What drives a business? People. What drives people? Passion. For over 22 years my passion has been the Microsoft Dynamics NAV product; this passion has been shared by the over 1.4 million users that every day use Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

In my career, I have had the opportunity to produce numerous customer studies, and there is one essential element to every successful testimonial—people that are passionate about their job. The most successful businesses are powered by individuals who make a difference and demonstrate they are committed to the company’s well-being.

I won’t pretend to claim that an ERP solution made these individuals passionate about their jobs, however one thing is clear: all of these customers replaced a legacy ERP system that was rigid, difficult to use, and prevented people from reaching their full potential.

Return on Investment (ROI) is often at the heart of conversations around ERP systems. Considering ROI is critical for any business investing in an ERP system and part of that is recognizing that the return will only occur if employees actually use the system. Therefore, the solution must be easy to use and help the user make an informed decision.

One of our customers, Univac Precision Engineering, wanted an ERP system that could streamline financial reporting by eliminating the time and manual processes spent consolidating month-end reports. Employees at Univac regularly wasted precious time on tackling discrepancies in inventory levels and tracking end-of-life items. When customers called in to change orders, scenario planning to calculate production lead time to delivery often took up to a week. Commenting on their new ERP system, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Mr. Y C Phang, Vice President, explained, “With increased visibility into our inventory levels, scenario planning is now more accurate and has been cut from a week to a few hours. This has enhanced our customer responsiveness.” Individuals at Univac Group are now able to garner insight from their ERP system to drive decisions and focus on customer requests. They are able to focus on their passion, realize their full potential and make a difference in the organization.

I think another of our customers, Jaroslav Vavřina, manager of a Harley-Davidson dealership really embodies passion about his work: "The secret behind our dynamic business is the fact that we do things with our hearts.”

At Microsoft, we’ve been thinking about how the next release of Microsoft Dynamics NAV, expected to beta in May 2012, empowers people. The concept of RoleTailoring creates a customized user experience throughout the business solution to enable individuals to increase their effectiveness and productivity.

The RoleTailored User Experience was introduced in late 2008 with Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009.  Based on research into the way people work, Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 delivered simplified access to personalized views and business processes through Role Centers designed for more than 21 key employee roles, out of the box. Role Centers change the work paradigm for the traditional user by providing a single overview of job-related tasks and information. By helping people organize, prioritize, and access their work from a single location, Role Centers increase productivity and effectiveness. The Role Centers can be personalized to fit to the unique work styles of each employee, allowing them to have a powerful way to get work done accurately and efficiently.

With the upcoming release of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013, we have continued our focus on making people more productive and effective. Examples of improvements are: 

·         Enabling people to make smart decisions faster and easier: Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 introduces a simplified way to display aggregated data in charts, KPIs, and for example in Microsoft Excel that allows users to make informed decisions effortlessly.

·         Bring more people into the system and to help them be more productive: We recognize that organizations use a variety of technology platforms from a variety of locations. Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 can be accessed from virtually any device.

·         Increase usability by designing the products with a familiar user experience: Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 will have the familiar look and feel of Microsoft Office 2010 and will enable companies to display relevant Microsoft Dynamics NAV parts for the specific role inside SharePoint.

The interoperability with Microsoft SharePoint 2010 enables Partners to use the familiar Microsoft SharePoint functionality to build and customize powerful SharePoint sites with NAV functionality according to the needs of their customers. Whether the user wants to see their document storage related to the selected Microsoft Dynamics NAV data or the user wants to see charts from various data sources this is now possible. Using Microsoft SharePoint Workflow functionality together with Microsoft Dynamics NAV also enables the users to get more control of their business and hence enable them to utilize the power of the combined Microsoft products.

In essence, our vision is about the empowering the people that use our solutions, best summarized by one of our customers, Christoph Ploenes, CEO of Hans Ploenes GmbH: “We see that our entire team gets more done in the same time it had before. We were able to fit the software tools very closely to the roles people play in the company so that everybody works within a unified, comfortable software environment that gives easy access to exactly the functionality and data people need. The entire company has become more focused and productive.