Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015: More details, more viewpoints emerge

Last week we noted that the announcement of general availability for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015 seemed un-necessarily brief. Microsoft had shared lots of NAV 2015 details in person at Decisions US but at the same time they remained nearly silent about the product in public forums like their own blog, leaving the conversation in the hands of an eager and willing but un-managed group of expert bloggers. (That communications situation has since changed, which is discussed below.)

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NAV "development platform" and 2015

I am very happy to see NAV 2015 and the progress Microsoft has made to make NAV a more "portable" product. Our previous product had a good tool set that enabled us to migrate customers' modified systems forward to new versions with very little work. I think that is good for the client, the partner and Microsoft.

I understand the "platform" comment, because NAV is an excellent foundation for verticalization and customization to business processes. However, the "platform" mindset or terminology comes across to the customer as "this product isn't fully completed", which I don't believe it true. Of course there are more things that Microsoft can do to finish or polish functionality, but the product can hold its own right out of the box.

Many times customers need modification to handle some business critical function. However, many times customers do not know what they need - they only know how they used to do it on the old system. Then NAV begins to resemble the old system because we allow the customer to drive rather than challenging the business process. Business processes are always (or should be) subject to change. Processes are the servants of business goals and objectives. They are valuable only when they meet a need efficiently and effectively. Too many processes cost more than the value they provide. Part of our job as partners or V(alue)ARs is helping the client determine value.

I understand the "platform" concept, but I think that the concept does not translate well to many prospects who are or might consider NAV for their "standard" accounting/ERP requirements. So, be careful or you may "sell" the prospect on another product.

Ron Ketterling
Business Automation Specialists of MN, Inc.