As 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!
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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.
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I love to hear why other end users have chosen Microsoft Dynamics NAV for their companies and what their experiences have been.
Christopher Patten, CTO with CyraCom International says that Microsoft Dynamics NAV “cuts down on the number of clicks” for end users and “delivers simplified interfaces but also allows us to have back end integration flexibility”. Marc Allman, Executive Vice President of AMS Controls says that Microsoft Dynamics NAV “works in the same fashion that our Outlook and our Excel work; there is a similar look and feel and that has made our users training much much easier”. He says, “our users are comfortable with it and are trained very very quickly”.
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.