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Posts Tagged ‘Synergy Enterprise’

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Exact Globe Next product update 404 and Exact Synergy Enterprise product update 249 are generally available

Written by Bert Siekmann on . Posted in Exact Globe, Exact Synergy

As of now Exact Globe Next product update 404 and Exact Synergy Enterprise product update 249 are generally available, which marks the end of the controlled release period which started in May 2012.

As you could read in the controlled release announcement, we have extended our offering with numerous enhancements to both Exact Globe Next product update 404 and Exact Synergy Enterprise 249. The new features have been developed in order to facilitate the needs of our main target markets – professional services organizations, wholesale trade and manufacturing customers. Besides those improvements, we have added features based on direct customer feedback, changes that are required by regional legislation and business standards.

To view the complete overview of new developments, please visit Exact Product News website. On the Exact Product News website you can find all the news specifically for you by clicking on an item in the top bar. You can select a product line, your industry or a business process to find all the news that applies to the Exact software your business uses.

If you have any questions regarding the new product updates, please comment on this blog post.

Rafiki’s Corner – Christmas Comes Early with Event Manager 1.8

Written by Sander van Triet on . Posted in Exact Event Manager

Well, here we are at the end of another bumper year. To ring in the Festive Season, I bring to you Exact Event Manager 1.8, now in General Availability, around the entire globe!!! For those of you who have yet to experience Exact Event Manager 1.8, may I suggest that you take a look at what this pivotal release brings you? For those of you who have a prior version of Exact Event Manager, please feel free to update to this release and you will open a stocking of delightful surprises.

So far, the adoption of Exact Event Manager has been extremely pleasing. Now is the chance to further expand on that footprint around the globe, as Santa and his reindeer travel from country to country bringing solutions that are sure to please. In summary again, herewith a brief listing of the latest features that benefit all entrepreneurial spirits….

  • Support for Stored Procedures as an action and source
  • Creation of Exact Synergy Enterprise Projects, Accounts and Resources
  • Embedding of Images within the newly updated Rich Text Editor
  • Integration and delivery with Exact Globe Next
  • Simple Grouping *** of data to provide one result set for multiple grouped rows
  • Tables in emails for grouped data
  • Queue Now (Run Now) option to immediately set off an Event into the Queue, regardless of schedule
  • New embedded “Show Me!” videos for specific new features, over and above on-line help
  • New Summary Tab allowing simple changes to schedule and parameters

There are also additional smaller improvements provided as “stocking stuffers” within the release.

So, as the year winds down and many of us head out to our favourite relaxation spots diving in the Seychelles, snorkling in Montego Bay, skiiing in the Alps or just basking in the sun, make sure that you can do all these activities without having to worry about business back home. Event Manager 1.8 is that very tool that will provide you peace of mind whilst you enjoy your well deserved rest!

To the extremely dedicated Exact Event Manager team, congratulations on this important milestone. A job very well done, and thank you!

Merry Christmas to you all!

 

Matthew

Rafiki’s Corner – Exact Event Manager 1.8 – Coming to a Network Near You!

Written by Sander van Triet on . Posted in Exact Event Manager

Lights, Camera, Action …… Exact Event Manager 1.8 is coming to town. This action packed release is full of wonder and tricks, that will keep you glued to your keyboard and computer screens as you move from feature to feature. This time, the release goes to the matresses and delivers and inspiring performance as you feel the need for speed!! Effective today, Wednesday October 12, 2011, Exact Event Manager is in Regional Verification Testing, where the regions have the red carpet rolled out in this star studded week, providing the ability to preview and test all those new features that were previously mentioned.

Once this action packed week is concluded, Exact Event Manager 1.8 will be placed into the spotlight for further prime time viewing with the commencement of Controlled Release, on Monday October 17, 2011. Tickets are limited for this two week event, so please hurry up and secure your front row seat by having a CR Request (231) created and approved, gaining you access to all the action. This target rich environment will not disappoint.

Just to review what is in this box of chocolates…..

  • Simple Grouping
  • Tables in emails
  • Support for Stored procedures
  • Creation of Projects in Synergy Enterprsie
  • Creation of Accounts in Synergy Enterprise
  • Creation of Resources in Synergy Enterprise
  • General Enhancements in the Rich Text Editor
  • Alert Summary Screen
  • Queue (Run) Now Option
  • Integration within Exact Globe Next for those specific users

So, hang on to your hats boys! Keep watching news pages and blogs for all the latest updates on this release that was born to stand out!

Till later then….

Rafiki’s Corner: It is what you DON’t know that is important!

Written by Sander van Triet on . Posted in Exact Event Manager

We always seem to have a tendency in both life and business, to focus our energy on what has happened, with the promise to learn from those results, good, bad or indifferent. We then spend inordinate time evaluating what happened with the hope of replicating success or not repeating mistakes. Whilst that may sound promising and potentially drive long term results, what about the ability to drive short term results with high reward? That is something that gets my attention! How about you?

I briefly touched on this topic in my first Blog post, but I would like to explore this topic in a more detailed fashion here, as we gain ground to the release of the new Exact Event Manager 1.5.

Non-Event Management – The Swan amongst the ducks.

An ERP database is full of statically rich data that holds key points of interest for any organization, no matter the industry. We write reports to extract all kinds of information so that we gain insight into the current and past health of the business as a whole. Reports such as Accounts Receivable Aging Reports, Daily Sales Order listings, Trial Balances are plentiful within a varied and extensive customer base. These reports focus on what IS IN the database and then present the data in a meaningful and professional fashion. These reports work well and serve their purpose without question. However, there is one flaw in totally relying on this approach. What about data that a report cannot “see”? A report does not tell you what is NOT in the database or what did not happen, as it does not know about an implied business rule.  This is only accomplished through interpretation.

This is where Exact Event Manager really, really comes to the fore as a real benefit to ANY organization. The technology becomes the proverbial swan amongst the ducks of a database and the key to finding holes that can be plugged immediately, driving short term gains and wins.

So, what do I really mean when I talk about Non-Event mumbo jumbo? To answer this, here are some real life examples.

Looking for revenue opportunities?

We seem all too inclined to celebrate the success of a big sales order, and then report on it at some later time in a sales flash report. Great! Success is important to celebrate, but that specific order is done and gone. What about the next big sales order and where will it come from? What if you were able to uncover all those customers who have deviated from their normal buying patterns from the past? What would you think if you were alerted to ALL customers that had NOT purchased anything from you in the last 60 days? At the same time, what if you never had to remember to go and extract this information? Yup, let technology actually do some work for YOU for a change!

Deployment of Exact Event Manager will provide you with the ability to define this very business rule. It is a matter of configuring the system to query your primary ERP database where static sales information is stored, and have it look for all customers that have NOT had any activity in the past 60 days (or whatever number floats your boat). Then have Exact Event Manager drive those results out in the form of a Synergy Enterprise Workflow Request and / or an email to those responsible. Now, set this up to occur every on the 15th day of every month. Save the Event and off you go and get on with business. You now have a mechanism to uncover opportunities where you have had a relationship with a customer and can now identify any opportunity to better understand their change in buying behavior! You potentially have an immediate influence on the next big sale!

Meeting customer expectations – Do you really have enough inventory?

We all know that the customer is the very center of our universe. Making sure we can meet our commitments and promises to them becomes paramount as we stave off the competition. Every ERP database that I know stores information on inventory quantities and safety stock levels. Managing these safety stock levels is not something that is easy and simple to do. Balancing out these levels with the right stock levels and cash flow become a serious balancing act. Additionally, once inventory levels reach the safety stock threshold, it is normally too late. So what we end up doing  is we bump up those safety stock levels and then hold more inventory. This can be costly.

What if you were able to receive notification, automatically, of inventory that is within 15% of the safety stock level? In other words, catch the issue before it becomes an issue. This means you can then employ a manual inspection of inventory, determine what the real needs may be based on seasonality etc, and adjust if necessary. Would that not have value in ANY inventory centric, make-to-stock, assemble-to-order business? Even a distributor benefits from this need.

The solution to this problem is within your grasp! Configure an alert to monitor your inventory safety stock levels, and look for those that are within 15% of the defined safety stock. When this does occur, dispatch an email to the inventory manager, automatically, with the details. In this case, configure this event to run daily, due to the nature of your business. Fire and forget!

These two examples are a subset of many industry proven uses. They have intrinsic value to any organization, no matter the industry. They are topics we can all relate to and I am sure strike a nerve with some people. These are just two of the examples of the capabilities of Exact Event Manager, where true value is simple an event away.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me! (matthew.bather@exact.com)

Central master data Video

Written by Richard Smits on . Posted in Exact Globe, Exact Synergy

In a previous blog post ‘Central master data – First visuals‘ I shared the first visuals on the prototype.

As explained in the previous blog posts, we decided to start with “accounts”. Exact Synergy Enterprise is facilitating  the central place to create and modify accounts. The master data is synchronized with all Exact Globe divisions that have a relationship with the account.

To give you an introduction on the scope of this solution, and showing the first screens we created a video:

Please have a look at our video (by clicking the picture above) and share your feedback!

Rafiki’s Corner – Have you heard the one about?

Written by Sander van Triet on . Posted in Exact Event Manager

With the ever expanding footprint of Exact Event Manager around the world, we are fast gaining insight into some of the effective and meaningful uses of the high-value  business solution. I have recently started contacting customers that I know and asking them for some examples of how they have deployed Exact Event Manager. This is a fascinating exercise and I thought it is relevant to share some of these experiences with the larger community through this Product Blog. I will regularly post blogs on some of the real-life uses of Exact Event Manager, in the hope that ideas being to flow.

So, yesterday, Wednesday March 28, I went to spend some time with a customer not too far from my office. This is a customer that I have known for a long time but have never visited their new Head office digs here in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada. Company ABC is a Canadian company with many divisions and locations across the country, classified in the food processing industry. They use a number of Exact’s solutions to assist in driving their business forward and have done so since 1998. Exact Event Manager, along with Exact Synergy Enterprise, are their newest additions to their solution set from Exact.

Their plan was to implement Exact Synergy Enterprise to solve some challenges they faced with Quality Assurance and related documentation (Certificates of Analysis etc). This would have been accomplished with Exact Synergy Enterprsie and Exact Event Manager. The plans and ideas were well mapped out and timelines defined. Then reality poked its ugly head up like a gopher on a newly dressed golf green, right when the final goal was in line. In this case, the gopher was a well publicized strike by Canada Post employees. Hmm, you might say. How is it possible that in todays’ technology driven world would a postal strike affect business? Especially in a country such as Canada eh!! Well, it does have a huge impact, both for folk at home and for businesses.

On the 3rd June, 2011, a rolling strike was initiated across the country by the members of the Canada Post delivery services. From that point on, you had more chance of seeing the Toronto Maple Leafs making the play off’s than receiving a bill in the mail!! And therein lies the rub, as well as the opportunity! As we all know, these days in business (and at home as well!) Cash is King! However, without customers receiving invoices for products and services, no one is going to get paid. The old adage of “Your cheque is in the mail”, was not one that was going to work this time!!

So, Company ABC responded to this challenge laid down by reality and looked into their box of tricks and solutions provided by Exact, seeking ways to mitigate this potentially crippling business interruption. Low and behold, they came across Exact Event Manager!! They henceforth, postponed their other projects and focused on looking for a solution that lay within Exact Event Manager. “What if we could email all our invoices to customers?” This was the high level solution that presented itself. However, remembering to select the correct email address at the time an invoice was processed, save the invoice to disk in a .pdf format, and then attach it to the email was open to mistakes. Sending an invoice to the wrong person or customer is not necessarily a business practice supported by any college business program. Well, “what if we could have this done automatically after we have posted a whole bunch of invoices and spooled the documents to disk?” This line of questioning prompted some thought of previsously hearing in the corridors somewhere at an Exact Engage Conference that Exact Event Manager is the “Automatically” part of the solution.

So, the team at ABC Company, set about creating a single event within Exact Event Manager that would automatically send out customer invoices, a couple of times a day, taking all the batch created invoices and emailing them as attachments to the correct contacts at the correct customer. Simple, efficient and problem solved! Move forward almost a year since the strike, and all their customers still get their invoices eletronically via email, their postage costs have gone down significantly, cash flow from sales operations remains positive and the Toronto Maple Leafs still have not made the play off’s!!!!!

The deployment of Exact Event Manager within Company ABC to solve this business challenge of sending invoices automatically may seem simple and innocuous. Yes, Exact Event Manager was designed with way more horse power than simply automating a manual operation of sending invoices via email. However, the issue at hand here is that a simple, but vital business challenge was solved very quickly with some imagination and Exact Event Manager. At the same time, there are real cost savings with the reduction in postage costs, which is not trivial when you send out thousands of invoices a month! What does a single Event cost with Exact Event Manager? It is somewhere around $300 per event when you break it down. Add some time to create the event and test it out, and you are at around say $600 per event. (For complete and formal pricing, please contact your representative. These values are merely illustrative in nature) Well, it looks like this specific business challenge saved a whole lot more, not only preserved cash flow, than $600 (the price of a ticket to watch the Maple Leafs by the way!). I call that a good return on investment and an even better time to value.

There are many, many such cases where Exact Event Manager will drive significant value within your business. Some cases you haven’t even thought of yet. However, I am sure the time will come when the need arises to solve a last minute, reality based business issue and you may well find Exact Event Manager sitting in the corner waiting to help you to a long lasting resolution. More ideas and uses to come….have a great weekend!

Welcome to Exact Globe Next

Written by Bob Heinen on . Posted in Exact Event Manager, Exact Globe, Exact Synergy

On behalf of product management, I’m proud to introduce Exact Globe Next that combines and integrates different Exact solutions.

Exact Globe Next offers one menu which functions as a shell to combine and give access to several solutions: Exact Globe, Exact Synergy Enterprise, Exact Event Manager and integration with SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS). Combining all these products into one provides you with a complete solution with which you can effectively and proactively run your business, but also it enables you to see which direction your business is heading. You will gain more control over your company and processes, and stay on top of your business.

If your company is already using Exact Globe, with addition of Exact Synergy Enterprise functionality it will be much easier for your employees to collaborate online more effectively, for example by creating tasks for one another, search for people and accounts and read news about the company on the intranet home page and even submit vacation request. All employees can access Exact Synergy Enterprise with the Synergy user, but more license roles can be purchased for employees if extra functionality is needed. If you are already using Exact Synergy Enterprise all functionality you have right now will be also available with Exact Globe Next.

Thanks to the integration with SSRS you can view dashboards and reports that will give you strategic insight in your organization’s key performance indicators. With Exact Globe Next you will get a default set of dashboards that will help you to gain maximum control over your business at any time.

Exact Event Manager helps to identify and respond to critical conditions which have been defined within your organization. And with Exact Globe Next you will be able to make use of this automatic alert function, having 8 default events with an option to purchase additional event packs.

Now you might be asking yourself what it means for you in practice. With Exact Globe Next you can count on:

  • The new insight: always having the latest information at your fingertips is a prerequisite for doing good business
  • The new overview: set the right priorities with Exact Globe Next. This innovative business software thinks with you.
  • The new collaboration: collaboration with each other is easier than ever before.
  • The new convenience: work faster and more productively with the user-friendly Exact Globe Next.

Those are only the high level benefits of Exact Globe Next, please visit the Exact Globe Next website where you can get more information about this solution, watch videos and see how you can request the upgrade.

We will be providing more information about Exact Globe Next on the Product Blog, so stay tuned!

The new Synergy design comes to life

Written by Bob Heinen on . Posted in Exact Synergy

I already posted a few articles on specific functionalities in the new design of Synergy. Every feature we are adding to the product is the result of creative development processes and research. In this blog post I would like to inform you about the development of the new Synergy design.

The foundation of the new design is the great diversity of possibilities that Synergy offers. The look and feel is only part of the overall development process. To really grasp design is to intuit what you as our customer want. We intend to offer the new design of Synergy Enterprise based on needs in your daily work and to help you to make your work easier and more comfortable. We collect information via workshops in which we zoom in on certain specific elements of our product. Obviously the responses we receive via the Exact product blog are also very valuable for our development process.

The next step after we have collected all the information is to create wireframes. Wireframes are simple, schematic representations of undeveloped pages. We usually test our ideas with end users during one-on-one interviews, when we also present these wireframes. This often results in an interactive session. It is possible that we repeat the process if it happens that the wireframes need to be drastically changed. In general we have a good and clear idea of how you are using our software and as a result we are often on the right track. And that is what makes our job so interesting every single day.

One of the processes we are using in the Project team is User–centered design (UCD). UCD is a process in which the needs, wants, and limitations of end users are given extensive attention at each stage of the design process.

In this process, we also take the suggestions and ideas – which we receive from you via the feedback button in the software – into account for further development. As you probably already noticed there is also a feedback button in the preview version of the new design in Product update 245. Your feedback is always welcome! Please do not hesitate to contact us through ux@exact.com or comment on this post.

The new Synergy design. What has been done with your feedback so far

Written by Bob Heinen on . Posted in Exact Synergy

Last October, Sie-Hang Cheung posted an article with the title ‘Synergy 244 user feedback’. The article is about the first feedback we have received via the feedback button in the preview version of Exact Synergy Enterprise, product update 244. Over the last weeks we got lots more feedback from you. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your time and effort. Your feedback is very valuable.

We have used your feedback and the results from user research for the further development of the new design of Synergy Enterprise. We have not only built new functionality and screens, we have also made some good improvements like moving the vertical Communication menu to the top menu bar and a the positioning and behaviour of the Options menu. The user interface looks slightly different from the design which we introduced in product update 244. The interface that we are going to introduce in product update 245 has a solid foundation for further expansion.

I can imagine that you are interested in what you can expect in the next product update. In this post I will give you the highlights of the new design.

Finish Employee Self Service functionality

In product update 244 two self-service functionalities are missing: Medical leave and Expense claims. This functionality will be available. In both screens you will be guided through a wizard, as you know from the Personal time off page.

Person, Account and Project

All cards have the same look-and-feel and layout, which allows you to quickly find your way on the page. The cards are divided into a business card with contact information, a ‘More’ section with general information and tabs. The information on the tabs is arranged by subject. The order of the tabs can easily be changed via drag-and-drop.

Recent contacts

At the right top menu a Recent contacts menu is added. This menu shows an overview of recently contacted employees. It allows you to quickly navigate to one of the employee cards so you do not have to search.

As in the previous product update, the software that we deliver in product update 245 will also be a preview version. We are continuing to further develop this design.

Your feedback is always welcome! Please do not hesitate to contact us through ux@exact.com or comment on this post.

Synergy 244 user feedback

Written by Bob Heinen on . Posted in Exact Synergy

Last Monday, 18/10/2010, the feedback button in the Synergy 244 update went live, and we sure did notice that. When we checked the mailbox that morning, we were happily surprised with all the feedback we got from you. People actually took the time to look at what we did and told us what they liked and what could need improvements. As much as we would love to answer all the emails individually, just like how you took the time to write us an email, it’s too much work, hence this blog post. We hope you guys understand.

As for the people who didn’t know yet, a redesign of Synergy is currently in the works and we encourage everyone to give us feedback on it, before we roll it out. It is currently still under development, so some things may not work a 100% and/or are missing, but a large part of it does work.

Before moving on to the feedback, we would like to thank everyone for the feedback, and please keep it coming. We love reading what you guys think of the new Synergy and it helps to keep us motivated and inspires us on how to improve it further.

So for the feedback, we’ll try to answer most of the things that came in below. First of all, we got a lot of people mentioning that there’s no easy way to access the ‘Planning’. This is true and it will be placed in the ‘Personal’ menu. We understand this is a commonly used  item and should be placed more visible as opposed to as it is now (‘My profile > ‘Monitor’ > ‘Planning’).

We also received a lot of feedback mentioning the search. A lot of people mentioned that they’d rather see this: See one search box, that searches everything (like Windows search or Spotlight search on a Mac). This is not (yet) made due to technical and time restrictions. And as much as we would love to see it ourselves, this would take some time to develop and it was scoped out of the project. I can’t say anything about this in the future, except for the fact that we would also want to see this happening, so we will definitely keep this in mind!

Some people also mentioned that they would like to customize their homepage, as a lot of the users who tested this have other functions they use on a daily basis, and the ‘Self- Service’ widget does not suit them. We’ll will try to give a little more background on this subject. What you see now is what we designed for the people with a ‘Self-Service’ license only. This is a group of people who have limited access to the functions of Synergy and only need a few things when they log in, which are the items you find in the widget. The initial design was focused on building a ‘Home’ screen with the ‘Self-Service’ user in mind, hence the fact that when you log in, you see this screen and it is the default ‘Home’ for everyone, while 244 is in development phase. The idea for the future is, of course, to offer a customizable ‘Home’ page for everyone, as well as dashboards or cockpits (whichever term you prefer) tailored to the different kind of people have. This is under development now, and should be there soon.

Other mentions are a quick way to find either ‘Favorites’ or ‘History’. Currently these 2 menus are quite hidden, but I can assure you that the next product update will provide an easy way to access both these menus, I will have to ask you to wait, yet again, but this will surely be there in the coming months.

Some other comments were on the ‘To do’ list or what used to be an overview of the ‘Workflow’ menu. We’ll try to elaborate on this a little more. For new users (and even old users) the term ‘workflow’ is not something that would trigger anything and puzzles people. We changed this term to ‘to do’, since it’s composed of things that require the users action (most of the time) e.g. approving, rejecting, processing, etc. This is still your old list which was found under ‘My workflow’, only with a different name.

One more things was on customizing the colors. This is something we want to offer in the form of different themes users can choose. We will offer this, but we first want to work on the fundamentals of the product first, and the cosmetics will come later. Since the product is still in development phase, we will work on other parts first, before we are going to work on the themes, but this (like the others before) is something we will do in a future release.

This is it for now, we hope answered most of your request/questions here. If there’s anything else, please don’t hesitate to contact us again through: ux@exact.com or comment on this post. As we said before, we love hearing what you guys think of it, so keep the feedback coming!