While at NAV Directions 2011, I sat down with Mark Schrader to discuss ILOVENAV.com, the community website that collects product suggestions from partners, ISVs and end users and then voices them back to Microsoft. By creating this new forum, Mark and his colleagues hope that everyone involved with Microsoft Dynamics NAV will contribute product suggestions to help the community find its collective voice. More from Mark:
Jon: Has the site met the goals that you initially set?
Mark: In many ways www.ilovenav.com has exceeded our expectations. We saw the need for a community supported product suggestion site where Microsoft Dynamics NAV end users, partners and ISVs could ALL contribute and vote on their favorite ideas – truly supporting a democratic process to help Dynamics NAV become an even better product. Since there is no other community driven ERP software product suggestion site quite like it, we weren’t sure exactly what to expect. So far, end users, partners and ISVs in the NAV community have contributed more than 200 product ideas. The popularity of www.ilovenav.com continues to grow steadily and we think this trend reflects the growing enthusiasm behind Dynamics NAV in general.
Jon: What has the feedback been from the partner and user communities? Microsoft’s thoughts?
Mark: We have seen enthusiastic support from Microsoft, end users, ISVs, and many partners. There were some partners initially that needed to better understand the community driven nature of the site and that the site didn’t promote any individual partner or ISV before they jumped on board.
Jon: What have been some of the unexpected challenges and how have you overcome them? For example, partner support, idea contributions, etc.
Mark: Initially some partners associated the site with ArcherPoint and were reluctant to contribute. However as www.ilovenav.com has gained acceptance, we are finding more and more partners and ISVs posting and voting on ideas. The site is completely community driven and transparent.
Jon: Do you anticipate an end date for the site or do you see it as a long-term resource that hopefully the entire NAV community will utilize?
Mark: We anticipate www.ilovenav.com will continue to grow and thrive several years into the future. We will continue to support it and promote it as long as the Microsoft Dynamics NAV community finds it valuable.
Jon: A couple of solutions have been delivered by Mibuso. What’s the plan to generate more, faster?
Mark: Great question. Actually we are encouraging anyone who develops any of the suggestions on the ILoveNAV.com to post them on Mibuso and we will close the request on the ILoveNAV.com and provide the Mibuso link. We see this as a way to promote another great community resource in Mibuso and hopefully benefit both communities. Generally speaking, we hope that increased adoption in the community will also increase the speed and frequency of delivered solutions. Help from other partners is particularly important in this area. In addition, many popular ideas that require more intense resource requirements (those less likely to be tackled by partners) may be included in product releases by Microsoft. A call to action for anyone reading this article: “please go to www.ilovenav.com, see what ideas are there, add yours and vote!”
Thanks Mark. And oh man, their table was so busy at Directions 2011, but I was able to sneak in and grab a very cool shirt.