Microsoft Dynamics for Media/Publishing/Entertainment Industries


Industry Challenges

The prevalence of digital technologies spanning the Internet, mobile telecommunications, radio and TV is now compelling publishers, PR, advertising, marketing, news and broadcasting agencies and as well as entertainment venues to embrace the latest IT systems to stay agile and responsive to their dynamic audience.

Some specific industry challenges include:

  • Identifying latest consumer and business trends
  • Undertaking more personalised and highly targeted marketing, including the adoption of new media
  • Juggling with legal frameworks and industry guidelines, e.g. Data Protection Act, Freedom of Information Act, MRS Code of Conduct
  • Controlling escalating operational costs
  • Straddling disparate, disconnected legacy business systems which fail to accommodate modern working practices and technological advances (especially mobile and Web-enabled technologies)
  • Exigency to move from manual to automated processes to drive down cost, improve operational efficiencies in order to remain competitive
  • Providing mobile / field access to critical business data
  • Produce, manage and distribute content, with close attention to security, cost and other sensitive delivery issues
  • Desire to progress to a more streamlined method of interacting with suppliers, collaborators and customers
Microsoft Dynamics solutions provide a flexible platform from which to integrate and automate processes, control costs, fuel productivity as well as identify and nurture healthy, lucrative supplier and customer relations.

Solutions for Competitive Advantage

M4 Systems can help you achieve sustainable competitive advantage by deploying Microsoft’s functionally rich, easy to use and cost-effective integrated resource planning, customer relationship management and content/document management solutions (using Dynamics GP, Dynamics CRM and SharePoint).

These allow you to leverage the following features and benefits:

  • Centralised, standardised database with contact data captured only once and shared across business functions, including finance, HR, operations, sales and marketing for uniform view of employees, suppliers and customers
  • Accurate and reliable data analysis tools (including KPIs) and reporting mechanisms giving real-time insight into profitability (by Job, Client, Department/Team, etc), brand performance, competitor data, results of customer attraction and retention strategies and much more…
  • eProcurement to streamline the ordering process and eliminate operational errors and costs by automating and accelerating processing of purchase orders, payables and invoices
  • Flexible invoicing methods to accommodate recurring (e.g. retainer) billing schemes, ad-hoc billing (contract set-up and termination fees), plus full historical record of changes for audit purposes
  • Web-based capture, review and approval of project costs, such as time and project-related expenses enabling, prompt, accurate customer invoicing and efficient reimbursement for out-of-pocket employee expenses
  • Full multi-currency and multi-lingual capabilities to cater for international business needs
  • Seamless integration with and utilisation of other Microsoft products, including Word, Excel and Outlook, helping you to capitalise on existing Microsoft investments
  • Ease and familiarity of use, allowing your users to hit the deck running. Dynamics CRM works from within Outlook but can also be accessed via a Web browser. Dynamics GP has a user interface that looks and feels like Outlook and features customisable, roles-based homepage dashboards and quick menu navigation. There are components of SharePoint in the Dynamics systems delivering workflow and audit trail capabilities. Full-blown SharePoint can also be integrated to give advanced document management enterprise search, document version control, and more elaborate workflow automation
  • Application of Microsoft SQL technology for secure, scalable and configurable performance
For more detailed product information, we invite you to visit the relevant product sections on our web site.

Custom Activity Tracking / Reporting

M4 Systems have developed and integrated into Microsoft Dynamics GP a Web-based custom activity tracking and reporting module to allow businesses in the Media and Publishing sector to more effectively track media-related costs and provide web-enabled client reporting.
In addition to tracking employee time and expense, this application tracks time and cost associated with client meetings, media visits and pitches, press trips and media coverage, with a repository for press clippings and receipts.


  • Improved visibility, control and interrogation of project costs
  • More accurate, comprehensive and systematic client billing
  • Increased productivity by having a single integrated and automated system to manage multiple functions and activities, thus reducing data input and improving information accuracy
  • Better team performance management and fast, effective decision-making with clear, snapshot reporting


  • Web browser-based data entry forms
  • Secure technology platform utilising Microsoft SQL Server
  • Quick and easy lookups for contact data in both Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Dynamics GP
  • Link to Microsoft SharePoint document management
  • Optional integration with third party clippings data provider
  • Enhanced graphical reporting, e.g. pie chart of revenue breakout by individual or team
  • Approval process to review timesheets, expenses and invoices with options to reject and add comments
  • Electronic delivery of client reports and invoices in pdf format
  • Multi-currency capability
  • Ability to spread expenses and retainer fees across multiple clients or across billing periods
  • Consolidated client invoicing (costs for all projects grouped in one comprehensive invoice with attached receipts and clippings)


We are working with an ever-growing number of businesses in the media, publishing and entertainment sector who are evaluating and realising the potential of deploying flexible, intelligent and mobile IT solutions to streamline their business processes and garner real competitive edge over rivals.