VISUAL Did You Know?

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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Did you know that you can call VDMI Exchange from a Command Prompt?

That’s right – you can create an import file from your current planning tool, such as Excel, and then call VMDI Exchange using code, even from within the Excel sheet itself.

Update Visual orders, create them, and update forecasts – from within a macro, application, or VBA compatible products like Excel or Word.

VMDI Exchange can accept the normal switches in command line mode as well.

For example, to import a forecast file located at C:\Visual\EDI\ProcessingDir\, and to “Include today in proration”, you would call VMDIExchange like:

VMDIXCHG.EXE -D VMFGDEMO -U SYSADM -P SYSADM -F C:\Visual\EDI\ProcessingDir PLN0830 –I

This edition of VISUAL Did You Know is brought to you by BizTech VISUAL Consultant, Paul Turnberg.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Infor10 ERP Express (VISUAL) 7.1.0 Released!

May 23, 2012 Toledo, OH -    Danna Nelson, Senior Product Manager at Infor Global Solutions, announced yesterday that Infor10 ERP Express (VISUAL) 7.1.0 is now Generally Available.  The 7.1.0 release is a landmark in Infor's investment in the VISUAL product line.  This release delivers a true multi-site mid-market ERP system with the functionality to support multiple manufacturing sites in one database, as well as several other important enhancements, such as:
  • General Ledger Dimensions 
  • Single Sign On 
  • Customer and Vendor Groups 
  • And more!
To learn more about Infor10 ERP Express (VISUAL) 7.1.0, please contact a BizTech Client Solutions Advisor at 800-804-4715.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Your company needs an ERP system. Where do you start? Part III


A Four-Part Series that will take you through the basics of evaluating and selecting the right ERP system for your organization.

Part III: Start Your Vendor Search & Schedule Demos

Armed with your goals and some basic performance metrics on your business, you can now begin your search for an ERP vendor. A good place to start is using Internet search engines- search for ERP products by using keywords such as “ERP Systems” and “manufacturing business software.”  Another place to look online is software evaluation websites such as www.technologyevaluation.com. Ideally, you should initially choose 5 to 10 vendors that you believe have an ERP Software System to address your needs.

The next step is to contact each ERP vendor on your list. Email is probably the best method of communication because it allows you to be most consistent in your message, and also allows the vendor recipient to pass all the information you provide to the appropriate person in the vendor organization. In your email, let them know that you are heading up a search for an ERP solution, then provide the information you have already defined:
  •  Your business model
  • Approximate number of users
  • The size of your business (revenue and  number of employees)
  • Desired Software platform
  • Your budget for software and implementation services
  • The top three to five goals that the software needs to address

Ask the vendor if they have a possible solution for you. If the response is negative, ask if they can recommended another vendor or solution. For any vendor claiming they have a solution that fits your company, require that vendor to provide 5 - 10 references.  Now, use the vendor’s reference list to find out, in advance, the ERP experiences of some of their users. 

You may want only 4 or 6 possible vendors before you start the next step, which involves spending time with each vendor. The main goal in each step of this process is to be thorough, so that your team can make educated decisions as you navigate through the selection process. To get an idea of the look and feel of each ERP System, you may start with online overview product demonstrations (demos). But the best results will come with two-step process.  The first step:  Invite the vendor to make a discovery visit prior to a demo presentation. This will give them an opportunity to learn about your business and understand your goals, so that they can focus the demo on your needs. Step 2: Schedule the demo within 2 weeks of the discovery visit.

It is important that you have your whole selection team at every demo.  Make sure to designate a couple team members to be responsible for taking good notes.  You’ll be getting a lot of information at each demo, and the different ERP Systems will likely all start to blend together - good notes will help you differentiate between the vendors. In addition to finding software that fits, you need to get to know the company that will help you implement. 

Be sure to discuss each vendor’s solution as a group within 24 hours of the presentation. It is important to document everyone’s responses, and keep a running demo-to-date ranking of which solution is in first place, second place, etc.  As a Reminder: The only criterion for the ranking is how well the vendor handled your top three to five business goals.  After the first round of demos, it is time to reduce your list to the Top 3 (or less) vendors.

Check out the whitepaper ‘How to Start Down the ERP Selection Path’ for more tips


Did you miss Part I & Part II of the series?  
View Part I: Get Executive Buy-In & Form an ERP Selection Committee
View Part II: Define Your Business Issues & Set Your Objectives 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Inforum 2012 & the 'New Infor'


At Inforum 2012, which took place April 22-25, almost 5,000 attendees discovered how to succeed in a world that demands the survival of the fastest.  Some of the Infor10 ERP Express(VISUAL)-related presentations were delivered by BizTech’s own Kurt Carr andDarren Farmer.  Their sessions included: VISUAL Systems Administration, Technology Environment Roundtable, Re-Implementing VISUAL-Data Considerations, Maximize the Return on Your ERP Investment, SharePoint Starter Kit, and Shop Floor Scheduling. 

Downtown Denver is an excellent destination for an event like Inforum 2012, the weather was great and the convention center had all the amenities necessary to satisfy the large crowd. The Welcome Reception and Networking Event was held Sunday evening in the Exhibit Hall giving the attendees an opportunity to see Infor’s vast line of Software Products in action. During the Opening General Session on Monday morning, Infor CEO Charles Phillips was able to clearly articulate Infor’s Strategic Vision, leaving no doubt that Infor10 ION is at the core of helping drive the transformation for customers.

“I was very impressed with Inforum 2012, it was a first class event,” said Joe Zalewski, Managing Partner and COO at BizTech. “Hats off to Danna Nelson and Infor’s VISUAL Team for delivering a great VISUAL Conference track. Our customers that attended got a lot of value from the conference. I’m proud that the BizTech Team was able to contribute to the success of the event.”

For most attendees, the clear value was in the various product sessions held throughout the duration of the event. Most would agree that the pinnacle of Inforum 2012 was Tuesday evening’s InForce Party and the concert featuring 3-Time Grammy Award-Winning artist, Train.

Make sure you Save the Dates for next year.  Inforum 2013 will be taking place in Orlando, FL on April 21st through 24th.

Read what Industry Analysts are saying about Infor/Inforum:
·         Inforum Innovations
·         ARC Advisory Group: Welcome to the “New” Infor
·         IT Jungle: A 'New' Infor Proclaims Need for Speed
·         ZDNet: Infor's Cloud and Mobile Strategies
·         ZDNet: Infor Next Steps, an Unsurprising IPO