NAV users just “get” it

conversationDon’t you love it when you’re talking to someone about something and you can immediately tell they “get” what you’re talking about? There’s that magical click in your conversation when you can both relax into the discussion and really geek out about the topic.  That topic might be baseball, or marathon running, or gardening, or maybe even Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

If you ever wished there was someone out there who would really like to talk about inventory costing, or C/AL coding, or dimensions or other things, the NAV user group (NAVUG) is the place where you can find those people.

This amazing group of people have formed one big network of NAV users who are eager to connect with you, welcome you to the community, and help you solve business problems for your company.

There are a wealth of opportunities to connect with the members of NAVUG.  There is not only the annual user conference, NAVUG Forum, held in October each year, but also many chances to engage with other users in webinars throughout the year, and now, last week, we’ve seen the launch of Collaborate.  This online tool was built to give NAV users a virtual environment where we can gather regularly to have those kind of discussions and to keep up with all the things that are going within the community.

If you’ve been looking for more people who just “get” it, you’re here. Check out the new Collaborate site and get into a discussion today!

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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 .

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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.

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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


Learning about NAV2013: New videos available from technology management

learnThere is a new series of NAV2013 YouTube videos available on a wide variety of topics, many of them in the financial area. I’ve previewed four of them today. They’re a nice overview of NAV2013 features, and are a great way to get a preview of what the new version looks like. The series is called, “Dynamics Ignite: Business Made Easy” and the company who produced them is technology management. Find their YouTube channel here, or go to individual topics listed below.

Purchase Order Processing in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013

Budgets in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013

Sales and Purchase Pricing in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013

Accounts Payable in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013

Assembly Management in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013

Sales Order Processing in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013

Accounts Receivables in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013

Look and Feel of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013

General / Nominal Ledger in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013

Cash Flow Forecasting Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013


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!