directions EMEA, Dynamics 365 BC, Dynamics NAV

From 29-31st October 2018, the annual Directions EMEA event in The Hague, Netherlands attracted over 2,200 attendees. This partner-only event represented 60 countries in Europe, Latin America, and APAC, and focused on Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Business Central. This is nearly half the partner community across 30% of the countries where Microsoft NAV, and soon Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Center, is and will soon be generally available.directionsemea_snip

Over 100 Microsoft staff were present and contributed to 3 keynotes, and many of the 150 breakout sessions which focused on best practices, common data services, and deep dive development workshops. The keynote speakers were Marko Perisic, GM Dynamics SMB; Toby Bowers, WW Business Applications and Industry; and Cecilia Flombaun, WW Business Applications Partner Lead. Some keynote takeaways were:

  • Large community. Microsoft Navision has a 31 year heritage with 220,000 customers and 3.3M users in 196 countries supported by 4,5000 .
  • Better user experience. D365 Business Central has better select, copy, paste, and search options, and systematically embedding functionality into Office 365. For example, users can export records from D365 Business Central to Excel, add more records in Excel, and update D365 with the new or changed records.
  • Synchronize "on prem" to the cloud. Microsoft D365 Business Central will be available on premise, and data can be synchronized to the cloud for uses to take advantage of mobility support, AI, and other features.
  • Roadmap. Releases twice a year with the next one having 100+ features, including expanding to new countries, simplifying code ("C/Side to AL") migrations, and others.
  • Replacing customizations with extensions. To migrate to D365 Business Central, partners should help clients replace custom code with extensions that can be used with D365. This will allow clients to stay up to date with Microsoft Cumulative Updates, which are released monthly.

There were many sessions presented by partners and skilled consultants. A particularly interesting session discussed the lessons learned from migrating customers on older NAV versions to D365 Business Central. Some key findings were:

  • Eliminate C/Side code by 2020. Many partners customized NAV2009 with client specific requirements. The community of consultants and developers have taken the challenge to replace C/Side code the modern AL programming language.
  • Converting customizations to extensions is challenging. Moving customizations to AL has challenges, but is a worthwhile effort to reclaim IP previously provided to clients. There are Microsoft tools to help, but these are not entirely flawless, requiring additional effort to get it right.
  • Three-step migration from NAV2009. To get to D365 Business Central, clients need to migrate from NAV2009 to NAV2013, then to NAV2015, and then to D365 Business Central. Again, there are Microsoft tools to help with the migration, but the process needs to be well managed and monitored for possible rework.

Clients and Partners working on these migrations should be looking at replacing customized processes with "off the shelf" and proven ISV solutions that can eliminate complexity, cost, and delays to completion. The ERP migration is complex enough, and likely to have unpredictable challenges. 

To minimize unknowns, customers should seek ISV solutions that provide predictability, speed to implement, and agility. Data Masons Vantage Point EDI achieves these items for EDI and XML integration with many proof points across the food, retail, manufacturing, and automotive industries. To find out more, click the button below to contact our General Manager for EMEA, Larry Velez.

Contact Larry Velez, General Manager, EMEA

Certified for Microsoft Dynamics, Dynamics NAV EDI, Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2018

Microsoft NAV 2018 is here!  Many firms will be excited about the tighter integration to Office365, Power BI, Microsoft Flow, Dynamics 365 for Sales, and many others.

Another important feature Microsoft is emphasizing to customers is lower implementation costs. Moving from one platform to another is always challenging, and lowering the barriers to make this change is critical in order for customers to migrate new platform versions. This is especially important for customers who want their employees to leverage office productivity tools within their ERP processes.

For example, an easy productivity gain that comes to mind is to automatically save customer emails on the account record, and store documents on a Sharepoint site or library for employees to collaborate on solutions for that customer. Doing this without the extra steps we all take today, should make an appealing future for Microsoft Dynamics ERP users. 

To get started, many firms have to plan and execute an ERP migration.  During the planning stage the firm needs to assess the risks of disrupting order to cash, procure to pay, warehousing and logistics, and others external business processes with trading partners. This risk includes the assessment of effort to reestablish electronic interfaces with trading partners that may include re-writing a lot of code inside the ERP. This effort alone can discourage firms from migrating given historical experiences, or just sheer volume.

To reduce effort and risk with trading partner relationships, the company should consider segmenting the project in 2 steps.

  1. Establish trading partner relationships on the current NAV platform without ERP software customization.  This will give the firm assurance that trading partner interfaces can run on the current ERP. Concurrently, the interfaces could be improved to increase transaction transparency, identify problems faster, reduce time to troubleshoot problems, and engage the line of business for day to day process support.
  2. Connect to NAV 2018 or future Dynamics ERP with confidence. You can set up NAV 2018 with adequate time to optimize your business processes with the new capabilities offered the in the new release, and run pilot adoption programs to get the whole team on board. Once these are ready, you can switch to the new NAV 2018, or a future Dynamics ERP, knowing that trading partner relationships will work, or problems could be more easily isolated for troubleshooting purposes.

Segmentation of tasks is a common approach to managing complex projects. Finding solutions to achieve this split will benefit companies that want to steadily extract more value out the Microsoft investments they have made. 

Learn more about evaluating an EDI solution that simplifies Microsoft Dynamics ERP migrations. Let us know what you think by commenting below, or reach out to us to learn more. Read our Dynamics NAV 2018 press release here and learn more about EDI Made Simple® for Dynamics NAV in this on-demand webinar.

Microsoft Dynamics Community, directions EMEA, Dynamics NAV, Dynamics NAV EDI

Meet the Newest Data Masons' Team Member at Directions EMEA in Madrid Oct 4-6, 2017

Dear member,

Many thanks for visiting this page. Here and in other posts you will find useful information about the automation of business to business transactions for our European friends and partners.

Whether the transactions are done with EDI, EDIFACT, XML, other industry specific protocols or custom formats, we offer deep experience and know how to help firms reliably make high volume transactions with suppliers, partners, and other business entities without customizations to their Dynamics ERP platform.

We have many years of success helping firms grow their businesses, and increasingly we are helping firms migrate faster to Dynamics 365 while simplifying their eCommerce strategy.

Data Masons is now open for business in EMEA. We will initially set up operations to help Microsoft partners plan, build, and drive robust B2B interfaces for their clients. This will allow us to grow our presence in Europe and help firms with local expertise.

Our participation in Directions EMEA will be to inform partners and consultants across EMEA about our unique and compelling approach to B2B and B2C business integration, and provide recommendations on how to help their clients.

You can also be assured that we are here for the long run. I’ve taken the role as General Manager EMEA after successfully building other businesses in EMEA including Microsoft online services such as Exchange, SharePoint, and Skype for Business that are part of Office 365 today.

I’m looking forward to reconnecting with former Microsoft colleagues and meeting new ones across France, Germany, United Kingdom, Western Europe, CEE, and MEA. 

I invite you to reach out to me during the event for an informal talk over your B2B initiatives, or just learn more about Data Masons. 

I’m looking forward to it.  Have a great event!

Sincerely,

Larry D. Velez
General Manager EMEA

Read the Full Press Release Here