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11/30/2008 - Triangle Welcomes Fine Solutions

Fine Solutions, LLC was born when Fine Business Solutions merged with Business Performance Solutions in 2007. Fine Solutions specializes in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Enterprise Performance Management (EPM). The company is a Microsoft integrator and premier partner and specializes in Dynamics GP (formerly Great Plains) and Dynamics AX (formerly Axapta) – both purchased by Microsoft -- SharePoint and Dashboards.

The Spokane branch of Fine Solutions office is in the Spokane Entrepreneurial Center and is headed by Michael Burley. Burley has operated in the Spokane area for over a year, but the local office was established last July. Burley’s special expertise is in Dynamics AX and SharePoint & Dashboards.

Burley’s background is interesting. His business school education culminated with a degree in accounting just as the computer age really took off. He describes himself as “the world’s laziest accountant”, so he related to computers immediately. As his professional life took him through accounting and business information and organization, he learned how to make the computer do what he needed, especially in ERP. This ability took him to Great Plains Software. His next move was to Bsquare in Bellevue where he was head of IT – then he formed Business Performance Solutions which later merged with Fine Business Solutions, owned by Dan Fine. His experience in both technology and finance allows him to help his clients tailor their business systems to get the information and reports that they need.

Microsoft Dynamics AX is a complete back office program that is for companies with a global footprint or multiple locations. Dynamics AX manages just about everything -- manufacturing, warehouse, inventory, sales, human resources, customer relations, basic accounting, and financial analysis. It combines the entire enterprise into one application on a single database. The program can be easily modified and customized to fit the needs of the end user. “Data fields can be created on the fly,” says Burley. The newly created field then shows up throughout the company on the appropriate user screens, based on its category assignment. Dynamics AX also has excellent multi-currency and foreign language capabilities. Companies such as Buck Knives use Dynamics AX as a business management tool. Dynamics AX can be integrated with the Web through SharePoint technologies.

When Burley demonstrates SharePoint, he not only makes it look really simple to operate, he makes it the most desirable platform possible. You wish you had started using SharePoint long ago. Microsoft SharePoint includes browser-based collaboration and a document-management platform -- intended to be a collaborative workspace, it is a tool for the management and automation of business processes. It can be used to host Web sites that access shared workspaces and documents, as well as specialized applications like blogs. SharePoint sites are actually ASP.NET 2.0 applications, which are served using IIS and use an SQL Server database as a data storage backend. "SharePoint" collectively refers to two products, the platform and the services. WSS 3.0 is the platform while MOSS 2007 provides additional services. The most current of these two are: Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (WSS) and Microsoft Office SharePoint Sever 2007 (MOSS).

An installation of Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 can range from a single computer (stand-alone installation) to many computers in a server farm. The requirements for installation depend on the availability and scale requirement of the end user. A free trial version is available for download. “The important thing with SharePoint,” says Burley, “is to start small, and do one small quick project. Although the total program is large and mature, it isn't at all difficult if you start with manageable segments. Small companies to huge can use SharePoint.”

If you run into trouble, call Michael Burley at Fine Solutions (509) 230-9543, or e-mail mburley@fine.com. Burley is planning to start a SharePoint User Group. The Terabyte Triangle Newsletter will let you know when and where.

To learn more about Fine Solutions, LLC, visit www.fine.com.

Billie Moreland
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