From small beginningsBack in 2002 a group of ERP consultants & SQL experts were getting tired of beavering away trying to build BI solutions to provide much needed reporting and analytics for their clients. One day they stopped, took a step back and thought: “Why are we spending so much time building individual solutions for each customer, when each customer is trying to solve the same problem? What if we could build a product that would do this for us?”
So four individuals decided to take a leap of faith, quit their consulting jobs and set about writing software which would create a data warehouse in minutes and bring all the financial information from a given clients’ ERP system into a single cube.
Reporting out of an ERP system – it shouldn’t be that difficult!
Everybody said it couldn’t be done. “You think you can build a product that will enable users to drill down from the General Ledger to find out where every transaction came from?” Yes! “You want to Combine sales, purchase and inventory into a single cube so you can see the relationships between them all?” Why not?! “No, no, not possible”, they said. “Just you wait and see…” we replied as we ripped up the rule books and set out to prove them wrong.
Making the impossible, possible
With Microsoft’s SQL Server 2000 product establishing itself in the marketplace, complete with new ‘Analysis Services’ OLAP cubes, the technology was becoming available to support this dream. Around the same time, Microsoft purchased an ERP system called Navision, so we sweet-talked a Navision reseller into giving us access to a Navision database to begin our research.
By 2004 we had a product that we could be proud of and so we started to file patents covering our techniques of merging the sub-ledgers and GL together – these techniques allow us to re-create the audit trail and integrate the ERP sub-ledger and GL entries into a single cube for analysis.
Finding our niche
As our customer base grew, so did our team – in some cases our customers loved us so much they came to work for us! Our NAV product came of age, and to satisfy the demands of our customers we extended it beyond just the General Ledger into Supply Chain Management and Projects. Then we took what we had learned and built an equivalent product on top of Axapta (now Dynamics AX).
Because of our in-depth knowledge of the inner workings of Dynamics NAV and AX, our customers – and their resellers – often contact us for advice on their systems. Customer experience and data quality are at the core of what we do, which is why we have a team of experts on hand to monitor, maintain and support our customer’s PrecisionPoint installations. We become an integral part of our customers’ organisation, as they run their businesses based on the data we provide.
12 years on and we’re still the only company to offer software that understands the ERP audit trail and provides accurate, reconciled data to its users out of the box.
Sticking to our principles
From the early days of coding round the kitchen table and transporting our server between each other’s houses in the back of a car, we are proud to say that PrecisionPoint Sofware is now a global software company with offices in both the UK and US and a customer base spanning 20 different countries in 4 contintents. Our software is used by a whole range of people, from CEOs to Credit Controllers to Warehouse Managers, in a multitude of languages, to provide accurate reconciled information to aid better decision making.
The beauty is that we still adhere to the same design principles that we started with all those years ago:
- provide an out-of-the-box ERP BI solution with low risk and rapid ROI
- enable any information user within the business to access a single version of the truth
- if a request for data is reasonable, it should be possible to get it out of PrecisionPoint
- integrity of our data is key
- keep deployment and training costs low by exploiting things our users are already familiar with – for example:
– using Dynamics NAV & AX terminology throughout
– allowing you to use whichever front end reporting tool you choose
– offering best-of-breed Excel and Web interfaces
An approach to BI that is demonstrably different. Try us, no long term commitment required.