing thousands of
projects annually
• Employee-owned
• Technology Driven
• Annual revenue of $80 million
Who is Drew Skwiers-Koballa?
Past
• 10 years Tech Support
• College education,
Chemistry/Computer Science
• 2 years teaching college level courses
in chemistry and networking
• Answered a craigslist ad
“Helpdesk/Programmer”
Present
• IT Director at Inside Edge
Commercial Interior Services
• Dynamics SL User Group
Board Member
• SQL Server junkie (3x MCSA)
What is an ERP?
Enterprise Resource Planning System
• Financial management
• Supply chain management
• Project management
• Human resources/payroll
• Marketing and sales
• Manufacturing
• Business Intelligence/Reporting
Microsoft ERPs
Dynamics GP
• Simplistic
• Quick out of the box
Dynamics NAV
• Retail/distribution/services
• Customizable
Dynamics SL
• Project oriented
• Government contracting, construction
Dynamics AX -> Dynamics 365 for Operations
• Geared to enterprises
• Wide range of modules
Sample ERP Roadmaps
Case Study
Inside Edge Technology
IEX: Inside Edge eXchange
Starting with DNN 4
In 2004, Inside Edge was founded as a
unique business model in the
construction industry.
A DNN site (IEX) was built to facilitate
creating proposals, an ERP was used to
manage financials.
By 2012, IEX was “the system” for >75%
of our employees.
IEX: Inside Edge eXchange
Through a Crossroads
In 2013, we considered switching to
an all-in-one construction
management package.
We elected to integrate IEX with an
improved ERP – Dynamics SL.
It’s 2017, and we don’t regret it.
IEX Roadmap
2015
Equipment Condition
Forms
Vendor Portal
Shipment Tracking
AR Billing and
Submittal Workflow
Vendor Product
Management
2016
Centralized Purchasing
Mileage-based vendor
suggestions
Retrospective pricing
reports
Digital document
signatures
Customer Opportunity
Tracking
2017
Project Picture Feed
Vendor Quality Ratings
Business Intelligence
Web Service
connections to Vendor
ERPs
CRM Task
Management
2018
Customer Portal
Onsite Mobile App
???
???
New features are added in several areas every year – specific to the
business needs of Inside Edge – not an overall pool of customers.
Where Is Your Business?
We Have an ERP
• Can't easily use a feature
• Want to add a unique function
to the ERP
• ERP interface isn't convenient
to use
We Have DNN
• Our business is growing
• We want to enable rapid
change
• Employees are often cross
functional
• The majority of the information system users don't do
traditional financial functions.
• Evolving business where systems needs may change
quarter by quarter
Technical Options
The How
Connect DNN and the ERP
Use The MS API/SDK
• Web services are available for
some features (varies by
product)
• DNN modules can call these web
services
• You work within the constraints
of the available supplied
interfaces (exposed objects, user
licensing)
Write Directly to the Database
• Dynamics will be writing to a SQL
Server database
• DNN modules can write to the
same database
• You create your own bugs/code,
manage user security
Implement through Web Services
• Deploy built-in web services
• Create your own web services
using the available SDK
• Use 3rd party products to
create web service integration
Pros:
• Improved UI flexibility in DNN
over the stock web services
• Microsoft support for the data
connection
• You can connect to anything
with a web service
Cons:
• User licensing and role
management in Dynamics
• You can connect to anything
with a web service
Implement through SQL Server
• Read database schema
• Run similar actions in
Dynamics interface while
running SQL profiler
• Talk to your Dynamics
reseller about the functions
you want to interface with
• Manage users and security
in DNN
• No Dynamics user licensing
for DNN interface
If You Choose One or Both:
• You can extend the functionality of Dynamics in the
client interface and in a web interface
• There is documentation available with the Dynamics
product
Skills Required
• Minimal to advanced - SQL Server
• Minor experience with DNN to advanced module
building
• Business process architecture
DNN Module Ideas -> Integration Shortcut
Instead of writing custom DNN modules, these (and
more) modules can be configured to interact with
Dynamics within DNN.
Some Details on the IEX Implementation
AnyChart/AnyGantt
Some Details on the IEX Implementation
Tips for Getting Started
• Determine which architecture(s) are applicable
to your network, business needs, and sense of
adventure.
• Pick 1 "win" - a process to overhaul:
• Something done in spreadsheets
• Something managed via email messages
• Something that could leverage previous data
to suggest a result
ERP Expansion Ideas
Inventory Management
• Mobile interface for workers on the move
• Externally accessible view of item stock
Vendor Management
• Specific/expansive attributes
• Run an RFP and directly store responses to their profile
ERP Expansion Ideas
Customer Pricing/Quotes
• Custom formulas
• Electronic availability of quotes/accept responses
Interdepartmental Communications
• Workflows through queues/user task assignment
• Resource scheduling on calendar/chart interfaces
Looking into a Crystal Ball
Dynamics 365 is being launched and features
are slowly being added. Timeline – 5 years or
more.
Development opportunities for building "apps"
for Dynamics 365 are available.
Traditional Dynamics GP/NAV/SL are not
going away just yet.
Our Objectives
1. Become familiar with the advantages and
disadvantages of traditional ERP systems.
2. Understand some of the avenues for
integrating DNN with a Microsoft Dynamics or
other ERP.
3. Feel empowered to start improving business
processes through technology.
Pairing DNN with a Microsoft ERP for Maximum Business Impact

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Pairing DNN with a Microsoft ERP for Maximum Business Impact

  • 1. Pairing DNN with a Microsoft ERP for Maximum Business Impact Drew Skwiers-Koballa dsk@iecis.com | @sysadmindrew
  • 2. Our Objectives 1. Become familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of traditional ERP systems. 2. Understand some of the avenues for integrating DNN with a Microsoft Dynamics or other ERP. 3. Feel empowered to start improving business processes through technology.
  • 3. Inside Edge CIS “We provide nationwide flooring services with a solutions driven approach. We deliver nationwide consistency, with best in class quality and communication, at a competitive price.” • Founded in 2004 • Completing thousands of projects annually • Employee-owned • Technology Driven • Annual revenue of $80 million
  • 4. Who is Drew Skwiers-Koballa? Past • 10 years Tech Support • College education, Chemistry/Computer Science • 2 years teaching college level courses in chemistry and networking • Answered a craigslist ad “Helpdesk/Programmer” Present • IT Director at Inside Edge Commercial Interior Services • Dynamics SL User Group Board Member • SQL Server junkie (3x MCSA)
  • 5. What is an ERP? Enterprise Resource Planning System • Financial management • Supply chain management • Project management • Human resources/payroll • Marketing and sales • Manufacturing • Business Intelligence/Reporting
  • 6. Microsoft ERPs Dynamics GP • Simplistic • Quick out of the box Dynamics NAV • Retail/distribution/services • Customizable Dynamics SL • Project oriented • Government contracting, construction Dynamics AX -> Dynamics 365 for Operations • Geared to enterprises • Wide range of modules
  • 9. IEX: Inside Edge eXchange Starting with DNN 4 In 2004, Inside Edge was founded as a unique business model in the construction industry. A DNN site (IEX) was built to facilitate creating proposals, an ERP was used to manage financials. By 2012, IEX was “the system” for >75% of our employees.
  • 10. IEX: Inside Edge eXchange Through a Crossroads In 2013, we considered switching to an all-in-one construction management package. We elected to integrate IEX with an improved ERP – Dynamics SL. It’s 2017, and we don’t regret it.
  • 11. IEX Roadmap 2015 Equipment Condition Forms Vendor Portal Shipment Tracking AR Billing and Submittal Workflow Vendor Product Management 2016 Centralized Purchasing Mileage-based vendor suggestions Retrospective pricing reports Digital document signatures Customer Opportunity Tracking 2017 Project Picture Feed Vendor Quality Ratings Business Intelligence Web Service connections to Vendor ERPs CRM Task Management 2018 Customer Portal Onsite Mobile App ??? ??? New features are added in several areas every year – specific to the business needs of Inside Edge – not an overall pool of customers.
  • 12. Where Is Your Business? We Have an ERP • Can't easily use a feature • Want to add a unique function to the ERP • ERP interface isn't convenient to use We Have DNN • Our business is growing • We want to enable rapid change • Employees are often cross functional • The majority of the information system users don't do traditional financial functions. • Evolving business where systems needs may change quarter by quarter
  • 14. Connect DNN and the ERP Use The MS API/SDK • Web services are available for some features (varies by product) • DNN modules can call these web services • You work within the constraints of the available supplied interfaces (exposed objects, user licensing) Write Directly to the Database • Dynamics will be writing to a SQL Server database • DNN modules can write to the same database • You create your own bugs/code, manage user security
  • 15. Implement through Web Services • Deploy built-in web services • Create your own web services using the available SDK • Use 3rd party products to create web service integration Pros: • Improved UI flexibility in DNN over the stock web services • Microsoft support for the data connection • You can connect to anything with a web service Cons: • User licensing and role management in Dynamics • You can connect to anything with a web service
  • 16. Implement through SQL Server • Read database schema • Run similar actions in Dynamics interface while running SQL profiler • Talk to your Dynamics reseller about the functions you want to interface with • Manage users and security in DNN • No Dynamics user licensing for DNN interface
  • 17. If You Choose One or Both: • You can extend the functionality of Dynamics in the client interface and in a web interface • There is documentation available with the Dynamics product
  • 18. Skills Required • Minimal to advanced - SQL Server • Minor experience with DNN to advanced module building • Business process architecture
  • 19. DNN Module Ideas -> Integration Shortcut Instead of writing custom DNN modules, these (and more) modules can be configured to interact with Dynamics within DNN.
  • 20. Some Details on the IEX Implementation AnyChart/AnyGantt
  • 21. Some Details on the IEX Implementation
  • 22. Tips for Getting Started • Determine which architecture(s) are applicable to your network, business needs, and sense of adventure. • Pick 1 "win" - a process to overhaul: • Something done in spreadsheets • Something managed via email messages • Something that could leverage previous data to suggest a result
  • 23. ERP Expansion Ideas Inventory Management • Mobile interface for workers on the move • Externally accessible view of item stock Vendor Management • Specific/expansive attributes • Run an RFP and directly store responses to their profile
  • 24. ERP Expansion Ideas Customer Pricing/Quotes • Custom formulas • Electronic availability of quotes/accept responses Interdepartmental Communications • Workflows through queues/user task assignment • Resource scheduling on calendar/chart interfaces
  • 25. Looking into a Crystal Ball Dynamics 365 is being launched and features are slowly being added. Timeline – 5 years or more. Development opportunities for building "apps" for Dynamics 365 are available. Traditional Dynamics GP/NAV/SL are not going away just yet.
  • 26. Our Objectives 1. Become familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of traditional ERP systems. 2. Understand some of the avenues for integrating DNN with a Microsoft Dynamics or other ERP. 3. Feel empowered to start improving business processes through technology.