I was very happy that I was able to attend the NAV Directions Conference in Chandler, Arizona last week. It was a great conference this year as Microsoft continues to offer dramatic improvements and options to the already fantastic Dynamics NAV product line. Most of the sessions were fantastic and offered informative content detailing the latest features in the new versions of NAV. Here are my top 5 takeaways from the trip:
1. Dynamics 365 for Financials – This is really Microsoft’s Dynamics NAV in the cloud offering. We have an upcoming release date for this but are currently under NDA so cannot give the exact date, but it’s definitely ready for prime time, and it’s soon! This is an exciting addition to the already application rich Office 365 platform. Well done Microsoft!
2. Microsoft PowerApps. – I absolutely love how Microsoft is tying everything together nicely through Office 365. I’m talking about “Dynamics 365 for Financials” tying in directly with Excel, Power BI, Dynamics CRM, Outlook (incredible, ask me for a demo) and now PowerApps. PowerApps is something everyone should be aware of as it allows you to create mobile apps with Office 365 products without any programming whatsoever (sorry developers!). During one of the PowerApp sessions I actually created and published a useful PowerApp for our own organization that ties back into SharePoint!
3. Lost Productivity – Kerry Rosvold made a fantastic presentation on quick wins for partners and one of her key points was that 40% of lost is due to task switching. What she did was bring this down to NAV and stressed the importance of making sure that your Role Centre is properly configured and that your screens are efficient and that you’re tabbing from one useful field to another and not consistently tabbing through fields that are never/hardly used. Thanks Kerry!
4. Inventory geniuses Tom Blaisdell did another fantastic presentation on inventory costing and how this works right down to the table level. This can be a complex topic but as technically astute as these guys are, they still have the ability to communicate the concepts and details to any laymen. As always, Tom adds life to a potentially dry subject with his quick wit and sense of humour.
5. Developer Forums – I attended a couple of developer forums on the future development environment for Dynamics 365 for Financials and was thoroughly impressed with the approach that these engineers are taking to provide a new development platform for Dynamics 365 for Financials in particular. Future development will be done using VS Code rather than the traditional NAV development environment. While what we saw was very preliminary it looked very promising.
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