Boyer & Associates staff just held two well-attended Dynamics events at the Microsoft office in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul) area.

Many of the presenters prepared for more than 8 hours to present what they had to show despite most already having over 10 years in experience with their chosen product-Dynamics SL or Dynamics GP.

What surprised me the most about the surveys and thoughts on the minds of our (mostly) Minnesota based clients?  The focus that clients still have with getting the data out in a format that is useful to them.

For both events-Dynamics GP clients were focused on Smartlists, Smartlist builder and some nice add-on tools from Rockton software.  They liked seeing Management Reporter and what those improvements were over FRx for financial reporting.

For Dynamics SL clients, Quick Query got the most comments.  For a not very technical audience, there was a surprising number of questions about views and sql queries that could be constructed to export specific data.

Extracting data and publishing it to Sharepoint was also a big topic.  We were surprised at the numbers of users on both sides that were doing this manually.  It seems that Microsoft did their research and knew what was important to these clients before we did.

For both products Dynamics GP and Dynamics SL, but especially Dynamics SL because Dynamics SL 2011 was just released, there were many new features such as improvement to Multi-Company that allow a user to have multiple screens within multiple companies open at the same time.

Improvements to project accounting and distribution accounting integration, the ability to export any grid to excel with a single click were all trumped by the interest in reporting.

We’ve done quite a bit of custom reporting work for our Dynamics clients using Crystal Reports, GP Report Writer, and now Analysis Services.

We believe that the interest in Analysis Services and Business Intelligence (BI) is where this fascination with getting the data out will continue to go.