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Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 preview

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In this era of the customer – where technology has transformed the social fabric of how we engage, connect and interact with one another – it is critical for businesses to gain insight into their customers’ needs in order to deliver experiences that build lasting relationships.
Operating in today’s digitally connected world impacts businesses in so many ways, that adapting to customer preferences with agility and speed is essential.

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 gives organisations an exceptional customer focus by being able to take advantage of cloud services, run agile operations that exceed customer needs, and help engage customers on their terms across the Web, social, apps and mobile fronts. It introduces a new end-to-end apps and services framework, allowing businesses to develop and distribute modern apps for specific scenarios and mobile devices that can easily and securely connect with Microsoft Dynamics AX for people at work and on the go.

When delivering amazing experiences is your intention – Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 is your solution.
Industry solutions in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 include:

Warehouse management
The new Warehousing Management module helps organisations provide flexibility, and choice to customers. The automation of warehouse processes help reduce operational costs which can be translated in lower prices for customers. Features include: easily configurable put away and picking workflows, advanced cycle counting and location replenishment capabilities, support of cluster picking, warehouse handheld device support, and support for different picking strategies for batch and non-batch items. Warehouse managers gain visibility and the ability to effectively control and run their put away, quality control and picking warehouse operations. And, with a flexible warehouse workflow engine, warehouse managers will be able to rapidly respond to any changing business demands. In addition, handheld device capability, which comes out of the box, gives warehouse workers scanning precision and enhanced performance in picking and put away processes.

Transportation management
Transportation Management introduces global enterprise transportation planning and execution capabilities. Manufacturing, distribution and retail companies will benefit from a Transportation Management System (TMS) that flexibly supports changing and growing business demands. TMS helps our customers deliver the right customer experience – at the right price – to meet and exceed customer expectations. Business and IT users will gain visibility and control via a user-configurable rating structure.

Demand forecasting
Demand Forecasting is a lightweight, yet powerful demand forecasting tool that enables organisations to forecast demand based on historical data using Microsoft SQL Server forecasting algorithms, adjust the forecasted demand using the familiar environment of Microsoft Excel, and import the values into Microsoft Dynamics AX forecast models. Demand Forecasting will help organisation improve the accuracy of forecasts and therefore improve product availability, and minimise inventory costs.

Product change management
Effectively manage product changes through a formal product changes methodology. With the new functionality you’ll be able to have a defined process to initiate, document, approve and release changes to product during the planning and production cycles.
Serial number tracking enhancements Serialised items are now supported in the sales and return processes without the need for tracking serial numbers through inventory. When selling serialised items, companies capture serial numbers when preparing the packing slip and the invoice, or at the retail POS. In case of returns or warranty claims, companies use the standard item tracing functionality to find the order history. When receiving returned items or when issuing a credit note, serial numbers can also be captured.

Trade allowance management
Offer customers pay-for-performance monetary rewards for achieving volume and behavioural goals with sales promotion programs. The trade allowance management capabilities are designed for organisations utilising end-to-end promote-to-profit processes, starting from promotion fund budgeting and allocation, allowance contract setup, claims creation and processing, payment processing and ending with promotion effectiveness analysis. Trade Allowance Management will help organisations optimise utilisation of marketing promotion funds and reduce the administrative time and effort.

Vendor rebate management
Automate administration, tracking and claiming process of vendor rebates. • Reduce administrative burden and errors associated with promotion performance monitoring and claim processing and improve cash flow forecasts through accruing for future receivables. Have a quantified basis for ongoing and future negotiations on rebates with the vendor.
Broker and Royalty Contract Management Manage payment of fees to brokers for the service of facilitating sales with broker contract management. Control usage based payments for the right to the ongoing use of an asset or an intellectual property with royalty management. This module will reduce the administrative burden of managing royalties and broker payments.

E-procurement
Purchasing agents now have greater flexibility to configure corresponding rules and details to support solicitation management, including control over response types such as sealed and open type bids. With improved bid scoring and evaluation the purchasing agents can establish tabulation criteria with different award methodologies.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM integration, project client integration and visual scheduling
Project pursuit and delivery teams will now have the ability to work together in sync across Microsoft Dynamics products (CRM and AX) when outlining project scope, estimating costs and fees, producing quotations, and tracking progress in project execution. Project managers can leverage past and best-practice plans to rapidly detail out new projects in their familiar Microsoft Project, refining timelines and adjusting resource requirements. Plans may then be synchronised into Microsoft Dynamics AX work breakdown structures for ongoing revision and update. Resource managers can easily find available resources from across the entire firm with the right competencies, certifications and other requirements and schedule them to the right projects using graphical and intuitive availability maps. Taken together, new capabilities in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 make it easier for firms to respond quickly to client project needs with the right people at the right time for the right price, without rebuilding the wheel every time and without incurring as much risk.

Modern point of sale (POS)
Connected customers live in a connected world, and are well informed when making a purchase – before they even walk in the store. Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 gives customers’ purchasing intelligence to employees when they need it. And by having access to consolidated customer intelligence at the POS, employees can better serve customers. The modern POS includes the basics around tender/transaction, but now also extends into a rich clientelling or assisted sales offering, as well as back office capabilities at the employees fingertips. The power of this new modern POS is that it becomes much more than a Point of Sale experience – it is a customer engagement dashboard! For example, new assisted sales solutions will consolidate customers’ purchase intelligence – such as sales history, transaction details, and wish lists – and provide this to the sales associates to better guide their customers.

E-commerce and social
E-commerce and Social Media integration provides retailers with an opportunity to engage and connect with their customers on their terms, while offering an integrated and end-to-end omni-channel shopping experience. Enhancements let retailers extend services to their customers, for example, allowing them to connect with friends and followers who also share purchasing intentions and preferences on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. By deploying these types of connected solutions, retailers will be able to maximise their investments by avoiding extensive customisations and provide customers with a superior shopping experience.

Commerce excellence
Enrichments of specific retail scenarios include pricing and promotions, assortment and catalogue, BI and reporting, loyalty, gift cards and seasonality and markdowns enhancements. Kitting is also being introduced in this release. Kitting entails grouping individual items into a “Kit” that can then be sold in various channels.

Retail enterprise manageability
In order to support deployments in retail enterprise organisations, the following support is planned: setup and upgrade of retail stores per store in order to phase and align deployment with business requirements, large scale deployment using Microsoft System Centre Configuration Manager, monitoring and diagnostics using System Centre Operations Management.

Call centre sales
The Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 release continues to deliver on our omni-channel solution for retailers including call centre as a new channel. This channel can be used for order entry, order processing and order fulfilment. Retailers can offer mail order catalogues to their customers and manage this new streamlined channel.

Order entry enhancements for high-value (consumer) transactions
Enhances order entry capabilities by a single, more accessible view into inventory, product promotions, and customer activity. These build on the existing order processing functionality in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R2, and introduce new capabilities to manage B2C orders.

Human resources
Enhanced HR capabilities include HR and Payroll analytics, position forecast, and streamlined regulatory reporting, benefit updates and U.S. payroll/tax setup.

Budget planning
Budget managers can now benefit from enhanced budget planning and allocation rules.

Management reporter
Global organisations can have complex consolidation scenarios. Often legal entities that need to be consolidated have different chart of accounts and fiscal periods. The consolidation process in Management Reporter, which is now part of the Microsoft Dynamics AX installation, supports these scenarios without the need for an elimination company.

Master data management (MDM)
Manage master data across multiple Microsoft Dynamics AX instances. Master Data Management is built on top of Microsoft SQL 2012 Master Data Services (MDS) to simplify full, as well as selective, data synchronisation and enables central conflict management to help build trust in your data. Master Data Management helps to increase the consistency of your data across your organisation and deployments. It helps maintain reliable data for key business entities and enables data integrity for unified data governance. Master Data Management is built on top of Microsoft SQL 2012 Master Data Services (MDS) to simplify full as well as selective data synchronisation and enables central conflict management to help build trust in your data. Master Data Management helps to increase the consistency of your data across your organisation and deployments. It helps maintain reliable data for key business entities and enables data integrity for unified data governance.

Compiler
New compiler reduces compilation times up to 80%.