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Microsoft Dynamics NAV Software Review

 

Microsoft ERP Strengths & Weaknesses

Competitive positioning in the ERP software market is highlighted with the following strengths and weaknesses.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV Strengths

Dynamics NAV strengths relative to the SMB ERP software competitive landscape.

  • Dynamics NAV is strong in ease of use. Navigation is intuitive and follows straight-forward business process design. Input forms often resemble traditional paper documents such as purchase orders or sale orders. Access to information via drill-down or filtering data using flexible criteria is plentiful.
  • Microsoft NAV harnesses the look and feel of Microsoft Office. Microsoft desktop savvy users will have a smooth, familiar user experience that reduces training time and costs.
  • The ERP software includes a customizable codebase along with extensive development tools and available source code.
  • International capabilities such as support for multi-currency, multiple languages and local taxation accounting features are quite strong, particularly for European companies.
  • NAV offers a seamless integration to MS Office, SharePoint and Dynamics CRM.
  • Available add-ons can combine with the core ERP software to deliver industry editions or highly specific vertical ERP solutions, such as Professional Services Automation (PSA), which includes project and cost accounting, timesheet management, resource management, and inventory control of items consumed in the delivery process.
  • One of the stronger ERP solutions for Distribution and light Supply Chain Management when reviewing "off the shelf" functionality.
  • Microsoft NAV offers a somewhat unique (for ERP systems) service management function. This may be useful for fulfilling customer service requests, dispatching technicians and delivering after the sale support. Service management tracks contracts and warranty information, is tightly integrated with Inventory and Manufacturing, tracks goods internally or at customer locations and offers a Job Scheduler for recurring service tasks.
  • Several add-on modules and partner solutions are available to extend deficient functionalities and offer vertical market ERP solutions.
  • Dynamics NAV is a reasonably priced ERP solution with the Advanced Management pack accommodating midmarket companies with a wide range of functionality, or the Business Essentials program for smaller organizations and offering less functionality, but a more rapid installation and quick time to value.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV Weaknesses

Strategic and commonly cited ERP weaknesses include the following:

  • Dynamics NAV does not offer an integrated Business Process Management or workflow automation tool. It is possible to leverage the Windows Workflow Foundation using .NET or another development environment, but such effort is complex and resorts to custom programming.
  • While the User Interface is simple and easy to use, Microsoft has not yet adapted popular consumer technologies. Similarly, Enterprise 2.0 and social business tools are scarce and mobile is limited to cross browser support.
  • NAV may have a limited support life cycle, as more R&D and overlapping functionality are absorbed into Dynamics AX.
  • The ERP software delivers more breadth than depth. For example, while Microsoft says it is capable of handling Ecommerce, such handling largely consists of tying the accounting to the supply chain with a Configure–Price–Quote web storefront. Most ERP software manufacturers include more sophisticated storefronts when they deliver features such as Ecommerce.
  • Euro-centric process designs and customizations may appear awkward for North American users.
  • Process-based manufacturing automation within the ERP software is complicated. Although the system has individual features to support process manufacturing, trying to use NAV manufacturing for batch or formula processing will be very difficult.
  • Advanced Management has a much higher total cost of ownership (TCO) than the Business Essentials pack. Selecting a la carte options or partner solutions will drive up TCO and affect ROI.
  • Dynamics NAV is designed to be extensible via software customization, but customizing the ERP software can significantly increase Total Cost of Ownership due to higher maintenance costs, increased system administration (IT labor) and more time consuming and costly software upgrades.
  • While the Microsoft Dynamics marketplace contains many useful third party add-ons, it can be time consuming and difficult to distinguish the many add-ons from multiple partners due to similarities and overlap in feature sets and the challenge of assessing the quality of the partners and their products.
  • With Advanced Management and à la carte options available, customers may also incur a tenuous time in determining whether native Microsoft functionality or a partner solution delivers a better fit.

Next - Dynamics NAV Best Fit & Alternative ERP Systems >>

Dynamics NAV ReviewDynamics NAV ERP ReviewDynamics NAV CRM ReviewDynamics NAV Technology ReviewDynamics NAV PricingDynamics NAV Strengths & WeaknessesDynamics NAV Alternatives

 

Microsoft Dynamics NAV

 

 

Microsoft Dynamics NAV Software Review

 

 

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