Security Best Practices Update

Security Best Practices Update – Groups Roles

In this digital world, security is more important than ever. It becomes a mandate to take measures and design systems to securely protect and safeguard information (business and personal data). Database security is more than just important: it is essential to any company with any online component. Sufficient database security prevents data from being lost or compromised, which may have severe ramifications for the company both in terms of finances and reputation.

Data visibility should be role tailored. Management should be able to see the financial data, whereas a shipper should only be able to see the shipment related information. There is no need for a shipper to have access to the prices or G/L accounts. This is a severe concern for business owners these days, and there is a business need to avoid access to confidential information in online ERP systems.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central experts suggest that, by following these simple business best practices, we can have better security:

1. Define Roles before assigning the permission sets. Which roles are trusted and which are untrusted, and what permissions have you want to give to those roles?

2. Wherever possible, assign a role to a group rather than individual users

3. If a restrictive role is assigned to a group, check that the group does not contain the Administrator user or other users with administrative privileges. Otherwise, you might unintentionally restrict administrators’ privileges in the parts of the inventory hierarchy where you have assigned that group the restrictive role

4. Have default permission sets for groups. Use the principle of least privilege and give roles only the permissions that they absolutely need.
Due to the availability of data, confidentiality is lost in online ERP systems.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central deals with this issue and can restrict access to tables, pages and even at the field level. To classify the fields that hold sensitive or personal data, a Microsoft partner can set the Data Classification property on fields. To know more about this feature, please join our upcoming webinars.

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VOX ISM Hosts Annual Christmas Lunch Meeting

VOX ISM, Microsoft Triple Gold Partner, held a Christmas Lunch Meeting on December 17, 2019, at the Granite Club. VOX ISM employees attended the Christmas meeting to wrap up business for 2019, to reflect on the successes and failures from the year that has come by and to start planning for the upcoming year, 2020. The Christmas meeting also allowed everyone to meet and get-together, and exchange some new and fresh ideas through multiple brainstorming sessions throughout the day.

But the Christmas meeting at the Granite Club was not all just work. It was an opportunity for VOX ISM employees to mingle with their colleagues, to give Holiday greetings, and to thank each other. “Christmas is one of the most joyous times of the year, filled with festivities and gift-giving. For businesses, this is also a great time to show appreciation to our employees for the time and dedication they spent throughout the year,” said Jim Heaton, President VOX ISM. He further added, “VOX ISM is lucky to have dedicated employees and would like to thank you all of them for their hard work and concern. May this Christmas season bring tons of success, good health, prosperity to all.”

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David Morales, one of VOX ISM Financial Consultant, awarded for being an MVP. David brought the most billable hours to VOX ISM Consulting Team for Fall 2019.
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Top 3 Things Your Business Need to Consider in 2020_cover

Top 3 Things Your Business Need to Consider in 2020

If you’re reading this blog, you likely already know that we have a close partnership with Microsoft, one that’s designed to help you work faster and smarter. We’ve seen incredible growth of Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform just in the past year. This momentum is driving massive investment in people and breakthrough technologies that will empower organizations to transform in the next decade.

Microsoft has allocated hundreds of millions of dollars in the cloud and app development to power business transformation across markets and industries and help organizations solve challenging problems.

As 2019 draws to a close, here are four things you should consider for your business in 2020:

  1. Power BI

Have you been thinking, “What is Power BI and is it important for my business?” Well, then you have landed on a goldmine of information that will help you answer just that! Power BI is a business analytics solution that lets you visualize your data and share insights across your organization or embed them in your app or website. Power BI enables you to connect to hundreds of data sources and bring your data to life with live dashboards and reports. Any time, Anywhere, Anyway.

Power BI continues to add a large number of data analytics features. Here is a quick list of a few essential features:

  • Artificial Intelligence – Use image recognition and text analytics, create machine learning tools, capabilities, and models integrated with Azure Machine Learning.
  • Quick Insights – Create subsets of data and automatically apply analytics to data sets.
  • Common Data Model Support – Standardized and extensible collection of data schemas (relationships, attributes, entities, etc.)
  • Cortana Integration – Allows for a verbal query using natural language through Cortana and Microsoft Digital Assistant. You can now ask the platform questions and get answers!
  • Customization – Import new tools for custom visualizations and reporting.
  • Data Catalog – Easily search, use, and reuse queries with this feature.

Power BI is a very hot commodity for businesses. Within 2019 alone, VOX ISM has held 4 sold out Power BI events and have assisted 700 customers with their Power BI journey.

VOX ISM Power BI Event
150 VOX ISM customers, getting free Power BI training – each left after having created their companies first dashboard!

2. Security

Cybersecurity for your business has a systematic approach – one that works just about every time. The reality is that most companies often falsely feel “protected” simply because they have not yet been attacked.

However, another truth is that 43% of cyberattacks target small businesses, and 60% of those businesses attacked by cyber criminals end up going out of business. A recent study also shows that 2/3 of SMBs still don’t have a disaster recovery plan in place, and within Canada alone, a data breach could cost a business up to 6 million dollars. The stakes are high and taking the right steps to keep your data and business safer is crucial – now more than ever! Whatever the size or complexity of your business, you need to have a cybersecurity strategy.

3. Teams

A ConnectSolutions Survey revealed that 77% of remote workers report greater productivity while working off-site. This is one of the perks of the internet; we don’t need to be on-site to be working. Emails, software, documents, etc. are now accessible from anywhere.

This has led to a new concern that businesses have to collaborate effectively. While Skype for Business has multiple features, such as live conferences, it may not fit all the needs of your team. Let’s say you need to communicate with a specific group about a specific project on a recurrent basis, you might need to return to emails to keep track of all that has been shared and done for that project.

Some applications, like Slack, have tried to fill the void, and are having some success. But regardless of all the interesting things Slack can do, one thing remains concerning, and that is security. That’s where Microsoft Teams comes in.

With 20 million users increasing 50% per quarter, Microsoft Teams is another Microsoft Product you should look out in 2020. Teams is a chat-based collaboration tool that provides global, remote, and dispersed teams with the ability to work together and share information via a common space.  You can utilize awesome features like document collaboration, one-on-one chat, team chat, and more.  Microsoft Teams is also fully integrated with many other Office 365 services, such as Skype, SharePoint, Exchange, and Yammer, Dynamics 365 CRM and ERP as well as other non-Microsoft application.

Don’t fall behind! Join a growing revolution of smart connected businesses!

Empowering people and businesses are a mission that we don’t take lightly. None of us at VOX ISM could ever hope to reach that objective without a vast set of partnerships with curious and passionate people who seek to deeply understand technology and its power to transform individuals, businesses and industries. Facilitating connections, sharing our technologies and partnering to create solutions to real-world challenges is why we create the many event experiences we host. We invite everyone to join us to learn and grow, join us to connect with your peers, join us to get the answers you need so that you can deliver the solutions that can help propel your digital transformation.

Visit our events website:

Blog post by Paul Roman Latoza – Business Development Coordinator

Paul Roman Latoza_VOX ISM

Paul Latoza graduated from the Aviation Safety Management and Operations program at Seneca College. Shortly after graduation –Paul began his career in the transportation industry before moving onto Marketing and Project Development for a non-profit organization.

With his experience in the transportation industry, he is hoping he can bring his communication and organization skills to assist businesses optimize their success in the changing digital landscape. On the weekends, Paul loves spending time with his family and friends.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

Know Your Costs Better with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

When I worked in the steel business, we used cost accounting to allocate costs based on product unit sales in order to calculate product volume rebate credits.  We also implemented and calculated customer profitability reporting by using cost accounting.  More VOX clients are starting to use this feature of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.

Cost accounting is an underutilized feature of Business Central that more companies need to start using as I can guarantee you your competitors are starting to use this ever more popular feature of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.  Cost Accounting will enable you to track non-financial accounts and unit accounts such as square footage and FTE’s.  Cost Accounting allows you to easily allocate revenue & costs between cost types, cost centers, and cost objects.

Cost accounting can help you understand the costs of running a business. Cost accounting information is designed to analyze:

  • What types of costs that you incur when you run a business?  These are cost types.
  • Where do the costs occur?  These are cost centers.
  • Who bears the costs?  These are cost objects

Many business executives in Canada that are using Dynamics 365 Business Central should have a conversation with their Finance team about how Cost Accounting can help the business. Cost Accounting in Dynamics 365 Business Central is Easy to setup, use, and can be invaluable to your business!  And then call us to help you get setup quickly and start on the road to knowing your costs better.

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Blog post by David Cameron – Financial Business Central/Nav Consultant

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David Cameron graduated from Western University with Honors Mathematics and Computer Science and obtained his MBA at McMaster University. David is a CPA and a Certified Credit Executive.

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VOX ISM's Customer Appreciation Event Recap 2019

Last week on November 26, VOX ISM hosted its Customer Appreciation Event 2019 at Microsoft Canada HQ in Mississauga. The agenda of this event was to thanks our customers for choosing us as their Microsoft partner and share with them an exclusive look at Microsoft’s 2020 Technology for Canadian Businesses.

VOX ISM Customer Appreciation Event

The Customer Appreciation event started with a warm welcome at the front desk by our Marketing & Sales Team. VOX ISM presented each customer with a little gift as a token of appreciation.

After all the customers settled in the room, the VOX ISM team kicked off the event with the presentation on Microsoft Technology in 2020, followed by discussing the Business Central Road-map from 2018 to 2022.

The key memo of the presentation was – 

  • Ontario Manufacturing Industry Update
  • Product Licensing Selections
  • Cyber-security
  • Management Reporting
  • Customer Excellence Awards

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Mike Fontaine, Microsoft Solutions Expert, was the first presenter who introduced and demonstrated the capabilities of new Microsoft technology, including: 

  • Power BI
    • Reporting Capability, Visual Dashboard
  • Teams
    • New communication tool with various outstanding capacities 
  • Form
    • Digital forms with customization capacities
  • Power Automate
    • Create flows which can collect data from O365 Apps
  • Business Central and CRM
    • No Programming, Screens Are Configurable
    • Track activities and organizational chars
    • Have Power BI data synced

Those technologies capabilities brought up several questions for attendees and Mike, and Jim Heaton, President of VOX ISM, answered those questions.

Ed Michitsch, General Manager at VOX ISM, was next presented who gave updates on Ontario Manufacturing Industry, compared B2C and B2B growth in current and upcoming years. As he showed, B2B growth is 100% every year, but B2C growth 10%, which in 2021 B2B, which will have an equal portion as B2C in E-Commerce. Are you a part of this? The world is changing fast!

Afterward, Mike came back on the deck and showed Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central capabilities in detail, such as production order, work order BOM and answer attendees’ questions. Then short break gave a chance for the VOX ISM team to have a friendly chat with customers. After the break, Jim explained about price changes, Dynamics 365 CRM licenses and security support that is offered by VOX ISM.

Then Farshad Saadatmand, Project Manager at VOX ISM, joined the presenting team and described the importance of cyber-security and the businesses can prevent themselves from cyber attacks.

Amit Gaikwad, Project Manager at VOX ISM, covered the evolution of management reporting and gave an introduction of Power BI and its capabilities. Eight reasons why should shift reporting from Excel to Power BI were explained in detail, which showed the importance of utilization of new Technology.

As every year, VOX ISM gave the Customer Excellence Award to one of the best customers. This year the Best Customer Award Winner was Romet Limited. Charles Etherington, the IT manager at Romet Limited, received that award and explained briefly about Romet Limited.

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From left: Charles Etherington (Romet Limited), David Barsanti (VOX ISM), Jim Heaton (VOX ISM).

The event ended with an exclusive demo by the VOX ISM team on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and CRM. A big thanks to our customers for joining VOX ISM’s Customer Appreciation Event.

Join our upcoming events at Microsoft Canada HQ in Mississauga.

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VOX ISM Customer Appreciation Event Invite

VOX ISM to Hold Customer Appreciation Event at Microsoft Canada HQ

VOX ISM is excited to announce Customer Appreciation Event which will be held on Tuesday, November 26, at Microsoft Canada HQ in Mississauga.

The Customer Appreciation Event by VOX ISM will include presentations on the latest Microsoft technology, computer security, industry updates, Dynamics 365 software demos, live software lab, excellence awards and much more.

Following is the copy of the print release invitation.

VOX ISM Customer Appreciation Event Invite

For more information and event registration, click here.

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Best Manufacturing Apps Conference (BMAC) 2019 Fall Edition - Event Recap

On November 12, 2019, Microsoft and VOX ISM organized the biggest manufacturing conference for the Canadian Manufacturers and the industry experts at Microsoft Canada HQ in Mississauga.

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More than 200 participants arrived at Microsoft Canada HQ to learn about the trending Manufacturing Apps with Dynamic 365, making this event a success. The event started promptly at 1.30 PM. VOX ISM started the presentation explaining how today’s Manufacturers can streamline their processes, make smarter decisions and accelerate growth with Dynamics 365 Business Central. 

The key highlights of the conference were as follows:

  • Microsoft Dynamics Business Central For Manufacturing– What is New for the Canadian Manufacturers in 2019
  • Exhibitors’ presentations
  • An Open Exhibit Hall

After the exhibitors concluded their product presentation, the booth area was opened for the participants to connect with each exhibitor. All the participants were excited to interact with the presenters and understand how different apps work together with Dynamic 365.

More than 200 participants arrived at Microsoft Canada HQ to learn about the trending Manufacturing Apps with Dynamic 365, making this event a success. The event started promptly at 1.30 PM. VOX ISM started the presentation explaining how today’s Manufacturers can streamline their processes, make smarter decisions and accelerate growth with Dynamics 365 Business Central. 

The key highlights of the conference were as follows:

  • Microsoft Dynamics Business Central For Manufacturing– What is New for the Canadian Manufacturers in 2019
  • Exhibitors’ presentations
  • An Open Exhibit Hall

After the exhibitors concluded their product presentation, the booth area was opened for the participants to connect with each exhibitor. All the participants were excited to interact with the presenters and understand how different apps work together with Dynamic 365.

VOX ISM would like to thank all who participated in the Best Manufacturing Apps Conference (BMAC) 2019 Fall Edition. By all accounts, it was a successful event.

A big thank you to our sponsors Microsoft and SherWeb. Thanks to all our exhibitors for outstanding presentations.

Last but not least, the attendees. Thank you all for coming to Microsoft Canada HQ and participating in BMAC 2019 Fall Edition.

Missed the event?

No worries! If you are interested in receiving a copy of the presentation of BMAC 2019 Fall Edition, click here.

You can also join our next seminar on November 26 at Microsoft Canada HQ in Mississauga – Microsoft Dynamics 365 Roadmap: New Releases & 2020 Vision.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Roadmap - New Releases and 2020 Vision - VOX ISM

Corporate Performance Management Software

3 Reasons You Need Corporate Performance Management Software

CPM is an umbrella term that describes the methodologies, metrics, processes and systems used to monitor and manage the business performance of an enterprise.

The diverse benefits it can offer to your organization include:

  • Improved Workflow
  • Simplified Calculations
  • Comprehensive Data Analysis

In most companies, Performance Management involves multiple people – from C-level executives to back-office administrators. This makes workflow one of the most compelling capabilities of Corporate Performance Management software. Examples of workflow include:

  • Marketing plans are entered and approved before users start entering sales forecasts
  • Daily operational data is scheduled to import from an ERP overnight, and reports from the data automatically distribute by email
  • In the monthly financial consolidation process, managers are asked to approve the adjustments that are made to financial data

The forward-looking nature of CPM software means that it requires more calculations than business intelligence applications, which can be limited in their view of data. Those already familiar with Excel can use Corporate Performance Management software to add ratios and other statistics metrics to a report using spreadsheet-style calculations. In fact, CPM software can pass data between Excel and the software so that all calculations possible in Excel can be incorporated into a business model.

One of the primary benefits of CPM software is the level of detail it offers regarding data analysis. With improved insight, you’ll be better equipped to demonstrate the value of financial data to your department, your company’s c-level executives, and beyond. Comprehensive data analysis will give your company a competitive edge, allowing you to use your data to make informed strategic decisions.

If you’re struggling to manage your workflows, run large-scale calculations, and get insight from your data analysis, your organization will benefit from a Performance Management tool. 

Learn more about Corporate Performance Management Software at Best Manufacturing Apps Conference (BMAC) on November 12, 2019 at Microsoft Canada HQ. Reserve your seat now! 

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VOX ISM Power BI Event

Learning in Action: VOX ISM Power BI Training Workshop at Microsoft Canada

VOX ISM, Microsoft Triple Gold Partner, once again holds a full-house, sold-out training workshop featuring Microsoft’s latest and hottest technology – Microsoft Power BI last October 30, 2019, at Microsoft Canada HQ in Mississauga.

Power BI is a business analytics solution that lets you visualize your data and share insights across your organization or embed them in your app or website. Power BI enables you to connect to hundreds of data sources and bring your data to life with live dashboards and reports. Any time, Anywhere, Anyway.

With Power BI, you can:

  • Connect to your data, wherever it is
  • Prep and model your data with ease
  • Provide advanced analytics with the familiarity of Excel
  • Create rich, interactive reports with visual analytics at your fingertips – customized for your business
  • Share reports with others on any device, anywhere.

The objective of the seminar is to introduce and train users to Power BI technology by learning how to create their first-ever Power BI Dashboard in as little as four hours.

In the seminar is VOX ISM Power BI and Analytics Team headed by Jim Heaton, President, Emma Arkadyev (Product Manager), and Patricia Cowman (Report Writing and Business Intelligence). Also, present in training – Mike Fontaine (Manufacturing and Business Process Consultant) and Trevor Reid (Senior Technology Consultant and Cyber-security expert).

The training workshop was a great success not only for the VOX ISM Team but for the attendees as well. Aside from learning something new, attendees also had a chance to express their hidden Power BI skills by joining a contest after the training workshop. The VOX ISM Power BI team walked around the room and hand-selected the three best looking Power BI dashboards. Each winner received a free bottle of wine as a prize. There was also much good feedback from the attendees mostly saying how great Power BI technology is and how they will be using it.

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Meet our Power BI Team (from left) Mike Fontaine, Emilia Arkadyev, Trevor Reid, Patricia Cowman,Ksenia Beljakova, and Ashish Tandon.
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150 VOX ISM customers, getting free Power BI training – each left after having created their companies first dashboard!
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Our Power BI presenter Mike Fontaine, with a winning dashboard behind him.

After the training workshop, Jim went around the room in search of the top three best looking Power BI dashboards from the attendees. Here are the winners:

Number 1: Tyler Czuba, Pico Ltd

Number 2: Waqas Hasan, OSL Retail Services

Number 3: Andrew Bakhit, Bayshore Healthcare

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Our Power BI award winners for the best dashboard created on the day.

Don’t fall behind! Join a growing revolution of smart businesses! Go from data to insight to action with Microsoft Power BI. Any data, any way, anywhere – all in one view.

VOX ISM will be hosting another super event- Best Manufacturing Apps Conference (BMAC) this November 12, 2019, at the Microsoft Canada HQ. Hurry! Register Now. Seats are limited!

BMAC 2019 Fall Edition

Running the Shop Floor Smoothly with Business Central

Running the shop floor smoothly with Business Central

Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Business edition, is now Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central—a robust all-in-one business management solution. Along with a new name, Business Central also includes an all-new user experience and enhanced capabilities to help you grow and connect your business.

Running the shop floor smoothly with Business Central

Is your shop floor running smoothly like a well-oiled machine? Do all of the operators know what the plan is for the day, how they performed yesterday, what job is next on their machine and have the necessary tools, CNC programs, and materials kitted, staged and available to execute efficiently without a lot of wasted time or rework.

Production Orders

Production orders contain the following information:

• The type and quantity of products to manufacture

• The components that are required to produce manufactured products

• The steps or routing operations that are required to convert the components into manufactured products.

• The work centers and machine centers where the routing operations occur. Work centers and machine centers are also known as facilities or capacities.

The information in a production order serves a different purpose, depending on the date of the order, as follows:

• Production orders that are scheduled for the future represent a known production demand for the component items and capacities that are required to produce them and also provide a future supply of finished goods. Combined with forecasts and known sales demand, future production orders are essential for production planning.

• Current production orders control daily manufacturing activities. They contain information on products that are currently in the manufacturing process. They also provide information on the component items and capacities that have just been consumed or are about to be consumed.

• Past production orders contain a record of the products that were manufactured in the past, and the component items and capacities that were used to produce them.

A production order can have one of the following five status codes:

• Simulated

• Planned

• Firm Planned

• Released

• Finished

Simulated Production Orders

A simulated production order (SPO) is an example production order. You use SPOs mainly for costing and quoting purposes. They do not influence the master production schedule (MPS), material requirements planning (MRP), or manufacturing operations. For example, you cannot manufacture products by using an SPO. Therefore, SPOs do not consume materials or capacities.

Planned Production Order (PPO)

A planned production order (PPO) specifies information about a product that you expect to produce. There is no firm commitment to producing it. Typically, the planning system generates a PPO as a suggested production order that includes quantity, release date, and due date. The planning system bases its suggestions on the replenishment system, reorder policies, and order modifiers that it encounters in the net requirements planning process. The planning system uses a delete and replaces approach in this process.

Firm Planned Production Order (FPPO)

A firm planned production order (FPPO) acts as a placeholder in the planning schedule for a future job that you intend to release to the shop floor. You can create FPPOs manually or from a sales order. The planning system can also generate them. Typically, you create FPPOs to account for known capacity and material requirements in the future.

Released Production Order (RPO)

A released production order (RPO) is a production order that you have published for manufacturing. After you release a production order, you can post produced quantity and component consumption to it. This does not necessarily mean that component item are picked for the order or that any of its operations have started. It means that the order is between its release and its completion.

Finished Production Order (FPO)

A finished production order (FPO) is typically one that was manufactured, although it may have been terminated. In either case, the order is considered closed and

can not be changed, posted, or deleted.

Job Card

It is used for the Production floor. It provides all the details like the operation, item, expected qty. of those items and time needed to finish the production order etc.

You can also use the power to power BI reports monitoring the different parts of the shop floor, which are customizable according to your needs.

Learn more about Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. Join our exclusive event – Best Manufacturing Apps Conference (BMAC) 2019 Fall Edition.

BMAC 2019 Fall Edition
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Blog post by Ishu Singh – Manufacturing Consultant

Ishu Singh is a B.Tech in the mechanical stream and also has done Post graduate diploma in Manufacturing Management and General Arts and Science. He is a certified Project Management Professional, Change Management Professional and a Certified IATF lead auditor.

In the seven years of his experience, he has taken companies to the next level. He oversaw Quality and strategic planning in many companies which helped the companies in achieving optimal and profitable results.