When the Y2k wave hit, companies rushed to implement new ERP systems.  This move placed powerful new ERP technology into the hands of its users.  In doing so, companies were able to capture more data than ever.  With flexible platforms upon which to develop additional extensions and tie-ins, companies began to replace traditional silos of information with interconnected systems resulting in stronger information systems across the board.

However, this has led to one common issue across businesses: data overload.  Companies now have so much data  captured that they don’t know what to do with it.  How best can they make that data into useful information without spending a fortune to get there?  Within an organization there are many departments that need access to all kinds of information.  Sales and Marketing needs to know who is buying and what is selling; IT departments need to know how much has been spent on technology so they can plan budgets; C-level executives need access to financial reports, KPI’s, and budgets;  employees need access to important HR information.  The list goes on and on, but there is one constant: each department has specific data needs that must be addressed. 

Traditionally this has meant giving these departments access to the ERP system so that they could find the information they needed.  This came at a price though.  Full use licenses for ERP systems are very costly.  Not only is there cost involved, there is complexity of learning the interface and risk of data integrity and security.  

In a move designed to extend the reach of ERP, Microsoft has addressed this issue head on with a new license offering: the Dynamics Light User.  This license is designed to give non-accounting users access to the critical data they need to do their jobs.  Employees who do not require full access to the system but may need to interact with key business processes or information are now able to leverage a number of licensing options to use Microsoft Dynamics solutions. The introduction of the Light User license allows employees of a company to interact with Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions across the organization at a fraction of the full user price.

C-Level Executives can take advantage of the Management Report Viewer that is part of the Light User to view financial reports, while using Excel Reports that take financial data from the ERP system to create meaningful Key Performance Indicators.  Using Analysis Cubes for Excel, the Sales Manager can quickly view sales history to identify areas of strength and weakness.  Administrative personnel can submit requisitions for new equipment and supplies to approvers without entering a single item in the ERP system.  Complex workflows that access and interact with the ERP system can now be accessed by non-accounting users through the Light User as well.  The Employee Self Service User is another special offering from Microsoft that allows employees to manage their personal information, input time, and input business related expenses.  Project managers can set up and administer projects remotely with the Light User as well. 

Priced to make sense, the Dynamics Light user and Employee Self Service user licenses for Microsoft Dynamics SL and Microsoft Dynamics GP give companies the tools they need to extend the reach of the ERP system and give employees the information they need. 

By Associate Solutions, Kansas Microsoft Dynamics GP, SL, and CRM partner serving KS MO IA NE