Vendor Self-service portal and Vendor collaboration in Dynamics 365 For Operations

Vendor Self-service portal and Vendor collaboration in Dynamics 365 For Operations

Having a fully functional vendor self service portal in an enterprise class cloud ERP solution is a huge advantage and allows your organization to streamline the collaboration with vendors, there by helping you reduce back office efforts and improves accuracy of business transactions with vendors and procurement. Dynamics 365 For Operations provides this right out of the box !

In today’s quick post, we will take a look at some of the key capabilities of the Vendor Collaboration/Self-service portal in Microsoft Dynamics 365 For Operations. Let us first look at some of the key setups involved.

Activate a vendor for Self -service/Collaboration:

  • On the vendor master record > General fast Tab, select Active (PO is auto-confirmed) or Active (PO is not auto-confirmed).

vendor-master

  • Setup the Primary contact for the vendor. I have setup Erin in this demonstration.

Prim Contact.jpg

  • Setup the user account for the vendor contact/vendor user. You will need to setup a Azure AD account for this for the vendor user and assign the Vendor(external) or Vendor admin(external) or both of these roles to this user. Then link the vendor primary contact to this user. Important Note: Note that you would not want to give the System user default role to this user, as this is purely an external user.

vendor-role

Additional Note: Since the vendor is an external user, you would definitely want them to personalize Dynamics 365 screens to add new data fields on their views. To block this, you can Block personalization for the vendor user in Dynamics 365 for Operations.

With the understanding of the some of these basic setups, let us now see , what are some of the key features of the self-service portal.

Shared View of Purchase Order Communications and Responses with Vendor:

  • Let us say Contoso Entertainment Systems USA wants to order some Wiring Harness and Speaker Units from their vendor Fabrikam Suppliers. The purchasing clerk at Contoso USA creates the PO. The purchase order is shown below.

po

  • He then sends the PO to the vendor portal for obtaining confirmation response from vendor.

send-for-conf

  • Notice at this stage, the PO status is “In External Review”.

po-status

  • Now, Erin the contact Fabrikam Suppliers logs in to Vendor portal and can see that the PO that Contoso just sent is right there on the portal. He  logs in and navigates to Purchase Order confirmation workspace.

vendor-portal-po-conf

po-for-review

  • He sees that the PO sent by Contoso appears there and then he goes into the PO details.
  • At this point, as a vendor Erin from Fabrikam can review the PO header and line details and do the following.
    • Print a copy or original PO if he needs to send it to anyone else.
  • printpo
    • Review the PO Header and Line information and Accept or Reject the PO Confirmation request. If he accepts the PO confirmation request, then the PO will be automatically confirmed.
  • accept-reject
    • Additionally, Erin can suggest changes on the PO, such as Mode of delivery, Delivery date and Quantity. Erin can also view or attach Notes and documents both at the PO header and line levels at this stage. Let us say he changes the Quantity of the Wiring Harness to 170, as Fabrikam does not see to have enough stock at the moment to fulfill the order.
  • suggest-change-1
  • suggest-change-2
    • Eric can substitute a specific PO line if needed. He can also split the delivery of the PO into multiple deliveries for each PO line. Let us say, he splits the delivery of Wiring harness into 2 deliveries as shown below. He also adds appropriate note saying that they can deliver only 170 Qty. of the Harness ordered and they will need to delivery them in 2 schedules.
  • split-delivery
  • split-delivery2
  • notes
    • Erin can now go ahead and Accept all the changes he suggested and proceed further Accepting the PO with changes. He clicks on Accept with changes on the PO. At this point, Contoso will review the suggested changes on the PO on their side and confirm the changes, after which Eric has to do the final acceptance without making any further changes.
  • accept-with-changes-1
    • The purchasing clerk at Contoso can now view the suggested changed and accept the changes followed by final acceptance from the vendor.
  • vendor-accepts-changes

 

Vendors can manage their Contacts and New Collaboration Users easily:

  • The primary contact/user at the vendor can view and manage the contacts and users for the vendor portal.
  • They can create new contacts and request to provision new vendor users for collaboration portal.
  • Can update contact information of the vendor users any time, anywhere.

vendor-users

provision-user

vendor-user-requests

Vendors can view and inquire on invoices and payments using the portal workspace:

  • Vendor can review the status of the their invoices and payments online.
  • Create purchase order invoices and upload invoice documents on the portal.
  • Inquire status of payment for the invoices.

vendor-invoice-workspace

vendor-creates-invoice

vendor-invoice-attachments

Vendor can view and inquire information about consignment inventory:

consignment-inventory

Vendor portal and Vendor collaboration feature  continues to be one of the major investment areas for Microsoft in Dynamics 365 For Operations, which means we will only continue to see more and more new features in the upcoming platform updates in next few months. Stay tuned !!

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Mobile apps for Dynamics 365 For Operations is available for download in Android

Mobile apps for Dynamics 365 For Operations is available for download in Android

Exciting times are here for Dynamics customers, prospects and enthusiasts !!

The mobile app for Dynamics 365 For Operations is now available for download and use in the Android platform.

You can download it from Google play store today. Just search with keyword Dynamics 365 and you should see the app listed.

After you have installed, login to your Dynamics 365 environment and provide your login credentials. That’s it.

Below are some quick screenshots that I took on my phone. I connected to one of my demo environments that has the Update 2 environment and I was able to see the one mobile app workspace I designed a few weeks ago, which I described in the post below.

https://sandeepchaudhury.wordpress.com/2016/09/30/sneak-peek-into-mobile-applications-framework-for-dynamics-axdynamics-365-enterprise-edition/

android-apps

android-apps

Obviously this was just a very crude attempt at creating a prototype mobile app to evaluate the new feature in Dynamics 365 and it worked great.

I could not connect it to the Update 3 environment, which is really the Dynamics 365 For Operations environment, as it is still being configured.I will work on creating a more usable and professional app/workspace in Dynamics 365 For Operations, and I will share more details once I have something ready. If you connect to an Update 3 environment, you will notice that there will already be several out of the workspaces/apps that are developed and published my Microsoft out of the box.

Regards,

Sandeep

 

Dynamics AX Tip: How to control Personalization options for specific users in the New Dynamics AX

Dynamics AX Tip: How to control Personalization options for specific users in the New Dynamics AX

The Personalization options has been a very widely used feature, which is powerful and has always allowed users to personalize various screens based on what they would like the screens to look like. You can learn more on the Personalization options in the New Dynamics AX on my earlier post.

While this is a great feature to allow every users to be able to personalize screens, it is sometimes required to disable this option or even give some users explicit personalization options for certain users, based on what type of users of the system they are.

For example, let us say you are configuring a vendor(External) user in your Dynamics AX environment, to provide them access to the Vendor portal, but you obviously do not want to them to be able to personalize screens to add any data fields which you do not want them to see.

The vendor user is setup as shown below, with Vendor (External) security role.

vendor-user

In the new Dynamics AX, you can control user specific personalization options under System Administration > Setup > Personalization. All you have to do is, select the specific user ID and UNMARK the Personalization allowed checkbox.

personalization-setup

With this, when the vendor user logs into the Vendor Portal, they will not see the Personalize this form option.

personalization-setup-dis

If the Personalization was allowed for this user, they would see this option as shown in screenshot below.

personalization-yes

Cheers !!

Sandeep

Dynamics AX Tip: Interact with Dynamics AX Data using Microsoft Excel Online (Office 365)

Dynamics AX Tip: Interact with Dynamics AX Data using Microsoft Excel Online (Office 365)

In AX 2012 release, the Excel Add-in feature introduced additional productivity options and made it easy for end users to interact with Dynamics AX data from within Excel. This feature worked great in many scenarios, but it did not provide that seamless productivity experience for the user, as they had to launch the Excel On Premise app (Win32 app) and then had to connect to the AOS to select tables and data fields to be able to interact with the data. This required the end users to have certain knowledge of the tables/database to complete data exchange tasks with Dynamics.

With the New Dynamics AX (AX 7), the Office Integration framework introduced significant changes in the underlying framework by launching the new ” Excel Data Connector App”. The Excel Data connector app interacts with your Excel workbooks with Dynamics AX OData Services (For publicly Exposed Data Entities) and this made it possible for Excel to become a seamless part of the user experience in Dynamics AX.

Most of us probably know by now how the “Open in Excel” experience works in the new Dynamics AX, where you can launch your data (For example a journal entry) into an Excel On Premise app (Win32 app) with just one click. Once the excel app launches, you can sync data, make updates, add or delete data. The screenshot below shows this experience in the new Dynamics AX.

Open in Excel

Excel Launched

In the New Dynamics AX, it is also possible to open the Dynamics AX data in the Excel ONLINE version (Office 365) in case you do not have the Excel On premise(win32) app installed. The only thing you have to do differently is as follows.

After you click the Office Integration icon > Open in Excel, select Save To > SharePoint.

Save to sharepoint

Then select the SharePoint location (Document library) and Mark the Open file after save option and click Save button.

Save to sharepoint Open

Notice that the Journal entry will now open in Microsoft Excel Online and the Excel data connector app will run in an embedded experience within your browser(Built using Office web add-in framework).

Opened in Excel Online

From here on you still have the same user experience as you would see when dong it in an Excel On premise app. This will come handy in cases where you are away from your desk and using a device that does not have the native Excel on premise app installed. You still have full power of Excel and exchange data with Dynamics AX.

That’s it for today’s quick tip.

Regards,

Sandeep

Dynamics AX Tip: Percentage complete calculation for revenue recognition, based on WBS Work Percentage Complete for fixed price projects

Dynamics AX Tip: Percentage complete calculation for revenue recognition, based on WBS Work Percentage Complete for fixed price projects

Traditionally, the 2 primary methods of revenue recognition for a fixed price project were the “Completed Percentage” and the “Completed Contract” methods. I have explained how these work in Dynamics AX for revenue recognition of fixed price projects in my earlier posts.

With the AX 2012 R3 release (CU 10), the straight line method for revenue recognition was introduced, which I also elaborated in this earlier post.

When you work with the Completed percentage method of revenue recognition, there are multiple ways to determine the percentage completion of a project. Some of these options are,

  1. Manage percentage completion on a manual basis
  2. Use project budgets or forecasts to the system automatically keep track of % complete.
  3. The new method to calculate % completion on a project is based on the WBS percent complete. In this quick post, we will how this works.

The first step for this is to setup the Cost template and select the Completion based on as “Work percentage complete”. See screenshot below.

Cost Template Setup

Once you have that, associate it with the project group. See screenshot below.

Project Group

The next step is to setup the fixed price project and establish the project plan, which is basically the work breakdown structure. Once you have your WBS defined and the cost estimates established, Dynamics AX will automatically keep track of the “Percentage completion” for the project based on the WBS estimates vs the actual transactions. I have setup a very basic WBS for this walkthrough.

WBS

After I have progressed in the project and transactions (Timesheets, Expense reports, Purchase orders, journals etc.), Dynamics AX automatically starts tracking the % complete for the project at each task level of the project. See screenshot below.

Percent Complete

Let us say, at this point you are ready to run the revenue recognition for this project for the Month of August 2016.

Navigate to the Project revenue recognition screen and click Create. You will notice here that “Work progress percentage” is a new option under the “Cost to complete method” dropdown. But we will just leave it as default (From cost template).

Notice that after we have run the revenue recognition, system automatically shows the Percentage completion based on the WBS work percent complete.

Revenue Recognition Percentage

The process after this is pretty straight forward and as you would run the revenue recognition typically for the fixed price project.

NOTE: The intention of this blog post was not to explain the end to end process of revenue recognition for fixed price projects. I have explained these in detail in my earlier posts. This post was specifically a quick tip to highlight the new method of automatic work percent complete calculation.

Check out what is New in Update 2(August 2016 release) for the New Dynamics AX

Check out what is New in Update 2(August 2016 release) for the New Dynamics AX

The Update 2 (August 2016) release for the New Dynamics AX (AX 7) is now available for download in LCS.  Checkout what is new in this release at the URL below and learn how you can benefit from these enhancements.

https://ax.help.dynamics.com/en/wiki/whats-new-or-changed-in-dynamics-ax-platform-version-7-2-august-2016/

How to create a new Workspace with no coding needed in New Dynamics AX(AX 7)

How to create a new Workspace with no coding needed in New Dynamics AX(AX 7)

If you have worked enough on the New Dynamics AX , you must be well aware of the new Workspaces feature by now. The workspaces are basically an aggregation of several business tasks, insights, reporting and dashboards that a business user deals with on a typical work day. These workspaces comes in really handy for end users by providing everything they need to execute their daily tasks, all at one central location, so that they can become more productive and save time to focus on important things.

Workspaces probably are one of the most liked and talked about features of the New Dynamics AX among users, customers and prospects. Some of the examples of the workspaces are ” Financial Period Close”, “Employee Self Service“, “Manager Self Service“, “Project Management“, “Cost Administration” and more.

Standard Dynamics AX already provides several workspaces out-of-the-box for most of the operational areas and departments of your business(Shown in screenshot below), but there might be specific cases where you might want to create customized workspace of your own to meet your requirements. With the release of Update 1 for Dynamics AX in May 2016, you can now create and build your own workspaces without requiring a developer or any sort of coding. Let us see the steps involved in doing this.

 All Workspaces Dynamics AX

Create a new Workspace in Dynamics AX:

  • On the main landing page of workspaces, right click anywhere on the blank area and click Personalize > Tile page container.

TilePageContainer

  • You will notice a new pop-up menu wit several options.
  • Click Add a workspace button.

Add A workspace

  • Come back to the main landing page and notice that a new workspace with a default name “My workspace 1″ will be added. Right click on this new workspace and click Personalize > My workspace 1.

My workspace 1 Personalize

  • Let us now rename this workspace. Let’s say we are creating a new workspace for Fixed Assets Management, which is not available in standard AX yet.

Rename a workspace

  • The next step is to add the different components of this workspace to make it look complete. Let us first add a few live tiles. Navigate to the Fixes Assets Module and go the list pages which you want to add to the workspace. In this case I will add a few of the list pages. On the list page, click OPTIONS > Add to workspace and select the newly created workspace, and click Configure.

Add to workspace

  • Continue the same for the remaining live tiles you want to add. At the end of adding all the tiles, your new workspace will look something like below.

Workspace Tiles

  • Let us now add a few List items on this workspace. Navigate to the “Fixed Assets Transactions” form and click OPTIONS > Add to workspace button. Select the Presentation as List this time.

Add list items

Field List

  • Repeat the same process to add all the lists you want on the workspace. At the end of it, your workspace will look something like below.

Workspace List Tile

  • Next step would be to add the option of adding/removing Power BI tiles for dashboards and reports. Navigate into the new workspace and click Options > Personalize this form. On the Personalization pane, click the Add button and mark “Allow Power BI Control”.

Add Power BI Tile

Add Power BI Tile 1

  • At the end of adding the Power BI tiles option, your workspace should look something like below.

Add Power BI Tile 3

Add PBI Tile

  • The last type of element that you typically add on a workspace is quick links to different menus and reports etc. You can do this by Personalizing the workspace and add the menu Presentation as Link this time.

Add Links

Links

That was all I had for this blog post. The workspaces framework in the New Dynamics AX will evolve for sure with lot of new exciting new possibilities in the upcoming releases. Stay tuned for more..

Regards,
Sandeep