I have worked with Microsoft Dynamics NAV for 16 years, before Microsoft purchased it and it was called Navision. A common question I’m asked is if Microsoft Support is a good investment. My answer is yes, and here is why.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV has had new releases approximately every two years, with some of them being major improvements in design, functionality, and technology. In the last three releases (NAV5, NAV 2009, and NAV2013), not only was the software functionality improved, but major changes to the technology behind NAV were implemented. Some of these changes include a stronger interface to Microsoft Excel, Rapid Implementation tools, and Role Tailored Client.

With your Microsoft Support agreement, you not only get access to Microsoft CustomerSource, but you receive free access to all Microsoft NAV updates and hot fixes. This does not include the cost of retrofitting customizations that have been done into the new release, nor the time of the Microsoft Partner to install the upgrade.

Retrofitting customizations is always the challenge as this can raise the cost of implementing an upgrade. Depending on the design of the modification and the areas within NAV, it impacts whether a customization can move seamlessly or with significant programming required. It is always a good idea when designing customizations to consider the impact on future upgrades. Most experienced NAV consultants know what areas of the software to avoid customizing to reduce the cost of future upgrades. Another approach is to build new functionality on top of NAV rather than within NAV and reduce the impact on upgrades.

Even with the cost of retrofitting customizations, the Microsoft Support is a good investment. Few software packages have the worldwide presence of NAV, and Microsoft seems to be investing heavily in its future. From what has been published about NAV2015, it looks like the new release proves that Microsoft is committed to this product.

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