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Getting Concerns Into the Open: Users at NAVUG Forum 2008 Group Session Seek Improvements in the Partner and ISV Relationship

by Jason Gumpert

In a roundtable discussion Tuesday intended to focus on ideas about the future of Microsoft Dynamics NAV, attendees at NAVUG Forum 2008 in Las Vegas quickly re-purposed the meeting into a brainstorming session on add-on support, the Dynamics Partner experience, and the Partner-ISV relationship. 

Microsoft officials in attendance expressed the desire to scale up partner capacity and broaden the user base within NAV customer sites.  But customers responded bluntly with their frustration in relying on partners for expertise and services, identifying two main problem areas:

1. Partner skills. More than one customer noted that they've been burned by partners learning new versions of the software during billable hours.  And because of the technically "closed" nature of NAV, customers feel that they are forced to rely on their partners' specialized technical expertise and they find it difficult to recruit skilled in-house developers for long term, ongoing projects.

2. Support responsibilities. Equally frustrating is the confusing technical support situation in which users often find themselves when implementing NAV through a partner, with one or more add-ons.  Customers expect the partner to be their first line of support, especially for add-on issues, but often the ISVs who make the add-ons become the direct support services provider when the partner is unable or unwilling to manage the relationship.  Use more add-ons and you have more technical support channels to manage for your NAV solution.  Spread those add-ons across different users, managers, and IT administrators on your NAV system and the issue becomes even more complex

The partners in the room responded that they likewise feel overwhelmed at times by the difficulty in supporting both the standard NAV implementation and also tracking which add-ons ...

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About Jason Gumpert

As the editor of, Jason oversees all editorial content on the site and at our events, as well as providing site management and strategy. He can be reached at

Prior to co-founding, Jason was a Principal Software Consultant at Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC), where he implemented solutions, trained customers, managed software development, and spent some time in the pre-sales engineering organization. He has also held consulting positions at CSC Consulting and Monitor Group.

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