Why Build Community?

Back when I first recommended Microsoft Dynamics NAV to my company as an ERP solution, I was a lone voice in my universe. I had run the whole gauntlet of the request for proposal, partner screening, requirements planning, and final selection, and ultimately I was the person in charge and therefore responsible for where our company ended up because of my choice.

The first few years of using Microsoft Dynamics NAV were a little rough and I did many of the following things to solve problems:

  • Spent hours on the internet searching for terms that might get me some results. Many of the searches ended up in programming and development forums that would show me the code behind what was happening, but wouldn’t help me, as an end user, figure out what steps I should take.
  • Read the manuals I had gotten from my partner. I spend hours going through the manuals I had been given and trying to piece together how I could do more advanced tasks by cobbling together the simple examples I had.
  • Brainstormed with my boss and my staff. We had quite a few long conversations about how to get things done. Some of these conversations actually solved the problem, many of them ended up with needing to go back to the manuals, or the internet, or to our partner.
  • Just tried it in the live system to see if I could figure it out. Sometimes this was successful and sometimes it created more problems than where I had started.  I was an inexperienced end user who didn’t even know having a test system was possible. When pressed, I took the risk (in small steps) to see if I could get it figured out.
  • Called our partner for help. When all of the above failed, I would reach out to our partner for assistance and pay them to help us out.

What an incredible waste of time!  I had spent hours and hours of time trying to solve simple problems. Why? Because I thought I was alone. Because I thought I was the only person who could solve what we had. Because I hadn’t built a network.

Eventually, I got smarter. I started to ask our partner, “Surely you have other customers who have this same problem. What do they do?”, and in return I got silence and an invoice for services. I went back to the internet and looked again, and this time, I learned about user groups and began to look for a user group for Microsoft Dynamics NAV, and I found one! I started small, lurking in webinars and listening and learning and applying all the things I learned back at the office.

Since then, I’ve gotten the opportunity to regularly attend the annual user group conference, and have built a robust network with other NAV users. While I do still go to the internet for answers, I know where to go and where not to go to get my answers. I know where to get the right manuals for what I really need. I don’t mess things up in my live system because I have an effective test system. I still pay my partner for help, but I get to pay them for things that really make a difference in improving things at my company instead of paying them to help with things I should be able to do myself. Most importantly, I have a whole network of Controllers and CFOs and other professionals from other companies who I can email or call to help solve a problem.

I’m no longer a lone voice, but a single voice in an entire chorus of knowledgeable NAV users who are making a difference at their companies because we’ve all chosen to build a community together.

If you haven’t found your community yet, find it here at www.navug.com .

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????


Learning about NAV2013: CustomerSource guide to resources

customer source searchIf you are already a Microsoft Dynamics NAV customer and you’re current on your maintenance plan you need to go to CustomerSource to get access to NAV2013 training manuals that are just waiting for you to find them.

For versions prior to NAV2013, CustomerSource has published an Overview of Training Manuals as well as a Learning Plan for each version which made it easy to find all of the resources available for that version. For some reason, they have chosen not to do that with NAV2013 which does make the manuals a good deal more difficult to locate. I’ve found if you know the Course Number for the training materials you want to find you can get to them quickly by using the search box on the left hand navigation bar.  Simply type in the course number, for example, 80534, and you’ll be taken directly to those training materials which you can immediately download.

Custsourceexample

Look up the following courses using the search box to get to more information about NAV2013:

Installation and Configuration

80438: Installation and Configuration in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013

80433: Reporting in Microsoft Dynamics NAV2013

80549: Data Upgrade and Code Upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics NAV2013

Finance Related

80434: Fixed Assets in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013

80435: Application Setup in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013

80439: Introduction to Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013

80534: Finance Essentials in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013

80535: Finance Advanced in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013

Trade & Inventory

80257: Inventory Management in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 *

80440: Trade in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013

Warehouse Management

80259: Warehouse Management in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 *

Service Management

50224: Service Management in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 *

Relationship Management

50223: Relationship Management in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 *

Manufacturing

80550: Manufacturing in Microsoft Dynamics NAV2013

C/SIDE

80436: C/SIDE Introduction in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013

80437: C/SIDE Solution Development in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013

* not updated for NAV2013, only available in prior versions


View Convergence 2013 session on Microsoft Dynamics NAV dimensions here

If you’ve enjoyed this month’s 15 days of NAV dimensions series, and would like to hear me speaking about dimensions, there is now a recording out on the Convergence website as well as on the Virtual Convergence website.

If you were a registered Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2013 attendee, log in to the Convergence site and bring up the Schedule Builder. From here you can view a recording of any session that was listed as a concurrent or deep dive session, and you can even re watch the keynote and general sessions! You can search by any number of methods for my session, which was called Tips & tricks for working with dimensions in Microsoft Dynamics NAV, and ran on Thursday, March 21st at 2:30. Click the link to watch the session video.

virtualconvIf you were not able to attend Convergence this year, there is a Virtual Convergence that is available to the public. You’ll need to log in to register, but once there, you’ll have the same access as Convergence attendees to concurrent, deep dive, keynote, and general sessions. In order to find my session, search under the sessions menu, then Microsoft Dynamics NAV, then scroll down until you see the box that contains Tips & tricks for working with dimensions in Micro . . .dims virtual

There are a lot of great sessions out there available for one year past the close of Convergence 2013, so I bet these will only be out there until the end of February 2014. Take some time to explore what else is out there and share with your coworkers! This is a great way to get information into your company about the ERP you have all chosen to run your businesses.

Enjoy!