Microsoft Dynamics NAV Review

Very well integrated but the area of customizations could be improved

What is our primary use case?

We have the standard NAV and we also have a vertical that's developed for the auto dealership business industry. Both of them are based NAV but the vertical is also based on Dynamics NAV. It has simplified a lot of the issues in product selections and the like. The reseller is certified on their platforms, and we obviously use the product. We have quite a strong partnership with Microsoft.

What is most valuable?

The solution is very well integrated and doesn't require a lot of work in that respect. We're happy with it. One of the advantages is that, for example, the vertical covers all aspects of the functionality for the various areas of operations and integrates easily with the existing office products, BI, and CRM. On top of that, there are a lot of resources available for this platform to do whatever integration is required. Essentially, we use the SharePoint product, Offices 365, the mail, all are well integrated. On top of that, there are a few other functionalities that could be coming out on Office 365 which would help us to improve our processes. 

What needs improvement?

Because the platform is open, the ERP is open. Sometimes we have to do a few customizations for improving our internal processes which we do that as we go along, we've got all the GDPR things in there. It covers a lot of the aspects that we need to manage. An improvement would be the customizations that we do tend to limit by adapting our processes to the software. I'd say we'd be adapting around 60-70% and customizations would be around 30%. We don't want to diverge a lot from the standard version.

We have to deal with a lot of audit issues coming from various places which is a time-consuming process. Auditors like to see who has got permissions for this and that. That's a bit of a hassle to get it out, but we do it. It's not the functional side that's an issue.

I'd like to see the ability to address certain queries simplified. Not operational queries, but business issue queries, from the perspective of somebody who's managing the software.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for around 14 years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's quite a stable product. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

What we consider as a large customer here, or a large base here in Mauritius would be considered small in other countries. We've scaled up to about 700 users or so and it's scaled pretty well. We started with like 150 or 200, now we are 700, but it scaled quite well. No big issues there. We have plans for expansion in the future. We have four engineers trained on the software to deal with all support issues. 

How are customer service and technical support?

We don't interact directly with Microsoft for support. We go through our service provider. If you look at the Microsoft model, Microsoft or our vertical company does the software, and then they deploy it for partners. We go to those partners. We've been with them for around 14 years and support has been quite good the whole time.

How was the initial setup?

No, it's not complex. Microsoft has done a lot since our first version in 2006, we don't have to do any major upgrades anymore. It doesn't take like three days to do an upgrade. Now it's a very simple process that takes about half a day to move to a new version. So they've broken down the upgrade process into chunks that we receive every three months or every four months. So in terms of manageability is much better. We don't have to do a big upgrade project anymore. They've done a lot of work on this for the past years, and it's now very easy to do things in there, to do those projects.

What other advice do I have?

If we require customization, we go to the service provider. We also have project managers on the side who come up with various options and solutions. Then it goes through a certification process. If customization is required, we go to our service provider, who is certified to change the system. So we don't do any development as such.

Our plan is to move most of our workload to the cloud, so we've been concentrating on Office 365 for the past couple of years. We're nearly there, but there are still a few things to move over. After that, we will be looking at an Azure infrastructure for the ERPs. The coronavirus has accelerated the move.

I would rate this solution a seven out of 10. Not a ten because there's always room for improvement.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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