Dynamics Ax 2012 R2 – new features

March 27th, 2013 by Stephen Jones Leave a reply »

As we go live this weekend on our first Ax 2012 R2 implementation
with Management Reporter 4, let me remind you of some of the features of this release:.

Summary
1. Manage global operations through a single deployment and thereby trim overall deployment costs and still manage operations in several countries with shared infrastructure.2. More localization which includes , China, Japan, India, Brazil, Russia, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.
3. Data partitioning capabilities to allows effective sharing of data between business units.
4. More powerful business intelligence. New KPIs, integration with Power view and data visualization technology of MS SQL Server 2012.
5. Improved workforce management, talent and central resource skills repository management process.
6. Many enhancements for ALL areas – Manufacturing, Retail, Public Sector and Professional services firms.
What’s new in R2?
A significant investment expands the capability of Dynamics AX 2012 across the application footprint, which I’ve grouped into 4 focus areas, highlighted below
Manufacturing – Improve manufacturing operations for process manufacturing. In this release new capability for management of potency, traceability and product batch sequencing to help process manufacturing customers to streamline their operations. Potency management enables management of the concentration of an active ingredient through the entire manufacturing process. In addition, the improvement of traceability where important attributes are generated and captured during the manufacturing process can also be transferred to subsequent lots.
Retail – Manage your assortments across channels in your retail operations. New multi- and cross-channel capabilities for retail organizations, including catalogue management, cross-channel workflows, and integrated sales channel management will include a new “out of the box” web storefront offering based on the new version of SharePoint 2013 to let customers provide modern and integrated web commerce experience across different devices to their customers and is fully integrated into Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.
• Public Sector – Simplifying the financial budgeting process in public sector organizations. Combining the power of Microsoft Excel with the power of the workflow engine inside of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012,to support new capabilities in budget formulation with workflow approvals, flexible tracking, and reporting. R2 will enable complex budgetary requirements using Microsoft Excel as well as integration with financial budget transactions, position and payroll data to enable budgetary control.
Professional Services - Improve utilization of resources across your organization. Improvements in the intercompany scheduling capability of project resources will specifically benefit services organization with resources and projects across multiple entities and will improve utilization of your resources.
HR – Gain efficiency in workforce management. We continue to invest in the Human Capital Management (HCM) capabilities to improve employee lifecycle management, including enhancements in position control with tighter budget integration..
• Improve business insights for all users in the context of their work. This ranges from easy operational reporting, to measuring business performance through Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and benchmarking as well as to providing deep analysis and actionable insights powered by new rich visualizations technology. Specifically, in this release:
o New and updated KPI content – where we deliver a set of new and updated KPIs that will come with the SQL BI cubes shipped with the release. These KPIs will surface on the different role centers.
o Enabling the new Power view technology introduced in Microsoft SQL Server 2012. This will help users to discover new insights through a highly interactive and familiar data visualization technology.
• Increase global reach and simplify international operations – Microsoft Dynamics AX is used by customers across geographies – customers that themselves utilize Microsoft Dynamics AX to manage their operations across many different geographies. In this release:
o Increased the global reach of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 by adding localization for 11 new markets (Brazil, Czech Republic, China, Estonia, Hungary, India, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Russia), extending the reach for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 to support 36 localizations worldwide.

o Reduced complexity for those organizations that increasingly operate their business throughout multiple countries by simplifying centralized deployments. Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 already supports sharing of data, with the concept of data partitioning, to isolate data of individual units/companies, while still reaping the benefit of a shared infrastructure.

Data Partitioning
What are the options and benefits of sharing data?
A single instance deployment provides the IT-side of the house with the opportunity to share IT infrastructure between the legal entities; this could drive down costs of the deployment. In addition to IT efficiencies, business operations benefit by sharing data and business processes across legal entities. Business efficiencies and benefits include:
• Management of vendors, customers and employees can be handled centrally, streamlining these relationships on a global basis
• Management of product information is centralized, including release management of the products to the individual organizations
• Intercompany business is automated for processes including sales, purchasing and the corresponding financial transactions
• Central Services, including central AR, AP and procurement, are shared
How does this work?
What data is being shared and what is not?
Organizations in a single instance deployment use the same code base and system settings. These organizations have shared application data including parties, products, and locations. The transaction data such as sales orders or customer and vendor data is specific to each legal entity.
When is it beneficial to isolate data?
In certain, specific cases, organizations do not want to share data and processes between all companies. But these organizations do want to achieve IT efficiencies by running on a shared infrastructure. This scenario is typical in holding organizations with divisions that have little in common, yet have a strong identity, and are supported by a central IT organization. Sharing data between these divisions would not lead to efficiencies.
Data partitioning available in R2!
In the R2 release, organizations have a choice with data partitioning. Data partitioning makes it possible to divide application data into partitions of organizations. You will be able to share application data and processes between organizations within a partition but not across partitions

• Continue to simplify the application lifecycle. From simplifying single instance international ERP deployment scenarios up to simplifying setup and functional implementation with new and improved lifecycle services.
o Code Analyzer will help analyze the performance of custom code based on rules in the design phase of an extension by customers or partners.
o Data Migration Framework will support import, export and migration of data to/from Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 in the deployment phase. It will cover over 20 scenarios including: customer, vendor, product, employee, BOM, open sales and purchase order data, which can be extended by partners and customers.
o Diagnostics Framework to analyze data collected from the installation’s servers based on rules. To be used in the maintenance phase of your Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 environment(s).

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