Last week I spend an evening just taking about things with my Dad and my Brother. Something that does not happen very often so I looked forward to it and enjoyed very much. We all have a lot of personality characteristics in common so most stories sound like it could happen to all of us.
My Dad told us a story how he managed to enroll himself into an exam via Internet. He had to fill out an online form to enroll. And he did, but never got a confirmation. So he called the company and explained what happened. The entry never made it into the system to the company told him to try again, which he did. This time it worked and the transaction was confirmed. My dad was happy.
This reminded me of some situations I have at a customer that deals with these issues as well, but in that case I am on the other side of things. I am the guy whom is asked: "Do we have this-and-this transaction via the website/email?" etc.
This is the story:
"One of my customers is using board computers in their vans and they receive their shipments via an interface with Dynamics NAV. Most of the time this works fine, but since they have almost 400 of these machines, things happen. Weird things. One of the drivers complained that a shipment never arrived at her board computer, so we investigated. Since we keep traces of most transactions we could see that indeed the shipment was in Dynamics NAV but not in the Board Computer so we did a similar transaction in the test system. We could not reproduce the error. So someone suggested to make a copy of the shipment in the real system and see what happenes. So we did and everthing went fine. To make a long story short, in the end we found the issue and removed the data we created in the real system. Or so we thought...
A few days later I got a call from the customer that this shipment is still being sent to the board computer. So we obviously forgot to remove something. The only issue is that the "shipments" at this company are persons being transported in taxi's. So we accidentaly created a person that did not exist. But since we made a copy of a real person, all the address information was of someone real."
In the end we fixed the issue and laughed about it, but imagine what can happen... someone like my dad could get enroled into a wrong exam because someone tested why his enrollment did not work.
At the end of all lines in the ERP software we use are people, real people like you and me and we should always be aware of that.
This was a story, a story that really happened and was a lesson for me, and hopefully for some who read this too...
I have not blogged that much lately, nor have I been active on Mibuso or done much for the DDC.
Reason for this is a question that came end of November. I was called by someone who used to work for one of my customers. He had bought a company. This company was using several AS400 systems and even after a few weeks he realised that some of these systems was a bottleneck in the company.
So he asked me, can we replace that with Navision. I said sure and we scheduled a visit. I looked at their processes and told him we needed at least three months to implement. Go live 1st of March.
Answer: Not possible, has to be done before January 1st. Amai, that was only 4 weeks. Reason was the current maintenance contract that, for one year, was higher than the license costs of a new Navision implementation.
I did some phonecalls and found help and said yes. So I had a challenge; implementing Dynamics NAV in four weeks.
And, we managed to do it. On January 3rd the first planning was done using Dynamics NAV and the first Invoices are sent with the new system.
How we did this: Agile all the way... We dropped all the official procedures and where developing in the production database while being in production.
And I can say: Don't try this at home. I had some scary moments after making some on the fly changes and correcting data.
Since we were using an add-on that was not upgraded to the RTC I had to step back to the classic client. Man, what a difference to explain to end users. I was used to show someone the RTC and let them work.
The difference between getting used to NAV Classic anc NAV RTC for a new end user is MASSIVE! And this experince again makes me realise how important the RTC is for the future of ERP at Microsoft.
We are now in the third week of January and the processes are running as smooth as you can expect in such a short period.
Implementing Navision in four weeks was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me, or at least that is what I say now.
Eric already mentioned it in his blog, the impression that R2 has performance improvements.
Well, I can second that, BIG TIME.
I am using NAV2009 ever since the early alpha releases and always found the user interface "fluffy". Usable, but sometimes anoyingly fluffy.
One of my customers has a 20GB database with the RTC and is only using custom build pages. They were telling me that if the system was very busy NAV was slow. Profiler did not show any slow queries (hey I still know by basis SQL skills).
Last sunday, encouraged by a phonecall with Waldo, I decided to upgrade my home server to R2 and what a difference. Amazing.
So today I decided to upgrade my customer. Fortunately we have two citrix servers so we first upgraded one and tested the result. The first thing they said was, Mark, does R stand for Racing? (The company is a taxicompany).
So we completed the process by upgrading the second citrix server.
Fingers crossed for the next few days.
Oh and for those who are interested: Their configuration is a VMWAre 4.x on two HP380's with a MSA2000 san. The san only has 6 SATA!!! drives that contain Citrix, Exchange, Fileserver, SQL and the Service tier. On this configuration we run a 20GB RTC database. With webservices, Client add-ins etcetera...