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"Innovative Thinking" A Newsletter from Innovative IT Consulting In This Issue

October 2011

Last month we introduced the topic of Transformation, and argued for transformation as the goal of ERP, not just implementation. This month we continue the theme, startiing at first base (it is world series time after all) explaining what we mean by Transformation.

John Pellegrino turns his monthly tips into the X3 eXpert's corner with some insight into working with X3 Export Templates, a very handy part of the X3 toolset.

On the blog front, check out Paul's latest post on the Sage ERP Business Management Blog - on Transformation through ERP

What makes Innovative's X3 practice different? As a consulting company first and foremost as opposed to a reseller, Innovative is focused on helping clients achieve transformation in their businesses. We don't shy away from complex projects, and have the breadth of skills, tools and resources that these kinds of projects require. We'll be rolling out our vision for Sage ERP X3 in the months ahead. Stay tuned!

By Paul Sita, Principal, Innovative IT Consulting, LLC. Paul can be reached at 631-549-1685 or psita@innovativeitc.com.

Time to shift the focus. Last month we talked about how the rules of ERP are changing. To compete successfully and gain real ROI, the aim has to be transformation, not just implementation. And we explored some of the reasons for this shift.

But Just What is Transformation? Transformation occurs when the ERP platform you adopt becomes an enabler and a differentiator for your business. It means that you examine and tackle the critical (and usually most complex) areas of your business to modernize and update. And it means committing to viewing your business from the outside in, as opposed to inside out. Making your organization easier to do business with, interact with and integrate with.

Business Processes, not Transactions. For most small and medium sized companies, transformation revolves around implementing a platform that is PROCESS FOCUSED as opposed to transaction focused. Going beyond entering and recording transactions - to notifying internal and external customers and stakeholders of key actions, alerting them to situations requiring their attention and providing them with information that is presented in such a way as to be meaningful, relevant and timely.

It may be close to Halloween – but this is not the time to get scared! Transformation sounds kind of scary. After all, implementing ERP is hard enough. Read on. Transformation is not about turning your organization upside down. It’s not about business interruption. It is about a longer term strategic implementation, not a short term tactical one. It doesn’t mean you have to endure risk by biting off more than you can swallow. But you have to have the menu planned – from the appetizer to the dessert. And you have to know the roadmap from the beginning.

You have to start with the platform. If you’re going to end up with a single, integrated platform – you have to start with one. You can’t build it, and you can’t hope that it will be there at some point when you need it. You have to start with a platform, and implement the pieces – with the right strategy and phases that make sense for your organization and address your most critical issues first. Innovative has had a lot of success with the Sage ERP X3 platform. And we’ve been impressed by the investments and direction that Sage is taking X3 – enough to make us sit up and take notice and recommend X3 as the platform of choice for companies in many distribution and manufacturing sectors. As consultants first and foremost, our X3 offering is based on an eXtended X3 platform as the basis for achieving transformation for customers, not just implementation. We’ll continue our exploration of transformation in the issues to come. It’s a message whose time has come.

By John Pellegrino, Principal, Innovative IT Consulting, LLC. John can be reached at 631-549-1685 or jpellegrino@innovativeitc.com.

The X3 eXpert's Corner. With this month's column we introduce the X3 eXpert's Corner. We'll provide tips aimed at helping you get the most out of working with X3 and its toolset. System administration in X3 is not just managing users and security -- it encompasses all of the aspects of the out-of-the-box toolset - modifying screens, getting data in and out of the system, and a host of other neat things - without resorting to what everyone likes to think of as programming.

Export templates. One of those features within the toolset is the ability to create a template that will export data in a defined format and structure. Once the template exists it can be executed in several ways including interactively or from a scheduled task. The intent of this tip is not to discuss all the features of the export, but to note one specific feature – using formulated expressions.

Trimming a field. It is very common to export entire fields of data when creating these templates, but what if you only wanted part of the field. For example, X3 initially sets the sales order number starting with the literal “SO” followed by 6 digits. If you wanted to only export the 6 digit number you can do this by using a formulated expression. In the column where you would input the field name start with an equal sign (=) then put your formula (in this case it would be “=right$(SOHNUM,3)”).

Help is there if you need it. The reason this functionality may not be apparent is that there is no right-click to a formula wizard as there is in many other places in the toolset. Therefore, you will have to know what formulas are available, and their syntax, or you will have to go to another part of the toolset that has the formula wizard and use it as a guide. The last bullet on the field help for the column in question does mention this capability, at least in versions 5 and higher.

"A handy tool that is part of the X3 toolset. (2 words) ."

P T X R E O   E L E P M T T A

_ _ _ _ _ _   _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Answer to last month's word scramle.

"A quantum improvement or change in a company's business processes or model." (TRANSFORMATION)

More on Transformation and how Innovative is working to help you get there. Stay tuned. Keep your comments and suggestions coming in. We love to hear from you ! Please keep checking the INNOVATIVE WEB SITE for useful tips, and our newsletter archives. The game is changing. Innovative helps you win!

Transformation - The New ERP Imperative!

X3 eXpert's Corner. Export Template Formulated Expressions.

Word scramble.

 

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