At Microsoft Dynamics NAV Session, Users Bemoan Their Dependence on VARs and Partners

"Has anyone had an issue dealing with their VAR?" a user of Microsoft Dynamics NAV asked about 15 other users gathered on a conference call Tuesday.

"Has anyone not had an issue dealing with their VAR?" asked another user, to chuckles among the group.

The conference call was an event sponsored by the NAV User Group, ostensibly about "Go Live Experiences," but it quickly evolved into a gripe session about the difficulties associated with finding qualified assistance implementing Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

Part of the problem is what one user called "an ERP-related issue." Partners and VARs each have particular strengths and weaknesses, he noted.

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Some Thoughts

It is clear the group has experienced a very common issue that is raised by all users of all ERP software these days. In general there is a shortage of talent in the IT industry. Period, full-stop. The issues raised are not unique to Dynamics NAV. One could certainly find a group of customers on any other ERP solution that would voice some of the same frustrations in terms of finding talented IT people.

There is no question that the technology and feature set of Microsoft Dynamics NAV has been so eagerly embraced by North American users that pressure has indeed been put on talented NAV resources to provide services. Having typed that, there are a significant number of NAV resellers that have been around the channel since the mid 1990's when the product arrived in the U.S. and they will all have many staff members with deep knowledge in the product. Accessing one of those "old timers" can be done today through your present NAV reseller - just ask! We (I am a reseller) all tend to work well together.

With regards to record locking, there have been huge improvements in each release since v3.6. You should each know that you can upgrade the runtime (.exe) without upgrading the actual database and still achieve significant performance enhancements. And if you are still running on the native database, you should consider a move to SQL.

The product is great - none other like it - the reseller channel is also great - none other like it. With a little perseverance and some communication, we will all succeed together.

User Experience

I (former reseller and now a developer) agree with John. The NAV product is very rich in functionality, hence the learning curver often supprises new users. The development tools are great, but if not done properly you can bring the system to a crawl.

The shortage of NAV expertise is geographic. Some resellers have excess capacity, and some are overloaded. If your reseller is over booked, ask them to help locate resources from the other NAV resellers.

I encourage new users to learn more than just printing financial statements. Learn to use the Table, Form, and Report Designer too. You will reduce your dependency on your local reseller. There are lots of learning tools available. Do a Google search on Dynamics NAV Training. You will be amazed at the list of options.

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