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Microsoft Dynamics NAV – 1.3 Million Users Can’t Be Wrong

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There are over 1.3 million users of Microsoft Dynamics NAV and with the release of version 2009 SP1 the software is now open to millions of new features.  Millions?  You may ask how can that be?  No way?  Let me explain what I mean.

Twenty years ago when our firm began, custom developed software was the answer to a company’s needs.  Packaged software with the features necessary to meet the standard requirements of a business enterprise was too large, complex, and expensive or it was too small and too simple to provide much value beyond basic accounting.  So the answer was to build what you needed.  Beginning in the early 1990s, publishers began adding functionality to their software and in the last few years we have had access to broadly featured ERP solutions for the middle market players.  However, with our new, connected business ecosystem and with the overwhelming possibilities provided by the internet, we once again found ourselves limited by the software features available.

Today, with the release of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 we have everything we ever wanted – a broadly featured enterprise financial system with a totally open development environment.  We can build, attach, reference, interface with, display, or engage anything one might imagine.  How about a warehouse heat map that would allow you to view bin activity and make bin transfers with drag and drop?  What if you had a map of your customer’s location visible right on the customer master card and that map also had all of your other customers showing so you could easily combine sales or service visits?  How about connecting to your suppliers or your customers electronically and in real time?  How about a full GPS vehicle tracking system for your fleet?  All of this and more is available with the Client Extensibility tools available with NAV 2009.

To be truthful, I hesitated to type the ideas in the paragraph above because the sky is really the limit.  Any time one presents a short list of ideas those ideas will tend to focus the reader’s attention and potentially eliminate unrelated, yet still powerful possibilities from thought.  We used to consult clients from within the borders of the software tools we had available. The new paradigm we must now absorb will be to leave our tools at the office and truly whiteboard possibilities for our clients without the constraints the tools used to provide. We are free to focus on the processes or issues and imagine the solutions without limitation.  What a brave new world this is!

I, for one, am very excited about this new environment, but not without some trepidation.  My pause comes from knowing my own limitations as a creative thinker.  It scares me just a bit to realize that there are a million possibilities and I will likely only see three.  However, I am just one fellow and in our business, it often takes a team to breed a great solution.  I am comforted by the knowledge that I am surrounded by one of the best teams of ERP implementation experts working today!

Thanks for reading – I look forward to your comments.

By Sikich – Microsoft Dynamics NAV Partner, Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and Microsoft Inner Circle member serving St. Louis,  MO and the Midwest

a Missouri Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner

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