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 .
If 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.
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
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
80259: Warehouse Management in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 *
50224: Service Management in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 *
50223: Relationship Management in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 *
80550: Manufacturing in Microsoft Dynamics NAV2013
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
If you’re reading this, you are probably looking for answers now, as in “my implementation goes live in a month and I don’t have my financial statements figured out yet”. This is by far the most common question I get from people looking for answers about account schedules.
Assuming you are already a Microsoft Dynamics NAV customer, and you’re current on your BREP (Business Ready Enhancement Plan), you need to go to CustomerSource to get access to e-learning modules and training manuals that are just waiting for you to find them.
If you want to search on your own, here is the place to start. On the left hand navigation bar, choose Documentation=>User Guides and then look for one of these two:
- Overview of Training Manuals and Hands-On Labs for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009
- Overview of Training Manuals for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 5.0
Once you get to these pages, you can search through a number of menus to get to exactly the topics you need without using the clunky CustomerSource user guide drop down choices, which are difficult to use at best.
Another good source are the Learning Plans for each version. On the left hand navigation bar, choose Training and Certification, then choose Learning Plans for Microsoft Dynamics from the main page. Choose your product and version, and you’ll have what you need. The Learning Plan for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 is particularly good, providing links from the page directly to what you need. You will find sources for E-Learning, Instructor Led Training, and Training Materials. The link to the Learning Plan for Microsoft Dynamics NAV 5.0 actually points to a PDF version of the NAV 2009 Learning Plan; it looks like the 5.0 plan has been removed.
If, because you’ve taken a look at the Learning Plans and you know the Course Number for the training materials you want to find; here’s another quick way to get at them. At the top of the left hand navigation bar, there is a search box. Simply type in the course number, for example, 80050, and you’ll be taken directly to those training materials which you can immediately download.
If you simply don’t have time to look through the Learning Plans and expansive Overview pages, take my word for it and look up the following courses using the search box to get to more information now:
If you are brand new customer, using NAV2009 with the RTC (Role Tailored client), here’s your best bet: Course 80050 Business Intelligence for Information Workers. You may also try Course 80258 Trade in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 to expand into the topics of analysis reports and analysis by dimensions.
If you are an existing customer, using NAV 5.0 or below with the Classic client, these resources will be more right for you, since they are shown using the Classic client. If you’re not yet using the RTC, you don’t need to struggle through documentation shown in an interface that you’re not using yet. I’ll maintain that the basic functionality of account schedules is the same (so far), and the major difference between the Classic client and the RTC is navigation, as well as look and feel, of the new matrix. Look for Course 8875 Business Intelligence for Information Workers in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 5.0, Course 8939 Trade in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 5.0, and Course 8713 What’s New in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 5.0 Part I (chapter 8 talks about some of the improvements that were made to account schedules between version 4.0 and 5.0).
Find the link to this wealth of information here or under the Blogroll as Microsoft Dynamics CustomerSource.