Blogiversary Top 20 (#18) Learning about Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013: on demand learning from NAVUG is a fantastic resource!

We’re celebrating our one year blogiversary by reposting the Top 20 Most Viewed in the last year, as determined by you, our readers! Follow this link to see the entire list. Enjoy!

learnAs my company continues to move down the path to upgrading to NAV 2013, learning about the new version is high on our list of priorities.  Yesterday, we gathered a group of 18 employees to view a webinar that had been recorded by the NAV user group (NAVUG). The live webinar had been done a month ago, but NAVUG records all of its webinars so user group members can view them on demand later.

I took the opportunity to view the webinar first to vet the material for appropriateness for our group. Being able to see the recording first allowed us to tailor the list of who we invited to view the webinar. Based on the content of the webinar, we invited NAV end users from the customer care, purchasing, finance, IT, warehouse, and marketing departments as well as our CFO and CEO. It was hugely convenient to be able to view the recorded webinar as a group because it allowed us to do this at a time that was convenient to us, we all got to consume the same learning experience at the same time, and we got a chance to discuss what we saw in the context of our own upgrade plans.

The webinar we viewed was titled “NAVUG 2013 Webinar Series: Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 – A Functional Preview” and we were excited to see some of the new charting and cash flow improvements, as well as to hear about dimension sets, database performance increases, and improved copy and paste.  There were some smiles and ooh and aahs during the discussion of the web client and SharePoint clients for remote access and use of tablet technologies like the iPad and Surface.  There was even a smattering of applause when the presenter showed some improved Excel integration features!  Most importantly, all the people in the room got to pick up on the real world impact that NAV 2013 improvements will have on their jobs.  Our company is still using the Classic Client, so for most of the people attending this was their first exposure to the Role Tailored Client and this webinar really got a lot of them thinking about what the “new” NAV would look like.

I can see already that NAVUG has two more sessions planned in their NAV 2013 Webinar Series.  You can bet I’ll be viewing both of these, whether it is at the scheduled time for the webinar, or later, from the recorded session, and finding a way to share the info with other interested folks at my company.

NAVUG NAV 2013 Series: Introduction to ODATA Web Services: How to easily publish your NAV data  01/30/2013 11:00 AM (ET)  NAV 2013 brings ODATA Web Services as a new way to access your NAV data from outside the system. Attend this session to find out how you can use ODATA to access your data from many other applications like Excel, SQL Reporting Services, Internet Explorer, smartphones and tablets.

NAVUG NAV 2013 Series: New Feature – Cash Flow 02/14/2013 09:30 AM (ET) We will demo how the new Cash Flow Forecast in NAV 2013 gives an efficient way to forecast short-term cash flow, enable better monitoring of cash receipts and cash disbursements and use the information to take preemptive steps.

For the cost of our annual corporate NAVUG membership, we were able to get 18 people at our company exposed to important concepts about the new version of the software that will be coming their way soon. We didn’t need to incur any travel costs or even any seminar registration fees, and we were able to schedule it at a time that worked for us. I know our company will continue to use the NAVUG library of recorded webinars as we continue to learn about NAV 2013.  I hope you find this resource as useful as we have!


NAVUG spotter at Convergence: general session highlights

This years’ general session didn’t start out with rock and roll music and surfboards, but rather cool Jazz and low key presentation by Jesper LaChance and Eric Tiden.  Tiden is the new NAV R&D General Manager, and has some big shoes to fill after dynamic Dan Brown left last year.  New to the NAV space, but not ERP management, Tiden said “it’s really unusual to hear people say things like “I LOVE NAV” when they’re talking about their ERP, and it’s a great responsibility to live up to!”

LaChance and Tiden kicked off the general session with celebration of stories from customers who use NAV including Habitat for Humanity, Slainte Healthcare, and All for Kidz.

It seems the theme for the session was “NAV2013 is the greatest release every (and you should upgrade)!”, and LaChance and Tiden repeatedly stressed this point and then backed it up with demos of:

  • the president role from the role center, highlighting use of charting based on account schedules which can be controlled by the end user without partner assistance
  • new assemble to order capabilities shown using the NAV web client
  • refreshable Excel information into and out of NAV, powerview wth ODATA, an Jet Express
  • a preview of the Sicily release using a Surface with the web client, Office 365 and SharePoint integration

A quick listing of next NAV version “Sicily” with a 2014 date revealed improvements to cash management, “a lot more” integration with office 365, better support for large scale hosting, and UI web services.

Customer response to the session seemed a bit luke-warm, with only scattered applause from time to time, but the room did respond well to the customer success stories, nodding and laughing, and managed to perk up at the end when given information to access a free NAV2013 Azure demo for a limited time.


NAVUG spotter at Convergence: Where will you find IT and developer users?

navug with nameThis year, the NAVUG (NAV user group) is more active at Microsoft Dynamics Convergence than ever before, offering 19 sessions given by end users who use the software every day at their companies! There are plenty of opportunities to attend sessions on IT and developer topics and to meet other IT and developer end users.

The user group gets Monday’s sessions started with three sessions for IT and developer roles. Kali Petit, Systems Analyst Manager at Group O, gets the day going with a session on integrating Microsoft Dynamics NAV with SharePoint, while Kim Congleton, Director IT for Supply Chain Solutions at Group O, gives a session on reporting 101 using the role tailored client. Matt Traxinger, Dynamics NAV MVP and Developer at ArcherPoint, caps off the Monday sessions with database optimization and best practices in Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

Kali Petit is joined by David Long, SharePoint Practice Leader at Tribridge, and Doug Shepard, Director of Information Technology at Augsburg Fortress Publishers, as peer experts for an interactive discussion on getting more out of Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Dynamics NAV.  Anticipating quite of bit of interest in this topic, the session is offered in time slots on both Wednesday and Thursday.

Also on Wednesday, Scott Rose, VP of Operations at Mirus Bio joins forces with Fria Kurowski, Account Manager for ABC Computers, for a session on how to make a smooth transition when moving from classic to RTC.

To end off the week, there is one last session offered on Thursday for folks looking for an interactive discussion with a peer panel related to upgrade experiences with Microsoft Dynamics NAV.  This session makes NAVUG members who are in all different stages of NAV upgrade and implementation available to Convergence attendees to ask questions about what their experiences have been.  Peer panelists for this session are David Hatker, VP of IT at CCA & B, Kim Congleton, Director IT for Supply Chain Solutions at Group O, Kerry Rosvold, Corporate Controller at Augsburg Fortress Publishers, and Greg Kaupp, CEO of ArcherPoint.

Don’t forget there are plenty of opportunities on Monday during the time slots for roundtable discussion, with specific tables available for IT Managers, Developers and Programmers.  The IT and Developer roles dominate the hot topic roundtables this year covering upgrading, reporting in NAV, integrating NAV with SharePoint, NAV modifications, recent go lives, current implementations, and converting forms to pages.


Learning about Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013: on demand learning from NAVUG is a fantastic resource!

learnAs my company continues to move down the path to upgrading to NAV 2013, learning about the new version is high on our list of priorities.  Yesterday, we gathered a group of 18 employees to view a webinar that had been recorded by the NAV user group (NAVUG). The live webinar had been done a month ago, but NAVUG records all of its webinars so user group members can view them on demand later.

I took the opportunity to view the webinar first to vet the material for appropriateness for our group. Being able to see the recording first allowed us to tailor the list of who we invited to view the webinar. Based on the content of the webinar, we invited NAV end users from the customer care, purchasing, finance, IT, warehouse, and marketing departments as well as our CFO and CEO. It was hugely convenient to be able to view the recorded webinar as a group because it allowed us to do this at a time that was convenient to us, we all got to consume the same learning experience at the same time, and we got a chance to discuss what we saw in the context of our own upgrade plans.

The webinar we viewed was titled “NAVUG 2013 Webinar Series: Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 – A Functional Preview” and we were excited to see some of the new charting and cash flow improvements, as well as to hear about dimension sets, database performance increases, and improved copy and paste.  There were some smiles and ooh and aahs during the discussion of the web client and SharePoint clients for remote access and use of tablet technologies like the iPad and Surface.  There was even a smattering of applause when the presenter showed some improved Excel integration features!  Most importantly, all the people in the room got to pick up on the real world impact that NAV 2013 improvements will have on their jobs.  Our company is still using the Classic Client, so for most of the people attending this was their first exposure to the Role Tailored Client and this webinar really got a lot of them thinking about what the “new” NAV would look like.

I can see already that NAVUG has two more sessions planned in their NAV 2013 Webinar Series.  You can bet I’ll be viewing both of these, whether it is at the scheduled time for the webinar, or later, from the recorded session, and finding a way to share the info with other interested folks at my company.

NAVUG NAV 2013 Series: Introduction to ODATA Web Services: How to easily publish your NAV data  01/30/2013 11:00 AM (ET)  NAV 2013 brings ODATA Web Services as a new way to access your NAV data from outside the system. Attend this session to find out how you can use ODATA to access your data from many other applications like Excel, SQL Reporting Services, Internet Explorer, smartphones and tablets.

NAVUG NAV 2013 Series: New Feature – Cash Flow  02/14/2013 09:30 AM (ET) We will demo how the new Cash Flow Forecast in NAV 2013 gives an efficient way to forecast short-term cash flow, enable better monitoring of cash receipts and cash disbursements and use the information to take preemptive steps.

For the cost of our annual corporate NAVUG membership, we were able to get 18 people at our company exposed to important concepts about the new version of the software that will be coming their way soon. We didn’t need to incur any travel costs or even any seminar registration fees, and we were able to schedule it at a time that worked for us. I know our company will continue to use the NAVUG library of recorded webinars as we continue to learn about NAV 2013.  I hope you find this resource as useful as we have!

This posting is one of the Top 20 Most Viewed in the last year! Follow this link to see the entire list.


Learning about Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013

My company has started seriously discussing what we’re going to do about upgrading our NAV ERP system. With NAV 2013 released to market in October, we’ve got plenty to talk about. Of course, just like you and your companies, we’re nailing down exactly what the benefit of upgrading will be to our company specifically. We’ve talked about performance improvements and greater ability to get to data needed for reporting, but some of those concepts can get pretty intangible in these beginning discussions.

We’ve already talked about the big concepts, but what people really want to know about right now are the real concepts:  exactly how will an upgrade in the software increase our productivity, make us more efficient in our jobs, and ultimately, help us to drive revenue, decrease costs, or increase cash?

So, I’m beginning to gather ways to start to show people at my company, in a tangible way, what the upgraded version can do for them. Here’s where I’m at so far:

1)  Get groups of stakeholders to start to attend webinars about NAV 2013. I’ve had to chance to attend Microsoft Convergence and see all this stuff, they haven’t. I need to get them exposed to seeing this incredibly different version and what it can do for them. One way I’ll do this is to have them attend webinars sponsored by the NAV user group, NAVUG. They’ve got one scheduled called “A Guided Tour of NAV 2013”, and I’ve got a group organized to attend already.  I’m betting we’ll see quite a bit of material about NAV 2013 from the user group in the next year. One of the best things about the user group webinars is that they’re recorded, so if we want to review the webinar later, anyone in my company has that option.

2)  Learn as much as I can about the nitty-gritty details so I can promote them in a real way. I’m constantly searching the web (seriously, I “Bing” everything) for new information about just about anything. Right now, I’m focusing on NAV 2013. I just found a great YouTube video, “What’s New Dynamics NAV 2013 – User Productivity Enhancements“. In six quick minutes I got about five takeaways that I can start to use. My favorite?  NAV 2013 has improved error messages to help end users resolve problems. I’m going to take this info back to work with me and make sure people know we could have less help desk traffic because the new NAV version makes it a lot easier for end users to solve their own errors on the spot.

3)  Get a test copy of NAV 2013 installed so I can start to play around with it myself. I’ve done this with previous versions, so now it’s time. I can get a demo copy installed and start touring the menus, trying things out, and teaching myself how to use the new version. What’ll I try out first?  I can’t wait to get my hands on the cash flow forecast!  Once I’ve got some level of mastery of the new version, I can start showing folks what improvements will apply to them personally, in their jobs.

I’ll keep posting here as I find useful things to share with you.  Hopefully, as you begin your process to discuss the upgrade plan for your company, you’ll find some ideas on things that’ll work for you and your companies.

This posting is one of the Top 20 Most Viewed in the last year! Follow this link to see the entire list.


Business Intelligence and Reporting Track helps solve user challenges at NAVUG Forum.

Jason Chance, Senior Programmer/Analyst at Seventh Generation and Business Intelligence and Reporting Track Leader for NAVUG Forum, guest blogs today on what the BI and Reporting Track has to offer end users at NAVUG Forum, the annual NAV end-user conference held in Seattle, October 15-18 2012.

Without fail, whenever I lead a NAV roundtable discussion or training class, people talk about the reporting. I’ve only met a handful of people who are completely happy with their business reporting and most of them have spent significant resources developing reporting solutions outside of NAV. But before you throw in the towel on reporting in NAV, and spend a lot of time and money, you owe it yourself and your organization to understand what’s available in NAV. This is where NAVUG Forum 2012 comes in.

NAVUG Forum is an excellent event led by NAV users and professionals. It’s not a sales pitch. It’s not a glossy brochure full of fluff. It’s real NAV users sharing their experience and insight gained through years working with NAV. In the reporting and BI track we’ll focus how you can get the most out of the existing tools in NAV. With sessions like Reporting 101 and Reporting 102, you’ll learn how to create and modify NAV reports. Sessions on the Role Tailored Client will show you how to use the RTC to customize the data that you see in NAV. The Analysis Views and Jet Reports session will highlight two often under utilized reporting tools in NAV. The NAV 2013 sessions will give you a preview of what to expect in the newest version of NAV.

If you have issues and concerns with your reporting capabilities, chances are someone else has the same concerns, who knows, maybe they’ve already solved their problems. Come to NAVUG Forum, learn from your peers, build a network of colleagues that can help you get the most out of NAV.

See you in Seattle.