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Selling An Upgrade to Your Management Team

  • 1.  Selling An Upgrade to Your Management Team

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted May 24, 2019 05:32 PM
    ​Hello Everyone,

    I'd like to hear from anyone who can comment on how your management team was sold on the idea to upgrade NAV/BC (or any ERP).  If you made a jump from version x to version y, for example, what was the "Oh Wow!" factor that sold the upgrade.  As we all know uprade costs are high (perhaps part of the reason why Microsoft is moving in their current direction), so what benefits were seen as valuable enough to upgrade?




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    Lewis Rosenberg
    IT Manager
    Mars Fishcare
    Chalfont PA
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    BCUG/NAVUG All-Star
    BCUG/NAVUG Board of Advisors, Chairperson
    BCUG/NAVUG Programming Committee

    Twitter: @RosenbergL
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rosenbergl
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    NAVUG/BCUG Summit (navugsummit.com)
    Orlando, FL - October 15-18, 2019
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  • 2.  RE: Selling An Upgrade to Your Management Team

    Posted May 27, 2019 01:41 AM
    Hi Lewis

    Not sure if our management team is "sold" on our proposed upgrade from NAV 2015 to BC, but approval was given for upgrade next year.

    Here are some justifications we used:

    1. Microsoft mainstream support for NAV 2015 will end on 14/01/2020

           2.There has been a change in Programming language to VS Code and AL (from CSIDE and C/AL). For future new release of Microsoft   Dynamics NAV (now renamed as Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central since 2018) from year 2020, VS code and AL as the only way to modify the application. This means that Microsoft will cease support for CSIDE and C/AL and focus their investment on VS code and AL language.

     

    1. Upgraded version can be access from anywhere, regardless of device, platform or form factor – Laptop, Desktop, IOS/Android Phone, Tablets, etc.

     

    1. Upgraded version will be multi-deployment friendly – SaaS, Hosted or On-premise. This means that we can move our ERP system to a cloud solution if we so decide.

     

    1. Future upgrade will be made easy by Extensions. Dynamics NAV Extensions are a way for Microsoft Dynamics NAV developers to extend the functionality of NAV without modifying Microsoft's original source code. The downside of CSIDE and C/AL customisations is that they often introduce challenges when upgrading Dynamics NAV. It's exponentially harder to upgrade a solution from one version to the next when changes have been made to the underlying solution.  The latest customisation model solves this problem, and we no longer need to merge all the customised objects.

     

    1. New version allows users to connect to an instance of 'intelligent cloud', replicating on-premise data to the intelligent cloud. The intelligent cloud leverages solution such as Power BI, PowerApps, Microsoft Flow and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to provide insight and actionable messages to enable business to run better.


    We have further attached the link below which discusses how we may benefit from the new Power Platform capabilities such as Power BI, PowerApps, Microsoft Flow, CDS etc.

    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/business-applications-release-notes/october18/


    ​​

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    LeoChen
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  • 3.  RE: Selling An Upgrade to Your Management Team

    Posted May 28, 2019 08:12 AM
    I would echo Leo's bullet points. The main ones for us are the ending of mainstream support and the shift to Extensions for future roadmap.

    Secondary would be the fact that is it cloud friendly. We can move to Azure and realize better performance and reliability when we are ready.

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    John Lee
    ICT Director
    Prosci Inc
    Fort Collins CO
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  • 4.  RE: Selling An Upgrade to Your Management Team

    SILVER CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted May 28, 2019 10:49 AM
    ​You're buying a new car. It's a big investment for some, no big deal for others (they have lot's of extra money). Would you

    A) Trust your entire purchase on the sales pitch
    B) Talk to the engineers who built the car and test drove it

    We are currently upgrading from 2009 to 2018. We chose not to go to business central at this time. It has given us the ability to upgrade with our current staff expertise, make use of eventing, and start "experimenting" with AL. We chose NAV in the first place because of the complex nature of our business created a need for customizations.

    Azure is out of the picture as it is currently not scalable for our transactional needs.

    Powerapps is also slow, purposely I was told because MS sacrificed speed over security. I did spend 16 hours in a training class and this was also my observation.

    IMHO , AL / VS Code has not fully matured as a Rapid Application Development tool, unless you are the scientist who is developing it.

    By the time you read this post, everything above has changed. To me, that's the problem. I need a stable environment that I can trust and know that works. It only happens with time and experience. You grab a version, take the time to migrate, test, test, test, then use, use, use.

    After all, isn't that the point?. To have a stable environment so that your end users can actually do their job.


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    Joseph Flynn
    Sr. Dynamics NAV Developer
    Gold Star Foods INC
    Ontario CA
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  • 5.  RE: Selling An Upgrade to Your Management Team

    Posted May 28, 2019 11:39 AM
    Hi, Lewis.  I have broken our project into two phases:  1) Determining the cost and business value, 2) Performing the upgrade.  Determining the cost and business value entails an end-to-end business process review to identify what can be addressed with base NAV + targeted add-ons + minimal customization.  The business process review identifies opportunities for process improvement and the value created.  We demonstrate that value created exceeds cost and then the upgrade is a go.  Now, playing devil's advocate:  Business process improvement can be achieved without an upgrade.  Fair enough.  But I sell this entire process as the "upgrade process" so that I can speak to value created which resonates with business leaders.

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    Alex Scheler
    Carma Laboratories, Inc.
    Franklin WI
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  • 6.  RE: Selling An Upgrade to Your Management Team

    SILVER CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted May 29, 2019 07:36 AM
    Depending on your situation, the upgrade may be a hard sell.

    We've heavily invested in several ISV solutions as well as deep customization / development.

    We went from 2009 (briefly, development only) to 2013r2 to 2016 and each of those migrations was 3+ months of code merging, followed by 3+ months of full regression testing and bug fixes.  It's impossible to expect your developers to know what modifications were made for what reasons, then to be able to trace through what changes Microsoft and the ISVs made between versions, then match back to your business process.  I'm being nice with 3+ ... it was longer, and it was a full team effort.  Our next upgrade will be much longer.

    Staying "current" on Microsoft has proven to be a fools chase for us.  2016 offered events which *kind of* worked, usually, until they didn't and you're tracing what happened.  You couldn't do all your customization with events, so you still needed to modify base code.  Then extensions v1 came along and to get on that wagon meant a complete rewrite to your existing customization - IE: re-implement NAV.  But wait, extensions v1 sucked and v2 are better. There are changes Microsoft has made to the application that impact how you manage data / code however - you can't change Microsoft column width for example,  We were forced to do so in some circumstances; now the columns are <say> 250 characters wide but this now means report / screen modification to make this work.  Want to do it your way?  The solution is add your own columns via extensions - more coding. Our ISV changing logic also doesn't help.  We've extended some of the core processes in their 2016 version which they've completely rewritten for 2018 ...

    Effectively being on 2016 is truly between rock and a hard place for us.

    You don't have to use extensions until you have to ... but the longer you wait not doing it this way the deeper the hole you dig.  Our current internal discussion continues to be "we need to stay current" vs "we can't afford to pause all development for 6 months again".  Every day we stay on 2016 we continue to rob Peter to pay Paul, knowing Peter is going to collect someday (and he's very expensive).  Our situation is *extremely* unique I understand.

    Other things to consider - data, processes (some are different, some are non existing (ie mini cards)), licenses, security, ISV solutions (do they exist, do they work still, etc).

    All said - I also know other customers happily running on v5 and when they realize the full ROI / hit the wall on something / etc they're going to look at all the solutions on the marketplace and make a decision at that time.  They've decided to make a 10-15 year investment into whatever version of NAV they've got; when the cost / benefit of a new system leads them to open the doors any and all systems are in play. If they stay on NAV it's a re implementation, not an upgrade. If they move away, it's a conversion to new system.



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    Patrick Hulst
    Manager, Development and Solutions Delivery
    Home Hardware Stores Limited
    St Jacobs ON
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  • 7.  RE: Selling An Upgrade to Your Management Team

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted May 30, 2019 03:23 PM
    ​Thanks for all of the great feedback.  If anyone else has any thoughts, I think this is a great help for anyone going through the process.  When I first sat with my CFO, we had trouble determining an ROI or even finding much value in return for the cost.  We started concentrating on the new functionality and didn't find a lot that would significantly add value or increase efficiency.  There were a lot of little things that will be "nice" and helpful, but nothing bowling us over.

    In the end, I found that the big sell was making future upgrades easier due to extensions and that waiting too long will cost more.

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    Lewis Rosenberg
    IT Manager
    Mars Fishcare
    Chalfont PA
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    BCUG/NAVUG All-Star
    BCUG/NAVUG Board of Advisors, Chairperson
    BCUG/NAVUG Programming Committee

    Twitter: @RosenbergL
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rosenbergl
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    NAVUG/BCUG Summit (navugsummit.com)
    Orlando, FL - October 15-18, 2019
    ------------------------------

    Conference-BCNAVUG_200x200


  • 8.  RE: Selling An Upgrade to Your Management Team

    Posted May 31, 2019 10:34 AM
    Here's a bit of information that may also help. According to Nucleus Research the average ROI on ERP software is $7.23 for every dollar spent. For Microsoft Dynamics 365 the average ROI is $16.97!

    Here's a blog post discussing this: https://www.solsyst.com/post/whats-the-roi-for-microsoft-dynamics-365-business-central

    Here's the research: https://nucleusresearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/s148-Microsoft-Dynamics-365-delivers-16.97-for-every-dollar-spent-2.pdf

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    Michael Intravartolo
    Marketing Manager
    Solution Systems, Inc.
    Rolling Meadows, IL
    michael@solsyst.com
    847-590-3000
    www.solsyst.com
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  • 9.  RE: Selling An Upgrade to Your Management Team

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted May 31, 2019 11:58 AM
    A couple things come to mind regarding this question:
    1st (as a ERP customer) being (having) the culture and core ERP team that will make the upgrade happen internally in the company.  This will affect your effort, resources, cost and (a hopeful) ROI. Also are there any significant businesses changes from the legacy (NAV) to the new ERP system: i.e., inventory, EDI, shipping, production, compliance, etc.  Also, moving up often means new delivery and usage environment: client moving to web instead of windows client, etc.  Remember you can build a highly energy efficient home but if you never open or close the doors / windows at the right times you can let a lot of cost in or saving out the door(s) or window(s). The cost internally is an element and can be a significant part of any possible ROI, e.g., increased real-time reporting, etc. There are often plenty for any organization.  This does not need to be driven just by the vendor / solution provider / NAV / BC partner but by your and your core team.  in 2017, our company went from a 12 year old Adage Infor ERP  system to NAV 2015; and our internal ROI regarding inventory, production, EDI, and reporting was significant yes because of our NAV, Lanham and partner MFG solution but moving from a IT (team only) centric ERP organization to a organization with a core ERP team including IT  increased our ROI 30% over just the new NAV.

    Now Further leveraging and growing this model moving from NAV 2015 to NAV 2018 is going to be even more significant.

    2nd many ERP engagements are driven by bad, poor, far, good and great partner organizations.  If you are unaware of how your partner is doing can be a train wreck with an upgrade just as much with the initial engagement.  What this can mean such as you are getting ready to work with them and they are taking you on when they have so much backlog that your engagements priorities are going to get pushed around; your going to have their engagement professional flowing through like an Atlanta belt-way: so fast that you / they can miss significant interchanges; or even gridlock etc.  What this means is that your quote for professional services goes from half the cost of your licensing upgrade to 50% or even more higher.  Also if they supported your 3rd parties well in the good old NAV days does not mean they are going to have the new "extension",  AL or BC all figured out right.  This will cost your company a bit and  driving down your ROI and if they miss the boat this will be even more down the road.  Know your partners organization, Know how they are investing in your future (yah their future but it's yours as you are the customer).  Never to late to stay current on their references by going to summit and  focus talk to people and ask questions.  Also asking your account manager to give you new references. Just get a straight up phone call or site visit with these; and at lease three newer customers: e.g., asking how are they -- on time, in budget and did they keep you scope.

    They best ROI research will be done by you (and your core team); and your partner who keeps  you connected.  Find out who and what your partner is investing in and you will find out that your ROI is going to be low (ROI for you); and high in their pocket.  Done with you knowing your ROI is going to be more in line with industry or better because your partner has your back; and regardless if not you and your core ERP team will have your company's back and ROI will more sound.

    Dynamics Communities is a big element / resource for building this core team, training and leveraging the FAB's (Features, Advantages and Benefits) about the product roadmap that you are building upon (your investment.).

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    Ronald McVicar, IT Software Mgr
    NSP (Quality Meats)
    nspproteins.com
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