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Back when I first recommended Microsoft Dynamics NAV to my company as an ERP solution, I was a lone voice in my universe. I had run the whole gauntlet of the request for proposal, partner screening, requirements planning, and final selection, and ultimately I was the person in charge and therefore responsible for where our company ended up because of my choice.
The first few years of using Microsoft Dynamics NAV were a little rough and I did many of the following things to solve problems:
What an incredible waste of time! I had spent hours and hours of time trying to solve simple problems. Why? Because I thought I was alone. Because I thought I was the only person who could solve what we had. Because I hadn’t built a network.
Eventually, I got smarter. I started to ask our partner, “Surely you have other customers who have this same problem. What do they do?”, and in return I got silence and an invoice for services. I went back to the internet and looked again, and this time, I learned about user groups and began to look for a user group for Microsoft Dynamics NAV, and I found one! I started small, lurking in webinars and listening and learning and applying all the things I learned back at the office.
Since then, I’ve gotten the opportunity to regularly attend the annual user group conference, and have built a robust network with other NAV users. While I do still go to the internet for answers, I know where to go and where not to go to get my answers. I know where to get the right manuals for what I really need. I don’t mess things up in my live system because I have an effective test system. I still pay my partner for help, but I get to pay them for things that really make a difference in improving things at my company instead of paying them to help with things I should be able to do myself. Most importantly, I have a whole network of Controllers and CFOs and other professionals from other companies who I can email or call to help solve a problem.
I’m no longer a lone voice, but a single voice in an entire chorus of knowledgeable NAV users who are making a difference at their companies because we’ve all chosen to build a community together.
If you haven’t found your community yet, find it here at www.navug.com .