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Computing at the core

Gunjan Trivedi | July 29, 2008
Only one word describes the state of the IT team of Aztecsoft, which is trying to manage this disparate IT infrastructure: nightmare.

At the Core

Aztecsoft decided to rollout Microsoft Dynamics at its core in three distinct phases, with the aid of MS partner, e4e. Phase one, which is now complete, included the replacement of the existing app Tally that the finance department of Aztecsoft worked on, and merging the data into the finance module of Dynamics, which the finance function has been running for last five months. The second phase, on which Nataraj and his team has already embarked upon, includes rolling out relevant modules for each of the major functions of the enterprise, such as human resource and project delivery management. All the core modules and relevant applications will be merged into Microsoft SharePoint portal, to ensure seamless information flow, in the third phase.

"We deployed Dynamics at a core, interacting with SharePoint and other apps. We had about 25 apps, which we later collapsed into six apps wrapped around Dynamics. This gave us a lot of benefits in terms of reducing data inconsistencies," says Varadarajan.

Users are also experiencing the benefits of single sign-on as the MS ecosystem allows them to authenticate themselves across multiple applications with a single ID and password. "Earlier, even when we synced the apps with an Active Directory System users had just a single password, but still they had to authenticate themselves a number of times. With Dynamics and SharePoint, its an actual single sign-on now," says Varadarajan.

With Dynamics deployed, the finance function now has a clear view of the available resources and departmental budgets. Consolidated reports are produced far faster, which help the department to account for and verify relevant data. Automation of key processes and data de-duplication is proving to be both cost- and time-effective for the organization.

"Earlier when we had multiple applications where the look and feel was different. Now every application runs through the SharePoint portal. The user doesn't see any difference in the user interface as the app front-ends itself using the SharePoint portal. Uniformity has been achieved," says Nataraj. "We have further developed several of our packages such as recruiting software, attendance software, conferencing solution etcetera on a .Net environment, which connect very well with the Dynamics and SharePoint framework," he adds.

Road to Perfection

Going forward, Aztecsoft has already planned out its roadmap for the next two phases. Several of the early mover's disadvantages are also being ironed out with the help of Microsoft and its partner ecosystem.

"Dynamics is still new in India. With other ERP apps, a fair amount of customizations and mindshare is already covered. There are certain challenges, which are specific to the country. For example: in finance, automated bank reconciliation required some customizations and needs to be fine-tuned to suit the Indian requirements. For these, one needs to work closely with MS to introduce such relevant changes," explains Nataraj.


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