Jack Boyer introduction: Jon Augdahl has been a key person for us for the
past 7 years. Jon came to us as a senior consultant and is now our Dynamics SL
Practice Manager. Jon focused on project-centric businesses in the past as a
controller for a construction firm and then as an implementer of Timberline.
In addition to Timberline, Jon has implemented project-related modules using
Dynamics SL, Dynamics GP, and Epicor.
Jack Boyer: Jon, why do you like Dynamics SL so much
compared to the other project modules you’ve implemented in your career?
Jon Augdahl: There are a lot of things that I really
like about Dynamics SL. Here are a few:
1. You are able to enter a transaction that is project related in every
transaction screen. That means that you can place a cost or revenue on a project
whether you’re entering a journal transaction in GL, an inventory transaction, a
sales order transaction, or a payables transaction. This is something that is
very unique to Dynamics SL. Other products that I’ve worked with only allow you
to enter project related transactions from certain modules, and sometimes
require a different screen altogether.
2. The Flexible Billings module allows for invoice formats to fit any
3. The customization tools allow for very easy customization of any
4. Creating new screens and new functionality is less expensive than
other systems, and upgrading to new versions with those new screens is
Jack Boyer: What are some recent difficult obstacles you’ve
had to overcome with a client using Dynamics SL that you would not have been
able to do with other packages?
Jon Augdahl: Our development team was able to create a
billing engine that is pulling data from an external WMS system, and inserting
that data into the Dynamics SL Flexible Billings tables. Flexible Billings then
does the rest of the work in creating the invoices and posting those invoices to
Accounts Receivable. Without the flexibility of the Flexible Billings module in
Dynamics SL this would have been extremely difficult.
Jack Boyer: What about the development toolkit or SDK-you
have an experienced team. What are some challenges you’ve resolved with their
assistance over the past year?
Jon Augdahl: I am thinking of one that we wrote earlier
this year. This was a complex allocation program that summarizes costs from
multiple accounts and subaccounts, and then allocates to clients and projects
based upon rules that are defined by the customer. This could be based on
statistical values, hours, or dollar amounts.
Jack Boyer: What about this latest release Dynamics SL
2011-is the Multi-Company capability as nice as it appears?
Jon Augdahl: I believe so. We are very excited to be
moving some of our clients with multiple companies to version 2011. The user
experience in Dynamics for those users will be dramatically improved.
Jack Boyer: What are your thoughts on this new Quick Query
function that was added with Dynamics SL 2011?
Jon Augdahl: This is a game changer. Getting data out
of Dynamics SL has always been a challenge until now. Quick Query will allow
users to get at the data that is been locked up in data jail for years. Data
that they have always known was there, but were unable to access.
Jack Boyer: How well does Dynamics SL now integrate with
Jon Augdahl: There are some very nice (and seamless)
interactions that Dynamics SL now makes with SharePoint.
· Users can now attach documents to any transaction or master record in
SL. When “attaching”, that file can at the same time be uploaded to a SharePoint
folder and retrieved easily.
· Any report that a user runs from the Dynamics menu can be published to
a SharePoint folder, as well.
· And users can now automatically send customer and/or vendor documents,
like invoices and purchase orders directly to a SharePoint location.
Jack Boyer: You’ve at times poked fun at earlier attempts
that Microsoft has made to email invoices, statements, and purchase orders from
within Dynamics SL. Does it seem like these features are working now or is
Microsoft still a ways off leaving you to work with products such as Printboss
to deliver emailable documents?
Jon Augdahl: Yes, there have been some flaws to the
QuickSend functionality in the past. Those flaws have now been resolved. Sending
PDF attachments of invoices, statements, purchase orders, and payroll direct
deposit advices works magnificently directly through Dynamics using
So there you have it from a person that has worked intimately on Dynamics SL over the
past 7 years and is familiar with a number of versions. I hope these ideas
encourage you to upgrade to what we consider the best Dynamics SL we have seen