Directions Day 3 - Final Day

This was the last day of directions USA 2009 but when writing it was yesterday. Currently I am at the airport waiting for my plane to leave. Together with me is my friend Sam Adams from this town called Draft.

Directions USA 2009 was a great event. The sessions were very highly evaluated and deep dive really meant deep dive. With SP1 released NAV 2009 RTC is really a great product and it is great to see a county like the USA starting to adopt.

When it comes to adopting you have early adopters, normal adopters and late adopters. Personally I am an extremely early adopter but man, I actually met ‘never’ adopters as well.

Three years ago Microsoft did some very wrong presentations on Directions making people cautious about the new product. It was stupid because they showed alpha builds as if it was the finished product. Now, three years later most people like the product’s looks and after taking a few classes on how to make pages and new reports most of them are ready. And they should, 2009 is a really great product ready to take over the midmarket ERP for what part is had not already done so.

The USA is an ISV country. Things here are really different from Europe. When I go to a customer and they ask if something can be done, I make it. Here they will first start by trying to find an ISV solution rather than making it. For some things like EDI, e-shipping and workflow that is good, but if there are 3 gaps in manufacturing you might want to change this to the product yourself rather than selling no.

Europe and USA should get closer together. In Europe some partners are ‘islands’ doing everything themselves and in USA there are resellers who can’t read C/AL. J

Yesterday morning (Day 3) started with oversleeping after the party. Man, the ‘C-Siders’ are really good now, and they make progress every year. What makes it especially impressive is that they only practice for like 8 or 16 hours per year. The rest is done my sending mp3’s around. For those of you who don’t know; Directions has its own band of NAV people.

After breakfast I had a meeting with Michael Nielsen. Needless to say it’s all under NDA what happened there but I just wanted to say this: The future of NAV is looking bright. I also had a conversation with Dan Brown the evening before and I was telling him how worried I was 4 years ago, like so many. And I was right in being worried. But now I am not worried anymore. Off course I have much more inside information compared to 4 years ago when I just got my MVP award and much has changed since then.

For everyone who is not in NAV; right now is a perfect time to get on board. The RTC will be here for the years and years to come and lot’s of interesting business opportunities are there.

After lunch I went to Michael’s (Nielsen) session about developing standards. The really cool thing about this session was this quote: ‘Don’t do it the way we do, do it the way we say.’. This relates to the C/AL code in the product we all know that is, let’s say, suboptimal developed.

From the very early years, NAV was developed with simplicity in mind and it has been ever since. This was even better illustrated in another session I went to which might sound strange to you. Introduction to the development environment. Being in that session made me realize what you can do in NAV without any development. There were some ‘freshman’ NAV developers there and you could really see they were impressed. That made me feel proud being part of this product for all these years.

The real reason I went to this session is that I was promised some screenshots of the new, future, development environment. Off course this is not new for me, I have been seeing the prototypes work for a while now and even had a change to use one of them. The bad thing it that all of that is under NDA. These slides just give me a reason to blog about it and hopefully give you the idea that Microsoft is moving into the good direction for everyone. Keep faith.

Today also was my chalk talk about upgrades together with my good friend Tom Wickstrom. We only had one slide. Q&A. Our session was second last at the end of the event but we spent the hour talking to the people there. Had fun and some interesting discussions.

After the closing session, which only took 20 minutes, I went to be a tourist. Together with Andrew Good and his wife we went into Austin to have some steak. The next morning (today) Dave and Karen Studebaker took me for breakfast in Bostrup. This is an old town which really was fun to see the USA how it is often presented in Hollywood  movies.

That brings me to where I am now. Houston airport Texas USA with an almost flat battery.

Thank you for reading my blog about this great event. In the future I will try to blog more about implementing the RTC as I am currently doing that at a customer.

Cheers.

/Mark

 

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  • Sounds like a really great conference, and I love to hear that our common fiend Samuel Adams was there too!

    This conference is surely on my "want to go" list for next year, and it must be in the US, because as you wrote, then the Euro and US Navision markets are very different.

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