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Microsoft Dynamics NAV (Navision)

Dynamics NAV combines financial, distribution and manufacturing capabilities, along with a fairly robust customer relationship management (CRM) application.  They also offer Service Management module that handles contract pricing, warranties and resource allocation.

NAV features probably offers the best reporting and data access of any mid-market product because this capability was built into the system’s database. It features ease of access and filtering of  historical and live data and  great customization tools like the table and form designer. It is also easy to replicate an existing workflow.

People often buy Microsoft Dynamics NAV to customize it and it is among the best choices for that.  Flexibility, however, comes at a price.  Although on-line user manuals are provided with the software, they are not sufficient to implement the system.  “Trial and error” will result in disaster!  The Navision solution is to work exclusively with your local certified solution center from which you will purchase the software, train, implement, support and customize the software as required.  Users can make modifications but these will need to be coordinated with your solution center for keeping versions of objects consistent. Purchasing software off-the-shelf does not relieve the IT (information technology) department from involvement in implementing the solution.  If the modifications are extensive, the business can purchase a license to have full access to the source code.  If the business purchases the source code, it must take full responsibility for specifying and testing modifications, preparing workflow and user documentation, user training and day-to-day routine support. 

For robust vertical applications Navision relies on many third parties for industry specific capabilities (such as batch processing and furniture).  As with any third party integration you will want to know who to call when there is a problem with the software. Try to insure that one vendor takes responsibility for that when the contract is written.

A  Navision Solution partner may be good in one business area but no nothing about another. May sure they have the expertise for your industry. Finally, recognize that you are going to be very dependent on your solution partner for support as there is no usable instruction manual or on-line support.

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