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CLD Vaudreuil-Soulanges Served by Serenic Navigator

July 10th, 2012 No comments

We recently worked with our Canadian partner, ADNM International Inc., to produce a video featuring their client, Mr. Julien Turcotte, PDG of CLD Vaudreuil-Soulanges (Centre Local de Développement du Québec).  Since the video is in French, here’s a synopsis of the message delivered in the video:

The CLDs are looking for a tool that will help them better manage their development activities in their respective locations in Quebec. The CLDs report to the Quebec Government and need to justify their budgets inquiries by responding to a number of governmental requirements. They are responsible for the Quebec Inc. expansion in their locations and have to attract, encourage and support the entrepreneurs with their business development and financings.

The CLDs have to create annual reports, produce market statistics, explain their strategic approaches and prove their efficiencies and present results to the Government toward the year.  To meet these daily objectives, they need to use creative tools and software.

ADNM International Inc. was retained by the CLD Vaudreuil-Soulanges to implement the Microsoft Dynamics NAV solution to standardize, automatize and integrate all its accounting processes. To achieve its goal, ADNM needed to use a specific solution for nonprofit organizations, Serenic Navigator. Serenic Navigator, certified for Dynamics NAV, is the leading integrated solution for nonprofits. As a fully integrated solution, Serenic Navigator offers nonprofit accounting software and accounting software for government agencies.

With the NAV expertise of ADNM and the integrated solution for nonprofits from Serenic Navigator, the CLD was assured to be very well-served.

View the video online:

Centralized Management of Global Business Functionality

November 16th, 2011 No comments

This deployment model has proved successful as Microsoft supports 84,000+ customers with over millions of concurrent users worldwide using the Dynamics NAV architecture on a daily basis. There are two significant benefits in the decentralized model.

• Organizations maintain a centralized repository of all business logic used worldwide. This ensures that
organizational policies and data collected are consistent and reporting becomes automated without
duplicate data entry.

• Localizations specific to a country/region are handled to support unique legislative requirements such as
taxation, statutory reporting, country required processes such as electronic bank payments, or depository
transactions. The data structure must support these localizations, and most importantly, need to be
actively monitored as it continually changes and requires local expertise. Serenic is able to leverage the
success of Microsoft for this piece.

Full access to the Decentralized Development White Paper can be found here.

Thanks for reading our blog posts on Decentralized Deployment. Check back next week for another technical blog series!

Global Object Replication

November 10th, 2011 No comments

RapidiOnline Replicator is an integral process which provides the organization with the ability to selectively identify which fields of information need to be transferred to the central database. The flexibility of RapidiOnline Replicator further allows the user to transfer data to multiple databases while maintaining security and integrity for each individual database. The implementation of RapidiOnline Replicator can be managed from one location and provides an organization with the ability to manage business logic worldwide. The following table shows how a specification can be set up to replicate all table objects to each of the separate country/region databases. In addition, the definition can be further refined to control what fields are replicated. Using the example for North American and German tables shown above, the following table depicts how an organization could select fields for replication. The RapidiOnline Replicator processes this selection to fields in the 10,004 through 10,020 for the North American region database and field 11,000 for the German region database.

Full access to the Decentralized Development White Paper can be found here.

Next week we will be taking a closer look at Centralized Management of Global Business Functionality.

Localized Country/Region Functionality of Serenic Navigator’s Decentralized Deployment

November 2nd, 2011 No comments

As Serenic Navigator is deployed into specific country/regions, a country/region object set is created. Objects from the localized version of Dynamics NAV are imported and merged into the new Serenic Navigator object set. In order to learn how to merge objects, please refer to the Microsoft Dynamics NAV Developer Toolkit.

The following example illustrates a Serenic Navigator version of table 17 localized for North America. Notice that the object has now been changed by the Dynamics NAV North America localization team by reference to the version tag NAVNA5.00.01. This object now contains the W1 Dynamics NAV, NA Dynamics NAV, and Serenic Navigator 6.00.01 layers of changes and is specific to the North America region that includes all functionality for Canada, United States, and Mexico.

To further illustrate the unique architecture of Dynamics NAV, the following is a comparison of table 23, the vendor table, in both the North American and German localized versions. The field numbers (field no.) in the table are unique. Fields 10004 through 10022 are used to support North America functionality, while field 11000 is used to support German functionality. This allows localized functionality in country/region databases to be implemented easily by maintaining an object range that spans the globe.

NAVNA (North America)

NAVDA (Germany)

Full access to the Decentralized Development White Paper can be found here.

Next week we will be taking a closer look at Global Object Replication.

Technical Deployment of Serenic Navigator

October 26th, 2011 1 comment

This section describes, at a high level, the steps that an organization would take in order to start using Serenic Navigator in a decentralized model. However, it does not provide detailed installation steps. Specific installation instructions to install Serenic Navigator are provided in the Microsoft Dynamics NAV Installation Guide.

Localization of Specific Country/Region Functionality

Dynamics NAV Object Overview

The first step in the setup and implementation of Serenic Navigator in a country/region is to understand the Dynamics NAV object model from a technical perspective. Microsoft Dynamics NAV is made up of eight object types: Tables, Forms, Reports, Dataports, XMLPorts, Codeunits, MenuSuites and Pages. Within each of these object types, Microsoft has defined an object structure that is managed and controlled by Microsoft worldwide. The different object types are developed and maintained based on the following:
• 1 – 9,999; Dynamics NAV, Microsoft (Denmark)
• 10,000 – 49,999; Country/Region specific, Microsoft (regional localization team)
• 50,000 – 99,999; Customer specific, Customer or Vendor
• 3700000 – 3799999; ISV or Embedded, ISV or Microsoft Partner

Serenic Navigator is built on the worldwide version of Dynamics NAV (W1 NAV 2009 R2). This allows Navigator to incorporate any localization without changing the core structure of the software. This occurs in each country/region as Serenic Navigator is deployed. The following sections discuss the steps that occur to complete the delivery of
Serenic Navigator with localized country/region functionality.

Worldwide Serenic Navigator

The following illustrates that in Core Navigator the object range 10000-49999 is available for country specific
localizations.

 

Within the W1 version of Serenic Navigator, it is important to highlight changes made by Serenic. The example below illustrates this by focusing on table 17, which is the G/L entry table. As can be seen, this object was created by Microsoft (within 1 – 9,999 range) as is evidenced by the version tag NAVW16.00. This indicates that Microsoft changed this object in the W1 version of Dynamics NAV for version 6.00. Serenic has then added functionality to this same object in W1 Serenic Navigator improvement 6.00.01.

Full access to the Decentralized Development White Paper can be found here.

Next week we will be taking a closer look at Localized Country/Region Functionality.

Detailed Grant Process – Headquarters through Field Office

October 19th, 2011 No comments

The diagrams below provide a detailed overview of how an NGO can manage the lifecycle of a grant. It walks through the identification of a need from the field office, the initial interaction with the donor, the award process controlled at HQ, the management of expenditures at the field office with oversight from the country office, and, finally, reporting back to the donor and board of directors of the NGO. The decentralized model relies heavily on a standardized and structured flow of data that is maintained without duplicate data entry. This is handled by RapidiOnline Replicator.

The true benefit of a decentralized Serenic Navigator solution becomes very apparent in the following diagram. It is at the field office level that most grant expenditures occur. In fact, the NGO spends a great deal of time coordinating through the hierarchy of its organizational model to ensure that original donor funding is spent where it is supposed to be spent, and then reporting this information back to the donor. With Serenic Navigator, this process is streamlined by taking away the redundancy of data entry through the use of replication and putting controls in place in the front-end, ensuring that the expenditure in the field matches the original intent.

Finally, the lifecycle of the grant is complete once the task of reporting back to the donor is complete. Serenic Navigator provides NGOs the ability to report across the entire organization on a daily basis (dependent on the replication schedule). As donor and government requirements become more and more stringent, it is critical for NGOs to maintain consistency across the entire organization.

Full access to the Decentralized Development White Paper can be found here.

Next week we will be taking a closer look at Technical Deployment of Serenic Navigator.

Decentralized Deployment – Serenic Navigator Online (SaaS)

October 12th, 2011 No comments

Another deployment scenario that can be plugged in as part of the above model was introduced with the launch of Serenic Navigator Online.* This software as a service (SaaS) deployment is based on a subscription licensing model that provides the same user interface and experience as standard Navigator, but in a lighter and more simplified way. As Diagram 2 below illustrates, a user only needs a computer running Microsoft Application Virtualization and access to the internet, and they can be plugged into the decentralized deployment of Serenic Navigator.**

*Requires subscription-based licensing that is on a monthly per user basis.
**Current benchmark results show best user experience when running with an infrastructure supporting bandwidth of 1mb down, 1mb up and latency less than 100ms.

Decentralized Deployment Model

October 5th, 2011 No comments

Serenic Navigator can be deployed under various configurations, ranging from a centralized solution with remote access through the NAV role-tailored client, SaaS, terminal server/citrix, Microsoft Excel, or web portals providing a completely decentralized model. For organizations that operate in multiple countries in which the network environment may not support high speed remote access, stability is unreliable, or the cost of the network is prohibitive, a decentralized model is the appropriate solution. A decentralized model
provides three primary benefits:

• Independent operation – each country/region can operate independently. This guarantees that the operations of the country/region are able to continue regardless of external factors. Each country/region can utilize functionality that has been developed and maintained to support government regulations, statutory reporting, and local business processes. In addition, local languages can be provided to complete the user experience.

• Global business processes with centralized management – all business processes and setup can be managed based on a global perspective. Organizations are able to develop business processes that span the entire organization around the globe. Business rules enforce the type of data that is being monitored and tracked, while providing each country and region the flexibility to manage locally. This provides the organizations with consistent, timely, and accurate reporting on a global basis.

• Technology adoption – a decentralized model supports future growth as the network environment evolves around the world. Until network access is stabilized and bandwidth becomes affordable, a decentralized model provides the organization with a dynamic environment that allows it to adapt to the ever-changing technology landscape. This model incorporates the flexibility of changing dynamics within nations and regions. For example, two neighboring countries may have entirely different access and communication
capabilities due to dissimilar governmental requirements and infrastructure. One may allow remote access using web portals, while the neighboring country may still be disconnected and require a replication link to the main database.

• HQ database – The model provides for an unlimited number of “companies” (or independent entities requiring separate financial records) to be stored within the Navigator database. Typically, the HQ database contains all companies along with country/region view companies that are used to support replication between the HQ and country/region databases. All business objects are managed in this database and are pushed to the country/region databases. The object overview below describes this in more detail.

• Country Office – The country/region database contains all companies related to the country/region. All transactional data is processed in this database for each of the companies supported in the country/ region. Data is posted to ledger tables, and supplemental tables are updated to support business processes in the country/region. Although there are global business rules to control the type of data
processed, each country/region operates independently. Transactional data is replicated to the HQ database on a user-defined basis to support HQ global reporting.

• Field Office – Access to the country/region companies from the field office is largely dependent on network infrastructure. The frequency and amount of data that can be replicated to both HQ and Country Offices is determined by network bandwidth and latency. However, it is important to note that this can be a completely disconnected model where field office personnel are able to perform the critical operations of managing expenditures within a structured environment under organizational controls.

• Serenic Portals – provide a deployment model that allows an organization to give access to limited use type users. These users are able to interact with Navigator for specific functions. This deployment model can be implemented at HQ or at each Country Office. It requires a user to have a computer with a current web browser and internet access.

• Microsoft Excel-based client – provides bi-directional, real-time integration with Serenic Navigator through the use of web services, an application and data sharing platform that utilizes XML and the HTTP protocol. This optional data entry framework is based on conceptual prototypes as an alternative method for collecting and distributing financially-oriented transactions within Country Programs via a simple, easy-to manage Excel-based user interface while still adhering to business logic (business rules) residing on the centralized main server via the service tier being provided by Navigator. These are delivered as part of a custom development.

Although the above diagram represents a regional model, changes can be made to allow for multiple configurations using the same architecture. This diagram is strictly intended to illustrate how different deployment scenarios can plug and play into the overall Navigator solution based on an organization’s network capabilities.

Full access to the Decentralized Development White Paper can be found here.

Next week we will be taking a closer look at Serenic Navigator Online (SaaS).

Decentralized Deployment: Architecture Overview

September 27th, 2011 No comments

Serenic Software is a Microsoft Industry Solutions Vendor (ISV) with a contractual relationship with Microsoft. This relationship grants Serenic developers access to 100% of the Microsoft Dynamics NAV source code. Under this agreement, Serenic has taken the underlying Dynamics NAV source code and embedded NGO functionality into the core of the application.

This unique Dynamics NAV architecture provides the mechanism that allows organizations to manage Serenic Navigator in a decentralized deployment while supporting it as a centralized solution. 

The end-user solution consists of core Dynamics NAV components, which are developed and delivered to Serenic by Microsoft, and core Serenic Navigator functionality specifically developed for NGOs. This section provides the details of these components and their purpose in the overall solution. Serenic Navigator consists of the following main parts:

Dynamics NAV – Components
1. Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2
2. Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2
3. Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 R2 executables
4. RapidiOnline Replicator 5.00
5. Internet Information Services 7.0
6. SharePoint Services 2010

Serenic Navigator – Components
1. Serenic Navigator 2009 R2 Database
2. Serenic Portal Services 3.01

It is important to understand that the Microsoft Dynamics NAV architecture is fundamental to the Microsoft hub-and-spoke model which further supports a decentralized Serenic Navigator deployment. The majority of the technical components are developed, enhanced, supported and delivered by Microsoft developers. Serenic has a huge advantage in leveraging this architecture so that the necessary NGO-specific functionality can be put into use world-wide.

Full access to the Decentralized Development White Paper can be found here.

Next week we will be taking a closer look at the Decentralized Deployment Model.

Serenic Releases New Navigator Online Demo Videos and Success Kit

June 16th, 2011 No comments

If you’re a nonprofit interested in the benefits of moving your fund accounting to the cloud, you should check out our new demo videos and Navigator Online success kit. Navigator Online is a subscription-based SaaS (software as a service) version of Serenic’s award-winning financial management system. The kit includes a new whitepaper, fact sheet, FAQ, and videos regarding cloud-based accounting specifically built for small to mid-sized nonprofits.

Currently, we have the following short demo videos showing the benefits and features of Serenic Navigator Online.

Usability Features – Serenic Navigator Online is designed to help you complete your work easily and efficiently. There are several useful features, including Role Centers, drag-and-drop attachment of files to records, notes and notifications, and direct export of information to Microsoft Excel.
Installation and Implementation – Serenic Navigator Online is a streaming application – when the installation is done, you’ll have an icon on your desktop and the program will look and behave like any other on your computer. Once installed, you will start configuring the system for your organization – determining how to structure your data, what features to use, and how much information you import from your old system.
Commitments and Encumbrances – Serenic Navigator Online supports commitment and encumbrance accounting, allowing you to track “pre-expenditures” and obligations while also controlling your spending against your budget.
Purchasing Features and Controls – Serenic Navigator Online is designed to help you complete your purchases easily and efficiently, while also giving you the ability to restrict what is posted to your General Ledger and control spending against your budget.

Check it out when you have the chance by visiting:
http://www.serenic.com/nfp/navigatoronline.aspx