Dynamics NAV Server granule – Where did it go?

I got quite a pleasent surprise today while I was placing an order with Microsoft for a new Dynamics NAV (Navision) customer. While I was clicking through the granules, I was looking for the dreaded granule 9100 – Dynamics NAV Server to add to the price list  and this is the screen that I spent 15 minutes on:

Notice anything different? That’s right, granule 9100 is no longer there!! I originally thought it was a mistake and clicked back and forth, deleted and re-created the order just to get the granule to pop up. Sensing something good was going on here, I went ahead and processed the order just to see what the license would look like. If it was missing due to a mistake, I can always just write a sales support to the ordering desk and have them add it for me.

For those of you who don’t know, granule 9100 is a granule that you much purchase to have the privilege to use the Role Tailor Client or RTC. Here’s a blog article that mentions it:

After the order was processed, I did a quick search on Partnersource and couldn’t find any mentino of granule 9100 being removed. So I went directly to the Price Sheet Explanation document and this is what I found:

Happiness! The granule is, as of December 15th 2010, included in the Foundation pack. Now we don’t have to charge the customer extra just to have RTC capability!

One question remains though is what about the customers that purchased the granule? How does their enhancement play out? Do they get a credit? I’d be a little upset, not because of the amount of the granule, but because I’m being punished to be an early adopter.

Be Current or Not Current on the Microsoft Annual Enhancement Plan

Since Microsoft announced the new Business Ready Enhancement Plan Renewal Policy, talks about whether the customer should stay current has increased significantly.

At 16% of your total software list price, it’s potentially a sizable recurring investment for companies using the software. Not just specifically to Microsoft, almost all ERP, CRM, business software out there requires users to pay an annual enhancement of some sort.

Other than the obvious questions of “what do I get for staying current?”, the benefits are numerous and I encourage you to get with your partner to learn what these benefits are. But the primary reason with the new policy is that you need to be current in order to purchase additional granules and users.

This may sound very scary at first, but hopefully this blog post will put in perspective on what this means should you decide to stay current or not.

1. How many years of Enhancement will I pay to pay for the software again?
Assuming your system list price is $100.00. At 16%, you’d be paying $16.00 per year. So $100.00 / $16.00 = 6.25 years. You would need to be current on the Microsoft Enhancement Plan for 6.25 to pay for the software again.

In another words, the bet you placed by staying current on the enhancement plan is that Microsoft will release new versions of NAV that you will upgrade to (full or executable only) during 6.25 years. In addition, with the new enhancement plan policy, you’re also betting that you’re business will grow and change, therefore, requiring additional modules and user licenses in the 6.25 year time span. So if you’ve purchased additional modules, upgraded, etc during the 6.25 year time frame, you’ve won.

2. How many years can I not pay the enhancement plan for the cost to accumulate to pay for the software again?
Again, assuming your system list price is $100.00. Assuming that you decided to skip the enhancement after the first year, the penalty you’ll pay is around 20% (you may have to check the exact percentage in your area). So $100.00 / $20.00 = 5 years. You can skip the enhancement for 5 years and pay for the software again in 5 years.

In another words, the bet you placed by NOT staying current on the enhancement plan is that Microsoft will not release anything of interest worthy of upgrading your system in the next 5 years. You do not expect your business to see growth or changes to purchase additional modules or user licenses. If you have not purchased any modules or done any upgrade to newer version in the 5 years since you skipped the enhancement, you’ve won.

In a down economy, it may pay not to be current if you do not expect the cycle of your business to turn up again within the next 5 year period. Then again, it’s pretty tough to gage what will happen in the next 5 years.

Whether or not to stay current really depends on the business and the people that runs the business. For the enhancement plan, I always view this as an insurance and the same type of mentality as an insurance. Most of the time you pay for the insurance premiums complaining about it’s hefty price, but when problems occur, you’re glad you paid the premium. In Navision’s case, the time is 6.25 years.

Average Cost to Implement Microsoft Dynamics NAV (Navision)

First of all, there are no 2 businesses that are exactly the same. I don’t care if they’re in the same industry, if the owners are siblings, and/or if they live in the same household. Companies are as unique as the fingerprints of the owners that run them.

As such, no 2 implementations are exactly the same. This is because the people that work inside the companies are unique. They live the company culture that are defined by their managers. And the company culture are as unique as the personalities of the people setting them.

There has been countless times where I hear “we do everything like everyone else” or “can’t we take what you did for other customers and implement it here?”. No. You don’t do everything like everyone else and no, we will not take other implementations and apply it here. Unless we want to guarantee failure.

If you’re a robot and have no personalities, or you want to fit your business process to the software, then use Quickbooks. Any other unique data that you need to keep track of, use Excel. Don’t bother buying an expensive hard-to-modify software that you will have the same problems with if you were using Quickbooks.

For the record, Microsoft Dynamics NAV (Navision) is an easy to modify software that fits your business like a glove. As such, there are setups that will be involved to fit the software to your business.

There are definately similarities that applies, however, the task is up to the implementor to make recommendations on how to implement these similarities without making too much distruptions to your business.

Having said that, making a post about the average cost to implement Microsoft Dynamics NAV (Navision) will surely draw criticism. This post is about MY experiences implementing Navision. OUR Dynamics NAV (Navision) practice is DIFFERENT than other company’s practice. OUR company is unique, just every company out there is unique. So before you flame me, remember this is based on MY experience, NOT yours because you are not me and I am not you. You and I live in different areas, grew up with different environment, eat different foods, breathe different air, is allergic by different things. Did I get my point across? Good.

These numbers are based on the implementation using the Classic client. We find that the Role Tailor Client is more suitable for management for doing analysis and running reports, not for data entry. For order processing, manufacturing processing, etc. we find that using the Classic client is a lot more fitting and more user friendly.

The initial implementation is to always to replace their old system with NAVision. The new features and functionalities are nice and will definitely reduce the expenses for the company, but unless they’re mission critical, we usually recommenend holding off introducing new processes until NAV is up and running. The reason we do this is because we don’t want to overload end users with too much new information where they will feel overwhelmed. For example, if the companies uses 3rd party software to process EDI and the users are used to it, we would hold off integrating EDI into NAV on the next phase whenever the customer is ready.

As a rule, we always recommend the client purchase the base of any addons they may use in the future. For example, if the client plan to integrate EDI into NAV, we always recommend the client to buy Packing (the minimum requirement) and use Lanham’s E-Ship/EDI database from the beginning. This will reduce time to merge the objects when everything is up and running.

Ok, so here it goes.

Our typical new NAV client for us has the following traits:
– Users: 11 to 20 users
– Locations: 1-3 location
– A distrubtion based company. (They usually import goods from overseas, repackage it, and sell them in the US.)
– Sometimes with light manufacturing (at most, running production BOMs without using MRP)
– Light warehousing (maybe using warehouse receipt and warehouse shipments).
– Some EDI Trading Partners

The time spent on an implementation like this are, based on the quotes I’ve written, are between 120 – 200 hours.

Some of the basic time required are (NAV2009 and prior):
Initial Analysis and Writeup (30 – 40 hours)
Database installation and setup (10 hours)
Development (30 – 60 hours)
Training (30 – 50 hours)
Onsite after Live date (20 – 40 hours)

The development usually includes:
– Customer information Import
– Vendor information Import
– Item imformation Import
– A/R balance import
– A/P balance import
– G/L balance import
– Open Sales Orders import
– Open Purchase Orders import
– Inventory balance import
– Busines forms modification (SO, PO, customer statement, etc)
– Mission critical modifications that’s not in base NAV
– Misc. tweaks during user training
– Transfer of all data with dataports written on the day before live

The software price is set by Microsoft. There’s nothing we can do about that. The hourly rate are different by region, so do your homework and find what the hourly rate for your region is. Around my area, it’s about $150 – $200 an hour. But don’t print out my blog to use as a bargaining tool. It won’t work.