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!

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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.

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End users talk about why Microsoft Dynamics NAV is simple and easy to learn and use

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”.

See this short video where real end users talk about their experiences with Microsoft Dynamics NAV.