I started working with Navision in 1990 and since then I've done almost everything in this industry.
In 1995 I started the Dynamics User Group, formerly Navision Online User Group and Microsoft Business Solutions User Group. Here on my blog I write mostly about the Dynamics Community, my experiences with Microsoft and especially the Dynamics NAV and Navision projects I'm working on, but also how it is to work as a self-employed Navision freelancer, Navision contractor or whatever you call it.
I don’t think anyone who visits this site regularly have missed that the “Top 100 Most Influential Dynamics People” list has been published once again.
The top 10 for 2010 looks like this:
Last week I participated in the Directions EMEA 2010 conference which took place in Prague in the Czech Republic. It was the first time me to participate in Directions, as this conference is for NAV partners only, and the previous years I have been working directly for end-users.
Directions is a conference arranged by and for Navision partners. Originally it was a US based conference but for three years it has also been taking place here in Europe – or the EMEA area which is Europe, Middle-East and Africa. Not that there was any participants from Africa, so maybe they should call it Europe, Middle-East and Asia, as there was several participants from Asia, including India and Japan.
If you like me are familiar with Microsoft’s own Convergence and especially in the US, then you are also used to conferences with 2-3000 participants. Directions EMEA did not have 3000 participants, but only a little over 300. And that was actually great! It was a very nice conference almost cozy. You really had a chance to meet a lot of new people and to “build bridges” as their slogan is. And even though Microsoft is not responsible for this event, then this doesn’t mean that they do not do their part to make Directions a success. Besides being the main sponsor of the conference then they did send a large number of their best people including Michael Nielsen, Claus Lundstrøm, Lars Hammer, Thomas Hejlsberg and a lot more.
The quality of the sessions was also much higher than I have been used to at Microsoft’s own conference. There was really content for everybody, no matter if you are working with sales or consulting/development. And several of my fellow NAV MVP’s delivered excellent sessions within their expertise.
I like to thank the Directions EMEA committee for arranging this non-profit conference. They have really been doing a great job.
I’m sure that I will be there next year and if I can get it to fit with my plans, then I will also be there for Directions US in San Diego on October 3 – 6, 2010.
Today was the first day of this years top Navision conference in Europe. Directions is a conference arranged by and for Navision partners. But Microsoft is surely acknowledging Directions. Not only are they the main sponsor and are sending many of their best people to the conference, but they also used the event to announce the release of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 R2.
Traditionally Microsoft have only released service packs for Navision and sometimes added minor (sometimes even major) functionality for their service packs. But now they are doing the same as they have done for some of their other products such as Windows Server 2008 which now also has a R2 or release 2.
NAV 2009 R2 will include several of the features which according to their so-called Statement of Directions shouldn’t have been released until NAV “7” or NAV 2011.
The major news includes:
Personally I’m very happy that the CRM integration finally will be released. As I wrote in my previous blog post, then this as been long awaited. For many customers the fact that no official integration has been available, has been a reason for selecting both a different ERP system, but also a different CRM system than Microsoft Dynamics.
Both the release of the RTC interface for remote users and the Microsoft Application virtualization support is also really good news for all the customers who are looking for a fully hosted solution. Today the main choice for these customers has been to use virtualization via Citrix. I’m really looking forward to see some performance statistics on this, before I would start to recommend anyone to use. But what we saw at the conference sure did look fine.
The Online Payment Service also looked pretty fine, but I’m not really sure how much this would actually be used. And until they add support for local payment providers then I really don’t think it will become much of a success here in Europe. Of the three or four provides listed in their demo, I only knew one which is Paypal.
At the hallways of the conference I also heard unconfirmed rumors that additional features, also announced for NAV “7”, would be able to be included before the release of R2 in the forth quarter of 2010.
I think its very good that Microsoft is now announce NAV 2009 R2. Primary because a lot of customers have been asking why they should be upgrading to NAV 2009. And until now I really has been difficult to find reasons good enough to justify the cost of upgrading as there really has not been that much new functionality compared to the classic client versions. Now it’s going to be a little easier to convince customers why it’s important to upgrade. But personally I think that most companies will still wait at least a year or two before they would upgrade.
If you want to read the full announced them you can find it on Microsoft’s website here: http://www.microsoft.com/Presspass/press/2010/may10/05-18NAV2009R2PR.mspx