Microsoft’s release of the Surface is a
tangible example of a baseline shift in
the company’s strategy: don’t think of
Microsoft purely as a software company,
but as a company producing a full range
of connected devices and services, bonded
Many of us will be aware of Microsoft’s
forays into the services space – think
Hotmail, Xbox Live and CRM 2011 Online, to
name the obvious examples – but the calling
out of designing and producing computer
hardware as a strategic priority does change
the game; in other words, Microsoft will be
looking to produce other devices beyond
the Surface, with a Windows Phone 8 device
seeming a logical stablemate to the tablet.
This was confirmed by Microsoft CEO
Steve Ballmer in a letter to shareholders
accompanying Microsoft’s FY12 results,
where he wrote: “…the full value of our
software will be seen and felt in how people
use devices and services at work and in their
personal lives. This is a significant shift, both
in what we do and how we see ourselves —
as a devices and services company. It impacts
how we run the company, how we develop
new experiences, and how we take products
to market for both consumers and businesses.
The work we have accomplished in the past
year and the roadmap in front of us brings
this to life. In all our work with partners and
on our own devices, we will focus relentlessly
on delivering delightful, seamless experiences
across hardware, software and services.”
On the one hand, this could be seen as a
defensive move by Microsoft as it looks to
echo Apple and the success it has had in
building out an end-to-end product and
services ecosystem that joins Apple-created
hardware, with Apple-created software,
content and services. This success has had
an impact on the technology industry, and
despite its reliance on its OEM hardware
partners, Microsoft appears to have
determined that they need to drive hardware
innovation themselves in order to retain
market share. With Windows still being the
dominant operating system, this could be
construed as a defensive move.
On the other hand, though, such a move
shows Microsoft remains as aggressive
as ever, further demonstrated by its busy
release schedule over the coming months,
and its moves signal to the market that
Microsoft isn’t going to let competitors
take market share away from it or, worse,
redefine how we all use computing
devices to create and consume data and
information. Microsoft is picking up this ball
and running with it, running a combination
of strategies that mirror Apple, while also
giving people the choice – across the market
and in all form factors – that they have been
For those of us who use these software,
services and devices, we’re about to embark
on a new era of Microsoft-driven innovation.
Regardless of how deeply we embrace
these new offerings, there will be myriad
opportunities to use, see (and touch) these
new and updated products and services.
And, from a wider market watching context,
the battle will be intriguing.
THE INTELLIGENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE | ISSUE 30 | 2012
Waves of change ahead for
Embarking on a new era of Microsoft-driven innovation.
IN THIS ISSUE...
Intergenites at work and play 2
dynamics day 2012 4
business knowledge in an it world 6
microsoft dynamics nav 2013 7
social media for customer insight 8
signal: social media monitoring 9
microsoft surface 10
Microsoft Dynamics AX 11
case study: hawkes bay regional council 12
Copyright Intergen Business Solutions Pty Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of Intergen Limited.
dropped and held in
the name of earthquake
Takahe to Akaroa Relay.
Spanning 40 kilometres,
Intergen’s Southern relay
team dug deep and earned
TechEd. The biggest
event in the tech calendar,
Intergenites once again
took TechEd by storm – on
stage, in the crowd and
on Intergen’s very own
Intergenite ski trip.
A highlight of the winter
hit the ski fields for the
annual company ski trip.
From Business Games
(left) to Intergen’s very
own Yelympics (right),
Intergenites have been out
in force, demonstrating
teamwork and their
SMARTS THE INTELLIGENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE ISSUE 30 3
Welcome to the very first Australian edition
of Smarts – another exciting milestone in the
Australian chapter of the Intergen story. You’ll
still get much of the same content you’ve
always had in previous versions but we hope
you’ll enjoy the introduction of more local
The theme of this issue is the new wave of
technology and how IT empowers business.
As we head into the biggest launch year in
Microsoft’s history there is much to be excited
about. That excitement was evident at the
Microsoft Australian Partner Conference in
Brisbane in September, where we saw examples
of how a variety of products are starting to
come together to provide new and exciting ways
to leverage technology. Underpinning much
of Microsoft’s strategy this year is the release
of Windows 8 and delegates got an insight
into the possibilities that the new operating
system and the host of new devices to support
In this edition you will see how the latest
technology can make a real difference with the
launch of Signal, a social media monitoring
tool for emergency management and the public
sector. You’ll also read about one of the hottest
topics in the industry at the moment: CRM
and Social. Social networking has undoubtedly
changed the way most of us work and play,
and the opportunity for organisations to start
and continue a closer and more engaged
conversation with their customers through CRM
and social media is very exciting and we look
forward to being a part of the wave to come.
Riding the wave of Microsoft's
biggest year ever
Now in its fourth year, we are very proud to
have hosted our Dynamics Day in Auckland
– a unique opportunity for organisations that
are using or considering Microsoft Dynamics
ERP and CRM solutions to understand how
to get the most out of their investments. We
were very lucky this year to have keynotes
from Craig Dewar, Director of Product
Management for Dynamics CRM in Redmond
as well as our very own Chris Auld, Director
and Chief Technology Officer for Intergen.
As always, the event provided a wealth of
information from a range of expert speakers
on product updates and directions, case
studies and in-depth demonstrations and
discussions and as always our team did us
proud. You can hear more from Craig Dewar
and an overview of the event inside this
edition of Smarts.
This is our last edition of Smarts for 2012.
I’d like to thank all of our customers and
Intergenites for your support throughout the
year and wish you a very safe and happy
Christmas break. We look forward to seeing
you all again in the New Year.
»» Strong growth in Microsoft
One of Intergen’s strongest
growth areas, Microsoft
Dynamics solutions continue
to prove popular with
Intergen recently held its
fourth annual Dynamics Day
(see pages 4-5), a free event
for existing and prospective
users. You can view session
details at www.intergen.com.au/
Michael Morgan is Country Manager,
Australia. Contact Michael at:
Providing many New Zealanders with their
first look at Microsoft’s Surface tablet was
one of many highlights of Dynamics
Each year for the past four years, Intergen has
run Dynamics Day, an event designed to update
and inspire users of Microsoft Dynamics AX,
NAV and CRM by showcasing what can be done
to get the most out of these solutions.
Featuring a keynote presentation by Craig
Dewar, Microsoft Director of Product Marketing
for Dynamics CRM (see opposite page), the
event kicked off by looking at the current and
future state of Microsoft Dynamics, and the way
in which these solutions are using user-centric
design principles to make enterprise productivity
applications that are easy to use.
With more than 160 people in attendance,
this year’s event saw a wide range of topics
presented, with 17 sessions across the three
solution streams. The sessions provided the
usual spread of product updates, a look at
future directions as well as general productivity
advice. In addition to the Dynamics-specific
sessions, we also helped sow some seeds for
future thinking, including solution architect
Don Smith’s “Thinking outside the box” session
which provided a range of insights into how
the user experience of enterprise applications
is evolving, and “Unlocking ERP data for key
insights,” which focused on how to couple
business intelligence with ERP data, and
included a cameo appearance from Intergen’s
own Chief Financial Officer, Murray Newman.
Like many of Microsoft’s products, the Dynamics
range is experiencing its own wave of updates,
and attendees were given specific and detailed
views into the roadmaps of the respective
offerings, in addition to “deep dive” information
where detailed and practical information was
imparted to the audience. With the release of
Dynamics NAV 2013 in October, much attention
was being paid to Microsoft’s mid-range ERP
solution, while interest in AX and CRM was
similarly high, as people looked to get more out
of both these solutions which had been updated
in the past year.
The timing of this year’s Dynamics Day also
coincided with the release of Windows 8 and
the Microsoft Surface tablet, both of which were
released on October 26. Several Intergenites
had their own Surface devices, while one lucky
attendee also took one home after winning the
Latest Microsoft offerings on show at Dynamics Day.
In addition to the sessions, the Experience
Lounge provided a venue to try out a range
of interesting solutions, including FaceCake’s
Swivel virtual dressing room, the Samsung
PixelSense coffee table-like touchscreen device,
and a range of hardware from Dell, all of which
showed Windows 8 in various form factors.
Dynamics Day is Intergen's annual
conference for users of Microsoft
Dynamics. For more information and access
to this year's Dynamics Day content visit
or email email@example.com.
More than 160 attendees gathered to
learn, network and get the most out of
their Dynamics investment.
The future of retail: FaceCake'sSwivel virtual dressing room.
Business commentator Rod Oram
concluded the day's proceedings.
SMARTS THE INTELLIGENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE ISSUE 30 5
A view from inside the new
wave – with Craig Dewar Q&A
Q: The next 12 months will be a busy period
for Microsoft and its partners. What
do you see as being the most exciting
releases over the next 12 months?
A: There are a tremendous number of products
bursting onto the market. Windows 8,
Surface, Windows Phone 8, Office 2013,
and updates to all the Dynamics products,
to name a few. I am personally very excited
by the combination of Windows 8 and
Surface. Finally a device and software
experience that combines cutting edge
hardware design, long battery life and a
world class consumer software experience
with all the richness of enterprise
productivity and the breadth of device
support the Windows ecosystem delivers.
Q: With Windows Phone 8 and devices
such as Surface coming out, Microsoft
is innovating in a wide range of areas.
How do you see these developments
changing how people work, from a CRM
A: I have seen a real change in how people
think about the usability of business
software. You don’t need a manual for
Microsoft’s Director of Product
Management for Microsoft Dynamics
CRM, Craig Dewar, was our international
keynote speaker at this year’s Dynamics
Day. He shared with us what the ‘new
wave’ means for Microsoft and – most
importantly – for its users.
We have transitioned our entire
development model to a cloud-first
approach and are delivering much more
rapid innovation for our customers. In the
old world we released every three years and
customers typically upgraded every five or
so. In the new world we are on a path to
deliver new innovation every six months
and every customer can have it straight
away if they like: a huge difference in
realised business value.
Q: What business benefits will Windows
8 deliver organisations? And how will
Dynamics customers benefit from
A: Windows 8 brings the ease of use and long
battery life of a consumer device but does
not give up productivity, management and
security. Companies struggling with the
consumerisation of IT will be able to have
their cake and eat it too.
Q: You’ve been at Microsoft for a number
of years. How has the company changed
in that time, and where do you see
Microsoft heading in the future?
A: When I joined Microsoft it was definitely a
PC company. In the early years I was there it
transitioned into a PC and server company.
We are now at an inflection point that sees
us transforming into a device and services
company. We have enterprise services and
devices and consumer services and devices.
There is commonality where it makes sense.
It’s going to be an exciting few years as the
change fully lands throughout the product
lines and into the market.
Facebook so you shouldn’t need one
for CRM software either. We have really
honed in on user experience in Microsoft
Dynamics and have some dramatic new
experiences coming to market soon after
Windows 8 and Surface.
Q: As part of your role with Microsoft, how
do you see Microsoft Dynamics CRM
evolving over the next few releases?
A: We have three areas of focus:
Compelling applications. We will focus
on more complete CRM processes out of
the box. You can expect to see more robust
sales, service and marketing capabilities
built right in. We will also focus on closing
the seams between these areas.
Tailored experiences. We will be creating
specific experiences across a range of
platform and roles. Experiences for mobile,
for Outlook, for web and for agent desktops.
Each will be optimised for the job at hand
and will be truly beautiful.
Open and Extensible Platform. The
strength of Microsoft Dynamics CRM has
historically been its modern meta-driven
platform. We will continue to keep this at
the cutting edge and ensure maximum
speed of development.
Q: What impact has the cloud had on the
delivery of Microsoft Dynamics CRM?
A: The impact of the cloud has been huge.
We already see more than 60% of all new
customers choose this deployment model.
People love the rapid time to value and the
"set and forget" backend.
What do you do?
As Country Manager, Australia, I
am responsible for Intergen’s rapidly
growing operations in Australia. I’m
based in Sydney but spend at least a
week each month with our team in
Perth, interspersed with the occasional
trip to Melbourne.
How do you make a difference?
I see my role as primarily being an
advocate for our brand and capability
in the Australian market, as well as
clearing roadblocks and providing
whatever support our Australian teams
need to ensure they can do their best
work in delivering for our customers. If I
can do those two things well hopefully I
make a difference to our success.
What do you love about your job?
I love working with really smart people
who can bring their creativity together
with cool technologies to create unique
and valuable solutions for Australian
companies. I particularly enjoy being at
the very first meeting with a potential
customer, hearing their challenges first-
hand and then seeing how our people
work through proposing, winning and
ultimately delivering over the following
months. Nothing’s more rewarding than
a delighted customer and a team who
are proud of what they’ve built.
A bit about yourself…
I’m married to my wife Shayne and we
have two daughters – Hannah (12) and
Abby (10). We love all things water-
related – scuba diving, fishing, kayaking,
boating, snorkelling, spearfishing.
Even the most simple business models
require some form of IT to survive. For the
plumber this might be the mobile phone
to keep in contact with their customers; for
others it might be as singular as email.
This blurred boundary between the two worlds
attracts both purist technologists – those who
learn computer science at university – and
the non-technologists like me who study
engineering, or physics, or some other subject,
and end up working in the IT industry.
For me I don’t remember it being a choice,
more of a sequence of happenstance
where IT found me as much as I found IT.
Like many people in my position I entered
through the end-user route. At the time I was
a member of a small team of people who
worked with an Oracle-based bespoke supply
chain management system. To solve an on-
boarding problem I created some end-user
documentation and training material. This was
identified by an executive with a comment of
“If he understands the system enough to do
this maybe he should work on the systems
side”, and with that my journey into the world
of IT started.
This point of entry creates two points of
reference for me as an IT professional. The
first is the general question: “What is the real
problem we’re trying to solve?” Which leads
to a second test: “What will this mean for the
These two seemingly simple questions often
lead to a more complex world of business
architecture where I perform a role of
translator between the business community
and the technologists. I find this split
personality a fascinating balance between
understanding and articulating the business
value and benefits of a technology solution,
offset against creating a practical systems
solution to a real world business problem.
Along the journey you learn a lot about
both sides of this delicate equation. An MBA
completes the business side by providing
theory and language that establishes
credibility with the business community and
prepares you to ask different questions – or
the same questions differently – to your pure
technology peers. Working with Intergen
provides credibility in the technology sphere,
supported by a breadth and depth of technical
competence and therefore the ability to deliver
on the promise.
The personal pleasure I get is by working as
a consultant in this bipolar world. Consulting
provides an opportunity to apply lessons,
both business and technology, from adjunct
industries as you move between these
functional silos. This not only creates real value
for the client through innovative solutions to
their problems, but also provides the same
intellectual stimulation that drives people to
complete postgraduate study and become
thought leaders in their chosen area of
It is very easy for IT professionals to lose sight
of the business reasons and focus on the
technology alone. It is a very rare IT project that
does not deliver some business capability that
delivers a benefit to the host business.
A new infrastructure project leads to more up
time, which in turn leads to more productivity
or better customer retention. The humble email
leads to improved communication channels to
Being able to understand the underlying
business enables the business technology
consultant to appreciate the benefits that offset
the costs. A clear picture of how IT projects
support and enable business strategy is where
business knowledge enhances the IT world.
Putting the business back in
business information systems
David Mould is one of Intergen’s Practice
Leads – Dynamics Solutions.
Today there is an inextricable link between technology and business.
SMARTS THE INTELLIGENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE ISSUE 30 7
Microsoft recently released Dynamics NAV
2013 for Australia, New Zealand and 12
other countries, bringing faster performance,
enhanced user productivity, and a selection
of exciting new options to its Enterprise
Resource Planning solution.
Possibly the most significant addition in this
release is the introduction of a web client
which allows users throughout a company to
access a simplified version of the RoleTailored
client from virtually any device that supports
a web browser. Unlike the previously available
Employee Portal, the new web client takes the
existing application pages and displays them
in a browser with no additional programming
or configuration. As well as the Web Client,
there’s a new Portal Framework for SharePoint
2010 which allows NAV pages to be linked to
other web parts such as charts, maps, reports, or
custom web parts, and to be used on websites
that can share information both inside and
outside your organisation.
Microsoft’s NAV development team, based in
Vedbaek, Denmark, has delivered a significantly
enhanced version of the RoleTailored client too.
An Office 2010-style ribbon replaces the action
pane that was introduced in NAV 2009 and
provides a feeling of instant familiarity for
Office users. The Role Centre page, which is
the first screen users see when they launch
Setting a solid foundation with
Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013
the client, now includes a ribbon allowing easy
access to frequent actions. It seems as though
Microsoft has listened to our feedback from
earlier versions of the RoleTailored client and
delivered those features that were lacking:
Select All, Copy/Paste, Link Sharing, Copy Link,
Find, and Quick Entry make this new version a
pleasure to work with.
The new ribbon provides fast access
to frequently used actions
Prior to this release, users could select either
the RoleTailored client or the Classic client, but
from now on the Classic client (or Development
Environment as it is now called) is only used for
development, and a few administration tasks
such as creating new companies, or loading
licenses, but the performance enhancements
and added functionality to the RoleTailored
client mean the Classic client option is unlikely
to be missed.
Business intelligence and reporting has been
given a facelift with better integration with
Excel, PowerPivot capabilities and some
stunning end-user charting controls helping
users to visualise and understand data from
across your business.
NAV 2013 also has features for IT
administrators. The server platform has shifted
to 64-bit meaning the SQL Server database
and NAV Server can now take advantage of
the scalability of the 64-bit platform. There’s
a new server administration tool that snaps
in to the Microsoft Management Console and
an Administration Shell featuring over twenty
PowerShell Cmdlets for handling licenses,
instances, and permissions.
For more on Dynamics NAV 2013, visit
www.intergen.com.au/blog or access sessions
from our recent Dynamics Day at www.intergen.
David Roys is a Dynamics NAV consultant
in Intergen's Dynamics Solutions team.
Celebrating agility, simplicity and productivity with the latest release of Dynamics NAV.
“Dynamics NAV 2013
celebrates agility, simplicity
and productivity, and provides
a right-sized, scalable
platform for small to medium-
sized enterprises. It is context
and role sensitive, relevant
and streamlined, and brings
increased productivity and
streamlined work processes
to the user.”
Practice Principal, Intergen
Why getting social is the key
to understanding our customers
There’s a direct correlation between the
ability to connect socially and the market
share a company enjoys. We’re told that 70%
of all businesses already have their toe in the
water when it comes to “getting social” – but
why go to all the effort?
To find out, we talk to sales and marketing
strategist Bruce Rasmussen about why
embracing social is so important to
understanding our customers and joining them
on their journey.
Q: Why are things so different nowadays
when it comes to engaging with our
A: We now have what we call Buyer 2.0.
They’re typically time poor and risk averse.
They find things differently, they have
different expectations, and the traditional
sales process doesn’t marry up with this
new reality. The customer journey is
nothing like how we sell to them (find
a suspect, show them your wares), and
in order to be successful we need to
understand how Buyer 2.0 works.
Buyer 2.0 is infinitely informed. And one
thing’s for sure: when they’re doing their
research, the last thing they’re going to
do is call up a salesperson. They’re going
to work out exactly what they think they
need, and it’s only when they’re 70% of
the way down the buyer’s journey that
they’ll reach out.
This is a problem for both buyers
and sellers. What if the buyer has
misdiagnosed their own problem? They
may end up with the wrong solution; and
it’s a problem for the seller because it’s
likely an opportunity has been missed to
find the buyer a solution that really does
solve their problem.
Time and time again we don’t engage with
Buyer 2.0 until it’s too late. Yet if we reach
out earlier using our old techniques, the
buyer often doesn’t yet feel compelled to
buy. So we need to change our marketing
model. All our old methods are intrusive,
and people are busy and don’t want to
be interrupted. Add to this the fact that
people don’t trust salespeople and you
have a very real problem.
We need to find a better way of getting in
sync with the buyer’s way of doing things,
listening closely to detect when the buyer
is starting their journey, and then walking
along this journey with them. What better
way to do this than through social media?
Q: Once you’ve identified that someone is
starting out on the buyer journey, how
should you use social media to engage
A: If you want to engage early, you need to
listen hard. Before the internet and social
media, this was really difficult to do. Now
you know exactly when a person has a
problem – they’ll tweet their predicament
or post a question on LinkedIn or on a
community forum. This is where you need
to be. Join their conversation, let them
know you have a customer who had a
similar problem and offer to put them in
touch with them, but – whatever you do –
don’t sell to them.
Content marketing can help here. A savvy
marketer will say “I notice you have this
problem” and then give them a ‘10 ways to
solve your problem’ document. Buyers will
tolerate being given information that could
help them; they are happy to be helped
to be educated but not sold to. If you can
use social media to strike up a meaningful
conversation and then help the buyer see
the options and avoid the pitfalls, you’re on
the right track. If you jump in and say “buy
this” then you’ve lost them.
Q: What role does CRM have to play in this
A: The technologies around social are getting
better and better, but there’s a way to go
yet before they allow us to behave truly
socially in all aspects of our working lives.
CRM is a great example of technology
that’s embracing social and making it
easier to make the social paradigm a
native part of our workflows.
Social media creates lots of data islands
– think of your LinkedIn and Twitter
data alone – and CRM can help us bring
these together, make sense of them and
manage them, finding the very specific
information we are after, sensing social
signals and automatically updating
information based on people’s online
With Buyer 2.0 a lot more nurturing
needs to happen, which means making
sure the gap between sales and
marketing is bridged, and CRM can help
here, too. We still need to be giving
people content and insights, and building
their trust, giving them the right advice
at the right time, even when salespeople
The thing we need to remember, though,
is that social media is about people, not
technology. If we don’t truly appreciate
why we’re embracing social, there’s no
technology in the world that can help us.
Q&AEvidence tells us that socially networked organisations are more
likely to succeed. But why?
Bruce Rasmussen is a sales and marketing
strategist and owner of Carpe Diem
Consulting Services. Intergen works closely
with Bruce on a number of sales and
SMARTS THE INTELLIGENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE ISSUE 30 9
Social Media Monitoring
Many recent events – including the 2011 London
riots and the comparably recent super storm
Sandy in the eastern United States – highlight
how important social media is to the populace,
helping people coordinate activities and update
those who are wondering how they are. Because
of its convenience and accessibility, it’s no secret
that social media has become an integral part
of many people's lives.
In fact, the Pew Research Center estimates two
thirds of all American adults use social media,
whilst a huge 86% of those aged 18-29 are
known to use these services. What do they use
these services for? The majority use them to stay
in touch with friends and family members. The
numbers are big: more than 500,000 tweets
are sent from Twitter every minute, and 250
million photos are uploaded every day. Over the
next few years these levels of activity are likely
to increase, as more people use these services
and more devices allow people to interact with
services such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
For authorities, social media represents both
an opportunity and a challenge: important
information is being communicated that could
allow for more informed responses to emergency
situations, however the sheer volume of these
communications, and the range of tools and
services available, make it challenging to keep
up with what’s happening.
Text, pictures and video can provide
authorities with increased situational
awareness, potentially complementing their
other intelligence gathering activities, allowing
them to react more quickly to emerging
Signal is a social media monitoring solution
designed specifically to help the public safety
and emergency management communities
to better understand and incorporate social
media into their broader intelligence gathering
processes. Unlike other less sophisticated tools,
Signal allows such bodies to monitor a range
of social media services in real-time, analysing
these feeds for specific keywords, people and
places in order to better understand what is
going on at that moment in time. This data
can be visualised on a map, allowing patterns
of activity to be identified, or to complement
other on the ground responses.
Signal was developed by Intergen and
versions of the service been used by a range
of organisations to help gather intelligence
for a number of high profile events. Signal is
offered as software as a service (SaaS) solution
and can be implemented quickly, allowing
authorities and agencies to mobilise quickly in
addition to incorporating it into their regular
For more info visit:
New online service helps to monitor social media services
for public safety and emergency management.
Real-time social media mapping.
WHAT DO YOU DO?
My role is Solution Specialist – EDRMS,
based in Wellington. My role is a varied
one, which I love. I cross almost all
aspects of our work; from supporting the
sales team, to helping the consultants
better understand what records
managers are talking about and also
helping clients make the best decision
for their organisations, because one size
doesn’t fit all.
HOW DO YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
I make records management and EDRMS
fun projects to be involved in. I work
collaboratively with the team to look for
solutions that fit the business’ needs and
translate the records-speak into relevant
and appropriate business outcomes.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
I love the variety in my role; today I
can be working with a client to help
them understand where EDRMS fits
in their environment and tomorrow
I’ll be talking to the Consulting teams
about pragmatic design choices for
our implementations. But more than
anything I love working with people –
helping clients to reduce risk, increase
efficiencies and deliver a better service
is an awesome feeling and is why I come
to work every day.
A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF?
I’m originally from North Wales and so
am a little obsessive about all forms of
rugby. I have two beautiful red haired
sons who keep me busy. I am almost at
the end of a home renovation (or should
that be rebuild project), much of which
I’ve done with my husband, including
building the extension – so I’m pretty
handy with a nail gun!
With all the focus on Windows 8, Windows
Phone 8, Xbox Music and a bunch of other
releases in October 2012, the fact that New
Zealand missed out on the initial Surface release
has flown under the radar. Not wanting to miss
out and leveraging a previously arranged trip to
America that coincided with the Surface launch
resulted in a compulsory (honest, the little guy
on my shoulder told me it was…) acquisition
of a SurfaceRT.
Yes, I know the full Surface Pro
is only three months away,
but three months in the IT
hardware world might as well
be three years. Surface is here (well, in the
States and Australia, at least) and therefore – as
far as I’m concerned – it was high time to buy.
While many of the official party lines deny
that this is an iPad compete, in my mind it is
and it does it very, very well. I should probably
point out that I have the prerequisite must-have
iPad, also purchased in the US before being
generally released in New Zealand, but I never
found it comfortable as a day-to-day tool. In
fact, within a couple of weeks it became a great
consumption tool for the family.
So a few days in, what do I think of my
shiniest new toy?
I’m a hardware guy; I started my career almost
30 years ago fixing teller machines at ASB
Bank branches throughout Auckland (it was still
called Auckland Savings Bank then), so I’d like
to say I know a thing or two about hardware – if
only in my own mind. While I fully understand
in the modern world no one is getting out
oscilloscopes (or even knows what they are)
or replacing key components any more, I do,
however, understand what actually makes these
things tick inside the magnesium alloy cases.
My initial reaction is that this is a nice unit,
well designed with great lines and functional
components. The keyboard snap is exactly that:
a snap – you know when it is connected. Even
the packaging had a lot of designer focus, which
personally I just don’t get – sorry but it goes
in the rubbish, so don’t focus on it too much.
Yes, initial experience is important, but the
pragmatist in me says the good part is what is
in the box, not the box itself.
I fired it up, logged in and played with it for
several hours prior to writing this. All I can say
is that the Surface gets 6 out of 5 from me.
I can see serious usage out of this over the
coming weeks/months/years. Is it a full laptop
replacement? No. But as a frequent traveller
it does give me consumption and creation
capability without the weight and low battery
life of the laptop. This article was written on
the Surface with not a touch keyboard in sight.
The keyboard does take a little bit of getting
used to (five minutes), but once you do it is
also seriously cool. In fact within three days
I’m reaching for the Surface as my first choice
Yes, there are issues and challenges, but these
will get resolved. Not having full Outlook is a
pain but also having the Surface acting more
like a phone (or at least a Windows Phone) and
displaying live information and updates is very
useful. I no longer need to start up the laptop or
other device and go into the mail client to see if
I have mail.
Being a Windows Phone 7 (and soon 8) user,
my Surface has very quickly become a logical
extension to my arm, and one that will need to
be removed physically (at least until the next
even cooler version arrives).
Surface appeal more
than skin deep
Wayne Forgesson is Intergen's
Director of Marketing.
Intergen’s Director of Marketing travels 20,000 kilometres
to get his hands on his very own Surface.
SMARTS THE INTELLIGENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE ISSUE 30 11
Opening doors and
transforming business with
Microsoft Dynamics AX
What do you do?
I am a Dynamics AX Solutions
Specialist, working in our
How do you make a difference?
I am passionate about solving
problems with technology. Having
worked with Microsoft’s Dynamics
AX as a user, developer and business
consultant I love the opportunity to
share my breadth of experience with
clients and help them set up their
projects for success. When it comes
to technology and business I like to
make sure we are always pushing the
envelope with innovative and exciting
What do you love about your job?
I love being able to coach and
guide people along a path to
success, engaging with interesting
and intelligent people and solving
interesting problems. I love the fact
that I get to spend time with a large
number of organisations and see how
they operate, and the fact that I get to
gain understanding that I can use on
a daily basis when talking to different
clients and companies.
A bit about yourself…
Sydney is a great city for experiencing
dining, bars and shopping, and this
is where I spent a lot of time outside
of work. I love the culinary scene and
cooking for and entertaining friends
Since the release of Microsoft Dynamics
AX 2012 in August last year, the demand
for Microsoft ERP solutions has been
unprecedented, and Intergen has been in
aggressive recruitment mode to continue
to expand our capability and keep ahead of
this strong growth.
why such popularity?
Dynamics AX signifies a paradigm shift in the
world of ERP, focusing on people and the roles
they are required to perform, and applying
this role-based approach to an organisation’s
processes. It also offers a solution that is
right-sized for Australasian organisations –
being able to handle significant complexity
while also maintaining appropriate levels of
flexibility and scalability. Dynamics AX has
also proved popular for its ability to address
discrete workloads – for example expense
and financial management and purchasing,
allowing for improvements to be made across
an organisation incrementally.
Freedom through ERP
“Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 is a new
generation of business applications. It’s the
ERP solution that sets customers free and
puts them in charge of their business.” So said
Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, at the launch of
AX 2012 last year. Rousing words indeed; and
more than a year on, it’s encouraging to see
the rhetoric ringing true.
In recent months, Microsoft Dynamics AX
was named as a leading ERP solution in
Gartner’s Magic Quadrant, usurping market
share from its competitors and claiming a
confident role in the tier one playing field.
This is strong validation of the effectiveness
of this paradigm shift and AX’s ability to help
Australasian organisations transform their
What ASSA ABLOY has to say
about choosing AX
Intergen is currently working with a number
of global organisations to implement AX
across their operations worldwide. One such
organisation is ASSA ABLOY, the global leader in
door opening solutions. ASSA ABLOY is currently
implementing Microsoft Dynamics AX across its
When asked why ASSA ABLOY chose Microsoft
Dynamics AX, New Zealand General Manager,
Ken Dick, said:
“After an extensive analysis of the market we
decided on Microsoft Dynamics AX as our choice
of ERP system because it offered the right
amount of flexibility and the ability to integrate
with our existing systems. We know that we have
made the right choice and look forward to an
implemented system in early 2013.
"We selected Intergen as our partner as they
offered the best local support with a wide range
of experienced solutions developers who have
recent global and local experience; and they
also proved to us that their approach to business
and project management was similar to ours
and offered the complete package, as well as
experience across the entire Microsoft stack.”
A right-sized, user-centric solution that’s proving extremely
popular with Australasian organisations.
AUCKLAND CHRISTCHURCH DUNEDIN PERTH REDMOND SYDNEY WELLINGTON
An engaging and intuitive
one-stop shop for ratepayers
www.twitter.com/teamintergen www.linkedin.com/companies/intergenFOLLOW US www.intergen.co.nz/blog
Hawkes Bay Regional Council’s (HBRC)
website was outdated and in need of a
revamp. HBRC needed a powerful yet
simple, easy-to-use and user-focused site
to give ratepayers information, as and
when they needed it. The new site needed
to provide an online “shop window”
and a showcase of HBRC’s role in the
To do this, HBRC needed a versatile, single-
view and future-proof platform to achieve
their long-term vision of seamless integration
with all key systems: Microsoft Dynamics
NAV, Microsoft Dynamics CRM and spatial
data, while also allowing their website and
intranet to be built on the same platform.
Leveraging a strong existing relationship
with Intergen, HBRC engaged Intergen to
build a new Microsoft SharePoint website,
including mobile views and apps, and the
user experience design for the site.
“HBRC’s old site was stale and static,” says
Kahl Olsen, HBRC’s ICT Manager. “It had
become hard to navigate; it was hard to
effectively keep content updated, where
content management was manual and
time-consuming. We were using our website
as a one-way channel – being all about
what the Council did – and we needed to
rethink our approach, making our website
all about the user instead. We needed to
foster engagement with our community by
providing everything the ratepayer needs,
including self-help facilities and social media
integration, making information available at
10 o’clock on a Sunday night (for example),
from the comfort of any internet-connected
home or business in the region. One of our
key drivers was to engage the community in
the way they want, when they want.”
“We wanted a website that appears
simple, intuitive, relevant and needing no
explanation,” says Kahl. In the envisioning
stage of the project, HBRC staff identified
the need for a user-centric site, seamless
to navigate, useable, authoritative and
informative. Transparency of public information
was extremely important, and it needed to be
searchable, concise and useful. The new site
needed to deliver Hawke’s Bay ratepayers a
one-stop shop where they could find all the
information they need with a long-term goal of
being able to perform transactions simply and
with ease, including payments, consents and all
council submissions. For council website users,
the site needed to be flexible and easy to use
and manage content.
Recognising the ever-increasing use of mobile
phones to access website content, mobile
accessibility was also a priority for HBRC, with
the bus finder mobile app proving to be one of
the most popular features of the new site.
The website is a resounding success with HBRC
staff, councillors and Hawkes Bay ratepayers.
Regional Councillor Kevin Rose says, “With the
new website, Council functions are brought
to the ratepayer at the click of a mouse. It’s a
bright site that’s pleasing on the eye. It’s easy to
navigate and highlights the Council’s important
areas of activity. The layout is superb, making it
easy for users to find their areas of interest.”
Kahl says, “Everyone I’ve spoken to loves
it – the feedback has been unanimously
positive. Now we have a robust and future-
proof communication engine with distributed
information in one place, accurate and timely
access to data, including environmental data –
which is critical for us.”
Intergen is a trans-Tasman
services company that solves
challenging business problems
using the latest Microsoft
solutions. We provide our
customers with a range of
solutions and services, including
financial and relationship
management, portals, content
and collaboration solutions,
custom software development,
and consulting services.
Simple, relevant, logical, informative: a website that’s all about the user.