Below is a guest blog from Kyle Collins, the Business Development member of our Consulting Solutions team. He offers up his observations from the Microsoft Directions conference we attended last month.
Directions 2012 is the ERPalooza for the Microsoft Dynamics NAV world. It’s a time for Microsoft partners and independent software vendors (ISVs) to rally together and share best practices, new solutions and successful implementation strategies. People from all over the world gathered together in Phoenix, Arizona to get the latest scoop on everything Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Depending on your role within your organization there are different sessions that are offered to address the distinct areas of your business (i.e. executive, sales, best practices, consultant, and technical). Our Consulting Solutions team was able to send six members in order to cover all areas of our practice.
In addition to the business sessions there were also sessions that allowed ISVs to present and demonstrate their individual solutions. A key differentiator of Microsoft Dynamics NAV over other ERP solutions on the market today is the plethora of fully integrated 3rd party solutions that give Microsoft Dynamics NAV its robust flexibility. Microsoft is very serious about preserving the quality of its products and brand by establishing strict guidelines for 3rd party solutions. These “add-on” or “plug-in” solutions, as commonly referred to, have to be Certified for Microsoft Dynamics (CfMD) in order to offer its solution to partners. Most all solutions are fully integrated within the core system giving the user a seamless experience by delivering visual and functional continuity. This enables virtually any business, regardless of its industry, to implement Microsoft Dynamics NAV as its core system and address unique business functionality not typically native in ERP systems.
As you can imagine there is a wide array of solutions given this robust environment. We saw 3rd party solutions that addressed areas such as business intelligence, reporting, fleet management, document management, warehouse and inventory management and on and on. The two areas that really seem to garner the attention of our group revolved around the notion of mobility and the cloud (Software as a Service, or SaaS). The desire and need for a mobile solution is ever growing and several companies have ceased the opportunity to address this area. We found two particular solutions to be most attractive due to a combination of cost, functionality, ease of use and flexibility. Software as a Service (SaaS) or cloud computing is another hot topic and growing opportunity area. This opportunity is not just reserved for providers, but also for companies long in need of implementing an ERP system. This will allow businesses lacking the capital and resources necessary to traditionally acquire a new system the opportunity to grow by offering a low-risk, pay as you use (monthly) ERP solution.
As you can imagine, much was learned and shared at the Directions 2012 conference in Phoenix, Arizona. This event displays the growth and success of Microsoft Dynamics NAV as a premier ERP solution. For more information about the newest version of Microsoft Dynamics NAV, please stay tuned.