Opinion, by Mark Brummel
Before I continue where I left of with the previous post (I’ve prepared all the parts) I like to say a few words.
This is by far the most difficult blog I’ve ever published. It was not hard to write. It’s something that agravates me for a long time. I still feel bad about it.
Why am I hanging out the dirty laundy? Simply because anything else failed. The problem I am raising here is something that must be discussed.
Not everybody likes that. After my previous post I’ve changed the rules on my blog about rating and comments. I’m sorry I had to do that but aparently some people cannot behave themselves properly.
This is not the final piece. There is more and I will ventilate my opinion until I am finished. After that we are going back to techie stuff both for Business Center but also for Asp .Net Core and Angular as I am no longer putting all my eggs in one basket. I’m happy to be learning new stuff.
The Yes, but not if…
Why could Business Center fail… which I hope won’t happen.
Let me start this section with an example. I know of at least four partners that have a certified food solution for NAV and I have worked with and for all of them. It’s interesting to compare those solutions and see how they fixed problems in the industry. An example is palletizing or containerizing inventory. They’ve all implemented that in their solution and all in a different way. Needless to say, they all claim to have the best solution.
Meanwhile Microsoft is not implementing this feature in the core application even though it’s not only a requirement in food but in many other business cases.
All of these four partners struggle to implement this feature as an extension but I doubt any of them formally request Microsoft to take their solution and promote it as a standard feature.
Why is that?
I think our ecosystem, or “community” is starting to work against us and Microsoft does nothing to stop this. In fact, Microsoft is part of it.
Microsoft as a whole has always failed to understand the true value of Navision ever since they acquired the company. I’ve been an MVP for Microsoft for eleven years and three months and it has been incredibly fascinating to be able to get close enough to see how this maze of different departments “work” together and eventually it has led me to decide to quit last year. I’ve actively asked Microsoft to retire me as am MVP and it was both one of the hardest decisions in my life as a no-brainer.
I’ll elaborate more with another example.
Mow many people do you know that own a successful NAV practice with a decent number of employees that are aged under 50. Right. Me too.
If you talk to members of NAVUG about how they came to buy NAV the story is almost always identical. After an RFI Dynamics NAV was shortlisted and at the end two or three partners competed for the project. One wins the deal, takes the customer live and in half of the cases the customer switches partners or hires a freelancer within a few years or sometimes months after the deal.
Our ecosystem has a maze of freelancers and small service companies because this is big business in a failing ecosystem.
NOTE: There are exceptions. There is a handful of terrific partners out there that can prove these statements wrong.
How is this possible, and why is this more of a rule than an incident?
Out of the box Dynamics NAV (and thus Business Center) is not feature complete. Things that that are perfectly normal in competing products like Exact Online don’t work with NAV. Trust me, I actually switched my own accounting to test that.
Most NAV Var’s have been in business for over 20 years. They have all developed their own solution on top of NAV and often this includes regulatory local features like bank interfaces or government requirements.
These partners don’t want Microsoft to develop these enhancements because that would mean they would lose their competitive edge.
The Dynamics NAV ecosystem is probably the most conservative community in the software industry. It’s very closed and hard for newcomers to penetrate.
If you attend events like Directions in Europe or North America I invite you to stand at the back of the room and judge the age of the attendees by the color or amount of their hair. Young entrepeneurs do not join our platform.
In short. We have a problem in our ecosystem.
So why is Microsoft not changing this? They have the power, right? They should be able to force some changes to our community?
Well, it’s not as easy as it looks. This is where politics and ego enter the arena and more important: money.
I can’t help thinking that if I wrote a book about what I’ve learned about or ecosystem nobody would believe me. They would say this would only happen on Netflix.
Truth is that we are holding each other ransom and as a result none of us are going anywhere.
Let’s make an analysis of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central
It’s Navision! Or not quite…
To Be Continued…