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Acumatica Partner Summit is Happening Next Week, & DiCentral Will Be There!

  
  
  
  
  

Our Acumatica EDI Integration team will be in Denver next week, sponsoring the 2014 Acumatica Partner Summit. Tiffany Gregson will be participating in two breakout sessions, Monday at 1:45 p.m. and Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. We will be giving away a Jawbone JAMBOX to one lucky Acumatica partner, so you won’t want to miss out!Acumatica resized 600See you there!

-Daniel Ford, DiCentral

 

CRM…What’s In It for You?

  
  
  
  
  

It's Friday, so let's talk about the CRM! The following article, written by Tatiana Ceresa for Business2Community.com, discusses the true potential of a well-executed CRM, and what it can deliver to your organization. Check it out:

How do you build and maintain relationships with your customers online? You certainly don’t have the face-to-face interactions you have in if you were in a store, so, in such an impersonal environment, how do businesses build personal relationships with their loyal customers? The answer lies in Customer Relationship Management (CRM). However, what many businesses fail to understand is that CRM should be more than just customer interactions. We believe CRM is about collaboration, connection, and creativity.

Your CRM should not be one fragmented element of your business operations. Instead, your CRM should be integrated with every aspect of your marketing, sales, and overall business operations.

If you have or want to build a customer-centricDiCentral CRM Microsoft company, then the first step is implementing a CRM. But, what are the major benefits of a CRM?

  • Boost sales
  • Increase revenue
  • Track every interaction with a customer
  • Understand each customer’s wants, needs and pain-points

Every business owner wants those four things for their business, yet many postpone and sometimes neglect to even implement a CRM. Here are the top three reasons why you need to implement a Complete CRM right now:

1.  You need metrics and data

There is no way to escape the elephant in the room. You need to be collecting data. But, what do you do with the data once you have it? Well, you don’t need to worry about that because a good CRM will collect and present that data to you in an easy to understand way. Metrics such as clicks, likes, and shares, are extremely important and can be very useful data to reach your customers and leads.

2.  You need to get organized

If your business is on the Internet, then you know that there is a flow of interactions. Organizing and tracking all of your interactions in one central location will help your team stay on top of it and help you better meet the needs of your leads and clients. Organization also improves your efficiency and, let’s be honest, sanity.

You may be operating on four different third-party providers for your CRM, marketing automation, accounting and events. But wouldn’t everything be much simpler if all of those could be in one place?

3.  Your memory isn’t foolproof

Sure, it may be easy to remember every interaction you have with a few of your longtime clients, but what happens when you get over 50 clients? How do you keep that relationship personal and intimate? A CRM system tracks every chat, conversation, follow-up, email, and more. This ensures that you’re not following up with people your colleague has already spoken with. It also gives you a full description of each relationship.

These three reasons just skim the surface for why you should be implementing. Perhaps your sales and marketing team aren’t as aligned as you would like. CRM implementation will improve all aspects of your business so it runs more efficiently, giving you more time to manage your people and run your business.

-Daniel Ford, DiCentral



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September Events where You Can Find the DiCentral Team

  
  
  
  
  

DiCentral is looking forward to a busy September attending many of the best conferences and events! Here's a glimpse of where we'll be:

Directions 2014, September 14th - 16th, San Diego, California — Directions is the only Microsoft Dynamics NAV event driven by NAV partners, for NAV partners. It is designed to help your organization build new business contacts, learn about best practices, and discover valuable tools for execution and success. Learn more at navdirections.com.

Oracle OpenWorld 2014, September 28th - October 2nd, San Francisco, California — Oracle OpenWorld is the world's largest event for Oracle customers and technologists. Attendees have access to experts from around the world, including customers, partners, and Oracle representatives. Learn more at oracle.com/openworld.

Grocery Innovations Canada 2014, September 29th - 30th, Toronto, Ontario — Hosted by the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers, Grocery Innovations Canada (GIC) is the premier event developed by Canada's grocery industry for Canada's grocery industry. Learn more at groceryinnovations.com.

-Daniel Ford, DiCentral

DiCentral to Attend MAGIC 2014 Next Week in Las Vegas!

  
  
  
  
  

If you are attending MAGIC 2014 in Las Vegas, August 18-20,DiCentral MAGIC Vegas 2014 be sure to be on the lookout for the DiCentral team—we'll be handing out poker chips with a very special link where you can sign up for a chance to win great prizes!

MAGIC is the largest global marketplace for contemporary men’s and women’s apparel, footwear, accessories, and sourcing resources—and the world’s most comprehensive forum for fashion buyers and brands. Learn more at magiconline.com.

-Daniel Ford, DiCentral

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DiCentral to Exhibit at SCUG Q3 JD Edwards Oracle Meeting This Week!

  
  
  
  
  

The Southern California User Group Q3 Meeting is taking place this Wednesday at the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort and Spa, Carlsbad, California. DiCentral's JD Edwards EnterpriseOne / World ERP specialists will be exhibiting at the event, and will be available to speak with attendees about their ERP needs. Learn more about the one-day event at questdirect.org.

SCUG Oracle JD Edwards DiCentral-Daniel Ford, DiCentral

Red Wing Shoe Company Uses the Cloud to Shrink the Globe

  
  
  
  
  

Are you considering taking advantage of the cloud in order to make your organization's supply chain more manageable? The following article, written by Red Wing CIO Joe Topinka, gives real world examples of how using the cloud can "shrink the globe" and simplify critical operations.

Tradition is a funny thing. It can set a strong tone for your brand, while at the same time limiting the company in other areas. At Red Wing Shoe Company, we stay in close touch with our traditions—we are still based in Red Wing, Minnesota, where our company was founded in 1905; we have maintained our commitment to producing footwear that’s designed for rugged use; and we work in a historic building that has stood the test of time.

Because of all that history, many people are surprised when they learn that we like to position ourselves at the forefront of innovation. For example, we developed impact-resistance technology to protect the top of the foot in dangerous workplace situations, and we created a special waterproofing system to keep feet warm and dry.

We incorporate innovative solutions in business operations, too. Our recent shift to cloud technologies frees us from IT responsibilities while empowering our distributed—and growing—workforce to work better together. Red Wing Shoes has 2,500 employees in more than 500 locations, from brick-and-mortar stores to manufacturing facilities. We needed to “shrink the globe” to help employees collaborate across geographical boundaries, sharing product design ideas, conducting operations and sales planning, and handling IT projects. By adopting Microsoft Office 365, we can provide standardized, user-friendly tools that employees know and trust, without worrying about the availability of IT resources and staff bandwidth. It’s not only easier to connect existing workers with colleagues throughout the company, we’re also able to get new employees set up and productive more quickly, which is important as we expand and acquire new companies.

When new employees join our company, they are impressed by how forward thinking we are about technology. We actually had a group of new hires who came over from a big-box retailer, and they couldn’t believe how sophisticated our technology systems were—they’re blown away by the flexibility that we give our employees. Offering tools like those in Office 365 is helpful for recruiting, too, because the ability to work from anywhere comes in handy when your headquarters is in a small town. Some of the leaders of our acquired business lines have been able to fold into the Red Wing Shoes community without uprooting their lives because they can effectively connect to us from anywhere.Red Wing Cloud EDI DiCentralWhen I get a message from our Operations Manager in Dubai, I can easily answer his question and make immediate connections. Those sorts of capabilities have changed the landscape of how we operate, and they’ve made us more productive, too. Ten years ago it wouldn’t have been possible to communicate so easily with others around the world. Instant messages and presence have changed our world dramatically, and we’ve been able to succeed as a global company in a way that we couldn’t have imaged before these new technologies were on the scene.

Honestly, I think that there’s an important distinction between IT leadership and business technology leadership. If I spend my time focused on the technical details, I can’t add to the value of the company. Making the shift to thinking about technology as it relates to business strategy is an important step. The more I can offload some of the tactical technology elements to reliable, long-term providers, the more I can focus on what’s right for the overall direction of the company. With Office 365, I’ve handed over the responsibility of keeping systems up and running but my mind is at ease because I trust Microsoft. My attention is now fixed on larger areas where IT can help foster business growth—and these are shoes that I’m happy to fill.

Technologies Involved

Red Wing Shoe Company employees use Microsoft Exchange Online for worry-free messaging and Office Online to collaborate in real time or coauthor on shared documents through a web browser. The retailer uses OneDrive for Business companywide, which employees will use to store product and project plans, and it expects to take advantage of Yammer enterprise social networking capabilities for corporate outreach to employees around the globe in the coming year. Red Wing Shoes has plans to transition other on-premises solutions to Microsoft Office 365. For example, it will replace its existing Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 system with SharePoint Online, which will be the company’s intranet portal and workflow mechanism. Red Wing Shoes is also considering a move to Microsoft Lync Online for presence, conferencing, and Voice over IP.

This article excerpt, by Joe Topinka, originally appeared here: http://bit.ly/T9N6jm

-Daniel Ford, DiCentral

Coming Next Month: DiCentral Customer Training Course

  
  
  
  
  

DiCentral is delighted to announce our September DiTranslator customer training, taking place on September 8th-12th at our Houston headquarters. This five-day course provides an in-depth education on the design philosophy, features, process flow, and capabilities of DiTranslator. Also covered during the course will be DiUnite, a powerful data transformation tool that enables integration and automation of EDI data into and out of your ERP, and DiConnect, an any-to-any connectivity tool (FTP, AS2, VAN, etc.).

Your certified trainer for our September session will be Bob McHale, an expert in DiTranslator usability with years of real life experience in the deployment and operation of DiTranslator. 

The course also includes lunch with an astronaut and a tour of the Johnson Space Center—located blocks away from our Houston headquarters. 

What customers said about DiCentral's June DiTranslator training course:

  • "I learned a great deal. The instructor was extremely technically knowledgeable and extremely helpful. I was not scared to ask questions."
  • "I had a great time, learned a LOT, and was very glad I attended the course on-site."
  • "The class size was small so we were able to have more of a 'one on one' class experience. Even though I was already familiar with EDI, there were a lot of things that I could apply that would make my job easier."

Early bird pricing is $1,295 per day if you sign up by August 31st; after August 31st, pricing will be $1,495 per day. Register to attend all five days, or only choose the days that interest you.

Monday - Tuesday: DiTranslator training NASA DiCentral

Wednesday - Thursday: DiUnite training

Friday: DiConnect training

Dates: September 8th - September 12th
Time:
8am – 5pm
Location:
DiCentral Corp.
1199 Nasa Pkwy
Houston, TX 77058

What other training course offers all this and a chance to see the NASA Mission Control Center?

Click to register.

-Daniel Ford, DiCentral

ERP 2.0: A New Round of Large-Scale, IT-Enabled Programs

  
  
  
  
  

Whether your organization is only just embarking on the road to ERP adoption, or is trying to get the most value from your current system, the following article gives some very practical take-aways. Take a look, and if you have any questions about EDI integration to ERP software best practices, email or call us—we'd be happy to help.

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) softwareDiCentral ERP is a reality for most large organizations. Some two-thirds of the Global 2000 use ERP software from one or more of the leading vendors (SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, etc.), directly touching more than one billion of their employees, suppliers and customers.

Large-scale ERP has made a very noticeable comeback—a Release 2.0 of sorts—with a significant number of major organizations (armed with program budgets in the hundreds of millions of dollars) once again revisiting ERP.

To be successful in this new round of large-scale ERP programs, organizations need to adopt a very different approach—one built around three key principles:

  • Adopt a far more sophisticated view of value—where it resides, how it’s created and how to untrap it.
  • Recognize that speed for its own sake is futile—more important is focusing on achieving the organization’s right pace.
  • Take a different view on managing risk—focusing on how best to increase the certainty of outcomes and not merely aim to reduce their uncertainty.

Ultimately, the value from ERP comes from how well it achieves a particular end-to-end business outcome. And from an outcome perspective, value is driven by a combination of four basic levers:

  • Automation: the elimination of manual tasks.
  • Simplification: the elimination of non-value-added steps.
  • Standardization: a decrease in variability.
  • Innovation: the creation of an entirely new way of doing things.

The key to unlocking ERP’s wide-scale, systemic value is to find a way to tie these levers to the underlying process flows, procedures and individual transactions. Process owners and their teams are charged with continuously identifying and delivering measured improvements in outcomes, with technology as a constant enabler.

One of the key reasons ERP programs get into trouble is that the organization tries to pick up speed and implement too quickly. Organizations that establish the right pace get to their destination far sooner than those that don’t—and typically arrive in one piece.

Traditionally, large-scale ERP programs have been pretty good at managing risk. They can accurately pinpoint the exact moment at which the assigned owner failed to take the required action that would have prevented things going horribly wrong—once it already has!

From day one, companies need to embrace an approach to mistake-proofing and guardrailing program outcomes, and ingrain the approach into all aspects. When they combine this approach with the more traditional, inspection-based risk management, they can significantly deliver on increased certainty.

Whether yours is an organization that’s contemplating a large-scale, ERP-enabled initiative, has completed one or is still somewhere midflight—it’s likely that it is among the 85 percent of organizations that significantly increase investment in ERP through 2020.

It is equally likely that you continue to ask questions, such as:

  • Why is it so hard to get a simple report?
  • Why is it so difficult to add a new product or change pricing?
  • Why is it so difficult to know how much inventory we actually have on hand?

Until organizations that have embraced ERP can stop asking such questions, the second round of ERP is going to continue—and value, pace and certainty are going to remain tantamount to success.

This article excerpt, by Brian Dunn, originally appeared here: http://bit.ly/1lVkYLV.

-Daniel Ford, DiCentral


August Events where You Can Find the DiCentral Team

  
  
  
  
  

DiCentral is looking forward to a busy August attending many of the best conferences and events! Here's a glimpse of where we'll be:

SCUG Q3 Meeting, August 13th, Carlsbad, California — Hosted by SCUG (Southern California Users Group), this one-day conference offers networking opportunities with your local JD Edwards customer peers. Learn more at questdirect.org.

MAGIC, August 18th-20th, Las Vegas, Nevada — MAGIC is the largest global marketplace for contemporary men’s and women’s apparel, footwear, accessories, and sourcing resources—and the world’s most comprehensive forum for fashion buyers and brands. Learn more at magiconline.com.

Acumatica Partner Summit 2014, August 25th-29th, Denver, Colorado — The Acumatica Partner Summit is the premier invitation-only event where the entire Acumatica partner ecosystem gathers to explore the future of the award-winning Cloud ERP platform, get certified, and collaborate on accelerating success in the cloud. Learn more at acumatica.com.

See you soon!

-Daniel Ford, DiCentral

Microsoft World Partner Conference Day 3 Is Underway!

  
  
  
  
  

Day two of the Microsoft World Partner Conference was very exciting! Our EDI integration and DiSupply experts welcomed Microsoft partners to the DiCentral booth #2018 where we demonstrated our newest solution, DiSupply, and we networked on Microsoft Dynamics partnership opportunities. Today we have many surprises for our booth visitors! Also, it's the last day to enter for a chance to win the GroPro Hero3 camera. Come on by! Mention this post and double your chances of winning.

Microsoft WPC 2014 DiCentral

-Daniel Ford, DiCentral

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