Microsoft Corp plans to release Microsoft Dynamics SL 2011 during the second quarter of 2011 in English in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Puerto Rico.

The new product, which is primarily designed for the construction, professional services, government contracting, architecture and engineering fields, features numerous enhancements geared around partner and customer feedback. Users want to “work more productively, better connect their businesses, and drive business value and insight,” said Microsoft Dynamics product unit manager Jeff Wallis.

“There are three key pillars that guided our design and investment decisions, all influenced by customers and partners,” Wallis added. “The first was to help employees be more productive, getting more done in less time and resources. We extended SL to integrate a homegrown or third party application, as well as offering new Web services and a framework used for connectivity and integration to MS CRM. Dynamics SL also has a rich history of delivering in-depth reports, but our users wanted more so we simplified the ability to quickly look up information embedded in database.”

This update features the familiar Microsoft Office look and feel and role-specific dashboards, and is designed to reduce the time required for people to learn how to use it. Other new productivity-enhancing features include Quick Query, which provides more than 50 predesigned search options to find information faster, and the ability to quickly send documents such as invoices and purchase orders from within Microsoft Dynamics SL to customers and vendors.

In addition, Microsoft Dynamics SL supports integration with Microsoft Project Server 2010, Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Microsoft Office 2010, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM through its Web Services division.

Partners that have had a chance to preview and test Dynamics SL 2011 commented on some of the latest enhancements in the areas of usability and document management.

“Jeff [Wallis] makes some great, broad points about [SL 2011] but there are some killer things when you drill down into it, like Web services, the Quick Query feature, and its document management capabilities; that is very big,” said Jeff Goldstein, president of New York-based Queue Associates Inc., which won Dynamics SL partner of the year 2010. “Their new multi-company feature is also big. We have lots of clients that have up to 200 companies in their system and while [Microsoft SL] has had a multi-company feature for a while, you always had to log in and out, and you do not have to do that in the new version.”

Other partners, such as Progressive System Solutions, based in Orlando, Fla., were excited about Dynamics SL 2011’s ability to make the most of users’ time.

“The new Microsoft Project features in Dynamics SL finish out an already outstanding project accounting ERP system,” said Progressive System Solutions president Carolyn Jasiulewicz, CPA. “Clients using Project are going to love being able to handle inventory for projects as well as the ability to actually create a project form sales order. The tighter integration of Project with the other SL modules will save time and improve efficiency. Dynamics SL’s new Web Services and document sharing features are also cutting edge. More and more today businesses are moving toward the Web and these new features put Dynamics SL at the forefront.”

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