New Statement of Direction for Microsoft Dynamics NAV Shows a Great Future for the Product and Its Users

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One of the most important criteria when selecting an ERP solution is having the assurance that the product will be maintained, developed and supported in the long-term. That’s because businesses that implement new ERP software don’t just want to get a return on investment, they want the system to carry on working for them, delivering benefits, cost-savings and process improvements as their organisations change and grow.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV gives you greater control over the key decisions affecting the success of your business, enhancing your margins, and supporting changing requirements to drive profitable growth. The product achieves this through simplicity, value, and agility.

Recently, Microsoft released an updated Statement of Direction for Microsoft Dynamics NAV. This document provides current and potential users with the assurance and insight they need about the product’s future. It provides a look into the short, medium, and longer-term development plans for Microsoft Dynamics NAV, helps businesses look ahead, plan, and get the very best out of their ERP investment.

Microsoft updates the Statement of Direction fairly regularly. The updates are often quite subtle and in this update there’s no change of focus, direction, or strategy. What it does illustrate is that Microsoft is committed to Microsoft Dynamics NAV, is adding well thought out features and functionality to the product, and is developing it in line with technical innovations.

Here are some of the key points from the latest Statement of Direction for Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

As discussed in an earlier blog post, there are two new free tools for Microsoft Dynamics NAV: Zetadocs Express and Jet Reports Express. Microsoft Dynamics NAV users have been able to download these tools (a document management add-on and a business reporting solution) free of charge since the latter half of 2011.

The next major product update, ‘Microsoft Dynamics NAV 7’, is scheduled for release in September or October this year. This will add new cloud deployment capabilities, have enhanced core functionality, and include RapidStart Services.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV RapidStart services provide a way of getting the product up and running extremely quickly. It helps organisations, working with their business partner, to configure business processes and modules and engage the right people and teams.

Microsoft has been embracing the cloud for some time, and as an ERP business partner, Concentrix TSG has been offering Microsoft Dynamics NAV as cloud-based ERP software since 2010. Microsoft make an interesting point about cloud computing in the Statement of Direction for Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Although the company acknowledges that the emphasis on cloud computing in today’s market has tended towards reducing costs, they also see cloud as an opportunity to re-imagine business applications. Microsoft is looking to use the cloud to deliver services, information, and capabilities in ways that today are too costly or impractical.

Users of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 7 will be able to access the product, whether on-premise or in the cloud, using Internet Explorer. This is generally easier than the current method (which means having to install the ERP software on users PC’s) and a way many users prefer. It also makes it quicker to deploy the product. Similarly it will also be possible to keep the cost of deployment of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 7 down using SharePoint integration. Like the web client, deploying the product through SharePoint does not need any software installed on users PC’s.

Additions in the next release will include enhancements to the popular Microsoft Dynamics NAV Role Tailored functionality, giving users better access to the data they need and reducing the number of key strokes needed with high volume information entry. It will also build on data visualisation to further improve decision making.

One of the most important functions of the Statement of Direction is to reassure users that Microsoft, as a software vendor, is committed to Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Microsoft has made a major investment in new releases for the product and scheduled upcoming releases well in to the future. The updated roadmap shows the features, functionality and enhancements not just in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 7, but versions 8, 9 and beyond! As well as being committed to new releases, the company also provides mainstream support for older versions of the software for at least five years after it is generally available. So for example, if you purchased Microsoft Dynamics NAV 5.0 in April 2007, it has mainstream support, which covers things like security, tax and regulatory changes, until April 2012. However it doesn’t stop there. If you want to continue with an older version of the product after five years, you can buy up to an extra five years of extended support. This helps you ensure return on investment with any particular release of Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

The new Statement of Direction for Microsoft Dynamics NAV shows a great future for the product and its users. For more information about the latest Microsoft Dynamics NAV Statement of Direction and further details of the upcoming enhancements and developments to the product, please contact Concentrix TSG or your local Microsoft Dynamics NAV Business Partner.

By Concentrix TSG – UK ERP Specialists

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